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

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

This Monday is the first day of the week-long Madden Bracket Tourney on the DraftKings Dream Stream. Monday’s five Madden 21 sims include an oversized $12K Bracket Challenge Kickoff contest focused on Monday’s three-game classic slate. That slate kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET when the Denver Broncos visit the Pittsburgh Steelers, followed by the Carolina Panthers visiting the Los Angeles Rams in prime time at 8:00 p.m. ET. The last game of the night is one of the best first-round matchups on the entire board as the Atlanta Falcons visit the Green Bay Packers, who are the No. 4 overall seed in the tournament.

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.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $12K Bracket Challenge Kickoff [$3K to 1st] and your FREE fantasy football lineups here: Madden $250 FREE Contest



Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons, $7,100 — Rodgers and the Packers have only won one of their previous three matchups vs. the Falcons, so this is definitely a place where we could see a high seed go down. However, I think they’ll be able to get by Atlanta since the Falcons’ secondary has been pretty beatable throughout these sims. Rodgers has been the most productive of the six QBs available, averaging 19.8 DKFP on 252.5 passing yards per game and 129 touchdowns in his 67 sims. He had 21.6 DKFP in one of his three games against Atlanta, but struggled to just 12.08 DKFP in their most recent meeting. Rodgers and the Packers are definitely not a lock in this spot, but they do have enough upside to be a solid play to pay up for.

Other Option — Matt Ryan ($6,900)


Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams, $6,500 — Bridgewater has been inconsistent in these sims but has a high ceiling. He has had success in this matchup in the past with 16.4, 21.24 and 23.1 DKFP, and the Panthers have beaten the Rams two of three times. Bridgewater has thrown 96 touchdowns in his 62 Madden 21 sims while averaging 224.5 passing yards per game. He can also add some rushing production at times and has picked up eight more touchdowns on the ground. He actually has a better track record in this specific matchup than either Rodgers or Ryan, and he has been a much more regular contributor than any of the three QBs who have lower salaries than he does.

Other Option — Ben Roethlisberger ($5,700)

Running Back


Todd Gurley II, Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers, $7,400 — While Aaron Jones ($7,600) has had some huge games and Christian McCaffrey ($8,100) has the best overall rating of any RB in all of Madden 21, it is actually Gurley who has had the most success against his specific opponent on this slate, setting him up to be a good play at this price. Gurley tore up the Packers’ suspect run defense for 15.7, 15.5 and 26.5 DKFP in their three earlier meetings in Madden and has also posted over 14 DKFP in seven straight games coming into the tournament. Gurley has totaled 46 touchdowns in his 67 sims while averaging 56.8 rushing yards and 38.7 receiving yards on 4.4 catches per game. His involvement as a receiver gives him a higher ceiling and a higher floor, making him one of the safest plays at RB, specially in a tasty matchup like this one.

Other Option — Aaron Jones ($7,600)


Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos, $4,400 — Samuels is the third-down back for the Steelers, and he has been a regular part of the offense, averaging 4.1 catches per game. He had four catches in the first meeting between these teams, totaling 6.7 DKFP despite it being a very low-scoring 13-3 game. Samuels has hit over 8.0 DKFP in five of his past eight games and would be a good value if he’s in that neighborhood of production again this contest.

Other Options — Darrell Henderson Jr. ($5,700), Phillip Lindsay ($4,100)

Wide Receiver


Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers, $7,200 — Even though the Packers have X-factor superstar CB Jaire Alexander, Jones has put up big numbers against them in their previous meetings. He has scored four touchdowns in his three games against Green Bay, producing 25.8, 16.9 and 14.9 DKFP. Overall in Madden 21, Jones has scored 44 touchdowns in 65 sims while averaging 5.0 catches for 82.6 yards per sim. Jones does have Calvin Ridley ($5,300) as the WR2 on the other side of the field but usually doesn’t lose a ton of work in most sims, remaining the clear No. 1 option in the Falcons’ passing attack.

Other Options — Davante Adams ($6,900), Robert Woods ($6,100)


DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams, $5,200 — Moore is the Panthers’ top WR and has posted 10.7, 20.7 and 24.5 DKFP in his three earlier games vs. the Rams. He has also scored a touchdown in each of his past two games and now has 28 touchdowns in his 59 Madden 21 appearances while averaging 3.9 catches for 53.2 yards per contest. He doesn’t usually get quite as high volume as Jones does, but Moore still makes a great tandem with Bridgewater if you want to go with an affordable QB-WR stack on this slate.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons, $3,800 — MVS serves as the Packers’ WR3 and the slot receiver in these sims. He had four catches for 51 yards, a touchdown and 15.1 DKFP in his most recent sim vs. the Falcons and has averaged 3.2 catches for 42.1 yards per sim. He has a very high ceiling if he goes off for big plays and is in a good matchup against the Falcons’ secondary that has had issues defending opposing slot receivers at times in these sims. He has great potential for a WR under $4K and is a great way to free up salary for other spots while providing consistent production along with high upside.

Other Options — Courtland Sutton ($5,700), Josh Reynolds ($4,900), KJ Hamler ($3,900)

Tight End


Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos, $5,100 — Ebron is the most consistent TE on this slate and has averaged 4.5 catches for 48.6 yards per sim. He had 10.7 DKFP in his first matchup vs. the Broncos, who typically struggle defending TEs. Ebron has at least 9.9 DKFP in nine of his past 11 sims and hardly ever posts a dud due to his consistent targets from Big Ben. He has a very high ceiling if the Steelers go pass-heavy and is a safe option as well if you can afford his salary.

Other Option — Hayden Hurst ($4,600)


Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams vs. Carolina Panthers, $4,300 — Higbee has posted double-digit DKFP in three of his past four sims, highlighted by a monster 36.1-DKFP performance vs. the Titans. He had 26.9 DKFP in one of his three earlier matchups vs. the Panthers and has a high ceiling even though he had two quiet games in his other two contests against Carolina. He is more volatile than Ebron but comes with that extremely high ceiling, especially compared to the other TEs on this slate.

Other Option — Noah Fant ($3,800)



Steelers DST vs. Denver Broncos, $3,000 — The Steelers’ defense is loaded with playmakers, and they have a good matchup against Drew Lock ($5,500) and the inconsistent Denver offense on this slate. Pittsburgh is averaging 6.3 DKFP per game while no other DST on this slate is producing over 5.0 DKFP. The Steelers have 55 takeaways and 129 sacks in their 64 sims and have also scored 11 defensive touchdowns.


Packers DST vs. Atlanta Falcons, $2,600 — The Packers defense has nice upside due to a few key producers in the secondary and some superstars up front. They have piled up 143 sacks in 67 sims (2.1 sacks per sim) but have only 21 takeaways. They don’t have quite as high a ceiling or as favorable a matchup as the Steelers, but they are the most attractive cheap pivot if you don’t want to pay for Pittsburgh.

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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.