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Madden Stream Picks: Bears vs. Patriots DraftKings DFS Showdown Strategy

Zach Thompson preps you for Monday’s 8 p.m. ET Madden Stream contest between the Bears and Patriots with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

In addition to the great content associated with the return of real-life sports like baseball and basketball, DraftKings has continued to provide some highly entertaining simulated sports action. Each day, there are six Madden Streams and eight free contests, with a single-game Showdown for each game along with a pair of classic contests. Each of the simulations is 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 DraftKings YouTube channel, the DK Live app or right here in this post. Follow along to watch your fantasy team rack up some big fantasy points.

Monday night’s Madden contest in primetime features the Bears visiting the Patriots at 8 p.m. ET. The Patriots have been the best team overall in these sims going 27-12 but New England has only gone 4-4 in its eight most recent contests and is just 12-9 at home. The Pats will face the Bears, who have been trending in a much better direction and have surged to 22-17 by going 6-2 over the past eight. The Bears will present a tough challenge for the Patriots and there are a number of different options worth checking out for your fantasy lineup. I’ll give you my pick for the winner and who I think you should try to get in your entries in this contest.

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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices

Showdown Strategy

Chicago Bears

The Bears’ success this sim season has been mostly due to the rushing abilities of Mitchell Trubisky ($10,600), who is averaging a matchup-high 20.5 DKFP per contest. He is averaging just under 50 yards rushing per sim and throwing for 188.4 passing yards per contest. Trubisky has been a good fantasy option since he has thrown for 59 touchdowns and run for 14 more. His rushing potential raises his ceiling and makes him lower risk since he has multiple sources for production. He has thrown for three touchdowns in each of his past two games, lighting up the Titans for 27.16 DKFP and the Seahawks for 22.38 DKFP. When he faced New England earlier in our sims, he had 28.7 DKFP and threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns while trying to rally his team in the second half after the Bears fell behind 28-0. The rally fell short, but Trubisky’s stat line was still impressive. He definitely deserves consideration for most of your entries in this contest and has at least 18 DKFP in four straight sims and 25-of-39 (64%) overall.

Trubisky hasn’t gotten much help in the running game from his RB1 David Montgomery ($7,800), who is averaging just 4.6 DKFP per sim. The better fantasy investment has definitely been RB2 and third-down back Tarik Cohen ($2,800), who has averaged 8.5 DKFP thanks to 15 touchdowns and 31.1 rushing yards along with 1.7 catches for 13.8 receiving yards per sim. Whenever he is involved, he makes things happen and is almost impossible to bring down in space. If the Bears get him the ball, he’ll be a great play at this price.

The go-to option in the Bears’ passing game has been Allen Robinson II ($10,400), who is producing 12.9 DKFP per sim thanks to 20 touchdown catches and 52.4 receiving yards per game. He had a touchdown in each of his past two games and has produced double-digit DKFP in three of his past four. The problem I have with Robinson is that he’s extremely expensive and prone to putting up duds. He will also probably have to contend with CB Stephon Gilmore, one of the top CB in all of Madden. The matchup didn’t slow him down last time, as he hung 34.5 DKFP on the Pats with 135 yards and two touchdowns. However, even with that great performance he’s a high-risk play at such a huge investment. Chicago’s other receivers, Taylor Gabriel ($6,600) and Anthony Miller ($4,600) have both been very hit-or-miss. Gabriel has good speed and elusiveness but gets inconsistent volume. He does have at least four catches and has reached double-digits in each of his past four games, though. He’s a better play than Miller, who has been totally shut out in five games and only has three touchdowns on this sim season.

TE Trey Burton ($7,000) has been a little more reliable than both Gabriel and Miller and has averaged 4.1 catches for 50.7 yards per sim while scoring 10 touchdowns. He has over 25 DKFP in each of his past two games after exploding for 10 catches, 127 yards, two touchdowns and 37.7 DKFP against Seattle in his most recent sim. The Patriots held him to just two catches in the teams’ first meeting, but he definitely comes in in top form for this contest.

The Bears’ DST ($3,400) is one of the most highly-rated units in Madden overall, but Chicago hasn’t made a lot of big-splash plays in its 39 sims. The Bears have 16 interceptions and seven fumble recoveries to go with 75 sacks. The Chicago defense is producing 5.0 DKFP per sim but has a tough matchup against a powerful Patriots offense that tore the Bears apart in the first half of the teams’ first meeting and cruised to a victory. The Bears DST is a unit I like to play in some matchups, but there are other values, including Cohen, that I think make more sense here.

New England Patriots

Despite some recent stumbles, losing to the Steelers, Packers, Ravens and 49ers over the past five games, the Patriots still have lots of fantasy options that make sense. One of the biggest stories in these sims has been how the veteran players who have been better in the past seem to get a little bit of a boost. The Patriots have two players that fit into that category in Benjamin Watson ($6,800) and Tom Brady ($11,200).

