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 Lions and Buccaneers game that’ll take place at 2 p.m. ET Saturday 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: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
LionsMatthew Stafford ($11,000) enters this game as the second-most expensive player, averaging 15.4 DKFP, 218 passing yards with a 22:2 TD:INT ratio. He’s coming off a game in which he tossed three touchdowns and 235 passing yards, good for 21.2 DKFP. He has the higher overall rating compared to Jameis Winston ($10,600) with a 82 over Winston’s 78. With how poor the Bucs’ secondary is, I have no problem using Stafford in this sim.
Stafford has done well in spreading the ball around, as the majority of his receivers are the same in terms of DKFP per game. The WR2, Marvin Jones Jr ($7,200), has the highest DKFP average at 13.1, to go with 4.1 receptions and 51.4 yards per game. He has been the go-to option in the red zone with eight touchdowns scored. For reference, the TE1, T.J. Hockenson ($6,400) is second on the team with five. As for Hockenson, he has the highest reception per game average at 4.5 to go with 53.2 yards and 12.3 DKFP per game. These two are my top receivers to take amongst the group.
Kenny Golladay ($9,400) simply hasn’t been performing to how he’s priced and has scored no more than 9.1 DKFP in three straight games. Despite being the WR1, he’s only averaging 3.6 receptions per game and has only scored three times. With the high-priced receivers on the Bucs to choose from, Golladay doesn’t seem like an option to pay up for. Danny Amendola ($5,000) is down on the depth chart but is a decent mid-tier option, averaging 7.7 DKFP of his own.
I have zero interest in the running game for the Lions, especially with Kerryon Johnson ($7,800) being non-existent catching passes out of the backfield and only averaging 25.8 rushing yards per game. He’s scored four times but I’m not paying up that much to hope he reaches the end zone. J.D. McKissic ($2,400) is much more active in the passing game and has the ability to earn you some cheap PPR points.
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BuccaneersWinston ($10,600) by far has the highest DKFP average in this game at 20.3. Stafford has the second-highest and he’s at 15.4. Winston has simply been a machine in these simulations, throwing an average of 260 passing yards with a 24:7 TD:INT ratio. In his last 10 games, he’s thrown two touchdowns in eight contests and even had five against the Bengals. Thus, he has to be one of the best captain options to choose from in this game. If I can, I’d love to use both quarterbacks but if you have to choose between them, Winston is by far the superior option, even with a lower rating in this game.
The distribution of his pass attempts has been heavily weighted toward Mike Evans ($10,200), who is averaging 15.2 DKFP, 4.3 receptions and 68.6 receiving yards per game. His seven touchdowns are the most on the team, and he has scored three times over the past two games. Amongst offensive players, Evans also has the highest overall rating of 92 in this game while the WR2, Chris Godwin ($8,600) has the second-highest at 87. Other than the difference in their overall rating, Godwin is more closely rated to Evans than you may think and is even a tick higher in speed at 91. Still, he’s averaging 11 DKFP, which is a bit of a drop from Evans. O.J. Howard ($6,600) brings some nice value as the TE1 with his 11 DKFP average. He and Godwin are both averaging 3.5 receptions per game and would draw softer coverage than Evans will against Darius Slay Jr. Nonetheless, a path can be made to stack all of these guys with Winston at captain, soaking up all the potential scoring in this game. If you’re finding yourself needing to save some salary, don’t let the speedy Breshad Perriman ($4,400) sneak past you. His 95 speed is not only the best in this game but his 12.2 DKFP average is better than both Godwin and Howard.
As I am with the Lions, I’m not going to bother taking any of the running backs on the Bucs side either. Ronald Jones ($6,800) is more appropriately priced than Johnson but I’m still not going out of my way for a 6.8 DKFP average RB1. Jones only has nine catches in 13 games while averaging just 38.6 yards on the ground. Dare Ogunbowale ($1,400) would be the pass-catcher you’d want to target for running backs on the Bucs, as he has 21 through 13 games.
THE OUTCOMEAs I’ve mentioned, Winston ($15,900 CP) would be my captain of choice as he spreads the ball around well and has a lot of weapons at his disposal. If you’re looking to potentially jam in both quarterbacks, I really like going with Perriman ($6,600 CP) at the captain spot. He has busted out some really strong games before and with his speed, could really be a big difference-maker in your lineup.
Final Score: Lions 21, Buccaneers 27
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.