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 Vikings and Eagles game, which starts at 6:00 p.m. ET Saturday, July 11.
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
We saw this matchup simulated once already, but it was way back in Week 2 — a 20-17 victory for the Eagles in Minnesota. Kirk Cousins ($10,200) did manage to throw two touchdowns, but had just 167 yards, amounting to 13.68 DKFP. Cousins just doesn’t have the type of upside to justify paying this much for him. He’s managed 20-plus DKFP just four times in 33 sims.
Cousins’ targets are much safer plays, given that they’re a bit cheaper, and there’s only three places he really goes with the ball. Stefon Diggs ($9,000) is the highest upside play because of his ability as a deep threat. He displayed that against the Titans, posting a 6-142-1 line, good for 29.8 DKFP. While Diggs has some big games, he also scored single-digit DKFP in his first eight sims, but he has been much improved since. He’s one of the only 40-DKFP upside plays on the slate.
Adam Thielen ($8,200) is the option opposite Diggs, and while he doesn’t bring the same ceiling, he’s a more consistent play. He has 10 sims with over 20 DKFP, two of which went for 30-plus, so he can get in the neighborhood of Diggs’ potential output. You’re also getting the safer floor here. Thielen had the better game the first time around against Philly, finishing with 6-56-1 for 17.6 DKFP. But remember, we were dealing with shorter quarters and different rules back then.
That about does it for this thin WR depth on Minnesota, but we can’t forget about Kyle Rudolph ($6,400) lining up at TE. He averages 9.2 DKFP, and brings some touchdown upside, but frankly, I’m trying to find enough value to just roster one or both of the WRs.
Dalvin Cook ($10,000) is one of the safest plays in all the Madden sims. He rarely fails to score double-digit DKFP (last time was back in Week 23), and has 40-DKFP upside to break a slate. The issue here is price and ownership. Because Cook is so consistent, I expect him to be high owned. But at $10,000, that’s just too much to pay — he was $8,400 in his last showdown.
The Vikings DST ($3,600) is a value consideration. It’s a unit that forces a lot of sacks and turnovers, which has also led to five touchdowns. Averaging 7.2 DKFP, this is one of the best DST plays in Madden, and can be a tremendous value if it brings one of those turnovers back to the house.
On the Philly side, we always have to start at RB, because Miles Sanders ($6,800) has been so freaking good, but continues to be underpriced for his production. Sanders is the every-down back, averaging 15.3 DKFP. He has gone off for as many as 58 DKFP in a single sim, but is $3,200 cheaper than Cook, despite being a similar play. Sanders has been must-play in almost every contest he’s in for a while now.
Carson Wentz ($10,800) is a slightly better play than Cousins, but you can make the case for fading both QBs on this slate to load up on skill position players. Wentz has a bit more upside than Cousins, exceeding 20 DKFP on nine occasions, but still a limited ceiling — just one 30-DKFP contest. If he works into your build, he’s my preferred QB, but by no means is he must-play.
The passing attack here starts at the TE position with Zach Ertz ($7,600). Ertz is super consistent, rarely hurting your lineup, and you can make the argument he’s due for a big outing. Ertz has scored under his average in seven consecutive sims, but prior to that, had eight 20-plus DKFP sims, half of them with more than 29 DKFP. The ceiling is there, and perhaps this recent cold streak keeps his ownership in check.
Alshon Jeffery ($9,400) leads the way for the Eagles’ WR targets at 13.5 DKFP, but the top three WR targets all average over 10 DKFP. Jeffery isn’t the best value of the group, but he’s certainly the best tournament play. Jeffery’s gone for over 20 DKFP on nine occasions, three of which went for 30-plus. He finished with a 6-85-2 line for 26.5 DKFP in the Week 2 matchup against Minnesota.
While DeSean Jackson ($7,400) might be the more explosive play in comparison to Nelson Agholor ($5,000), Agholor’s been the better play, at 10.8 DKFP. It’s unlikely you’ll get 20 DKFP out of Agholor, but you’ll generally get something in the neighborhood of his average for $2,400 cheaper than Jackson, who can flat out bust.
The Captain decision becomes easy when there’s only one egregiously underpriced play on the slate. Miles Sanders ($10,200 CPT) is the best option for a safe floor and high ceiling combo, and leaves plenty of room to fill out the rest of your lineup comfortably.
Final Score: Vikings 21, Eagles 24
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.