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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for April 8

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

Get ready for some Thursday Night Football with some great Madden 21 sims ready to come your way on the DraftKings Dream Stream. The featured three-game classic slate kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET, when the Houston Texans head to the virtual 305 to take on the Miami Dolphins. In primetime at 8:00 p.m. ET, Patrick Mahomes ($7,900) and the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Tennessee Titans, and we close out the three-game slate with a Madden After Dark contest between the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets.

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



Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans, $7,900 — Mahomes has been the most consistent and productive QB in these sims, averaging 24.6 DKFP on 285.5 passing yards while totaling an impressive 176 passing touchdowns and 15 rushing scores in his 72 contests. He put up 25.3 and 27.2 DKFP in his two previous contests against the Titans, who have been very beatable through the air in these Madden 21 sims. Mahomes has bounced back after a usually rough stretch and posted over 23 DKFP in each of his past two sims. While he doesn’t have quite the ceiling of Deshaun Watson ($7,600), who can add a ton of rushing yards, Mahomes has been the far more stable option and is worth strongly considering paying up for on this slate.

Other Option — Deshaun Watson ($7,600)


Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans, $5,600 — Tua and the Dolphins have faced the Texans twice in these Madden 21 sims and both times the QB has been a decent value. He went off for 28.62 DKFP in one of those matchups, throwing for 263 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for a pair of scores. In the rematch, he threw for 216 yards and two scores, finishing with 16.54 DKFP. He has over 16 DKFP in four of his past five sims and has averaged 219.0 passing yards per sim while totaling 96 touchdowns in his 58 contests. He comes at a huge discount compared to the top options and is in a very favorable matchup against the Texans. There’s plenty of upside to consider in rostering Tua and paying up for the top options at other roster spots.

Other Option — Matt Ryan ($6,600)

Running Back


Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs, $7,600 — There is some risk that Henry and the Titans will have to rely on the passing game more than normal to keep up with the Chiefs. Even in those situations, the X-factor Superstar RB has often been very involved as a pass-catcher. Henry is averaging 3.7 catches for 24.9 receiving yards in addition to his 79.5 rushing yards per game, and he has scored 56 total touchdowns in his 64 sims. He had over 100 rushing yards and 17.7 DKFP in his most recent matchup with the Chiefs and posted 11.6 DKFP in their first Madden 21 meeting. Henry has had a few unusually low-producing games lately which is why his price is reduced on this slate. However, he still has a ton of upside as the workhorse back in Tennessee and remains the focus of the offense.

Other Options — Matt Breida ($7,500), Le’Veon Bell ($7,100)


Duke Johnson, Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins, $4,600 — Five of the six teams on this slate use the same RB as both RB1 and third-down back, with the Texans being the once exception. Houston deploys David Johnson ($3,700) as its RB1 and Duke Johnson ($4,600) as its third-down back. Duke has been the preferred option to own lately with over 9.0 DKFP in five of his past seven games. He had a touchdown and 16.4 DKFP against the Vikings in his most recent sim after posting 12.0 DKFP against the Dolphins in his previous game. He also had 21.2 DKFP in the Texans’ first game against Miami, so it’s definitely a matchup that he can take advantage of as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.

Other Options — Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6,500)

Wide Receiver


Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans, $7,500 — No one can match Hill’s 99 speed rating in Madden 21, and the Titans’ secondary has been destroyed by Hill in each of their two earlier matchups. Hill had seven catches for 112 yards and 21.2 DKFP in their first meeting and was even better with eight catches, 122 yards, a touchdown and 29.2 DKFP in their rematch. He is averaging 6.2 catches for 90.2 yards per sim over his 72 contests and has scored 60 touchdowns. Despite all those impressive averages, his recent numbers haven’t been great. He hasn’t hit 100 receiving yards or scored a touchdown in five straight sims, but I think that will change and he’ll get back on track in this great matchup.

Other Option — Julio Jones ($7,200)


A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs, $5,200 — On the other side of the primetime matchup, Brown hasn’t been nearly as productive as the Titans’ WR1 but has had a few monster games. Recently, he had a two-touchdown performance against the Rams for 31.3 DKFP and also had a two-touchdown game in one of his earlier meetings with Kansas City, totaling 27.5 DKFP. Brown has over 19 DKFP in three of his past five games and is averaging 3.3 catches for 49.3 yards per sim while totaling 24 scores in 64 games. He is prone to some bust performances, but that usually occurs when the Titans go extremely run-heavy. Since that isn’t the game script I expect in this contest against the high-scoring Chiefs, I think Brown is a solid midrange play with a high ceiling.

Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets, $3,700 — While Julio Jones ($7,200) and Calvin Ridley ($4,800) are both highly rated and very productive in these sims, Gage has also been successful as the Falcons’ WR3 and primary slot receiver. Gage went off for 169 yards and 31.9 DKFP against the Titans two sims ago and has scored in each of his two most recent sims to raise his touchdown total to 17 in 65 sims. He has averaged 3.5 catches for 39.7 yards and is usually a short-range target that helps keep the chains moving for Atlanta. He can break a big gain from time-to-time as well and has a favorable matchup against a Jets’ secondary that has been prone to giving up big plays in Madden 21.

Other Options — DeVante Parker ($5,500), Will Fuller V ($4,400), Demarcus Robinson ($4,000), Chris Hogan ($3,800)

Tight End


Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans, $6,300 — Kelce continues to get plenty of targets even though Hill gets lots of attention from Mahomes as well. Kelce has at least three catches in 71 of his 72 sims (99%) and has posted at least 130 yards and eight catches in each of his two most recent sims, finishing with 26.8 DKFP against the Bears and 31.0 DKFP against the Cowboys. He has slate-breaking potential in any matchup and is my top overall play on this slate since the Titans have had so much trouble defending TEs. Kelce had 10 catches for 171 yards, a touchdown and 36.1 DKFP in their most recent meeting and could be in line for a heavy workload again in this rematch.

Other Options — Mike Gesicki ($5,400)


Chris Herndon, New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons, $3,700 — Even if you do go with Kelce as your TE, Herndon is worth a look as a nice value play in your FLEX spot. Herndon is producing 10.8 DKFP per sim and has averaged 4.6 catches for 47.0 yards per game. No WR under $4,400 and no RB under $6,500 has averaged double-digit DKFP, which is why I like using him in the flex spot. He had six catches and 11.6 DKFP in his first matchup with the Falcons and should continue to get plenty of targets in this rematch.

Other Options — Jonnu Smith ($4,400), Darren Fells ($3,800)



Falcons DST at New York Jets, $3,100 — The Falcons have piled up 131 sacks in their 66 sims and usually do a good job getting pressure on opposing QBs. They have forced 35 turnovers but have only scored four defensive touchdowns, which is why they’re averaging only 4.8 DKFP per sim. Against Sam Darnold ($5,400) and the inconsistent Jets, the Falcons are a solid DST to target in the late game.


Chiefs DST vs. Tennessee Titans, $2,800 — The Chiefs’ defense has some big-time playmakers but also tends to give up more points than many of the elite units. Kansas City has forced 43 turnovers and piled up 119 sacks in its 72 sims while scoring six defensive touchdowns. The Chiefs finished with 2.0 and 5.0 DKFP in their first two meetings with the Titans and were able to get to Ryan Tannehill ($5,900) for a handful of sacks in those two sims.

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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.