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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for April 3

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Saturday’s three-game Madden Stream DraftKings slate, which starts at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Saturday is another six-sim day on the DraftKings Dream Stream with great fantasy football action available throughout the afternoon and evening. The featured three-game classic slate kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET with a contest between the Miami Dolphins and the Houston Texans from virtual Reliant Stadium. The primetime spotlight shines on a contest between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Carolina Panthers, kicking off at 8:00 p.m. ET, and the final sim of the day is an AFC South matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars on Madden After Dark.

As in all of these Madden 21 sims, it’s important to know that each roster is not impacted by COVID-19 opt-outs, injuries, suspensions or illness and that the highest-rated options have been placed at the top of the depth charts. The roster for each team includes all player movement that occurred prior to Week 1 of the 2020-21 season and uses the Madden 21 ratings from Week 1 of this season.

For more details, you can find the game settings, depth charts, abilities and X-factors for each team in Madden 21 on the Madden Stream info page, where you can also find links to the depth charts of each team.

Check out the daily DraftKings Madden Stream contests lobby with paid contests for real cash prizes now available alongside free contests. Each simulation will be played out computer vs. computer via an online Madden Stream using Madden 21. In this format, you can enjoy watching the game stream on the DraftKings YouTube channel, the DK Live app (download here) or right here in this post.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $4K Saturday Night Special [$1K to 1st] and your FREE fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $250 FREE Contest


Quarterback

Stud

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins, $7,400 — The Dolphins’ defense has actually been decent in these sims, but Watson still brings too much upside to pass up, even as the most expensive QB on the board. He has over 19 DKFP in each of his two most recent sims and in five of his past seven. He finished with 24.82 DKFP in his first meeting with Miami thanks to a pair of rushing touchdowns in the Texans’ 24-21 loss. He is averaging 197.9 passing yards and 70.5 rushing yards per sim over his 61 Madden 21 games and has totaled 110 touchdowns (85 passing and 25 rushing). He hasn’t been as consistently excellent as Patrick Mahomes or shown quite the regular upside brought by Lamar Jackson, but he definitely has the highest ceiling of the QBs in play on this slate as really the only potentially dominant rushing threat.

Other Option — Carson Wentz ($6,600)

Value

Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts, $5,400 — Minshew has been volatile in these sims, as a whole, but he is an amazing value at this play since his ceiling has been high and he has put together many solid performances. If you get even a decent game from Minshew at this salary, you’re starting the rest of your lineup build with plenty of extra salary to stock up on skill players. Minshew had just 8.9 DKFP and the Jags only managed three points in their most recent meeting with the Colts, but he looked much better in their earlier meetings, posting 16.16 and 26.5 DKFP in a pair of games the Jaguars won. Minshew has thrown 94 touchdowns in his 62 sims and is averaging 212.1 passing yards per sim. He definitely comes with significant risk but also brings more upside than you might initially think, so see how he enables the rest of your lineup to be built before overlooking him just because he’s the cheapest QB in play.

Other Option — Tua Tagovailoa ($6,100)


Running Back

Stud

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers, $7,500 — Sanders gets a great matchup against the Panthers’ struggling run defense. He went off for 35.4 and 25.6 DKFP in his first two meetings with Carolina and was very involved as both a rusher and receiver. In his 62 Madden 21 sims, Sanders has averaged 66.7 rushing yards and 22.9 receiving yards on 3.4 catches per sim. He has found the end zone 51 times, 41 times with a carry and 10 more times with a catch. He has been held under 20 DKFP in five straight games, most of which have come against strong defenses. With a much better matchup in primetime on Saturday, look for Sanders to post a bounce-back game and go off for a big number.

Other Options — Christian McCaffrey ($8,000), Matt Breida ($7,300)

Value

Duke Johnson, Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins, $4,000 — Johnson had one of his best Madden 21 performances in his earlier meeting with Miami, running for 80 yards and a score on his way to 21.2 DKFP. He has averaged a much more modest 6.6 DKFP per sim on 12.6 rushing yards and 2.3 catches for 17.0 more yards per game. He isn’t a sure thing, but on this slate the Texans are one of only two teams that use a timeshare on a regular basis, giving Duke Johnson their third-down work while David Johnson ($3,600) has been mostly ineffective as their RB1. Duke Johnson at least usually chips in some PPR production and could end up being a great play at this salary if he can duplicate his earlier game against the Dolphins, who seemed to spend most of their earlier matchup with a linebacker committed to spy Watson, leaving extra room for Johnson.

