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 Lions vs. Dolphins game, which starts at 12:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 19.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
Matt Stafford ($11,000) hasn’t exactly been impressive during these simulations but his game-high salary certainly could fool you. Maybe it’s simply the teams involved but even still, in no scenario should Stafford be the most expensive as he’s averaging just 216 passing yards with 54 touchdowns thrown and seven interceptions. Usually, when we see a quarterback averaging as little yards as he is, it’s because they’re running the ball. Yeah, Stafford doesn’t do that. He has -22 rushing yards on the sim season, OK? He’s truly a risky play even in a good matchup.
When Stafford is connecting with a receiver, it’s usually his WR2 in Marvin Jones Jr. ($8,000). Here’s a guy who easily could be in the $9K range but we’re not about to complain about a player being too cheap. Jones Jr. is averaging 4.2 receptions, 52.5 yards and 16 touchdowns scored. He’s one of the more consistent receivers in this offense and my first choice amongst them on this team. Kenny Golladay ($9,600) isn’t far off in terms of his production compared to Jones, the only problem is he’s $1,600 more. Golladay is averaging 3.7 receptions, 51.6 yards and 13 touchdowns scored. I don’t mind him if you have the salary available but I’d be more focused on taking Jones first. T.J. Hockenson ($7,000) is fairly cheap for a TE1 and he’s been seeing an increase in his volume. He’s now up to an average of 4.1 receptions and 49.1 yards per game with 11 touchdowns scored. His volume being higher once again would have me taking him over Golladay just by the savings alone. Danny Amendola ($5,000) is too pricey for someone that doesn’t even make a catch every game. He’s posted a goose egg in six of the Lions’ 36 games, plummeting his numbers down to an average of 2.7 receptions and 32.7 yards per game.
J.D. McKissic ($2,800) has seen his salary go back under $3K, making him an extremely affordable RB2 in this offense. His 40.5 scrimmage yards and six touchdowns scored make him a perfect target if you need to offset your average salary remaining. He’s much safer than paying up for Kerryon Johnson ($6,200).
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Ryan Fitzpatrick ($10,800) should be the most expensive quarterback in this game over Stafford but it’s only a difference of $200. If anything we should welcome the savings, even as small as they are, for a quarterback that’s averaging 240 passing yards with 51 touchdowns thrown and 12 interceptions. If I’m taking a quarterback in this game, Fitzpatrick is by far the option I’m using.
His WR1 in DeVante Parker ($10,000) has been his man in this offense, especially as of late. Parker has scored double-digit fantasy points in seven straight games, a span in which he’s averaging 20.6 DKFP with six of his 17 touchdowns scored. I have no problem paying up for him and guys like McKissic and Patrick Laird ($1,000) can be used to offset the salary burden. Mike Gesicki ($7,400) is another Dolphin I want exposure to with his volume. The TE1 is seeing 4.2 receptions, 58 receiving yards and has scored nine times. The touchdowns are a bit scarce but it’s hard to complain about a player seeing over four receptions per game in the mid-$7K price range. The Lions are not strong against opposing tight ends either, making this a potential smash spot for Gesicki. Jakeem Grant ($3,600) is the last Dolphins receiver I’d consider, as his speed is the best in this game. His volume is low at just 2.3 receptions but his 13 touchdown tally is massive considering his salary. With his speed and touchdown upside it’s hard to ignore him, especially if you’re loading up on some of the more expensive players. Albert Wilson ($5,400) throws up too many single-digit fantasy performances for my liking. For someone that is in the mid-$5K range, I’m not expecting big performances each game but he too often gets forgotten about in this offense.
As I mentioned above, Laird is by far the running back to use in this offense at his minimum price. He truly doesn’t have to do much of anything to be worth the price of admission. It’s a bonus that he’s averaging 36 scrimmage yards per game with eight touchdowns scored.
The Dolphins have more players that I want to captain than the Lions but that doesn’t mean all is lost for the boys from Detroit. Marvin Jones Jr. ($12,000 CP) is never a bad option to captain, especially if he can reach the end zone like he’s done so many times during these simulations. Mike Gesicki ($11,100 CP) is cheap considering the volume he receives but the touchdown upside simply isn’t on his side. If you really want a YOLO lineup and hope that he reaches the end zone, Patrick Laird ($1,500 CP) will give you all the salary flexibility you desire.
Final Score: Lions 23 Dolphins 27
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is steveazors) 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.