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 Broncos vs. Jaguars game, which starts at 2 p.m. ET on Monday, July 20.
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
We’ve got a matchup here between a couple of QBs that are generally decent values on classic slates but pretty priced up for their production in the showdown format. Drew Lock ($11,000) is the more expensive play between the two and the less explosive play. The matchup against Jacksonville provides some upside but Lock still scored just 8.84 DKFP against the Jags in a Week 1 sim, although the quarters were shorter and the rules were not set on arcade mode.
Even though Lock is overpriced, I still want some exposure to Denver’s passing game against the Jacksonville secondary. Courtland Sutton ($10,000) has seven sims with 20-plus DKFP and four with over 30 DKFP. Even with Lock’s dud in the first meeting, Sutton managed a 4-65-1 line for 16.5 DKFP. He’s the place to pay up on Denver.
DaeSean Hamilton ($5,800) and Tim Patrick ($4,600) are pretty similar plays, both owning the same Madden rating. When priced similarly it’s a tough call who the better value is but in this scenario I lean toward Patrick. Not only do we get the $1,200 savings but Patrick will line up against lesser corners, giving him a little bit more of an advantage. Both were essentially useless in the previous matchup against Jacksonville.
On a slate without many high-profile offensive targets, Hamilton or Patrick may wind up in your lineup. But I’d do everything I can to find the extra salary for Noah Fant ($6,400), who has been a significantly stronger play. Fant averages 11.8 DKFP, exceeding his average in six of his past seven sims and twice scoring 23-plus DKFP.
Phillip Lindsay ($9,000) is a boom-or-bust play, which isn’t the worst call in a free GPP. Lindsay has scored single-digit DKFP in half of his sims, including his worst one (1.9 DKFP) against Jacksonville. A lot has changed since then and he’s flashed a 30- and 40-DKFP ceiling. Lindsay’s overpriced, but not necessarily a fade.
Gardner Minshew ($10,600) has not only been the much better QB play on the slate between the two but played much better the first time around in this matchup. Minshew tossed a pair of touchdowns on his way to 17.88 DKFP — and remember this was a shorter sim with different rules. Minshew was the easy call at QB on this slate, but I could also see building a lineup without either QB.
Whether you are or aren’t rostering Minshew, D.J. Chark ($9,600) is my favorite play in Jacksonville’s offense — similar to Sutton with Denver. Chark averages 16.2 DKFP and has 11 sims of 20-plus DKFP, flashing a 40-DKFP ceiling. He went for 4-77-1 (17.7 DKFP) in the previous sim against Denver.
Dede Westbrook ($7,600) is a much better WR2 option that we can find on the Denver side, but he comes at a much steeper price. I want to pay up for both the WR1 plays, leaving Westbrook in a tough spot to roster. Westbrook’s averaging 10.5 DKFP with 20-plus DKFP in five sims. He’s a solid play but not worth paying this much for with a limited ceiling (no sims over 26.6 DKFP). Marqise Lee ($4,800) is likely another fade. He’s priced higher than Patrick despite being less productive and playing behind more talented WRs.
James O’Shaughnessy ($7,000) seems to be the happy medium between the two WR plays. The TE position has arguably been Minshew’s most consistent target during this sim season, averaging 11.8 DKFP. O’Shaughnessy had success in the Week 1 sim against the Broncos, catching seven passes for 65 yards (13.5 DKFP).
Leonard Fournette ($8,400) is undoubtedly the safest play on the slate and laughably the cheaper of the two RBs. Fournette averages just shy of 16 DKFP and his salary is down $1,200 over his past two sims despite some elite production. Fournette has scored over 22 DKFP in three of his past five, including 34.4 DKFP on 154 combined yards and two touchdowns in his last sim against the Raiders. Fournette was solid in the shortened sim against the Broncos, finishing with 17.1 DKFP.
The Jags dominated the matchup the first time around and I think Jacksonville has some edges that we’ll see in the rematch. D.J. Chark ($14,400 CP) and Leonard Fournette ($12,600 CP) are the two plays that jump out as potential captains.
Final Score: Denver 17 Jacksonville 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.