Other Options — Nyheim Hines ($6,800), Marlon Mack ($5,000)


Wide Receiver

Stud

DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans, $5,600 — Parker can be hard to trust even though he is the WR1 for the Dolphins since he has been volatile based on inconsistent QB play from Tua Tagovailoa ($6,100). However, I like Parker on this slate quite a bit since he has a clear ratings advantage over the Texans’ secondary and got heavy volume in their earlier Madden 21 meeting. Parker had seven catches for 80 yards and 15 DKFP in that contest and seems way overdue for another big game after being limited to under 12 DKFP in eight of his nine most recent sims. Parker has averaged 3.7 catches for 54.0 yards per sim in Madden 21 while scoring 28 touchdowns in 61 contests. He has a lot of upside in this tasty matchup and stands out among a very volatile group of elite WRs available on this slate.

Other Option — DJ Moore ($5,800), DJ Chark Jr. ($5,500), T.Y. Hilton ($5,100)

Value

Marquise Goodwin, Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers, $4,900 — Goodwin was a COVID-19 opt-out this past season and is currently a free agent after he was released after reverting back to the 49ers because he didn’t play enough to qualify as an acquisition for the Eagles. Regardless, he’s still a great WR3 and slot option in these sims, where his 97 speed rating gives him an ultra-high ceiling. The 30-year-old speedster has averaged 3.7 catches per sim in his 57 appearances with an average of 52.0 yards per game. His speed and big-play potential make him a little boom or bust, but he has reached double-digit DKFP in three of his past five sims including a pair of games with over 27 DKFP. When he goes off, he’s a great value under $5K, and the Panthers have struggled against slot receivers throughout Madden 21.

Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars, $4,600 — Like in real life, Colts QB Philip Rivers ($5,800) relies heavily on his TEs and RBs as pass-catchers in these sims, but there is still usually room for Pascal to provide some value as Rivers’ WR2. Pascal has averaged 3.1 catches for 46.3 yards per appearance. He had over 8.0 DKFP in each of his three earlier meetings with the Jaguars and has produced over 13.0 DKPP in four of his past seven sims. He had exactly 100 yards against the Vikings earlier this week on his way to 19.0 DKFP and should be good for at least three to five catches and solid yardage in this matchup with the Jaguars’ below-average secondary.

Other Options — Parris Campbell ($4,700), Dede Westbrook ($4,400), Chris Conley ($3,800)


Tight End

Stud

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans, $5,200 — Gesicki has found the end zone in each of his five most recent contests, bringing his total to 25 touchdowns in 62 Madden 21 sims. Over those five games, Gesicki has averaged 17.7 DKFP on 5.6 catches for 55.4 yards per sim. He also had a huge game in his first matchup with Houston, finishing with 21.9 DKFP on six catches for 99 yards and a touchdown. While both Zach Ertz ($5,500) and Trey Burton ($4,700) usually get a ton of targets, Gesicki has become such a force in the red zone that he is my favorite TE play on this slate due to his strong virtual connection with his rookie QB.

Other Options — Zach Ertz ($5,500), Trey Burton ($4,700)

Value

Tyler Eifert, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts, $4,600 — Eifert is a little bit like Goodwin in that he is much more productive in these sims than he was in real life this past season and both remain a free agent at this point in the offseason. In these Madden 21 sims, Eifert has hauled in 4.6 catches for 41.7 yards per contest, scoring a total of 21 touchdowns in 61 contests. He had at least four catches in each of his three previous contests against the Colts, averaging 9.2 DKFP per sim and reaching double-digit DKFP in two of those three meetings. He is a relatively safe play under $5K since he gets so many targets even though he doesn’t have the big-play potential or slate-breaking upside that the three more expensive TEs or WRs in this price range offer. However, his steady production and good matchup make him a solid play if you can’t pay up at TE or are looking for a relatively low-risk FLEX play.

Other Option — Darren Fells ($3,900)


DST

Stud

Colts DST at Jacksonville Jaguars, $3,000 — The DST options on this slate are not a stunning group as a whole. In fact, the Colts are only averaging 4.0 DKFP per sim, but that’s enough to make them one of the most productive options on the slate. While Minshew does have upside, as discussed above, he also has a very low floor and sometimes hasn’t been able to get the Jaguars’ offense in gear at all. The Colts had 8.0 DKFP by holding Jacksonville to just three points in their most recent meeting after posting 2.0 and 0.0 DKFP in their first two head-to-head contests in Madden 21. Indianapolis does provide a good pass rush, totaling 109 sacks in 60 sims, which gives it enough upside to make it worth a look even though it has only managed 19 takeaways (0.31 per game) in all those sims.

Value

Eagles DST at Carolina Panthers, $2,500 — The Eagles have posted similar numbers to the Colts but have even fewer defensive touchdowns, producing only three scores in 62 sims. They also have a strong pass rush with 110 sacks but have only managed 21 takeaways (0.34 per sim). On the other side of this matchup, the Panthers’ offense has struggled at times in these sims, though, and the Eagles did have 6.0 DKFP in their first meeting in Madden 21. The Eagles are also the cheapest DST on the slate, so it’s not a bad idea to go with them to spend in other spots and count anything you get from this spot as a bonus since there aren’t any elite options in play.

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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.