We’re all in need of some entertainment during these times of the unknown. DraftKings is doing its part by offering Madden simulations with a variety of teams going at it. For this piece, we’ll focus on the Bengals and Cowboys on Thursday afternoon. It’s important to note that Madden runs a bit different here and we have some things to consider.
First and foremost, speed is such an important factor. These players are always going to get open and can give you an edge with a player that you’d potentially look over when you consider his real-life role. We’ll get into that more in the article below. Players also have particular X-Factors, which can best be described as “power ups” that can be activated if a player completes a certain threshold. These will be put into considerations as well and will be highlighted with those particular players.
Game Style: Arcade
Event Type: Exhibition
Even Teams: Off
Quarter Length: 8 minutes
Accelerated Clock: On
Play Clock: 20 seconds
Madden Stream: Patriots at Rams
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
BengalsThe Bengals might be overmatched in this one, but Dallas’ defense could still allow the Bengals to put some points on the board. Andy Dalton ($10,400) has two sims of at least 30 DKFP, and despite coming off a pair of duds, topped 20 DKFP in his previous three. There’s upside here if you have the salary to roster both QBs.
A.J. Green ($9,800) has the potential to do a lot of damage on the outside here, but we haven’t seen him really go off yet. He has a pretty similar ceiling to Dalton, yet a much lower floor. I’ll pay the extra $600 to roster the QB.
Tyler Boyd ($7,400) has actually outperformed Green in the sims, averaging 14.2 DKFP. He has two sims over 30 DKFP, which Green is yet to do once, and provides more consistency. I’ll stack Dalton with Boyd before going to Green.
John Ross ($4,400) is the value I really want to get in my lineup for a combination of reasons. His blazing speed as the WR3 puts him in a fantastic spot against a weaker secondary like this one. Ross is a boom-or-bust play, but you’re getting a massive discount compared to Green and Boyd. Ross has the highest ceiling of the bunch as we saw with his 34 DKFP against Tampa. The Bucs have the worse secondary, but Dallas isn’t that much different.
Tyler Eifert ($6,400) kind of sits in no-man’s-land for me. While I don’t think he’s an awful play, I’d much rather take the value on Ross, or pay up a bit more for Boyd if you’re locked in on a Cincy target. And if you want a TE target, for $200 more, I prefer the play on the Dallas side, so it’ll be pretty tough for me to land on Eifert with all of those preferences. While he does have two 20-DKFP sims in his last eight, the high in the other six is just 8.7 DKFP.
Joe Mixon ($8,600) has been worth rostering in two sims, but that’s not enough to justify his price tag. The main thing you need to know here is that Gio Bernard ($2,600) sneaks onto the field for passing downs, and remains there some drives to steal Mixon’s work. Gio averages 6.9 DKFP, which is worth exploring for about a quarter of the price. Bernard’s cracked double-digit DKFP in five sims thus far. His role as a pass-catcher makes him a safe PPR play, and helps us pay up for some better plays.
CowboysDak Prescott ($10,600) is probably the most consistent play on this slate, averaging a slate-high 19 DKFP. His best sim of 39.46 DKFP came in a comparable matchup against the Giants, leaving some desirable upside here. While there isn’t much value on the Dallas side, I think the Cowboys are the plays we want to pay up for, especially given the matchup.
Amari Cooper ($10,200) is much like Green to me on this slate. Sure, he could score 20 DKFP, but he’s done it just twice, and hasn’t scored more than 6.5 DKFP in any of his last four outings. I’ll fade for a safer play.
Michael Gallup ($5,800) has somehow been worse than Cooper, yet to even reach 12 DKFP in any of his 12 sims. I’m not exactly sure what the issue has been, and maybe this is the ultimate breakout spot against an awful defense. But I just can’t trust a play that’s yet to produce in such a large sample.
Randall Cobb ($5,000) is where I will pay for a Dallas receiver, making for a reliable slot option. He averages 9.5 DKFP and has shown a high ceiling when the matchup is there. This is one of those instances where I’ll take the safe floor with a ceiling higher than we’ve seen from any WR on this roster.
As I eluded to earlier, Jason Witten ($6,600), if I target a TE (or play in this price range), I’ll look to Witten. We’ve seen him as a consistent target across the middle in this offense, and part of the upside comes with the lack of WR production from Cooper and Gallup.
I wish Ezekiel Elliott ($9,000) had been a little more dominant in the sims, but the fact is he’s just about as good a play as he’ll ever be. He’s tied for his cheapest salary on a showdown slate, and it comes in one of the softest matchups you could ask for. ‘Zeke is also an every-down back in Madden, so no Bernard-like RB2 is going to steal any snaps like we see for Cincy. All touches go through Elliott.
THE OUTCOMEFinal Score: Bengals 24, Cowboys 34
The Cowboys haven’t exactly impressed in these sims, but they have taken care of significantly lesser competition when given the chance. I think we can use some key values on the Bengals’ side of this slate, but still focus on rostering the key weapons on Dallas. By playing the likes of Bernard and Ross, we can reach on captaining one of Prescott or Elliott for $15,900 or $13,500, while still playing the other.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.