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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for December 9

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

Wednesday on the DraftKings Dream Stream always brings wild weather, but this week there is some extra excitement in store since Wednesday is also the start of the official Madden Holiday Season. Not only is the short season going to crown a champion of the Holiday Season at the end of the tournament, there will also be great special prizes and deals along the way.

To get things started, play in Wednesday’s $10K Holiday Season Opener, and if Lamar Jackson ($8,100) scores a rushing TD in his sim at 6:00 p.m. ET, you will receive $5 DK Dollars. The season will begin with pool play as each team faces each of the other three teams in their division. The top two teams will then advance to the knockout stage, culminating in a champion crowned on Tuesday, December 29. Wednesday night’s featured slate has three matchups, starting with the second of AFC North games of the day. Jackson’s Ravens will be taking on the Cleveland Browns in the wind in that matchup. At 8:00 p.m. ET in primetime, we shift the attention to the AFC South as the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Tennessee Titans in the snow. To add another wrinkle to your lineup construction plans, the final game of the day actually has no weather since it will be indoors as the Indianapolis Colts host the Houston Texans.

As usual, remember that each roster is not impacted by COVID-19 opt-outs, injuries, suspensions or illness and 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 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.

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

Put your DraftKings daily fantasy football skills to the test against Jim Cramer, his followers and other members of the DraftKings Playbook community! Check out the new Cramer’s Cash Contest and enter your lineup in a rake-free contest for Week 14.



Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns, $8,100 — Since a rushing score will make everyone in the main contest walk away with a crisp $5 DK Dollars, how could I go with anyone else in this top spot? Jackson is the cover athlete for Madden 21 and has been outstanding with 27 passing touchdowns and 21 rushing touchdowns in his 26 games in Madden 21. He ran for three scores in his most recent sim, posting 40.98 DKFP against the Bills. He has over 17 DKFP in 14 straight games and in 23-of-26 (88%) of his Madden 21 sims. He hardly ever busts and comes with a sky-high ceiling, so there’s lots to love about playing Jackson in your QB slot. Especially with the wind slowing down the passing game, he will likely take off and run early and often against the Browns, who he had 28.26 DKFP against in his only matchup with Cleveland in Madden 21.

Other Options — Deshaun Watson ($8,300)


Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans, $6,000 — If you’re going to pivot off of Jackson, you can save a ton of salary and still get good upside by rolling with Minshew and his mustache. He’s still at the helm of the Jaguars in simland and has shown some big-time upside with flashes of greatness in these sims. Just two games ago, he threw four touchdowns and had 31.82 DKFP against the Falcons. In his earlier matchup with the Titans, he led the Jags to a 28-7 with with 21.12 DKFP. Even though he’s averaging only 16.4 DKFP, which is 10.0 DKFP fewer per game than Jackson, he can have brilliant moments, and if you catch him on a good night while Lamar struggles in the wind, he could end up not being a huge drop off from Jackson while also leaving you enough salary to stock the rest of your roster with plenty of star power.

Other Option — Ryan Tannehill ($5,200)

Running Back


Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $8,800 — Especially in the snow, Henry should be set for a massive workload in a favorable matchup against Jacksonville. In Madden 21, he has taken over as third-down back in addition to his RB1 and power back roles, and he has been an absolute beast since he hardly ever comes off the field. He has scored 28 touchdowns in his past 21 sims and is averaging an impressive 87.1 rushing yards and 27.1 receiving yards on 4.0 catches per sim in his 26 contests in Madden 21. Henry should be able to tear up the Jags and has an extremely high ceiling, making him worth spending almost $9K on if you can squeeze him under the salary cap.

Other Options — Nyheim Hines ($6,600), Chris Thompson ($6,500)


Duke Johnson, Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts, $4,400 — While David Johnson ($4,300) still handles the early-down and short-yardage work for Houston, Duke Johnson has become a very solid value play since taking over as third-down back. He has multiple catches in four straight games and at least 5.0 DKFP in each of those contests. He has eight touchdowns since taking over his new role 21 sims ago, and his workload had been a little more consistent than J.K. Dobbins’ ($4,500) in recent sims. Duke Johnson has been able to put up at least 5.0 DKFP in seven straight sims and in 10 of his past 12. He also flashed a high ceiling during that run with a pair of games over 20 DKFP on the road against Carolina and Miami. The Colts’ run defense is solid, but Duke Johnson is still my favorite value play of the day, especially since there won’t be weather to mess with the offenses in the late game.

