Are you ready for some football? To help everyone get even more excited for the NFL season, DraftKings is rolling out the Madden 21 Tournament which features a divisional play-in round that continues with some great Monday Night Football. Things kick off at 6 p.m. ET with an AFC West matchup between the Chargers and the Broncos. Denver won their first matchup in Madden 21 while the Chargers lost to the Chiefs. The other two games on the main slate are from the NFC West, starting at 8 p.m. ET, when the 49ers visit the Rams before the Seahawks host the Cardinals. In the first matchups for this division, Seattle and San Francisco won with the Rams and Cardinals taking the losses. You can find all the latest standings throughout the tournament here on Playbook and keep up with the upcoming schedule on the Madden Stream info page, where you can also find the new depth charts and X-factors for the teams in Madden 21.
Enter your lineup in the daily DraftKings Madden Stream contests with paid contests for real cash prizes now available alongside free contests. Along with single-game Showdown contests focused on each individual game, there is an early slate of games that includes Madden Stream games at 12 p.m. ET, 2 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET, followed by the featured slate, which focuses on the sims at 6 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET. Each simulation will be played out computer vs. computer 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 (download here) or right here in this post.
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Russell Wilson, SEA vs. ARI, $8,000 — Seattle looked solid in its first sim in the tournament, taking care of the Rams, 26-14. Wilson threw for two touchdowns and 192 yards while adding 50 rushing yards against a solid defense. He’ll get a bit of an easier matchup against the Cardinals and will be playing at home for the second straight contest. He is the highest-rated QB on this slate and his scrambling ability and propensity give him a high floor and a high ceiling in a good matchup with Arizona. Chandler Jones is an X-factor to watch on the Arizona defense but the Cardinals don’t have many other highly-rated stars on defense, which should set Wilson up to thrive.
Other Option — Jimmy Garoppolo ($7,000)
Tyrod Taylor, LAC at DEN, $5,000 — Taylor is starting for the Chargers in these sims and showed his high ceiling in his first game, posting 29.26 DKFP against the Chiefs on 224 passing yards with two touchdowns and a third score on the ground in addition to 83 rushing yards. His passer ratings aren’t awesome and he only has a 69 overall rating. However, his 87 speed rating ranks him as the third-fastest starting QB behind only Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray ($6,300). In Madden sims, speed is crucial, and as a result, Taylor comes with a ton of upside against the Broncos at a crazy-cheap salary.
Other Option — Jared Goff ($6,000)
Raheem Mostert, SF at LAR, $6,000 — Mostert is the RB1 in Madden 21 and also the third-down back for the 49ers, so he should get a ton of work in the new iteration of the game. He exploded for 24.4 DKFP in his first game as the lead back with 61 rushing yards and six catches for 43 receiving yards. He added a touchdown and finished with 24.4 DKFP. He looks ready to slide in as the new version of Tevin Coleman, who was a workhorse in our sims with Madden 2020, and if Mostert keeps getting lots of carries he’ll continue to be an elite play.
Other Options — Chris Carson ($6,400), Austin Ekeler ($6,100)
Phillip Lindsay, DEN vs. LAC, $4,000 — Even with Melvin Gordon ($5,500) in town, Lindsay is still atop the Broncos’ depth chart and also serves as the third-down back. Gordon did appear in the first sim for the Broncos but had just four yards compared to 72 yards and a touchdown for Lindsay on his way to 22.3 DKFP. He should continue to be the feature-back, so take advantage of his low price and high ceiling against the Chargers. The three backs listed under studs have monopolies on their backfield and should be very productive, but they’re also expensive while Lindsay comes over $2K cheaper.
Other Option — Malcolm Brown ($4,700)
DeAndre Hopkins, ARI at SEA, $7,900 — The new Cardinal had five catches for 81 yards in his sim debut with Arizona. He was a regular producer throughout the Madden 2020 sim season and still has an outstanding 98 overall rating supported by a 97 awareness rating, a 97 catching rating, a 99 catching-in-traffic rating and a 99 spectacular catch rating. He should get a ton of volume from Kyler Murray and be a great fantasy play, especially since I think the Cardinals will be playing from behind in Seattle and looking to make big plays by going to D-Hop.
Other Options — Cooper Kupp ($6,900), Courtland Sutton ($6,200)
DK Metcalf, SEA vs. ARI, $5,300 — Metcalf kept most of his high ratings in Madden 21 and continues to serve as the WR2 for the Seahawks. He had 11.7 DKFP on five catches in his first Madden 21 sim and gets one of the best matchups on the board on this slate. He has big-play potential any time he touches the ball and has posted double-digit DKFP in four straight stretching back into the Madden 2020 sim season.
Mike Williams, LAC at DEN, $4,300 — Williams got a new QB in the new game but still found the end zone in his first Madden 21 sim. He finished with four catches, 39 yards and 13.9 DKFP in the Chargers’ loss to the Chiefs and will look to perform even better against the Broncos. Denver’s secondary is still a little thin, so he should have a favorable matchup if Taylor can get him the ball in the right spots to continue to make Williams the touchdown machine he has been throughout these sims. Last sim season, he had 34 touchdowns in 51 sims in Madden 2020.
Other Options — Robert Woods ($5,700), Josh Reynolds ($3,400)
Greg Olsen, SEA vs. ARI, $5,200 — Olsen’s Madden 2020 ratings always felt generous and he didn’t take much of a hit in the new game either. The big upgrade for him, though, is changing to the Seahawks’ playbook, which is full of great TE routes that should set him up for success. He had two touchdowns in his Seattle sim debut and finished with 15.6 DKFP. He didn’t get a ton of volume, surprisingly, but looks like he’ll be a top red-zone target. Olsen gets a great matchup against the Cardinals, who have struggled to defend TEs in real life and in simland recently. Look for him to put up another solid statline in this game.
Other Option — George Kittle ($7,100)
Noah Fant, DEN vs. LAC, $4,400 — Fant is the third-fastest TE in the new Madden game with only Darren Waller and Evan Engram ranked ahead of his 89 speed rating. He averaged double-digit DKFP in Madden 2020 and should have success in Madden 21 as well. He only had three catches for 24 yards in his first sim of the season, but he still has one of the highest ceilings of the TE on this slate.
Other Option — Maxx Williams ($4,000)
49ers DST at LAR, $3,000 — The 49ers’ DST has always been stacked with playmakers, although they struggled last sim season to create the turnovers needed to be an elite play. At least in their first sim in Madden 21, that seems to have changed as they had an interception and a fumble recovery in addition to three sacks for 11 DKFP while holding Arizona to just seven points. They’ll get Rams QB Jared Goff ($6,000) in this matchup, who has proven to be turnover-prone at times, making them a solid play at $3K.
Other Option — Rams ($2,800)
Seahawks DST vs. ARI, $2,700 — Seattle is my favorite defense in all of Madden 21. The Seahawks have two X-factors with fumble-causing abilities in Jamal Adams and Bobby Wagner. Seattle had four sacks, a safety and a fumble recovery for 9.0 DKFP in the team’s first sim and now the Seahawks have a great matchup with the Cardinals. Their secondary will likely give up some points this season, but Seattle’s big hitters will always give them a chance to create turnovers and turn them into touchdowns, making them my favorite play at DST on any slate they’re on.
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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.