With real-life sports still in the midst of an extended time out, DraftKings continues to provide some great sports simulations to fill the void. Each day there are six Madden Streams with eight free contests to be a part of. You can play a single-game Showdown for each contest along with an all-day, six-game classic contest and a three-game late slate. Each simulation will be played out via an online Madden Stream using Madden 2020 with rosters and ratings from the end of the 2019-20 season. In this format, you can enjoy watching the game stream on the DK Live app (download here) or right here in this post. Follow along to watch your fantasy team pile up fantasy points.
Thursday brings us our weekly doubled prize pool in the primetime matchup, which is the fans’ choice for “Game of the Week.” This week, the $10K FREE Game of the Week features the Colts and the Chiefs in the 8 p.m. ET kickoff. The late slate locks at 6 p.m. ET with a nice matchup between the Bears and the Eagles in Philly, and the slate concludes with a matchup between the Rams and Steelers on Madden after Dark at 10 p.m. ET.
With those six teams in play, there are many different ways to build your roster for Thursday’s late late. I’ll give you my favorite plays at each position and price point for this six-game slate below. As you build your team, make sure to check out the Madden info page for all the data on player ratings, special abilities and what you can look forward to coming soon.
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Patrick Mahomes, KC vs. IND, $8,100 — The Colts have been one of the worst secondaries in these sims, so the matchup sets up beautifully for Mahomes and his 99 overall rating. He has been red-hot lately with at least three touchdowns in each of his past three games, including a four-touchdown, 25.2-DKFP performance against the Giants in his most recent sim. He’s averaging two full points higher than any other QB on this slate with 20.2 DKFP per contest. Mahomes has thrown a massive 64 touchdowns in his 30 sims and has been better at home, where he has cranked out 21.3 DKFP per sim. The highest-rated QB in all of Madden against one of the worst secondaries? Sign me up. There’s no need to overthink this if you have the salary available.
Other Options — Carson Wentz ($6,800), Ben Roethlisberger ($6,500)
Mitchell Trubisky, CHI at PHI, $5,700 — While Mahomes’ success should be a surprise to no one, one of our biggest “out-of-nowhere” Madden stars has been Trubisky, who is one of the most productive QBs in the sims, averaging 20.4 DKFP. He is only averaging 189.6 passing yards per sim but has been a great contributor on the ground, rushing for almost 50 yards per sim and scoring 10 rushing touchdowns. He has slowed down lately with six straight games under 20 DKFP, but he still has the same high ceiling, so don’t hesitate to play him due to recency bias when there is no correlation sim-to-sim.
Other Option — Jacoby Brissett ($5,600)
Todd Gurley II, LAR at PIT, $6,100 — Gurley is one of the few true workhorse RB1’s in Madden and does a lot of the heavy lifting for the Rams’ offense both as rusher and receiver. He has piled up 20 touchdowns in his 30 sims while averaging 61.3 rushing yards and 24.1 receiving yards per contest. He is averaging over three catches per contest and had six catches in his most recent sim, which helped him reach 25.4 DKFP. He has over 25 DKFP in two in a row and will look to make it three strong showings in a row. He’s in a less-than-ideal matchup against the Steelers, but the other top options have their own drawbacks as well.
Other Options — Damien Williams ($5,700), Miles Sanders ($5,200)
Nyheim Hines, IND at KC, $3,300 — Hines is incredibly affordable given his production in these sims as the Colts’ third-down back and makes for a nice play against the Chiefs since the Colts may be in throw-heavy mode if they fall behind early. Hines had his ninth touchdown of the sim-season in his most recent contest against the Saints, piling up 16.4 DKFP. He has over 9.0 DKFP in half of his 30 sims and has averaged 8.9 DKFP per contest. He offers a great return on investment along with a high ceiling for a player barely more than the minimum salary.