Let’s actually start with Watson, who has been one of the best TEs in all of our Madden sims. He has thrived in the Patriots’ playbook, running all Gronk’s old routes and averaging 5.2 catches for 65.6 yards per sim along with a total of 15 touchdowns. Watson has averaged 14.7 DKFP per sim, which is the highest of any non-QB in this matchup and second on the team only to Brady. He has three touchdowns in his past four games and has posted over 15 DKFP in four of his past five games. Watson is a steal at his salary under $7K and definitely makes more sense than almost everyone around him on the salary structure.

Brady has probably been the best pure passing QB in these sims even though he doesn’t have the mobility that makes Trubisky and other rushing QBs such great fantasy options. Brady has thrown for 84 touchdowns in his 39 sims while averaging just under 250 yards per contest. He has had a few duds when he hasn’t thrown for touchdowns but has had multiple passing scores in seven straight and in 10 of his past 11. Brady threw for 379 yards in his most recent contest and posted 26.06 DKFP despite New England’s loss to Pittsburgh. Looking at the game log though, you can see that his numbers haven’t gone quite as high as Trubisky’s since he doesn’t add the rushing element. As a result, I’d actually prefer to take Trubisky and get the higher ceiling if you’re going with just one QB in your entry.

Part of the reason Brady has had some down games is that James White ($8,800) has actually been very good as the Patriots’ RB1. He gets all the third-down work in passing formations as well and has produced 14.5 DKFP per sim. He can be boom-or-bust depending on gameflow, but even his bust games usually aren’t total disappointments since he hauls in some PPR production. White has a very high ceiling and is my favorite option in the $7K-$10.5K range in this matchup.

Brady’s other WRs have all had big games, but they have also been quiet in some contests. Julian Edelman ($9,800) is the WR1 and the most expensive of the group. He has been very involved lately with over 22 DKFP in three straight games and six touchdowns during that span and he now has an impressive 26 touchdowns on the sim season. He only had two catches but 95 yards, a touchdown and 17.5 DKFP against the Bears in the teams’ first meeting. He’s a solid play to get into your lineups and surprisingly a little cheaper than Robinson.

Behind Edelman, Mohamed Sanu ($6,200) has been excellent as the Patriots’ WR2. He has produced 12.3 DKFP per contest, which actually puts him just about on-par with Robinson, who costs $4K more. Sanu can be prone to bust games since the volume is sometimes lacking, but he can also go off for monster games if Brady locks in on his matchup. WR3 Phillip Dorsett II ($5,000) brings the speed element to the table for the Pats and is always a threat to break a big play. He hasn’t had a touchdown in four sims but has totaled 13 on the season. Sanu is a much safer play, but Dorsett does have slate-breaking potential if he gets loose for a big gainer or two.

The Patriots’ DST ($3,600) has been slightly better than the Bears’ DST and is in a better matchup, so I’d lean toward New England if you’re rolling with a defense in this matchup. New England has 23 takeaways in their 39 games, but the impressive number is that the Pats have 91 sacks in those contests which have helped the defense produce 5.2 DKFP per sim. The Patriots had a defensive touchdown and 10.0 DKFP in the first matchup with Mitch, and the New England defense makes sense as a cheap play again in the rematch. I also like Stephen Gostkowski ($4,000) if you need a play at $4K, since the Pats’ kicker is averaging 6.6 DKFP per sim.

The Outcome

I usually try to go with players with high ceilings for my Captain’s Picks in these contest since they are GPP-style tournaments. With that in mind, Mitchell Trubisky ($15,900 CP) is my favorite top-tier Captain’s Pick with Tom Brady ($16,800 CP) just behind him. Benjamin Watson ($10,200 CP) and Mohamed Sanu ($9,300 CP) are great mid-tier plays that leave you more flex room, or you could even roll with Tarik Cohen ($4,200 CP), who is by far the best cheap option in play in this matchup. Overall, I’d stack up on Pats receivers with maybe Robinson and Burton sprinkled into a few places in addition to Cohen.

In the teams’ first meeting, the Patriots opened up a huge lead but let the Bears rally back into it in the second half. New England’s defense has struggled a little bit with mobile QBs lately and the Bears have been more than a little frisky of late, picking up wins over the Titans, Vikings, Steelers and Rams, who are all teams with records that would put them in playoff contention. I actually think the Bears have a good shot of pulling the upset here as long as Trubisky continues playing the way he has been and doesn’t put up a no-show. It’s always hard to pick against the Patriots’ pedigree but New England actually has been more beatable at home than on the road.

Final Score: Bears 28, Patriots 24

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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.