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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Strategy for Falcons vs. Bills Showdown July 9

Zach Thompson gives his top lineup advice for Friday night’s Showdown contest, which starts at 10:00 p.m. ET.

The American Ultimate Disc League is back on the DraftKings Dream Stream this Friday night with a matchup between the Philadelphia Phoenix and the New York Empire. As a result, the Madden 21 sim schedule will be reduced from the regular schedule of six contests to just four games. After the AUDL game, we’ll close out the Dream Stream day with a 10:00 p.m. ET sim between the Atlanta Falcons and the Buffalo Bills, which is the featured showdown contest of the night. Atlanta just slipped out of first place in the NFC South, getting passed by the surging New Orleans Saints. However, the Falcons can pull back even with New Orleans if they win this game. It will be a tough matchup vs. the Buffalo Bills, who are 7-8 and still have a shot at a Wild Card if they can get a win here to improve to .500 going into the final week of the simulated season.

You can check out the full standings for the ongoing simulated season and find gameplay details and upcoming matchups on the Madden Streams Information Page. As you fill out your roster, make sure you also take a look at the depth charts for each team.

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Captain’s Picks

Todd Gurley II ($14,100 CP) — While he ultimately showed he didn’t have much left in the tank during the real-life season, Gurley is still a force in the Week 1 ratings used for these sims. He is an 86 overall rating by these ratings, although he dropped to a 78 overall rating by the end of the year. He is the third-down back and the RB1 for the Falcons, so he usually gets a ton of work. In his 97 Madden 21 sims, he has averaged 55.2 rushing yards, 4.6 catches and 37.8 receiving yards per sim while scoring a total of 58 touchdowns.

The Bills have been generous to opposing RBs throughout Madden 21, and Gurley had 29.1, 20.9 and 31.7 DKFP in his three previous contests vs. Buffalo. He had at least four catches in each of those sims and will likely pile up receptions again in this rematch since the Bills have great cornerbacks and force teams to focus on non-WR pass-catchers.

Josh Allen ($16,200 CP) — The Bills’ offense is almost all Allen, who carries a huge portion of the workload in both the running and passing game. He had a miserable 4.52 DKFP vs. the Patriots in his most recent sim, but he should be able to bounce back vs. the Falcons, who he posted 22.1, 18.68 and 19.5 DKFP against in three previous matchups. Allen had over 17 DKFP in seven of his previous eight sims before that disaster in New England, and he should be back to his usual level of production in this contest at home. He has totaled 139 touchdowns in 94 sims while averaging 19.3 DKFP per contest.

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Value Plays

Hayden Hurst ($7,000) — Another Falcons pass-catcher who should be in line for more work if they go away from their WRs is Hurst, who is the team’s TE1 and usually gets plenty of receptions. He has averaged 4.4 catches for 48.8 yards per sim, and he had five catches, two touchdowns and 21 DKFP in his most recent matchup vs. the Bills, giving him over 15 DKFP in each of his three matchups vs. Buffalo. Hurst has been held under 8 DKFP in five straight, but this matchup should be a good bounce-back spot for him.

Devin Singletary ($7,800) — “The Motor” has been revving things up lately for the Bills with over 8 DKFP in seven of his past nine contests. He showed off his high ceiling with 29.9 DKFP vs. the Bucs and 30.0 DKFP vs. the Dolphins during that span and had 12.9 DKFP vs. the Patriots in his most recent sim. Singletary is the RB1 and the third-down back, so he usually gets enough work to be a solid value option under $8K.


Julio Jones ($10,200) — Jones has been the second-best WR in all of Madden 21, but he’s very highly priced and very high-risk in this specific matchup. He’ll likely be matched up against X-factor Superstar CB Tre’Davious White. He was held to just two catches and 6.7 DKFP in his most recent matchup vs. the Bills after posting 6.5 DKFP in his earlier matchup vs. the Bills. He did go off for a huge 35.8-DKFP game in his other matchup vs. Buffalo early in Madden 21, but the two down games show how boom-or-bust he can be when matched up against an elite cover corner. With Gurley and Hurst in much more favorable matchups, the Falcons could tilt their game script to trend away from Jones, and WR2 Calvin Ridley ($8,800) could continue to carve into Jones’ workload as he has in recent contests.

The Outcome

The Bills’ entire offense relies on Allen, and even if he has a good game, he probably can’t overcome the Falcons’ strong, multi-faceted attack. I expect Gurley to put together enough production as both rusher and receiver to overcome the Bills’ defense. Atlanta won on the road in Buffalo, 35-17, in their one earlier contest in virtual Orchard Park, and I expect a similar result in this contest as the Falcons push to the playoffs.

Final Score: Atlanta 31, Buffalo 21

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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.