Other Options — James Conner ($4,400), Tarik Cohen ($3,600)
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Tyreek Hill, KC vs. IND, $7,900 — Hill only had 24 yards in his most recent sim against the Giants but did find the end zone twice to still put up a solid 17.4 DKFP. He has six scores over his past four games to bring his total to 22 in his 30 contests. All those touchdowns have pushed his average to 17.7 DKFP per sim (adjusted for the sim in which he caught no passes). His 99 speed rating gives him an extremely high ceiling and the ability to break a big play at any moment. Even if he isn’t catching long passes, his presence and usage in the red zone make him a great play against the struggling secondary of the Colts.
Other Options — T.Y. Hilton ($6,800), JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,500)
Taylor Gabriel, CHI at PHI, $4,400 — There are much safer plays on the board around this price point than Gabriel. However, Gabriel comes with a very high ceiling and is in a good matchup against an Eagles secondary that has been beatable by deep passes and speedy receivers. Gabriel’s 94 speed rating and 82 elusiveness rating make him a big-play threat, as he showed off in his most recent sim with four catches for 103 yards, a touchdown and 32 DKFP. He hasn’t hit that ceiling on a regular basis but is averaging 35 yards on 2.6 catches per sim and has scored 13 touchdowns. He’s a high-risk play, but his ceiling is high enough to take the shot if you need the salary savings.
Chester Rogers, IND at KC, $3,000 — If Gabriel is too boom-or-bust, one option to consider is spending down even more to grab Rogers. Rogers has been regularly involved in the Colts offense as their slot receiver and has double-digit DKFP in six of his past eight contests and has shown a nice upside with over 20 DKFP in a couple of sims. If the Colts have to throw more to keep up with KC, Rogers should be busy as one of Brissett’s favorite targets, especially in the short game. The Chiefs do have good slot coverage most of the time, but I still love the volume enough to consider Rogers in this matchup.
Other Options — Sammy Watkins ($4,500), James Washington ($3,600)
Zach Ertz, PHI vs. CHI, $5,700 — Ertz is one of the truly elite TE in Madden and serves as the Eagles’ highest-volume receiving option. He is averaging 5.2 catches per sim for 66.8 yards and 14.9 DKFP. He has been even better at home where he is averaging 15.5 DKFP despite seven of his 12 touchdowns coming on the road. He gets more involved and catches more passes at home, where he’ll take on the Bears’ highly-rated DST in this matchup. However, despite the matchup, the volume is definitely enough to consider paying up for, and I prefer him to the other top options due to his role as his team’s top target.
Other Options — Travis Kelce ($5,900), Eric Ebron ($4,700)
Vance McDonald, PIT vs. LAR, $4,600 — McDonald isn’t nearly as involved as the three options listed above, but he has found the end zone 12 times in his 30 sims and has at least 11 DKFP in each of his past four contests. McDonald is a favorite option in the red zone and is averaging 4.3 catches for 55 yards per sim. He has a high ceiling in this matchup against the Rams even though he isn’t as safe as Ertz or Kelce.
Other Option — Trey Burton ($4,400)
Rams DST at PIT, $2,800 — The Rams have some star players on their defense, led by Aaron Donald and his 99 overall rating along with an excellent CB in Jalen Ramsey. Los Angeles has racked up 70 sacks in their 30 sims while adding 13 takeaways and a pair of defensive touchdowns, which has resulted in 5.2 DKFP per sim. The Steelers aren’t a great matchup, but the Rams have the playmakers to overcome that and still put together the high-impact plays you need for fantasy success.
Other Option — Chiefs DST ($3,100)
Steelers DST vs. LAR, $2,600 — The Steelers’ DST is also loaded with playmakers like T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick. They have created more takeaways than the Rams with 23 in their 30 sims and have 32 sacks and four defensive touchdowns for 5.3 DKFP per sim. They’re my favorite DST play of the slate since they have some good depth and we’ve seen Jared Goff ($6,100) struggle under pressure both in fantasy and in real life.
Other Option — Bears ($2,200)
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.