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 Cardinals vs. Bills on Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. 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.
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The settings for this and all other Madden games are as follows:
Game Style: Arcade
Event Type: Exhibition
Even Teams: Off
Quarter Length: 8 minutes
Accelerated Clock: On
Play Clock: 20 seconds
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
CardinalsKyler Murray ($10,600) has been disappointing in the sims, as his combination of skills should lead to more big plays. The only time he’s cracked 20 DKFP, he scored a pair of rushing touchdowns — his only scores on the ground in all 11 of his sims. To make matters worse, Murray’s thrown one touchdown pass in his five road sims combined. Unfortunately, the lack of upside on Arizona’s offense leaves Murray’s floor as one of the safer targets.
Larry Fitzgerald ($9,600) is the safest of the Cardinals’ skill players. He finally showed a high upside game, posting a 7-75-2 line for 26.5 DKFP against the Panthers. But that was also his only double-digit fantasy output in his past six sims, and the Bills are a much tougher matchup.
I’d probably lean toward Christian Kirk ($6,600) over Fitz, just because we’re looking for the one big play here. Kirk’s speed and matchup suggests he likely has the better chance of catching a deep ball for a score, not to mention $3,000 in savings.
Damiere Byrd ($4,800) is the fastest player on the field, which makes him must-play in my mind. He’s shown the highest upside of the entire WR group, going for 3-151-2 (33.1 DKFP) against Tampa, and has actually been the more consistent play in recent sims — going for over 70 yards and double-digit DKFP in consecutive outings.
The former Bill Charles Clay ($7,000) is a consideration, but this is a slate where we might need to pay up for both QBs. Savings on players like Byrd helps, but paying significantly more for a TE that isn’t much of a playmaker doesn’t seem to make sense.
Kenyan Drake ($8,800) has been a massive disappointment in these sims. He hasn’t reached double figures in any of his 11 sims, so there’s not even a debate here. Until Drake proves he has any upside, he’s an automatic fade.
Part of the reason Drake has yet to breakout is because he does yield snaps to David Johnson ($2,800). While his floor is low as a backup, Johnson has far more upside than any play this cheap. He’s had five sims of over 10 DKFP, including over 27 DKFP in his past two sims, thanks to nine receptions. I’d keep exploring the cheap upside.
BillsJosh Allen ($10,800) has been pretty brutal through the air, but four of his six passing touchdowns have come in sims at home. He’s saved himself by rushing for six more touchdowns, including two in his last sim — 28.84 DKFP against the Broncos. With Arizona having the much worse defense, it’s tough not to roster Allen on this slate, even with all his imperfections.
John Brown ($9,800) has been a bust in the sims, unable to shake free for any deep balls. He has a tough one-on-one matchup against Patrick Peterson, and Allen’s accuracy really hurts him. I’ll fade for this price.
Cole Beasley ($7,800) is probably too expensive, but a little bit more intriguing than Brown, just because he runs short routes. This allows Allen a higher chance to actually get him the ball.
But just like on the Arizona side, if I’m rostering one WR, the WR3 makes for the best deal. Robert Foster ($4,400) has similar speed, and Allen’s 99 arm strength allows him to target Foster on deep routes. I’ll pay down and target that on big slate-breaking play from Allen to Foster.
If I want to pay for a mid-priced Bills target, it’s Tyler Kroft ($6,200). Kroft has been more involved than Beasley, but you get a little bit of savings. They’re very similar plays, but Kroft’s 8.1 DKFP average is pretty true to what you can expect from him out of each sim. I like the safety here on what could be a very low-scoring slate.
Devin Singletary ($8,400) would be a lot more valuable if the timeless Frank Gore ($3,200) wasn’t poaching touchdowns from him. Gore is still a fade for me when you have DJ on the other side racking up receptions for much cheaper, but Singletary could just fall into our laps on this slate. There aren’t all that many spend up spots, and Singletary has scored at least 8.0 DKFP in his last five sims, with 20-plus upside. The matchup against the Cardinals should also help.
THE OUTCOMEFinal Score: Cardinals 13, Bills 17
If you scroll back through the previous sims, these have been two of the most offensively challenged teams. Unless something changes, this one should stay low scoring. Playing kickers or D/STs have to be considered, especially without an elite RB1 or WR1 option to pay up for on either side. While both Kyler Murray ($15,900 CP) and Josh Allen ($16,200 CP) average less than 14.5 DKFP, I think we’re picking between captaining one of them.
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.