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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for March 12

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Friday’s three-game Madden Stream DraftKings slate, which starts at 6:00 p.m. ET.

The DraftKings Dream Stream is ready to fill up another Friday with six great Madden 21 sims on the schedule throughout the afternoon and evening. The later three games on the schedule are part of the featured classic slate, which gets underway at 6:00 p.m. ET when the Los Angeles Chargers go on the road to face the Cleveland Browns. The primetime contest kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET, featuring Kyler Murray ($7,100) and the Arizona Cardinals hosting the New England Patriots for the first time in these Madden 21 sims. In the final game of the day, QBs at opposite ends of their careers will face off as rookie Joe Burrow ($6,500) leads his Cincinnati Bengals to the virtual Bayou, where he’ll face veteran Drew Brees ($6,000) and the New Orleans Saints.

As in all of these Madden 21 sims, it’s important to know that each roster is not impacted by COVID-19 opt-outs, injuries, suspensions or illness and that the highest-rated options have been placed at the top of the depth charts. The roster for each team includes all player movement that occurred prior to Week 1 of this season and uses the Madden 21 ratings from Week 1 of this season.

For more details, you can find the game settings, depth charts, abilities and X-factors for each team in Madden 21 along with the upcoming schedule on the Madden Stream info page. There were a few tweaks to the X-factors and Superstars in the latest December update, so be sure to check the depth charts of each team.

Check out the daily DraftKings Madden Stream contests lobby with paid contests for real cash prizes now available alongside free contests. Each simulation will be played out computer vs. computer via an online Madden Stream using Madden 21. 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.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $4K Friday Night Special [$1K to 1st] and your FREE fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $250 FREE Contest



Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $7,000 — Mayfield had monster games in each of his two previous Madden 21 meetings against the Chargers. He went off for 380 yards and three touchdowns and 30.7 DKFP in a 30-27 win the first time they met for and was even better in the rematch with 491 yards three passing touchdowns, a rushing score and 47.34 DKFP. He hasn’t consistently reached that impressive level of production but has put up over 19 DKFP in eight of his past 10 while averaging 25.4 DKFP per contest over that stretch. While his past success against the Chargers doesn’t guarantee he’ll be able to go off again, it does show it's a very favorable matchup and one in which Baker should be more boom than bust. Overall in these sims, Mayfield is averaging 18.4 DKFP per contest, which is second-best on this slate behind only Kyler Murray ($7,100), who will have a difficult matchup in New England.

Other Option — Kyler Murray ($7,100)


Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints vs. Cincinnati Bengals, $6,000 — In the final game of the night, I actually like experience over youth at the QB spot and would recommend going with Brees over Joe Burrow ($6,500). It has much less to do with experience than it does with their matchups. The Bengals’ defense has been very beatable in these sims while the Saints have been solid at home. Brees doesn’t produce much with his legs but has averaged 256.7 passing yards per contest and totaled 98 touchdowns in his 60 Madden 21 sims. He checks in with the lowest salary of any QB for this slate, and he’s a solid way to go cheap at this position to have space to stack up stars in other spots.

Other Option — Justin Herbert ($6,200)

Running Back


Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints vs. Cincinnati Bengals, $7,700 — Both Kamara and Austin Ekeler ($7,600) have been truly elite plays in Madden 21 as workhorse backs for their teams. Both of them are in a good spot, but I like Kamara’s matchup just a little more, and he has been outstanding since getting his X-factor status back in the December update from EA Sports. Kamara has piled up 55 touchdowns in his 60 sims in Madden 21, including seven in his past five games. Over his four most recent sims, he has averaged 21.3 DKFP and has multiple catches in each of those contests. The Bengals have given up some of the biggest rushing performances we have seen in these sims, so look for another busy day and big game for Kamara in this contest.

Other Option — Austin Ekeler ($7,600)


James White, New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals, $4,300 — White is a solid bargain option at RB since he is so involved as the Patriots’ third-down RB. He has multiple catches in 11 of his past 12 sims and is averaging 3.3 receptions for 21.2 yards in his 55 Madden 21 contests. He had a solid 10.6 DKFP in his most recent sim against the Chiefs, highlighted by eight receptions and has produced over 8.0 DKFP in five of his past eight contests. His consistent PPR points make him a very low-risk play, especially against the Cardinals’ defense that has given up some big games to pass-catching RBs.

