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 Dolphins and Buccaneers game that’ll take place at 12 p.m. ET Friday 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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Miami DolphinsIf you’re looking for mid-tier value options in a Showdown slate, the Dolphins are the roster for you, as only two of the squad’s players are priced above $8K. Unfortunately, Miami doesn’t exactly have a history of high-scoring games. Even with a defense that could be considered underwhelming at best, most simulations involving the Dolphins are pretty boring from an offensive perspective. In fact, in Miami’s past eight streams, the two teams have combined for an average of 30.8 points per contest. Now, that doesn’t mean as much in a single-game setting as it would on a Classic slate; yet that specific script should affect that way you feel about touchdown-or-bust type assets. People like DeVante Parker ($9,600).
The recipe for a successful Parker performance is quite simple. In the past four games where he’s caught a touchdown, the former first-round pick has averaged 19.5 DKFP. However, the more important piece of information might be that Parker’s only actually managed to get into the end zone four times in the Dolphins’ last 12 simulations and, in the games where he’s unable to score, he’s mustered a measly 6.1 DKFP. Don’t get me wrong, I think the wideout is definitely deserving of being Miami’s top player by overall rating; but when it comes to viability, I’d rather take my chances with Mike Gesicki ($7,200), Albert Wilson ($5,200) or Jakeem Grant ($4,600). Though, it should be noted that the latter is slightly more expensive than usual, despite having been held to a single reception in each of his past three contests.
That pretty much covers all of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s ($10,400) targets, however, one final player to ponder in that particular grouping is Patrick Laird ($1,000). In a nutshell, Laird is one of the more peculiar assets in all of Madden. In a vacuum, his role as both the Dolphins’ pass-catching back and goal-line back is enticing; but, at the same time, his status on a low-scoring team limits the excitement one is able to generate. Still, he’s averaging more DKFP per stream than “starting” RB Kalen Ballage ($6,400) and people don’t get cheaper than Laird’s minimum salary on Friday’s slate. If your strategy is to pay-up for all the expensive Buccaneers, Laird can certainly be a way to create some cap room in a FLEX spot.
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Tampa Bay BuccaneersVirtual Jameis Winston ($10,800), much like real-life Jameis Winston, is not very consistent. After throwing for a combined 722 yards and seven touchdowns against the likes of Washington and Cincinnati; Winston’s had three-straight underwhelming performances for Tampa Bay, culminating in just 7.3 DKFP in an embarrassing blowout loss versus Kansas City his last time out. Still, no one on Miami possesses the sort of upside that Winston can bring to the table and that makes him a powerful asset on this Showdown slate. I mean, the aforementioned Fitzpatrick – once in a QB competition with Winston – hasn’t exceeded 250 passing yards or 17.0 DKFP even once in his past eight starts. Between the two, I’m putting the Florida State product into my lineup 99 times out of 100.
As for Winston’s receivers, the hierarchy appears to be pretty clear. Mike Evans ($10,200) doesn’t always bring back value, but he does lead the team in receptions (66) and receiving yards (1,003), making him the obvious No. 1 option and a DFS asset whose ceiling usually meshes with his quarterback’s. After that, it’s sort of a toss-up between O.J. Howard ($8,200) and Breshad Perriman ($4,800) for the second-most viable target, as Chris Godwin ($8,800) has been disappointing more often than not. For me, I think Perriman is the more appealing fantasy play, with his team-leading 95 speed usually generating some big moments. To wit, the wideout is averaging an eye-popping 20.5 yards per catch through 13 games. So, while Howard might have a slight advantage when it comes to volume, Perriman has the edge in efficiency and price.
Finally, let’s talk about one of the more complex backfields in all of Madden. Though three-back committees are becoming almost the standard in real-life football, it’s a rare sight in these streams to have a trio of RBs all receiving work. However, that’s the situation we have with Tampa Bay. Ronald Jones ($7,800), Peyton Barber ($3,000) and Dare Ogunbowale ($1,600) all see a few snaps during the course of a Buccaneers game, yet that doesn’t make any of the three a decent fantasy option. I mean, Jones can’t even be credibly considered a variance play, as a peak performance from the sophomore would involve scoring a touchdown, but Barber’s often there to vulture those exact opportunities. Honestly, you’d be better off avoiding all three.
THE OUTCOMEIn a contest like this, where touchdowns might be at a premium, I’m usually inclined to limit my risk at the Captain’s spot. On this particular slate, that means running with Jameis Winston ($16,200 CP). Yes, it’s a hefty price to pay for an inconsistent asset; however, at the end of the day, no one possesses more upside than the pivot. Heck, he’s even accounted for three rushing touchdowns in these streams. Stack Winston with Mike Evans and Breshad Perriman, find value with Miami and call it a day.
Final Score: Tampa Bay 20, Miami 13
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.