Monday marks the beginning of the 2021 Madden Bracket Tourney which includes a Free-to-Play $5K Simulated Football Bracket Tournament Round 1 Pool and a special $12K Bracket Challenge Kickoff contest on Monday’s three-game classic slate. Before that series of sims gets going, we have another full day of six Madden 21 sims lined up on the DraftKings Dream Stream to bring fantasy football throughout your Sunday. The featured three-game classic slate starts at 6:00 p.m. ET with a matchup between the Washington Football Team and the Indianapolis Colts. At 8:00 p.m. ET in primetime, the Minnesota Vikings visit the Philadelphia Eagles, and we close out the day with a rematch of a sim from earlier this week between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Detroit Lions on Madden After Dark. While a matchup between the Lions and Bengals may not seem that exciting, they have actually faced off five times in these sims and have provided plenty of fantasy goodness in each matchup, so make sure not to overlook that late game in terms of potential plays.
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 on the Madden Stream info page, where you can also find links to 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.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions, $6,400 — Burrow has benefitted from his cushy matchups with the Lions in the past, producing 26.18, 25.8, 27.42, 27.42 and 35.38 DKFP in his five matchups with Detroit, giving him an average of 28.44 DKFP in their previous meetings. He has multiple touchdowns in each of those contests and has totaled 89 passing touchdowns and 13 rushing touchdowns in his 64 sims in Madden 21 overall. He has also averaged a solid 229.4 passing yards per game. Even though he is coming off an awful game with just 7.4 DKFP against the Eagles in his most recent sim, I think he should be set up to bounce back in this great spot against the Lions, who he has such a track record of success against. The Bengals passing game as a whole is in a great matchup to take advantage of and building around Burrow makes a ton of sense, especially compared to the rest of the QBs available
Other Option — Carson Wentz ($7,100)
Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts vs. Washington Football Team, $5,700 — Rivers isn’t an option I normally consider, but he has shown flashes of upside in these sims and has been doing much better than Kirk Cousins ($5,500) and Dwayne Haskins Jr. ($5,200), who are the other two cheap QBs on this slate. Rivers has averaged 235.6 passing yards per game with 94 touchdowns in 63 sims. Those numbers aren’t bad as totals, but his main issue has been that he brings zero rushing potential and relies heavily on passing touchdowns for his points. In the right matchup, he can go off, though, as he showed with five passing touchdowns and 37.3 DKFP a few sims ago when he faced the Vikings. He showed his volatility, however, in the rematch with Minnesota in his most recent sim, finishing with just 5.32 DKFP. He’s very boom-or-bust, but the fact that there is any upside to consider is enough to make him a better play than Cousins or Haskins. The Washington Football Team is a tough defensive matchup, but Rivers still brings enough potential to be the best QB play under $6K.
Other Option — Matthew Stafford ($6,100)
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles, $8,300 — Cook has been one of the best RBs in all of Madden 21 and always gets a heavy workload as the focus of the Vikings’ offense. He’s averaging an eye-popping 23.2 DKFP per sim and has found the end zone 72 times in his 63 Madden 21 contests. In addition to his average of over a touchdown per game, he’s producing 84.2 rushing yards and 30.7 receiving yards on 4.0 catches per sim. Cook had “just” 18.6 DKFP in his first meeting with the Eagles, but the Vikings still managed to put up 30 points on their way to a win. Cook has actually had a few limited games on the ground in a row but has stayed involved and productive as a pass-catcher. Whether that continues or he breaks out for a big rushing game, he should find a way to produce against a so-so Eagles defense and end up as a good play on this slate. He is expensive, but I trust that a monster bounce-back game is only a matter of time given his long-term dominance throughout these sims.
Other Options — Miles Sanders ($7,000), J.D. McKissic ($6,500)
D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions vs. Cincinnati Bengals, $4,300 — Both Swift and Gio Bernard ($5,900) make very nice plays as the receiving backs in that sneakily-productive late matchup. While Bernard has been more reliable, he’s also much more expensive, so if you need the salary savings check on Swift. The Lions’ third-down back has averaged 12.08 DKFP in his five previous games against the Bengals, highlighted by a game with 24.4 DKFP and a game with 16.4 DKFP. He enters this rematch with multiple receptions in nine straight sims and at least 8.9 DKFP in six of those matchups. Even if he is only around that number, he’ll be a solid value play at this price, but he also gives your second RB spot plenty of upside with his high ceiling in this matchup with Cincinnati.
