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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Pool Picks and Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for April 17

Zach Thompson gives his pool picks along with his top studs and value plays at each position for Saturday’s featured Madden Stream DraftKings slate.

On Saturday, the Final Four of the 2021 Madden Bracket Tourney will be determined by the four games on the DraftKings Dream Stream. You can follow the results and get all the gameplay details on the Madden Streams Information Page and check out special offers on the main bracket page.

Of the over 11,370 entries in the Round 2 pool, only one had all eight winners correct as Madden madness brought plenty of upsets across the board. Congrats to ‘isaiahW2531,’ who won an impressive $5K for a FREE entry. There’s another $5K on the line in Round 3, so check out my pool picks for the four matchups in the third round along with my DFS picks for Saturday’s late classic slate.

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Round 3 Matchups

Los Angeles Rams (8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1)

Past Madden 21 Matchups: The Rams beat the Bucs, 21-16

The Buccaneers looked like they were going to be upset in Round 2, but rallied from 10 points down to force overtime and ultimately won on a Tyler Johnson walk-off touchdown. In their earlier meeting in Madden 21, the Rams knocked off the Bucs, shutting down Tom Brady and getting a pair of touchdowns from their pair of RBs, led by Malcolm Brown with 15.0 DKFP on 76 rushing yards. The Rams have a real shot with their excellent defense led by X-factor Superstars Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald. Even though the Rams’ offense can be boom-or-bust with Jared Goff, they’re fairly well-balanced and have speed options at WR which could cause trouble for the Bucs’ thin secondary.

The Pick: Rams

Los Angeles Chargers (20) at New Orleans (5)

Past Madden 21 Matchups: The teams have not met

The Chargers are the lowest remaining seed after upsetting the Bears and the Packers to get to this contest against the Saints. Austin Ekeler has been unstoppable and will now go head-to-head with another workhorse back in Alvin Kamara. This should be a great matchup, but ultimately, Drew Brees has been a much more stable option than Justin Herbert, making the Saints the safer pick.

The Pick: Saints

Washington Football Team (14) at Tennessee Titans (11)

Past Madden 21 Matchups: The teams split two earlier matchups with the home team winning each game

Washington knocked off the No. 3 overall seed, beating the Buffalo Bills in Round 2, and the Titans upset the Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson. The Football Team has a strong defense and solid running game, but their passing game has struggled under Dwayne Haskins Jr. The Titans’ defense isn’t as strong, but they have a more balanced offense and Superstar X-factor Derrick Henry. In the end, Henry should be the difference and get enough done to get Tennessee the win at home.

The Pick: Titans

Miami Dolphins (15) at Seattle Seahawks (10)

Past Madden 21 Matchups: The teams have not met

The Dolphins pulled off the biggest shocker of Round 2 in Friday night’s final game, when they took down the Chiefs, 24-6. Now they’ll head on the road to Seattle to take on Russell Wilson and the hard-hitting Seattle defense. Matt Breida had a great game against Kansas City and rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa was solid as well. However, Tua has been inconsistent overall in these sims and has a tendency to be turnover-prone, which is a recipe for disaster against the Seahawks, who have recovered far more fumbles than any other defense in Madden 21.

The Pick: Seahawks

Which of the listed teams will score the most points in Round 3?

Which of the listed teams will score the fewest points in Round 3?

The four teams listed for these two props are the Saints, Rams, Bucs and Chargers. For both these props, the easiest way to think about them is to correlate your choices to your picks to win and lose their individual matchups. Given the performances so far in Madden 21, the Rams-Bucs will likely be the lower scoring of the two games, so the loser of that game is probably the right pick for the fewest points.

The Picks: Saints for most points, Bucs for fewest points

Which team will win it all?

The Bracket Tourney Championship is wide open after last night’s shocking upset of the Chiefs. The Chiefs and Bills are two of the options for this pick since they were eliminated after the pool was created. The Bucs are the clear favorite based on seeding, but they barely escaped the Raiders, and I think they’ll lose to the Rams in this round. After a chalk-filled Round 1, Round 2 brought plenty of upsets, and as a result, the “Any Other Team” option is now guaranteed to have one team in the Championship since the whole right side of the bracket fits into that category. You get the Seahawks, Titans, Dolphins, Chargers and Washington with that pick.

The Pick: Any Other Team

Make your picks for the Free $5K Simulated Football Bracket Tournament Round 3 at the DraftKings Sportsbook Pool page!

Fantasy Football Targets

Here’s a quick look at my picks for Thursday’s featured classic slate, which locks at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $8K Bracket Challenge Special [$2K to 1st]


Stud: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. Miami Dolphins, $7,300 — Wilson has over 17 DKFP in five straight sims and comes with the highest ceiling of any player on the slate due to his dual-threat production. The Dolphins have struggled with mobile QBs, so this is a great spot for Russ.

Value: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins at Seattle Seahawks, $6,000 — I worry about turnover issues, but if the Dolphins have to play from behind he may have to air it out. Tua has over 290 passing yards in four straight sims after finishing with 298 passing yards and 15.92 DKFP against the Chiefs.


Stud: Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. Washington Football Team, $7,900 — Henry has 60 touchdowns in 68 sims with at least one touchdown in four straight. He had 15.2 and 21.4 DKFP in his two earlier games against Washington.

Value: Carlos Hyde, Seattle Seahawks, $4,200 — The Seahawks’ power back posted 15.9 and 15.5 DKFP in his two games in the Bracket Tourney and is involved as a pass-catcher, averaging 2.7 receptions per game in addition to his short-yardage work.


Stud: Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans vs. Washington Football Team, $6,100 — Davis has three touchdowns in his past four games and posted 28.0 DKFP with a rushing and receiving touchdown in the Titans’ 24-14 upset of the Ravens in Round 2.

Value: Jakeem Grant, Miami Dolphins at Seattle Seahawks, $4,000 — The Dolphins’ WR3 had two touchdowns against the Patriots and another against the Chiefs to produce 21.5 and 11.0 DKFP in his first two games in the tourney. The Seahawks have had struggles with fast WR3s in other matchups, so Grant is again a great value at $4K.


Stud: Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans vs. Washington Football Team, $4,900 — TEs have fared well against Washington, including Smith who had five catches, 63 yards and 11.3 DKFP in their previous meeting. He was quiet against Baltimore but had 22.1 DKFP in Round 1.

Value: Greg Olsen, Seattle Seahawks vs. Miami Dolphins, $4,400 — Olsen is reliably involved with at least four catches in seven of his past eight sims and an average of 4.9 catches over that span.


Seahawks DST vs. Miami Dolphins, $2,900 — The Seahawks have recovered 48 fumbles in 68 sims and turned their 66 takeaways into 11 defensive touchdowns to go with 144 sacks. They’re surprisingly affordable and offer the highest ceiling of any DST on the slate.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $8K Bracket Challenge Special [$2K to 1st]

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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.