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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for May 21

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.

It’s a fabulous Friday night for fantasy football with another full slate of Madden 21 sims on the DraftKings Dream Stream. The featured three-game classic slate kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET when the Cleveland Browns visit the Detroit Lions. The 8:00 p.m. ET primetime matchup is an NFC South battle between the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers, and we close out the night with a duel of dynamic QBs as the Houston Texans head to the virtual Pacific Northwest to face the Seattle Seahawks.

Be sure to check out the Free $5K Simulated Pro Football Season Pool for the new Madden season, which starts next Monday. The new season will continue to use the rosters and ratings from Week 1 while following the upcoming 2021 NFL schedule. Check out all the gameplay details on the Madden Streams Information Page and dive into the full depth chart for each team. My favorite fantasy plays for today’s slate are listed below.



Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. Houston Texans, $7,400 — Wilson has over 18 DKFP in four straight contests and gets a great matchup against Houston’s lowly-rated defense. He put up 25.14, 30.3 and 15.72 DKFP in his previous three matchups with the Texans and is averaging a solid 21.5 DKFP overall on 188.1 passing yards and 59.4 rushing yards per sim. Since Deshaun Watson ($7,300) has to deal with the Seahawks’ hard-hitting defense, I think Russ is definitely the way to go if you spend up for a stud QB in the late game.

Other Option — Deshaun Watson ($7,300)


Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions, $6,700 — Mayfield also gets a favorable matchup on this slate against the Lions, although he hasn’t had huge numbers against them in their past Madden 21 meetings. He still brings plenty of upside, though, since he’s producing a solid 228.1 passing yards per sim and has thrown 116 touchdowns in 76 contests. Mayfield has multiple touchdowns in five straight sims coming into this matchup with over 17 DKFP in each game and an average of 22.9 DKFP during that stretch.

Other Option — Matthew Stafford ($5,900)

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Running Back


Todd Gurley II, Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers, $7,300 — The Panthers and Falcons have met five times in these Madden 21 sims and Gurley has produced over 19 DKFP in three of those matchups, averaging 18.7 DKFP per sim. That production is on par with his 18.1 DKFP per sim overall, on 55.2 rushing yards, 38.4 receiving yards and 4.6 catches per contest. His involvement as a receiver gives him an even higher ceiling and also minimizes the risk of a bust.

Other Option — Christian McCaffrey ($7,900)


D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions vs. Cleveland Browns, $4,700 — Swift is still in a timeshare as the Lions’ third-down back but has been consistent enough to be worth considering under $5K. He had 10.1 and 7.5 DKFP in his two earlier contests with the Browns and has over 9.0 DKFP in eight of his past 12 overall. Swift averages 3.7 catches for 25.4 yards per sim and has found the end zone 16 times in 75 contests.

Other Option — Kareem Hunt ($5,000), Carlos Hyde ($4,100)

Wide Receiver


Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers, $7,500 — Jones has been one of the best WR in Madden 21 and is averaging 18.9 DKFP per sim, which is over 4.0 DKFP more than any other WR on this slate. Jones has five touchdowns in his three most recent matchups and a total of 54 in his 78 Madden 21 sims. He posted 20.1, 26.9, 29.0, 20.5 and 22.0 DKFP in his five earlier matchups with the Panthers, and it’s obvious no one in Carolina’s secondary has high enough ratings to keep up with Jones.

Other Options — Odell Beckham Jr. ($6,600), DK Metcalf ($5,900)


Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions vs. Cleveland Browns, $4,800 — Golladay didn’t have a single catch in his most recent sim, but he typically is fairly productive as the Lions’ WR1. He should be able to bounce back with a big game especially since he had seven catches, a touchdown and 20.7 DKFP in his most recent matchup with the Browns and has totaled 37 scores in 74 sims while averaging 4.1 catches for 58.6 yards per sim.

Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers, $4,200 — In his most recent sim, Gage wasn’t quite shut out, but his yardage total actually would have been better if he had been. He finished with one catch for -2 yards just one game after going off for eight catches, 101 yards and 27.1 DKFP. Like Golladay, I expect Gage to bounce back in this contest, especially since he had double-digit DKFP in three of his five past matchups with Carolina.

Other Options — DJ Moore ($5,200), Danny Amendola ($4,600), Tyler Lockett ($4,400)

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Tight End


T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions vs. Cleveland Browns, $5,400 — Hockenson gets a good matchup against the Browns on this slate, after posting 23.1 DKFP in one of his two earlier contests against Cleveland. Overall, he’s averaging 12.7 DKFP on 5.0 catches for 54.5 yards per sim and also comes in with over 9.5 DKFP in six straight contests and an average of 14.0 DKFP over that span.

Other Option — Hayden Hurst ($5,000)


Darren Fells, Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks, $3,800 — Fells is my favorite player available under $4K at any position on this slate. He is a very reliable PPR contributor and had 10.7 and 26.2 DKFP in two of his earlier contests against Seattle. He is averaging a robust 4.1 catches for 42.2 yards per contest and has been the Texans’ most reliably involved pass-catcher.

Other Options — Austin Hooper ($4,500)



Seahawks DST vs. Houston Texans, $3,100 — The matchup sets up beautifully for the Seahawks, who have recovered 62 fumbles in 82 sims as part of their 82 takeaways, 167 sacks and 12 defensive touchdowns. On this slate, they’ll face the fumble-prone Watson, who they posted 10.0, 5.0 and 26.0 DKFP against in their past meetings.


Browns DST at Detroit Lions, $2,500 — The Seahawks are the strongest defensive play, but if you’re pivoting off them, it makes sense to save all the salary you can and dive all the way down to the Browns, who have a favorable matchup against the inconsistent Lions. The Browns had 9.0 and 4.0 DKFP with a total of five sacks and three takeaways in their two earlier games against Detroit.

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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.