Other Options — Gio Bernard ($5,900), Marlon Mack ($4,600)
John Ross III, Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions, $5,600 — Ross has become legendary in these Madden sims for this speed and high ceiling, and he has specifically thrived in his past matchups against the Lions. In his five games against Detroit, the Bengals’ WR3 has produced 18.4, 28.4, 20.3, 29.3 and 7.0 DKFP. He has at least three catches in each of those matchups and has broken free for multiple big plays against the Lions’ struggling secondary. Ross is averaging 3.9 catches for 58.4 yards per sim and has scored 24 touchdowns overall in these Madden 21 contests. In this matchup on this slate, Ross makes a great stack with Burrow.
Other Options — DeSean Jackson ($6,200), Kenny Golladay ($5,800)
Marquise Goodwin, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings, $5,400 — You can get even more speed at WR spot with Goodwin, who has a 97 speed rating that puts him behind only Tyreek Hill and Henry Ruggs III in all of Madden 21. He has been productive due to his big-play potential, and he posted eight catches for 117 yards and 23.9 DKFP in his first matchup with the Vikings. Like Ross against the Lions, Goodwin is a mismatch nightmare for the Vikings. Both receivers do have bust potential but bring such a high ceiling due to their favorable matchups that it’s worth taking the shot that they go off for huge games. Goodwin has scored 31 touchdowns in his 60 sims as the Eagles’ WR3 while averaging 3.7 catches for 52.1 yards per game.
Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions vs. Cincinnati Bengals, $4,400 — Amendola is an extremely different style of WR3 than the two listed above, but he still has found ways to be productive. He gets his fantasy value from being a frequent target and producing plenty of PPR points. Amendola had exactly five catches and a touchdown for 17.5 and 15.3 DKFP in his two most recent contests against Cincinnati. He has at least three catches in 12 straight sims and has averaged a consistent 11.4 DKFP over that span. The heavily-involved slot receiver is a solid value play in his rematch with the Bengals.
Other Options — A.J. Green ($4,800), T.Y. Hilton ($4,700), Tyler Boyd ($4,500), Parris Campbell ($4,100)
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings, $5,900 — This should be a great matchup for Ertz since the Vikings struggle to defend TEs and Ertz typically gets a very heavy workload. He has averaged 5.6 catches for 59.0 yards per sim while scoring 29 touchdowns in 64 contests. He had two of those touchdowns in his first Madden 21 sim against the Vikings and posted 18.4 DKFP. He has an even higher ceiling if he gets more targets and is actually the top pass-catching play on this slate since he has averaged more DKFP per game than any WR and has also been a more consistent target from sim-to-sim.
Other Options — T.J. Hockenson ($5,600)
Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts vs. Washington Football Team, $4,900 — Of the four TEs under $5K, Burton is the most reliable since he gets so much attention from Rivers in the Colts’ passing game. Burton is averaging 4.9 catches per sim but has only scored 19 touchdowns in 60 games. He did have one of those scores along with five catches in his recent matchup with Washington to finish with 14.6 DKFP. He has at least five catches in four straight sims dating back to when he racked up 164 yards and 33.4 DKFP against the Vikings. He comes with that high of a ceiling and a solid floor due to his consistent PPR volume in this matchup with Washington.
Other Options — C.J. Uzomah ($4,400), Jeremy Sprinkle ($4,000)
Washington Football Team DST at Indianapolis Colts, $3,200 — Washington’s defense has been very good in these sims, averaging over 6.0 DKFP per sim while no other team on this slate has produced more than 4.3 DKFP per game. Most of Washington’s success has come from its excellent pass rush, which has totaled 138 sacks in 64 sims (2.2 sacks per game). Washington had a pair of takeaways and a pair of sacks for 7.0 DKFP in their recent loss to the Colts and have at least 7.0 DKFP in four of their six most recent contests.
Colts DST vs. Washington Football Team, $2,900 — The reason that Washington has still struggled despite their defensive success is that the offense has been a total mess. The unit, led by Dwayne Haskins Jr. ($5,200), has scored under 20 points in 11 of their past 13 sims, including under 10 points in each of their three most recent games. The Colts held them to just seven points while picking up four sacks and an interception on their way to 10.0 DKFP. The Indianapolis defense has been inconsistent throughout their Madden 21 sims, but this matchup is a great one for them and they come at a solid salary under $3K.
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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.