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 Saints-Ravens game that will take place at 10 p.m. ET Saturday.
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
Bad games from Lamar Jackson ($11,600) don’t come frequently. Other than a few off performances in Weather Wednesday slates, we can usually count on him for big fantasy scores. Averaging 20.7 DKFP overall, I think Jackson makes for one of the safest selections in this game. The only reason I don’t like him as a Captain is because that would limit some of the other options we can put in our lineup. There are plenty of stars on the Saints’ side of the game. Since so much of Jackson’s DKFP comes from his work on the ground, it’s hard to expect much of anything from other plays on the Ravens’ offense. Jackson has 2,063 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.
Due to the amount of rushing done by Jackson, there hasn’t been a ton for Mark Ingram ($9,000) to do. Baltimore has a solid offensive line and Ingram has an 86 rating in Madden, but like most running backs he hasn’t performed particularly well in these sims. Ingram is only averaging 11.1 DKFP, so I think we can avoid the Ravens’ running back at his price point.
Of the Ravens’ pass catchers, I think Mark Andrews ($6,600) makes for the best target. He’s cheaper than Marquise Brown ($8,200) despite being the higher-rated player (Andrews is rated an 85, while Brown is an 80). In addition, Andrews has been a comparable fantasy producer, averaging 10.1 DKFP compared to 11.6 DKFP for Brown. While these totals are low, they have been the two most productive pass catchers for Baltimore. Jackson has rarely thrown for over 200 passing yards in these sims.
If looking for a value receiver, there is reason to consider Seth Roberts ($4,200) a viable play. Due to the run-heavy style of Jackson, Roberts is unlikely to amass a ton of receiving yards, but he is a red zone threat. Roberts has nine receiving touchdowns and averages 7.5 DKFP per game.
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New Orleans Saints
Rightfully, Drew Brees ($11,200) is one of the highest-rated players in this game at a 94. With that said, it is a bit of a shock that he’s more highly rated than the aforementioned Jackson. Brees has had decent fantasy production, averaging 18.7 DKFP per sim. Of the two starting quarterbacks, Jackson makes for the stronger play. There isn’t much of a price difference between the two, Jackson is the better fantasy producer and he’s got the easier matchup. The Ravens have one of the better secondaries in the NFL and that is reflected in the Madden ratings.
Michael Thomas ($10,800) could have a big game, although it’s no sure thing since the Ravens have such strong cornerbacks. While this prevents me from making Thomas the first player I am putting into my lineup, I prefer rostering him over Brees. Thomas has scored 21 or more DKFP in five of his past seven games, and due to his 99 overall rating I think he’s one of the only wideouts in Madden with a realistic path to success against the stout Ravens’ secondary.
Production from RBs is usually tough to come by in these sims, but that hasn’t been the case for Alvin Kamara ($10,000). He has rushed for 2,075 yards and averages 15.6 DKFP. Thomas makes for a better pay-up option although Kamara is not a bad secondary option. He’s preferable to the expensive skill position players on the Ravens’ side of the game.
Looking for value, Ted Ginn Jr. ($9,300 CP/$6,200) stands out. Not only is he an upside play for real-life fantasy, but we have also seen Ginn score a total of 19 touchdowns in Madden sims. He is averaging 13 DKFP, which almost always makes him a decent value play. As of late, Ginn has also been a reliable fantasy option. He’s scored at least 11 DKFP in seven of his past eight games.
One more player that needs to be mentioned as a boom-or-bust option, Jared Cook ($7,400) has had varying results from game-to-game. He has an 87 rating, giving him the potential for a big game from the tight end position. Since the Ravens have such strong cornerback play, there is a chance we see Cook get a few more targets than usual if the wide receivers are locked down.
The Saints have been so good in Madden that it is hard to pick against them. New Orleans has won 11 of its past 12 games. I can’t count the Ravens out since Baltimore has Lamar Jackson and a strong defense, but the Saints have to be my pick in this spot. New Orleans has more ways to win and Baltimore is extremely reliant on Jackson having a massive rushing game to win in our simulations.
Final Score: Saints 24, Ravens 20
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