Start your weekend with some Friday night fantasy football on the DraftKings Dream Stream, which features a solid three-game classic slate of Madden 21 sims kicking off at 6 p.m. ET. The first game on the slate is a matchup of rookie QBs as Joe Burrow ($5,900) and the Cincinnati Bengals host Tua Tagovailoa ($5,700) and the Miami Dolphins. At 8:00 p.m. ET, the Seattle Seahawks will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the primetime matchup from the virtual Pacific Northwest. The final matchup up the day features the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints meeting in the Superdome on “Madden After Dark.”
As always, it’s important to note that each roster is not impacted by COVID-19 opt-outs, injuries, suspensions or illness in these sims 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 this 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 along with the upcoming schedule on the Madden Stream info page. There were a few tweaks to the X-factors and Superstars in the latest December update, so be sure to check 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.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $7,700 — Wilson is in the middle of a rough stretch of sims with 13 DKFP or fewer in four of his past five contests. Normally, he is a great producer of both rushing and passing yards while scoring 75 touchdowns in 39 sims. Despite his recent struggles, he still has a higher ceiling than the other QBs available on the slate. This will be the first time he has faced the Jags in Madden 21, but he has had some huge games against lower-rated defenses and has produced at least 25 DKFP in 18 (46%) of his contests in Madden 21. He should be in a bounce-back spot against the Jaguars, and I think he’ll right the ship and be worth his elevated salary.
Other Option — Drew Brees ($6,600)
Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks, $6,200 — Despite some volatility early in his Madden 21 sims, Minshew has actually been fairly consistent lately and put up over 15 DKFP in seven straight sims with over 21 DKFP in three of his past four. Minshew mania has produced 67 touchdowns overall in 39 sims while averaging 218.0 passing yards and 12.7 rushing yards per sim. He doesn’t have the rushing potential that Wilson brings, resulting in a lower ceiling than Russ, but Minshew should still have some openings against the Seahawks’ defense. In Madden 2020, Minshew set the record for most passing yards in a single game when he faced the Seahawks, and he’ll hope for a similar performance in this matchup. He is coming off a big game in his most recent sim, when he had 29.8 DKFP on 373 passing yards and three scores against the Chiefs. He has multiple touchdowns in five straight games and will be a nice value play if he can extend that streak to six in a row.
Other Option — Tua Tagovailoa ($5,700)
Matt Breida, Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals, $6,600 — Breida has scored a touchdown in three straight sims and is now up to 20 scores in 39 games in Madden 21. He has excelled since taking over as the RB1 and third-down back in the most recent roster update. Breida has over a dozen DKFP in four of his past five sims and is a solid dual-threat who is averaging 3.3 catches for 27.5 yards per sim in addition to his 53.8 rushing yards per contest. Like the Seahawks and Jaguars, this will be the first time the Dolphins and Bengals have met in these Madden 21 sims, but it should be a great spot for Breida to go off since Cincinnati’s defense has been very beatable on the ground.
Other Options — Alvin Kamara ($7,900), Chris Thompson ($6,800)
James White, New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints, $4,300 — There are multiple teams on this slate that use timeshares in the backfield. Usually, the third-down backs are involved in catching passes out of the backfield and can be good sources of value at RB. In his 40 sims, White has averaged 3.2 catches per contest which has helped him to an average of 8.9 DKFP. He has outperformed that average in five of his past seven sims and usually produces very solid value in pass-heavy contests like this one should be. White shares work with Sony Michel ($5,000), but White usually ends up being the more productive play due to his PPR points.
Other Option — Giovani Bernard ($4,700), Carlos Hyde ($4,000)
DJ Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks, $6,300 — Minshew’s recent success has been closely tied to a surge in production from Chark, who has scored eight touchdowns in his past eight sims while producing at least 13 DKFP in seven of those contests and averaging 18.0 DKFP per game over that stretch. Chark has had over 90 yards in three of his five most recent sims, and he has multiple catches in 36-of-39 sims (92%) in Madden 21. While Minshew has had a few down games, he and Chark make a high-upside tandem if they pile up points against Seattle.
Other Options — Michael Thomas ($7,100), DeVante Parker ($5,700)
Emmanuel Sanders, New Orleans Saints vs. New England Patriots, $5,200 — With Michael Thomas ($7,100) matched up on the outside with Stephon Gilmore, the Saints may rely more on Sanders out of the slot. He has been very productive when given volume and has averaged 4.4 catches for 51.3 yards per sim while finding the end zone 10 times. Sanders had 16.9 DKFP on four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown in his first matchup with New England and also had a similar stat line with four catches, 69 yards and a touchdown against the Packers in his most recent sim. Like the Patriots, the Packers have an X-factor Superstar CB, so there could be more work again available for Sanders if Brees is forced to look inside more. Even if he doesn’t find the end zone in this rematch, he should get enough PPR work to return double-digit DKFP and be a solid play at just over $5K.
Albert Wilson, Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals, $3,400 — Wilson is a great bargain as the WR2 for the Dolphins, and he has been very productive as a value play since the COVID-19 opt-outs were added back into the depth charts. Wilson has scored three touchdowns in his past four games and has at least three catches in five straight contests. He is averaging 7.6 DKFP over his 31 sims and has over 7.0 DKFP in six of his eight most recent games, which is a solid rate of return for a WR under $3.5K.
Other Options — Dede Westbrook ($4,600), Tyler Boyd ($4,500), N’Keal Harry ($4,400)
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals, $4,600 — The Bengals’ defense has been a good matchup for just about every position, but especially for TEs. Gesicki comes into the favorable matchup off a monster game with 10 catches, 136 yards, a touchdown and 32.6 DKFP against the Broncos in his most recent sim. The big TE is now averaging 10.7 DKFP per contest on 4.2 catches for 47.4 yards per sim. Gesicki has a very high ceiling if he gets the focus of the offense all day long and has at least four catches in six of his past seven games, showing consistent involvement that limits his bust potential.
Other Option — Tyler Eifert ($4,800)
Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints vs. New England Patriots, $4,200 — Since the Patriots’ secondary led by Gilmore usually shuts things down on the outside, opposing TEs sometimes can find more room to operate over the middle. Cook had six catches for 123 yards and 21.3 DKFP in their first Madden 21 meeting and has averaged 4.3 catches for 45.6 yards per sim while scoring 11 touchdowns. He has a high ceiling like Gesicki but hasn’t been quite as consistent lately. However, he still is the best TE option on the cheaper half of the TE options on this slate.
Other Option — Devin Asiasi ($4,000)
Seahawks DST vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $3,200 — While Minshew and Chark each make interesting plays and have high ceilings against the Seahawks, Seattle’s defense always has the potential to make big plays. In their 39 sims, the Seahawks have forced 43 turnovers with 94 sacks and eight defensive touchdowns. They have allowed 21 points or fewer in six straight as well, meaning they are unlikely to surrender so many points that it hurts their fantasy production.
Other Option — Patriots ($3,000)
Bengals DST vs. Miami Dolphins, $2,700 — The Bengals have a good matchup against the Dolphins since Tua tends to run around and can be prone to fumble or force the ball down the field leading to interceptions. As a result, Tua has turned the ball over 20 times in his 33 starts. Cincinnati’s defense has forced only 14 turnovers and piled up 71 sacks in their 38 sims, which is why they’re the cheapest DST on the slate. It is worth noting, though, that the Bengals will be at home for this matchup, where they have been more productive as a defense, averaging a decent 4.5 DKFP per home sim. If you’re going to fade Seattle, going with Cincinnati saves significant salary and could help you pay up for a more involved option at another spot.
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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.