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 49ers-Rams game that will take place at 8 p.m. ET Sunday.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
San Francisco 49ers
Whenever there is a showdown contest with San Francisco, it’s awfully tough to not plug Tevin Coleman ($12,000 CP/$8,000) in the Captain’s spot. He has been a beast in Madden simulations, averaging 18.8 DKFP. This is actually a game where both running backs are good fantasy producers, which doesn’t happen often. Coleman leads everybody in this game in terms of DKFP average and is only the sixth-most expensive player. He’s the top overall play in this game.
The most expensive player in this contest is Jimmy Garoppolo ($10,400). He’s in play although he’s very overpriced for his 17.3 DKFP average. If he doesn’t fit into lineups, there is no need to jam him in. This is especially true due to the strength of the Rams’ secondary. With Jalen Ramsey lurking at cornerback, I don’t have a ton of confidence in Garoppolo’s ability to find his top receivers.
Since the Rams have Ramsey, as mentioned above, I am going to stay away from rostering Emmanuel Sanders ($9,200). Even in neutral matchups, he generally hasn’t produced all that well and averages 12.8 DKFP. Pricing is also an issue since he’s the third-most expensive player in this contest. Sanders is a fade for me and there are many preferable skill position players. As a wideout from San Fran, Deebo Samuel ($6,200) offers nearly identical production at a much cheaper salary.
George Kittle ($8,400) is a frustrating player to roster in Madden. The highest-rated tight end in the game, Kittle gets peppered with plenty of targets, but almost never finds the end zone. He has a total of just 15 sim touchdown receptions. With that said, this could be a spot where Garoppolo has to look to him more than normal due to the strength of the Rams’ cornerbacks.
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Los Angeles Rams
This is a rare game where we have two really strong running backs to roster. Todd Gurley ($7,800) has an 86 rating and averages 14.4 DKFP, making him one of the more productive running backs in the Madden games. Not only does pairing the running backs make sense in this contest, I actually think it’s the preferred way to build a lineup. Both of the RBs get pass game work and can succeed regardless of game script.
At QB, Jared Goff ($10,000) has a 77 overall rating and is averaging 16.8 DKFP. Like Garoppolo, he’s a fringe play and slightly overpriced in this matchup. The 49ers have one of the top defenses in Madden and there’s a decent chance that Goff busts. Play him if he fits, but he is far from a must. As a side note, it’s crazy that we have done so many of these sims that both quarterbacks have over 10,000 passing yards.
The Rams’ top wide receiver is Cooper Kupp ($8,600), although he’s certainly not the best value. Despite being No. 1 on the depth chart, he’s barely rated higher than the No. 2 and No. 3 receivers since the Rams are deep at the position. Kupp has an 87 overall rating, while Robert Woods ($7,600) has an 86 overall rating and Brandin Cooks ($7,000) has an 85 overall rating. In my opinion, Woods and Cooks make for better fantasy plays at cheaper prices. Woods is the overall top option of the trio with an average of 13.7 DKFP. Kupp is the easiest of the group to fade since he is most likely to draw coverage from Richard Sherman.
Due to the strength of the defense and run game, the 49ers have won six of the past seven games. I like San Francisco to edge out this contest as well. The 49ers have been consistent in Madden and a really tough team to beat. The Rams on the other hand have disappointed just as in real life. Despite solid rated players across the board, the Rams often struggle to get everybody going at the same time and the offense is inconsistent.
Final Score: 49ers 24, Rams 21
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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.