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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for December 22

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

It’s a full six-game day of playoff action on the DraftKings Dream Stream this Tuesday as the 2020 Madden Holiday Season playoffs continue. After the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets moved on to the next round with wins on Monday, the other six teams in the Conference semifinals will be determined throughout the day on Tuesday. The featured slate kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET with the final three games from the NFC. To see how the teams got here and keep up with the latest scores, check out the standings and results. You can also check out all the stat leaders from the Holiday Season so far along with special offers from featured contests on the main Holiday Season page.

The first game on the featured slate is a rematch of a game from the divisional round last week. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21, in that contest and 17-10 in their earlier meeting at the beginning of the Madden 21 sims. After their third meeting in these sims, we’ll turn our attention to the primetime matchup at 8:00 p.m. ET, which is a Battle of the Bays, as the Green Bay Packers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When they met earlier in these sims, the Packers rolled 31-14, and Green Bay is one of three undefeated teams in the NFC coming into the playoffs. Another undefeated team is in action in the nightcap as the New Orleans Saints host the Chicago Bears at 10:00 p.m. ET in their first meeting of the Madden 21 sims. The Bears' only loss this Madden Holiday Season was a close loss to the Packers, so they’ll be a tough test for the Saints.

As usual, it's important to remember 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.

Play in the $10K Holiday Season Special, and if Tom Brady throws for more passing yards than Aaron Rodgers, you get $3 DK Dollars.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $10K Holiday Season Kickoff [$2K to 1st] and your FREE lineups here: Madden Stream $500 FREE Contest.

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Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints, $7,100 — Trubisky has had a nice resurgence lately in real life, and he is still a very solid play in simland. In Madden, Trubisky makes sense since he is an effective dual-threat QB. He has thrown for 35 touchdowns in his 29 Madden 21 sims while adding 11 more scores on the ground in addition to 63.9 rushing yards per contest. He had over 24 DKFP in three straight sims coming into his most recent contest, but he only posted 18.72 DKFP as the Bears cruised past the Lions. Since this game should be close and more competitive, Trubisky should be able to return to his normal level of production and post good fantasy points either on the ground or through the air. His consistent production and high ceiling give him a slight edge over the other top QBs on this slate.

Other Option — Aaron Rodgers ($6,900)


Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles, $6,500 — The Cowboys qualified for the knockout round by beating the Eagles, 24-21, and they’ll look to beat their division rivals again to get to the next round of the playoffs. Dak had 253 yards, a passing touchdown and 15.72 DKFP in that contest and now has over 14 DKFP in seven straight sims, highlighted by a 32.52-DKFP game against the Chargers. He has the potential to go for a big number, but he gets more help in the offense than Trubisky since Ezekiel Elliott ($7,500) is a great option, especially near the goal line. Since Prescott shares a little more work, his average production is just a tad lower than Trubisky’s, although he still has a very high ceiling. Prescott is low-risk in this favorable matchup, though, and I like his price point if you’re looking to go with a more balanced lineup rather than pay all the way up at QB.

Other Option — Drew Brees ($6,100)

Running Back


Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles, $7,500 — There are four great RB options at the top of the salary structure on this slate, and it’s an especially close call between Zeke and Alvin Kamara ($7,200) as my top play. I’m feeding Zeke, though, based on him having a better matchup than Kamara against the Bears. We just saw Zeke tear up the Eagles for 123 rushing yards, two touchdowns and 42.6 DKFP last week, and he has over 22 DKFP in each of his three games in the Madden Holiday Season. Elliott has 30 touchdowns in his 30 sims in Madden 21 and has five trips to the end zone over his past four contests. He adds another dimension on top of his success in the ground game by averaging 2.8 receptions per game out of the backfield and has multiple catches in 12 of his 13 most recent sims, including each of his most recent five contests. The Cowboys are a totally different team with Dak and Zeke healthy, and I think they’ll have enough to beat the Eagles again and move on to the next round of the playoffs.

Other Option — Alvin Kamara ($7,200), Miles Sanders ($6,600)


LeSean McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers, $4,400 — The only downside of having those four elite plays at the top of this slate of RBs is that it does leave very limited options for value plays. The Bears and Bucs are the two teams that use backfield rotations on this slate, so each of their pass-catching specialists can be solid pivots if you don’t stack up two top backs. McCoy has been regularly involved in Tampa Tom’s offense and has averaged 3.3 catches for 22.5 receiving yards per sim. He has only found the end zone twice, but he usually produces solid PPR points and enough yards to still be a decent option when he’s this affordable. McCoy has at least 7.0 DKFP in six of his past eight contests, and he could get more work if the Bucs are forced to play from behind and throw the ball more against the Packers. In their first meeting, McCoy had four catches but only eight yards and 5.4 DKFP. If the volume is there again in this rematch, he’ll be a solid place to pay down at RB.

