We’re all in need of some entertainment during these times of the unknown. DraftKings is doing its part by offering Madden simulations with a variety of teams going at it. For this piece, we’ll focus on the Patriots and Steelers game that’ll take place at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday evening.
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Snow will be turned on for this game
New England Patriots
The Patriots have been one of the best overall teams in these Madden simulations, so it’s no surprise to see Tom Brady ($11,400) sporting a 19 DKFP average, which is by far the highest in this game. Brady is averaging 248 passing yards with 58 touchdowns thrown and seven interceptions. That DKFP average is quite remarkable when you consider that Brady doesn’t do anything with his legs, as evidenced by his -9 rushing yards on the year. He’s very expensive, which makes him tough to pay up for but the Steelers offer some good value to help offset your total salary.
If it’s volume you seek, look no further than Ben Watson ($7,600). How this guy remains as cheap as he is continues to baffle me (please don’t change it now) but I’m not going to complain. Watson is by far the favorite go-to guy for Brady, as he’s averaging 5.3 receptions, 66.4 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns scored. Amazingly, he’s reached double-digit receptions four times through 27 games, which is honestly remarkable. He has to be considered a favorite target in this game. Julian Edelman ($10,400) is still the WR1 on this team according to the paper depth chart (just maybe not Brady’s personal depth chart). The advantage he does have over Watson is that he’s scored eight more times, hauling in 18 touchdowns on the year. Edelman is seeing good volume as well with 4.4 receptions and 49.5 yards per game. The bad news is, he’s $2,800 more expensive. If you want to find some value on this team, Mohamed Sanu ($5,800) and Phillip Dorsett ($5,000) are your guys. Sanu has been a touchdown monster in theses sims with 15 to his credit. He’s averaging 3.8 receptions and 55.5 yards per game, making him a really solid mid-tier option. Dorsett boasts the speed with his game-high 95 rating and 10 touchdowns. Dorsett simply doesn’t get the volume as the others, averaging only 2.8 receptions but some really solid yardage at 48 per game.
James White ($9,000) is one of the more solid RB1 in this sims, as he does it both on the ground and through the air. He’s averaging 85 scrimmage yards per game and although he does occasionally get vultured at the goal line by Sony Michel ($3,000), White hardly comes off the field. He’s a much stronger option than the RB1 of the Steelers in James Conner.
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Snow will be turned on for this game
It’s hard to get excited about using Ben Roethlisberger ($10,800), when you can simply pay $600 more and get Brady. Roethlisberger is going to take on a much stronger secondary, including Stephon Gilmore, who is the highest-rated player in this game by a wide margin at 98. Oh, did I mention it’s going to be snowing in this game as well? With five lineups available for you to submit, it’s worth using one of them to try and be contrarian but Big Ben is not in the plans for the majority of my lineups.
With JuJu Smith-Schuster ($9,800) tangling with Gilmore in this game, it’s an easy fade for me. Gilmore has the big overall rating advantage and slight speed advantage over Smith-Schuster, so I wouldn’t be looking to be dropping the hefty price tag on the Steelers WR1. Again, it IS worth making at least one lineup with him in it to mix it up but this is not someone I’m looking to go heavy on. The cheaper guys do bring more appeal, starting with Vance McDonald ($6,800). He’s averaging four receptions and 53 yards per game but has only scored eight times. With the coverage the Steelers will have to endure, he’s one of the more enticing plays for me, especially with the already heavy volume he receives. Guys like James Washington ($5,000) and Dionte Johnson ($4,800) aren’t in great spots either but they are cheap enough to endure. Washington is my choice of Johnson if having to choose, as he has 14 touchdowns to his credit. Johnson has also gone three games without making a single catch, so his targets aren’t necessarily a lock.
The only running back you want in this game from the Steelers’ side is Jaylen Samuels ($1,000). He continues to be the cheapest you can possibly be and still gets consistent work. For someone at this price point to be averaging 38 total scrimmage yards is quite puzzling but no one is going to complain about the savings. It would be great if he could actually score for a change but truly, he doesn’t have to do much of anything to pay off his minuscule salary.
The Patriots are going to dominate the captain position and rightfully so. With someone like Samuels in mind, you can absolutely captain Tom Brady ($17,100 CP) and soak up all the potential passing yards and touchdowns from what’s been one of the more consistent quarterbacks in these simulations. If you want to go a bit cheaper, no one would argue with taking Ben Watson ($11,400 CP) who is seeing so much volume from Brady.
Final Score: Patriots 27, Steelers 17
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) 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.