Other Options — Kareem Hunt ($4,900), J.K. Dobbins ($4,500)

Wide Receiver


T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans, $5,700 — Hilton has been inconsistent in these sims since Philip Rivers ($6,100) tends to check the ball down a lot and pass to RBs and TEs on a regular basis. Hilton has shown he still has great upside, though, with a few big games recently. He produced at least 20 DKFP in four of his past seven contests, averaging 6.8 catches for 105.8 yards in those four games while scoring three touchdowns. He came back to earth a little bit in his two most recent sims but was still able to add his 11th touchdown of the Madden 21 sims against the Chargers in his previous matchup. When he faced the Texans for the first time in Madden 21, he had six catches for 83 yards and 14.3 DKFP, and Houston’s secondary has been very beatable throughout their sims. Hilton will look to take advantage of that matchup once again, and he’s set up for success as long as the volume comes his way. With no weather in play, I’d also give pass-catchers in this late game a bit of an edge since it could be the highest-scoring game on the slate.

Other Options — DJ Chark Jr. ($6,700), Will Fuller V ($5,400)


Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $5,200 — Davis hasn’t had many monster games, but he has been extremely reliable as the Titans’ WR2 and produced at least double-digit DKFP in six of his past seven games. He has multiple catches in 21 of his 26 contests and has averaged 3.6 receptions for 51.0 yards per sim. He scored his seventh touchdown of the Madden 21 sims against the Packers two games ago, and then he posted six catches for 54 yards and 11.5 DKFP in the rematch with Green Bay in his most recent contest. Davis gets a good matchup against the Jaguars, and he is a very solid mid-range play, who usually gets good work in the red zone for the virtual Titans offense.

Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans, $3,700 — Campbell is the Colts’ WR3 and primary slot receiver in these sims, and his 94 speed rating gives him a lot of upside if he gets the ball in space. He has hauled in multiple catches in 10 straight sims, averaging 3.7 catches for 34.4 yards per contest. He only has one touchdown during that span but has still been returning decent value for a player under $4K. A little further back in the sims, Campbell also showed his high ceiling with over 100 yards in a pair of contests against the Jets and the Titans. In his previous matchup with the Texans, he hauled in five passes for 25 yards, a touchdown and 13.5 DKFP. While there are a lot of low-cost WR options to consider, Campbell stands out due to his consistent involvement and his high ceiling as a result of his breakaway speed.

Other Options — Rashard Higgins ($4,800), Dede Westbrook ($4,600), Chris Conley ($4,100), Randall Cobb ($3,500)

Tight End


Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $4,700 — Smith had five catches and a touchdown in each of his past two sims, which were both against the Packers, and he finished with 18.7 DKFP and 19.5 DKFP in those matchups. He has been a regular target for Ryan Tannehill in these sims, averaging 4.4 catches for 45.1 yards per contest. He has nine touchdowns and almost always chips in very solid returns at this salary with 8.0 DKFP in five straight and in nine of his past 11 contests. The Jaguars have been a great matchup for TEs in these sims, so look for Smith to keep rolling in this contest.

Other Option — Trey Burton ($5,200)


Tyler Eifert, Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans, $4,200 — Eifert has multiple catches in every single one of the Jaguars’ 26 sims in Madden 21, and he has averaged 4.5 catches per contest. He hasn’t piled up a ton of yards, averaging just 40.1 per sim, but he does get plenty of volume to make him a solid play against the Titans. He scored his first touchdown in Madden 21 against the Titans in their first matchup and has found the end zone seven times since then, helping him produce just over 10.0 DKFP per contest.

Other Options — Darren Fells ($4,400), Mark Andrews ($3,900)



Titans DST vs. Jaguars, $3,000 — While I’m trying to avoid the weather where possible with pass-catchers, the snowy conditions should actually give the Titans’ DST a nice boost in their matchup with the Jaguars. Tennessee’s defense has produced 5.0 DKFP per sim in their 26 contests but has been even better in their home games, averaging 5.6 DKFP per sim. The Titans have forced 16 turnovers and scored four defensive touchdowns while averaging just over two sacks per game. They had three sacks the first time they faced the Jags but didn’t get a turnover and only had 3.0 DFKP. With snowy conditions and their strong pass rush, I think they’ll be the top defense on the board for this slate.


Ravens DST at Cleveland Browns, $2,800 — The Ravens’ DST has been solid in these sims with a few spectacular performances, but they only have 11 turnovers and three defensive touchdowns in their 26 sims. One of those DST scores came in their most recent contest, when they had 10.0 DKFP against the Bills. It was their third game in double-digit DKFP over their past five contests, but they had not reached 10 DKFP in any of their prior 17 sims. They do have a good matchup with the Browns in the wind, and I think they’re the second-best play on the board behind the Titans, so go with them if you’re trying to stretch your salary and need the $200 at another roster spot.

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

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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.