With real-life sports in the midst of an extended time out, DraftKings has been helping to fill the void with some very entertaining simulated sports action. Each day, there are six Madden Streams and eight free contests, with a single-game Showdown for each game along with a pair of classic contests. Each of the simulations is played out via an online Madden Stream using Madden 2020 with rosters and ratings from the end of the 2019-20 season. In this format, you can enjoy watching the game stream on the DK Live app or right here in this post. Follow along to watch your fantasy team rack up some big fantasy points.
Monday’s “Madden After Dark” matchup could be a high-scoring contest between the Saints and the Colts from virtual New Orleans. Both teams are playing their 30th sim since we started these back in March. The Saints have gone 19-10 and sit atop the NFC South while the Colts have struggled to 12-17. Can the Saints pick up their 20th victory or will the Colts go on the road and get a big win? You can find my pick to win and my favorite fantasy selections for the single-game Showdown below.
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Madden Stream: Colts at Saints
LIVE at 10 p.m. ET
The Colts’ offense has had a few big games, but can also disappear at times. Most of the inconsistency starts with erratic QB play from Jacoby Brissett ($10,600), who has been very good at times but also goes through bad stretches of inaccuracy. He only has a 72 overall rating but does have a 90 throw power rating to go with an 84 short accuracy rating, an 84 medium accuracy rating and an 81 deep accuracy rating. When he is mostly accurate, he has an extremely high ceiling as he showed with 30.36 DKFP against the Browns two sims ago. He has over 30 DKFP in five of his 29 sims, so the potential for a big game is there. Unfortunately, so is the potential for a bust, though, as demonstrated by his five games with under 10 DKFP, one of which was just two games ago against the Jaguars when he managed just 6.16 DKFP. His boom-or-bust tendencies make him a high-risk play in this matchup where he costs so much, and I like the other players with five-figure salaries a little better than Brissett.
When Brissett goes off, it’s usually WR T.Y. Hilton ($10,000) who piles up the points alongside him. Hilton has the “Double-move Elite” Superstar ability, which makes him more effective on that specific kind of route. He also has an 88 overall rating and 93 speed rating, which gives him a very high ceiling when he gets high volume. He has been held totally catchless is two sims and been held under 10 DKFP in five of his past six contests. His one good game, though, was a great one as he tore up the Browns for 34.2 DKFP on eight catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns. He has 17 scores in his 29 games and is averaging 15.2 DKFP per sim. He has been so inconsistent due to Brissett’s inaccuracy that he’s hard to trust at $10K, although the potential is definitely there for a monster performance.
Brissett’s other main target besides Hilton is TE Eric Ebron ($6,600), who comes close to Hilton’s overall rating with an 86 overall rating of his own. He has double-digit DKFP in three straight games and 20 of his 29 sims. He is all the way up to 11 touchdowns after a slow start and is one of the safest plays on the Colts since he gets consistent volume and has a solid 87 speed rating, which is above average for a TE.
The rest of the Colts’ receiving corps has also been inconsistent but offers nice value potential. Zach Pascal ($5,200) has some potential as the WR2 with 15 catches over his past two games to bring his average on the season to 3.4 catches per sim. He scored three touchdowns in those two sims, producing 20.2 DKFP against the Browns and 27.1 DKFP against the Giants. Prior to those two contests, though, he had been held under 6.0 DKFP in five of his previous six. WR3 Devin Funchess ($4,800) has been mostly a non-factor with only nine catches all sim season even though his 79 overall rating is actually higher than Pascal’s. The reason that Funchess hasn’t done much is that WR4 Chester Rogers ($2,000) is very involved as the slot receiver. Rogers has multiple catches in 27 of the Colts’ 29 contests and has been able to reach double-digit DKFP in six of his past seven contests. He is a great value and has been a regular part of winning lineups in both single-game and classic contests since these sims started.
The Colts’ backfield is led by RB Marlon Mack ($8,400), but he loses third-down work and has only managed 4.4 DKFP per sim, making him a hard pass for me at that price despite his 84 overall rating. Even if he gets a touchdown, he isn’t returning value and probably won’t in this matchup either. While I’m fading Mack, I love his backup Nyheim Hines ($2,600) as a value play since he’s producing 8.6 DKFP per sim. He hasn’t been quite as consistently productive as Rogers but has a slightly higher ceiling if he breaks a big play or two. Especially if the Colts have to play from behind, Hines could get more work if Indy goes to pass-focused formations.
New Orleans Saints
While the Colts have just Hilton as a Superstar and no players with an X-Factor, the Saints have three X-Factor Superstars just on their offense. In addition to those three stars, there are also some other plays worth a look as well.
