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 Chargers and Broncos game that’ll take place at 4 p.m. ET 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.
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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: This game will be played with snow.
Los Angeles ChargersPhilip Rivers ($11,000) is the most expensive player in the pool for this game and it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Madden doesn’t seem to care about his age, as Rivers has been performing like a young chap, averaging 19.1 DKFP, 246 passing yards and a stellar 30:3 TD:INT ratio. With so many weapons at his disposal, it’s no surprise to see Rivers perform as well as he has. Rivers is an overall 84 rating with an 88 awareness but has certainly played better than his ratings indicate. If you’re paying for a quarterback in this game, Rivers is your guy.
When Rivers has been airing the ball out, it’s been specifically going to two players, who have nearly equal production, the WR2 in Mike Williams ($6,800) and the WR1 in Keenan Allen ($10,000). Williams, to me, is such an incredible value for the production he’s been churning out. He has a slightly better DKFP average than Allen at 19.6, which by the way, is the highest in this game, with 4.7 receptions, 75.8 receiving yards and 13, yes 13 (!) touchdowns. He’s now scored in four straight games and looking to make it five this afternoon. Let’s not take away from the production Allen has been turning in either, averaging 19 DKFP, 5.5 receptions and 80.2 yards with 11 touchdowns. Quite frankly you can stack both with Rivers and likely call it a day with the Chargers. TE1 Hunter Henry ($7,600) has the next highest DKFP average on the team and it falls all the way down to 8.1. He’s too expensive for my taste for just 3.3 receptions, 40.4 yards and only three touchdowns through 14 games. Likewise, Travis Benjamin ($5,000) also feels expensive as the WR3 for only 2.2 receptions and 33 yards per game. Benjamin has the speed with a 92 rating, he just hasn’t really had the chance to show it off.
Melvin Gordon ($8,400) has been a total bust for how high is salary is. Unfortunately, it jumped up $1,800 since the Chargers last played thanks to a 101 yard game from Gordon. He scored just his second touchdown in that game as well and the big 19.1 DKFP performance bumped his overall average up to…..6.9 DKFP. There is nothing nice about that average and he’s simply way too expensive to use. You’re better off going with the pass-catching Austin Ekeler ($3,000), who is averaging 2.5 receptions per game and a combined 33.6 yards per game.
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Denver BroncosDrew Lock ($10,400) has been “good enough” as of late, averaging 16.6 DKFP over his last five games. It sounds great but it’s heavily weighted by two games where he scored 36 and 19 DKFP respectively. The other three, he averaged just 9.5 DKFP. His arsenal of weapons simply doesn’t compare to what the Chargers are running out, as it’s mainly been Courtland Sutton ($9,400) and then the rest of the crew. Rivers is by far my choice at quarterback but you would get locked in at lower ownership.
As I mentioned, Sutton has essentially been the Broncos offense, averaging 15.5 DKFP, 3.8 receptions, 67.2 yards and 11 touchdowns scored. The odd part is, he’s busted quite a few times, which is concerning because of how high his salary is. Being as close in salary as he is to Allen, he wouldn’t be my first choice but again, you’re gaining lower ownership because of that. Next in line has been Noah Fant ($5,800), who is a great pivot off Henry. Fant has been much more involved than Henry and has five touchdowns and an average of 11.4 DKFP to his credit. While people may flock to Henry because he has a much higher overall rating of 87 over the 75 of Fant, it’s been the opposite in terms of on-field production. The Broncos aren’t exactly full of speed but you’ll get that with Tim Patrick ($4,800), who provides a nice value. He’s averaging 8.9 DKFP but has only found the end zone three times. The Broncos are a tough team to load up on for receivers but Patrick can help you offset the price of Rivers and Allen. Finally, Daesean Hamilton ($5,600) has surprisingly scored five times through 13 games in these simulations but being a bit more expensive than Patrick has me looking at the latter.
Phillip Lindsay ($9,000) has been turning his sim season around as of late and is coming off his best game thus far, scoring 41.1 DKFP against the Lions with 129 rushing yards, three touchdowns and three receptions for 42 yards. It’s the third time we’ve seen him go over 25 DKFP. The only issue here, is that the Chargers have a fairly good run defense, so that is obviously a bit of a concern, especially with how expensive he is.
THE OUTCOMEThis is totally a game to captain the Chargers. My two favorite options are, naturally, Philip Rivers ($16,500) and Mike Williams ($10,200). I think Williams is a bit more enticing because of how productive he’s been and how much he reaches the end zone so often. If you’re thinking Rivers is going to spread the ball around, which is very possible, then he would also make for a very strong captain.
Final Score: Chargers 27, Broncos 17
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) 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.