Other Options — Tarik Cohen ($5,500)

Wide Receiver


Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears, $6,300 — Thomas is the only WR with a perfect 99 overall rating in Madden 21, so it’s a little surprising to see him this affordable and not even the most expensive play on this slate. He has had a few down games lately, but the volume continues to be there and his ceiling remains extremely high. Thomas had double-digit DKFP in two straight games before a quiet 6.2 DKFP against the Bucs in his most recent contest. He has produced over 22 DKFP in three of his past eight sims and in six of his past 14. He does have a tough matchup against the Bears, but they haven’t been unbeatable by WR1s in these Madden sims and usually do not shadow CB1 Kyle Fuller with the top WR. If Thomas can instead get matched up against Buster Skrine, who has a 77 overall rating, it definitely is a one-on-one situation that tilts in the Saints’ favor. His recent performances show he isn’t quite a lock, but Thomas is still a good play especially when his salary is barely over $6K.

Other Options — Davante Adams ($6,900), Devin Funchess ($5,900)


Marquise Goodwin, Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, $5,700 — The Eagles have been leaning heavily on their speedy WR3, and Goodwin has had a great Holiday Season. He has over 15 DKFP in four straight Madden 21 sims including a monster 36.8 DKFP against the Cowboys in their game last week. In that contest, Goodwin hauled in three catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing score as well. His salary has climbed as a result of his recent success, but it's obvious the Cowboys struggle to defend that 98 speed rating that Goodwin brings. He is a nice play if you can afford him, although he does come with some risk due to his inconsistency prior to his current run of success.

Ted Ginn Jr., Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints, $3,700 — Ginn will be in a revenge game narrative as he returns to the Big Easy to take on the Saints. He doesn’t have quite the speed rating of Goodwin but does bring the same big-play ability after the catch. Ginn has been solid as the Bears’ WR2 in these Madden 21 sims and has multiple catches in six straight contests with double-digit DKFP in four of those games. He has averaged 2.1 catches for 27.6 yards per sim but has been outproducing those averages recently with more volume coming his way. Since he has been more involved and the Bears could be forced to air it out, I like him as my top WR under $4K on this slate and could see him going off with a big game against his former team in the virtual Superdome.

Other Options — Chris Godwin ($5,100), Emmanuel Sanders ($4,900), Allen Robinson II ($4,500)

Tight End


Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears, $4,900 — Cook had 128 yards on seven catches in a breakout game against the Bucs in his most recent sim and has at least three catches and 7.5 DKFP in eight straight sims. He has been one of the most consistent producers at TE on this slate and should be able to find space even against the very good Bears’ defense. Cook has been a go-to option in short-yardage situations and near the goal line, and he has been significantly better at home, where he is averaging 13.3 DKFP per sim.

Other Option — Zach Ertz ($5,300)


Marcedes Lewis, Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $3,000 — The Bucs’ defense just gave up that big game to Cook and also allowed Lewis to post five catches for 89 yards and 13.9 DKFP in their previous contest with the Packers. Lewis has been fairly quiet in his past two games, totaling just three catches for 35 yards, but he is still the Packers’ TE1 and should be able to get things going in this favorable matchup. He’s a great value as well at just $3K and will allow you to load up at RB or WR.

Other Option — Blake Jarwin ($3,700)



Bears DST at New Orleans Saints, $3,000 — Even though the matchup is less than ideal against Brees and the Saints, the Bears’ DST is the top playmaking unit on the slate and should be able to manufacture big plays even if they do give up points and yards. The Bears had six sacks against the Lions in their most recent sim and now have an impressive 71 sacks in 29 games to go with 12 takeaways and three defensive touchdowns. Since Brees isn’t a mobile QB, they should be able to get multiple sacks in this sim and possibly add a turnover or two as well.


Saints DST vs. Chicago Bears, $2,700 — On the other side of the late game, the Saints’ DST also makes sense since Trubisky has had some turnover issues at times in these Madden 21 sims. He has lost 16 fumbles in 29 sims while also throwing a pair of interceptions. The Saints have only forced 12 turnovers in their 32 sims but do have 56 sacks. They have posted at least 5.0 DKFP in five of their past nine games with a pair of double-digit DKFP performances over that stretch. While I do expect there to be a good amount of points scored on both sides of this game, both defenses have the ability to make the big plays that make them good fantasy options.

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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.