Recently, RB Alvin Kamara ($9,200) has been carrying the load, and his salary has climbed as a result. He has over 12 DKFP in seven of his past eight, highlighted by a monster four-touchdown, 45.8-DKFP game against the Bills. Kamara can be involved as both a rusher and receiver since he has the X-Factor of “Satellite,” which improves his RAC against single coverage when activated by catching multiple receptions for over 10 yards. He has a strong 89 overall rating along with the Superstar ability of “Matchup Nightmare,” which gives him the ability to make sharper cuts and frequently win contested catches when covered by LBs and linemen. Kamara did have some down games early in our sims, but lately, he has looked unstoppable and should continue to post big totals against the Colts’ iffy run defense.
Another one of the Saints’ X-Factor Superstars is WR Michael Thomas ($11,000), who is one of just five players in Madden 2020 to earn a perfect 99 overall rating. That elite rating is supported by a 99 awareness rating, a 99 catching rating, a 98 catching in traffic rating and a 96 release rating. He also has the X-Factor of “Double Me,” which makes him almost impossible to guard one-on-one when his ability is activated and also brings Superstar abilities of “Cross Specialist” and “WR Apprentice.” Even with all those attributes and abilities, he was held totally without a catch in his most recent sim against the Broncos. Before Chris Harris Jr. shut him out, Thomas had put up 33.7 DKFP and 32.0 DKFP in his previous two games, so his goose-egg is definitely just an outlier. He should bounce back just fine in this matchup against the Colts, who have very low-rated CBs overall.
Which Saints player will go off really depends on who gets the targets from Drew Brees ($11,600), who has a 94 overall rating of his own with a 98 awareness rating, a perfect 99 short accuracy rating, a perfect 99 play action rating and a 97 midrange accuracy rating. On top of that, he has the X-Factor of “Fearless,” which makes him unaffected by defensive pressure when he activates the ability by making multiple passes for 5-plus yards in the air. His Superstar abilities are “Safety Valve,” improving the catch rating for all open RBs, “Set Feet Lead,” “Lofting Deadeye” and “Indoor Baller,” which gives him a boost at home in the Superdome, where this contest will be simulated. Brees has been impressive with 18.6 DKFP per sim, the highest average of anyone in this single-game Showdown. He has thrown 58 touchdowns in 29 sims while averaging 248.7 yards per contest. He had 29.88 DKFP against the Giants two sims ago but has been held under 25 DKFP in the other 13 of his past 14 sims. He could go off against Indy, but if he does it will likely be the pass-catcher he targets the most that actually ends up the better play.
In addition to Thomas and Kamara, Brees has focused on TE Jared Cook ($7,400), who has averaged 13.9 DKFP per sim. Cook has averaged 5.4 catches per contest and caught a total of 10 touchdowns in his 29 sims. He hasn’t scored in five straight sims but has had at least six catches in four of those five games and reached the 100-yard bonus on his way to 21.1 DKFP against the Broncos. He gets so much volume that he’s a great play at this salary.
If you’re looking for cheaper options in the Saints’ offense, check out WR2 Ted Ginn Jr. ($5,600) and WR3 Tre’Quan Smith ($4,400). Both of these players have high ceilings but can tend to be a little boom-or-bust. Ginn has very solid ratings with a 76 overall rating combined with a 92 speed rating, 80 catching rating and 90 elusiveness rating, giving him plenty of big-play potential. He scored twice against the Broncos and had 23.8 DKFP. He has over 23 DKFP in three of his past four contests thanks to four touchdowns during that span bringing his sim season total to 18 in 29 sims. He brings very nice upside at his salary, but you can go even cheaper with Smith if you have to. He has a 74 overall rating and 89 speed rating. He has been boom-or-bust, though, since there are so many other Saints pass-catchers ahead of him in the target distribution order.
Another way to save some salary is to go with the Saints’ DST ($3,600), which has averaged 3.9 DKFP per contest. The unit has been good at getting sacks with 59 in 29 sims, but has only been able to force seven turnovers. If you have the salary, K Wil Lutz ($4,000) is probably a slightly better play since he’s producing over 7.0 DKFP per sim.
The better value options are definitely on the Colts, but the Saints’ star power is probably where to look for your Captain’s Pick. My favorite option is Alvin Kamara ($13,800 CP) against this bad Colts defense, but it also might be a good chance to get lower ownership on Michael Thomas ($16,500 CP) after he burned so many people in his most recent contest. Jared Cook ($11,100 CP) is also a nice play that could leave you room for more top-dollar plays in the flex spot. On the Colts’ side, you could swing for the fences with T.Y. Hilton ($15,000 CP), but realize he’s also very high-risk given Brissett’s inconsistencies. Hines and Rogers are both high-volume value plays that give you the flexibility to roster some big-money options, so find the right lineup construction that fits your level of risk.
The Colts have the potential to keep up with any offense when Brissett is at his best, but the problem has been he rarely is at that level. In contrast, Brees has been remarkably consistent and even won his most recent game without his WR with a 99 overall rating even catching a pass. Even though the Saints haven’t been unbeatable, I don’t think they’ll slip up at home against the Colts.
Final Score: Saints 31, Colts 21
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.