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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Pool Picks and Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for April 15

Zach Thompson gives his pool picks along with his top studs and value plays at each position for Thursday’s Madden Stream DraftKings slate.

We’re on to the Sweet 16 of the 2021 Madden Bracket Tourney, and by the end of Thursday’s DraftKings Dream Stream, half of the Elite Eight will be set. You can follow the results and get all the gameplay details on the Madden Streams Information Page and check out special offers on the main bracket page.

Below, you can find my breakdown of the eight matchups in the Second Round and my DFS picks for Thursday’s late classic slate.


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Round of 16 Matchups

Las Vegas Raiders (16) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1)

Past Madden 21 Matchups: Buccaneers have won 3-of-4

Even though the Raiders were the higher seed, the majority of people in the Round of 32 pool picked them to lose to the Cardinals. They just don’t have the defensive depth in the secondary needed to stop the Bucs, even though the Madden version of the Super Bowl champs are far from invincible.

The Pick: Buccaneers

Pittsburgh Steelers (9) at Los Angeles Rams (8)

Past Madden 21 Matchups: Rams have won 3-of-5

Two of the top Madden DSTs go head-to-head with multiple X-factor Superstars on each side. All five of the previous matchups have been one-score games. In the closest matchup of Round 2 according to seeding, I’m going with the Steelers because I can’t trust Jared Goff against Pittsburgh’s defense, which has 55 takeaways, 11 defensive touchdowns and 131 sacks in 65 sims.

The Pick: Steelers

Los Angeles Chargers (20) at Green Bay Packers (4)

Past Madden 21 Matchups: The teams have not met

The Chargers pulled off one of only two upsets in Round 1, knocking off the Bears. They’ll have a tougher NFC North opponent in Round 2, since the Packers have a very balanced offense built around Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones. If I was playing Jeopardy! and the answer was “This team will win the 2021 Madden Bracket Tourney,” my question would be “Who are the Green Bay Packers?”

The Pick: Packers

San Francisco 49ers (21) at New Orleans (5)

Past Madden 21 Matchups: The teams split two games

Raheem Mostert rallied the 49ers to the other Round 1 upset, with four touchdowns, the double-bonus and 66.8 DKFP in an overtime win against the Colts. Mostert also totaled over 100 yards in each of his two previous sims against the Saints, who had an unconvincing win over the Bengals in Round 1. Brees’ inconsistency makes the Saints beatable despite their star power, and the 49ers’ defense and run game are enough to give them the chance to pull the upset.

The Pick: 49ers

Tennessee Titans (11) at Baltimore Ravens (6)

Past Madden 21 Matchups: The teams have not met

Lamar Jackson vs. Derrick Henry is a great Round 2 matchup, but the Titans’ defense has struggled against mobile QBs. Jackson hasn’t always been at his best, but when he is, he’s completely unstoppable.

The Pick: Ravens

Washington Football Team (14) at Buffalo Bills (3)

Past Madden 21 Matchups: Washington won 13-10

Washington is not an exciting offense to watch, but their defensive front-seven is elite and should be able to contain Josh Allen. Both offenses can be boom-or-bust, but teams have been able to run on the Bills, so workhorse RB J.D. McKissic should be active and help his team pull off the biggest upset of Round 2.

The Pick: Washington

Seattle Seahawks (10) at Cleveland Browns (7)

Past Madden 21 Matchups: Seahawks won twice

Russell Wilson didn’t have huge numbers in either earlier matchup but did enough to get Seattle two narrow victories. On the other side, Baker Mayfield struggled in Round 1 against the Lions, and I don’t love him against the hard-hitting Seahawks defense, who actually has a better DKFP average on the road than at home.

The Pick: Seahawks

Miami Dolphins (15) at Kansas City Chiefs (2)

Past Madden 21 Matchups: The teams have not met

Miami squeaked past New England in Round 1 while the Chiefs dispatched the New York Jets. The Chiefs have had some unexpected exhibition losses but have been very good in tournaments, finishing runner-up in the Preseason Tournament and winning the Madden Holiday Season. I don’t see Kansas City winning the whole thing, but I do think it has enough offensive options to overwhelm the Dolphins’ defense.

The Pick: Chiefs

Make your picks for the Free $5K Simulated Football Bracket Tournament at the DraftKings Sportsbook Pool page!


Fantasy Football Targets

Here’s a quick look at my picks for Thursday’s featured classic slate, which locks at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $8K Bracket Challenge Special [$2K to 1st]


QB

Stud: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $7,200 — Rodgers has been the most consistent passer on the board, averaging 19.8 DKFP per sim in Madden 21 with over 17 DKFP in three straight.

Value: Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints, $5,800 — Garoppolo has at least 250 passing yards in three of his past four sims and has a touchdown-dependent high ceiling at a bargain price.

RB

Stud: Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $7,100 — Jones has 61 touchdowns in 68 sims including seven in his past seven games, resulting in over 21 DKFP in three of his past four.

Value: Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints, $6,500 — All four teams use single running backs, so you’ll have to pay up for two top-tier options. Mostert had that monster 66.8-DKFP performance to start the Bracket Tourney and posted 14.3 and 27.7 DKFP in his two earlier meetings with the Saints.

WR

Stud: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $6,800 — Adams has at least four catches in six straight, averaging 16.3 DKFP over that span.

Value: Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers at Green Bay Packers, $4,900 — Allen is way too cheap under $5K, especially against the Packers, who struggle against slot WRs. He is averaging 4.6 catches for 52.6 yards per sim and has scored 30 touchdowns.

TE

Stud: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints, $5,100 — Kittle had 18.0 and 17.4 DKFP in his two earlier games against the Saints and is the key to the 49ers pulling off the upset since the Saints struggle to defend TEs.

Value: Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers at Green Bay Packers, $3,800 — Henry is consistently involved with 3.9 catches per game and has a high floor as a bargain due to his PPR work.

DST

Packers DST vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $2,800 — The Packers have multiple sacks in three straight and are averaging 2.2 sacks per sim. They don’t typically create a ton of turnovers but have averaged 4.7 DKFP per home sim.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $8K Bracket Challenge Special [$2K to 1st]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.