We’re all in need of some entertainment during these times of the unknown. DraftKings is doing their part by offering Madden simulations with a variety of teams going at it. For this piece, we’ll focus on the Vikings-Jaguars game that will take place at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday.
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The settings for this and all other Madden games are as follows:
Game Style: Arcade
Event Type: Exhibition
Even Teams: Off
Quarter Length: 8 minutes
Accelerated Clock: On
Play Clock: 20 seconds
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
There isn’t a team in the league with a better one-two punch at wide receiver than the Vikings. Stefon Diggs ($11,000) has a 93 rating and Adam Thielen ($9,800) is a 91. For the salary savings, we have to consider Thielen a better play and Diggs is likely a player we are going to want to fade. There are a number of expensive players I want to roster from this game and Thielen has the perfect combination of upside and price. He’s the No. 2 receiver on the Vikings’ depth chart, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. With Diggs draw more coverage from top cornerbacks, he’s been held to an average of 11.3 DKFP. This has allowed Thielen to put up 15 DKFP.
Kirk Cousins ($10,600) is only averaging 14.8 DKFP in our sims. He’s one of the lowest-scoring QBs in Madden from a fantasy perspective. This is a bit odd considering how good his top receivers are. I think part of the issue has been the Vikings defense has been so good that Minnesota can typically run the ball and grind the clock in the second half of games. The Vikings’ DST ($3,800) averages 6.9 DKFP, the most of any defense in our simulations. This is one of the rare cases where I would consider a DST a decent play.
If rostering the Vikings’ DST, Dalvin Cook ($9,400) is a good correlation play with his 90 overall rating. Coincidentally, his Madden production has been terrific ever since he asked for a new contract in real life. His video game avatar is trying to put in work to get him paid in real life. If the Vikings’ front office is watching our simulations, they should be impressed. Cook is averaging 17.1 DKFP and has recently scored as many as 44.4 DKFP in a win over the Bengals.
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The top-scoring fantasy player in this game is none other than fan-favorite Gardner Minshew ($13,500 CP/$9,000). Minshew averages 17.3 DKFP, making him my preferred option of the two starting quarterbacks in this game. Not only does he have a higher average fantasy output of the QBs, but Minshew has also shown the higher ceiling. At his best, he threw for 476 yards during a win over the Seahawks. In addition, he’s oddly inexpensive for this contest. If we look at his game log, Minshew is almost always priced well over $10,000 in showdown contests. The discount makes him a great choice for Captain.
Despite the Vikings having a great defense in Madden in terms of DKFP, the secondary isn’t great on paper. They don’t have a cornerback rated higher than a 78. This means that both DJ Chark ($10,000) and Dede Westbrook ($5,400) are at a rating advantage in this game. Of the two, Chark is my preferred option. He averages 16.1 DKFP and has caught 22 simulated touchdowns. Chark and Minshew make for a great stack.
As a cheaper pass-catching option, tight end James O’Shaughnessy ($6,600) is a safe option. We don’t have to break the bank to roster him and he averages 12.4 DKFP. This is the seventh most of any player in this showdown contest and every other player scoring over a dozen DKFP per game is priced over $8,000. There is also a bit of upside in O’Shaughnessy since he’s scored over 23 DKFP in two of his last three games.
For a while, Leonard Fournette ($8,200) was one of the top running backs in our simulations. While most starting running backs were struggling, Fournette scored double-digit DKFP in each of the Jaguars’ first 10 games. His production is still okay over the last few weeks although it’s not what it was. Fournette has only rushed for over 100 yards once in the Jaguars’ last nine games. In most cases, I would consider him a decent play at this price, but I am looking to steer clear due to the strength of the Vikings’ run defense.
The Vikings have been a really good Madden team and this is especially true lately. They have won 11 of their last 14 games. The same can be said for the Jags, although their recent stretch of games isn’t quite as impressive. Even so, this is a team that has won four of its last five games. What this means is that I expect a close contest that should be competitive throughout. I am going to side with the Vikings due to their overall success and the recent stretch of wins. If Jacksonville does win, it will likely come from a big passing game out of Minshew.
Final Score: Vikings 28, Jaguars 20
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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.