Other Options — Giovani Bernard ($5,400), Kareem Hunt ($4,700)

Wide Receiver


Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $6,800 — OBJ re-wrote our Madden 21 record books the last time he faced the Chargers, going off for an amazing 277 yards, three touchdowns and 53.7 DKFP. Even more impressive is the fact that he did all that with just five catches, averaging over 55 yards and over 10 DKFP per catch. While that kind of game is definitely not repeatable, it does show that he has big-play potential and a very winnable matchup against the Bolts’ secondary. In his earlier game against the Chargers, he had five catches for 49 yards and 9.9 DKFP since the defense actually remembered to tackle him in that contest. OBJ has averaged 3.5 catches for 66.9 yards per sim and scored 27 touchdowns in 52 contests. He obviously has an extremely high ceiling, so I like him in this matchup even though he does remain a boom-or-bust WR1.

Other Options — Michael Thomas ($7,000), Keenan Allen ($6,300)


Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints vs. Cincinnati Bengals, $4,000 — Smith has been very involved in the Saints’ offense as the WR3 and often ends up working opposite X-factor superstar Michael Thomas ($7,000) when Emmanuel Sanders ($4,300) moves to the slot. Smith has scored 19 touchdowns in his 60 sims and averaged 3.4 catches for 47.1 yards per game. He has multiple catches in 16 straight contests, highlighted by a run of four straight sims with double-digit DKFP. He can break big plays and runs solid routes, resulting in regular involvement in Brees’ offense. He’s a relatively low-risk play and a very nice option at only $4K.

Joe Reed, Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns, $3,500 — Reed is the Chargers’ WR3 and has also been a nice value play in these sims. He hasn’t been quite as involved as Smith, but he has posted two good games in his first two matchups with the Browns. Both those games were high-scoring contests, and Reed had six catches in each matchup, resulting in 15.1 and 12.0 DKFP. Reed is less reliable than Smith, but he comes at an even lower price and should get a boost as he visits the virtual Dawg Pound again.

Other Options — N’Keal Harry ($5,000), Tyler Boyd ($4,500), Emmanuel Sanders ($4,300), Damiere Byrd ($3,800)

Tight End


Devin Asiasi, New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals, $5,300 — While the rookie TE was held back in real life due to injuries and a steep learning curve in the Patriots’ offense, he’s thrived in simland averaging a robust 11.0 DKFP per sim. Asiasi has scored 23 touchdowns in his 55 sims, averaging 4.0 catches for 42.7 yards per contest. He has a favorable matchup against the Cardinals, who struggle against TE in Madden 21.

Other Option — Jared Cook ($4,500)


Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns, $3,900 — Like the Cardinals, the Browns have been a very favorable matchup for opposing TEs in Madden 21, which sets up well for Henry. The real-life free agent has been solid for the Chargers, averaging 3.7 catches for 35.4 yards per contest and scoring 14 touchdowns. He had one of those touchdowns in each of his two earlier matchups against the Browns, posting 15.0 and 14.4 DKFP. He’ll be a great value if he’s near that level of production again in this rematch. Henry has been playing well lately with at least 8.8 DKFP in six straight contests.

Other Option — C.J. Uzomah ($4,200)



Patriots DST at Arizona Cardinals, $3,000 — The Patriots’ defense has been one of the most productive DST’s in Madden 21, forcing 59 turnovers in 55 sims. New England has also scored 11 defensive touchdowns to go with 90 sacks to average just under 6.0 DKFP per sim. While they will face a tough task in slowing down Kyler Murray ($7,100), his ratings aren’t as high as they should be in the Week 1 ratings used for these sims. The Patriots have the highest-rated and most productive defense on this slate, which will matchup well against a turnover prone Murray.


Chargers DST at Cleveland Browns, $2,800 — After getting blasted by the Browns in their two previous matchups, the Chargers will likely be an unpopular play for this rematch. However, they have actually been a pretty solid unit overall in these sims, and their 5.3 DKFP average is second on the slate behind only the Patriots. The Chargers have an impressive 121 sacks in 55 games, and their aggressive style does lead to allowing big plays but also produces some big plays of their own. The Patriots are a much safer play, but if you’re trying to go against the flow, the Chargers make some sense given the boom-or-bust nature of the Browns’ offense.

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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.