We’re all in need of some entertainment during these times of the unknown. DraftKings is doing their part by offering Madden simulations with a variety of teams going at it. For this piece, we’ll focus on the Cardinals-Browns game that will take place at 6 p.m. ET Saturday. 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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Madden Stream: Cardinals at Browns
LIVE at 6 p.m. ET
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
EDITOR’S NOTE: Madden Streams have been updated to 8-minute quarters as of Apr. 14.
For all info on settings and upcoming games, click HERE
How does Simulated Football work?DraftKings is running live Madden Streams, CPU vs CPU, using Madden 20 at the scheduled time. Prior to each game, DraftKings players can draft free DFS Showdown lineups for the upcoming simulated game. Lineups will receive fantasy points for players’ performances within the Simulated Madden game.
How does Simulated Football scoring work?All lineups will receive points for the performance of their players within our simulated football games. Players will receive points in accordance with our single-game NFL Showdown Captain Mode rules and scoring. DFS points will be updated at the end of each quarter.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
Arizona CardinalsThis is a fairly tough matchup for Kyle Murray ($10,200). The Browns did struggle last season, but they were a hyped team heading into the year. They still have a good team on paper and this leads to a number of highly rated players in Madden. Murray has some upside with his feet since he has a 91 speed rating, although I don’t think we need to roster him due to his price. The Cardinals’ quarterback only has a 75 overall rating and has struggled thus far in Madden simulations. Playing behind a leaky offensive line without much talent to throw to, Murray is averaging 12.8 DKFP.
Sadly, the 12.8 DKFP average for Murray is the best on this team. The only other player averaging double-digit fantasy points is Larry Fitzgerald ($9,200). The veteran receiver is scoring 10.3 DKFP per game and finds himself in difficult matchup tonight. An 83 overall, Fitzgerald is at a disadvantage being covered by Denzel Ward, one of the top young cornerbacks in the league. Ward has an 85 overall rating and should have a good shot of shutting down Fitzgerald.
How have the running backs been producing for the Cardinals? Also, not great. Starting RB Kenyan Drake ($8,400) is only putting up 2.5 DKFP per game. His backup, and now Houston Texan, David Johnson ($2,600) has been the more productive of the two, averaging 6.7 DKFP. I favor the Browns to win this game and DJ is more involved in the passing with 18 receptions in the Cardinals’ sim games. The game script sets up for more Johnson involvement, so I think he’s a viable value play for this showdown contest.
One other value option to consider here is Damiere Byrd ($3,600). I don’t really like any of the expensive options on the Cardinals, so it makes most sense to use the cheaper plays here for value. At a cheap price, Byrd is scoring 7.6 DKFP per game and could be a common target for Murray since I expect Fitzgerald to get locked up. Since touchdowns figure to be tough for Arizona to come by, kicker Zane Gonzalez ($3,800) is another viable source of savings.
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Cleveland BrownsOdell Beckham Jr. ($15,900 CP/$10,600) has been a monster in these sim games. That was until last game. In what appeared to be a really favorable matchup against the Buccaneers, he hauled in just three catches, finishing with a meager 8.3 DKFP. The Browns’ offense was held without a point in the game. I am going to consider that outing a fluke and OBJ should bounce back against the Cardinals. Prior to the past game, he had scored at least 18 DKFP in six consecutive games and his 22.6 DKFP average is the best of all players in this game. Beckham is my favorite play in the Captain spot.
Like Beckham, Baker Mayfield ($10,800) has generally been good in simulated games. The Mayfield to Beckham connection in the video game has been along the lines of what fantasy players thought they were going to be getting out of the duo last season. In hindsight, this couldn’t have been more wrong as Mayfield regressed in his sophomore season and OBJ had one of the worst years of his career. It looks like they have a nice Madden rapport and stacking the two of them together is my favorite way to start lineup builds.
Just like with the Cardinals, I think the Browns’ second running back is a better play than the lead back. Nick Chubb ($9,800) hasn’t been awful and averages 10.2 DKFP, but his price tag is too much for me to want to pay. Rostering him is going to come with the opportunity cost of not being able to play Mayfield and Beckham. Instead, I would rather play Kareem Hunt ($3,000) who is one of the cheaper players in this contest and averages 7.9 DKFP.
One final player from the Browns who warrants consideration is Damion Ratley ($3,400). Despite a 69 overall rating, he continues to be decently productive and is a touchdown threat. Ratley has three touchdowns in the Browns’ eight simulated games and he averages 9.8 DKFP. When considering price and average production, there’s a case to be made that Ratley is the top value play in this game. He figures to be a popular play.
THE OUTCOMEI like the Browns to roll here. They have a solid ratings advantage at almost every position across the board and should be able to snap their three-game losing streak. The Cardinals have a 2-6 record in simulations, making them one of the more beatable teams in the league. It is no surprise to see that this team isn’t producing much by the way of DKFP. I think lineups should focus on the Browns’ side of the game and I wouldn’t play any of the more expensive players on Arizona.
Final Score: Browns 24, Cardinals 13
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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.