This Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of the start of these Madden sims on the DraftKings Dream Stream, and to celebrate, there’s a massive Madden Stream $30K One Year Anniversary [$10K to 1st] contest with a chance for one player to turn a $15 entry into $10,000 this Sunday night. On the eve of that event, there are six Madden 21 sims lined up on Saturday. The three-game featured classic slate kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET with the Miami Dolphins visiting the Tennessee Titans. In primetime at 8:00 p.m. ET, the Arizona Cardinals take on the Carolina Panthers in a rematch of a recent sim which Arizona won, 31-16. The slate closes out with a Madden After Dark contest at 10:00 p.m. ET featuring an AFC showdown between the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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 the 2020-21 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.
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers, $7,500 — This is actually the fourth meeting for the Panthers and Cardinals in Madden 21, and Murray has flourished in most of his matchups against the Panthers’ beatable rush defense. Murray had over 100 rushing yards and two rushing scores on his way to 33.5 DKFP in his most recent game against Carolina after posting 17.12 DKFP and 20.32 DKFP in their first two meetings. Murray has been a low-risk play with a high ceiling due to his regular rushing production in these Madden 21 sims. He has averaged 176.7 passing yards and 68.6 rushing yards per game and has scored a total of 91 touchdowns in his 58 sims. Murray has been especially good lately with over 20 DKFP in nine of his past 10 games with an average of 25.1 DKFP over that stretch.
Other Option — Josh Allen ($7,300)
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins at Tennessee Titans, $5,400 — The Dolphins went to Tua as their starting QB 53 sims ago, and since then, he has produced 16.4 DKFP on 216.8 passing yards per game. In those 53 games, Tua has thrown 81 touchdowns and run for five more. He had 13.96 DKFP in his first game against the Titans, and he produced over 13 DKFP in four straight coming into this matchup and in 10 of his past 12 sims. He went off for 37.26 DKFP in one of those sims against the Broncos and brings that high ceiling along with his steady production at a rock-bottom price of barely over $5K. He doesn’t have to do much to be worth $5K, so roll with him as your QB if you need the salary to pay up for stars in other spots.
Other Option — Teddy Bridgewater ($6,100)
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins, $7,400 — Henry has been an absolute beast in these sims, totaling 55 touchdowns in 59 sims. He has averaged 82.8 rushing yards and 24.9 receiving yards on 3.7 catches per contest. The Dolphins have given up big games to opposing RBs, but they actually slowed down Henry in their first meeting, holding him to just 37 yards on the ground. Henry still found the end zone, though, catching a touchdown pass to save his fantasy day with 15.9 DKFP. He can produce in so many different ways and should be able to post a big game in this favorable matchup.
Other Option — Christian McCaffrey ($7,500), Matt Breida ($7,000)
Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills, $4,800 — Samuels is the third-down RB for the Steelers and has been very involved in Pittsburgh’s offense throughout Madden 21. He has averaged 4.2 catches for 30.7 yards per sim and has scored six times. He has averaged 9.3 DKFP per appearance in Madden 21 and has put up double-digit DKFP in three of his four most recent games. As is often the case for receiving RBs, he has seen his workload tick up when the Steelers play teams with shutdown secondaries like the Bills. Samuels caught seven passes and produced 14.1 DKFP in their most recent sim after totaling 11.7 DKFP with six catches in their first meeting. Samuels is a proven PPR producer and can be a good play under $5K on this slate.
Other Options — Devin Singletary ($5,800)
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills, $6,200 — JuJu has the ability to produce a big game even against the Bills’ elite secondary since he usually works out of the slot, and therefore avoids the CB1 for the opposing team, which in this case is Superstar X-factor Tre’Davious White. JuJu only had two catches in their first meeting in Madden 21, but he bounced back with a huge game of 34.9 DKFP in the rematch with eight catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns. He can be boom-or-bust like that, but he has one of the best ceilings of all the top WRs on this slate. Smith-Schuster has averaged 5.2 catches for 67.3 yards per sim and his next reception will bring his total in Madden 21 to an even 300.
Other Option — DeVante Parker ($5,300)
Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins, $4,800 — In their first matchup with the Dolphins, the Titans got six catches, 78 yards and 14.2 DKFP from Davis while WR1 A.J. Brown ($4,700) was completely shut out. CB Xavien Howard will be a tough matchup for Brown again, but Davis is in a much more fantasy-friendly matchup on the other side. Davis joined the Jets as a free agent this offseason but will look to continue to produce for the Titans in these sims. In his 57 sims, he is averaging 3.5 catches for 49.3 yards per game and has found the end zone a total of 21 times.
Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers vs. Arizona Cardinals, $4,500 — Samuel is only the Pathers’ WR3, but he usually gets good work out of the slot and can make big plays with his 95 speed rating and 87 change of direction rating. Samuel has averaged 11.9 DKFP on 4.1 catches for 49.5 yards per sim, although he has been shut out four times. He has at least three catches in each of his three earlier matchups in Madden 21 against Arizona, averaging 10.6 DKFP per contest. He should get a favorable matchup again out of the slot against the Cardinals and offers a high ceiling at an affordable $4.5K. There are plenty of cheaper WRs to consider, but none has been as consistent as Samuel has been while also offering a high ceiling.
Other Options — DJ Moore ($5,000), Larry Fitzgerald ($4,300), John Brown ($4,100), Jakeem Grant ($3,900)
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins, $4,600 — Smith is the third-most expensive TE on the slate but comes with very nice upside in a favorable matchup against the Dolphins. Smith had eight catches for 85 yards and 16.5 DKFP in his first meeting with Miami and has averaged 4.5 catches for 46.6 yards per sim. Smith had his 16th touchdown in 59 sims in his most recent outing, finishing with 16.1 DKFP against the Steelers. The Dolphins are a much more favorable matchup, and Smith should produce as long as Ryan Tannehill ($5,500) continues to look his way so frequently.
Other Options — Mike Gesicki ($5,300), Eric Ebron ($5,200)
Lee Smith, Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, $4,300 — Lee Smith has also been a frequent target in these sims and comes with consistent production from game-to-game, especially lately. He has at least 8.0 DKFP in six straight contests, averaging 12.3 DKFP over that span. He has shown a strong connection with Josh Allen ($7,300) and averaged 3.3 receptions per appearance. He hasn't been quite as productive as Jonnu, but Lee also makes sense if you need to save a little bit or want to go with a double-Smith attack at TE and FLEX.
Other Option — Ian Thomas ($3,800)
Bills DST vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, $3,100 — The Bills and Steelers both are stacked with playmakers on defense and have shown a high ceiling in these sims, but I’d lean toward Buffalo since they have been the slightly more consistent unit and have a slightly better matchup. The Bills had three sacks in each of their first two meetings with the Steelers, producing 4.0 and 6.0 DKFP. They have at least 5.0 DKFP in three of their four most recent contests and have produced four takeaways during those four sims. The Steelers have very similar numbers across the board but have a better average due to defensive touchdowns. I’d rather go with the better matchup and take the stability of the Bills’ defense while also avoiding going against Allen, who can light it up if he gets rolling either as a passer or a rusher.
Cardinals DST at Carolina Panthers, $2,900 — The Cardinals just posted 12.0 DKFP against the Panthers in their recent sim with three sacks and an interception, which they returned for a touchdown. They have managed only 20 takeaways in their 58 sims but do have a solid 117 sacks to go with their four defensive scores. If you pass on the big options in the primetime game, they’re the best pivot as a cheaper play on this slate.
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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.