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 Steelers game that’ll take place at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday evening. 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.
Set your free to play lineups here: Madden Stream $1K FREE Contest (DET vs PIT)
Madden Stream: Lions at Steelers
LIVE at 10 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
For all info on settings and upcoming games, click HERE
Note: This game will be played with snow.
Detroit LionsAs of late, Matt Stafford ($11,000) hasn’t been performing as well as he was. His DKFP average has dropped down to 15, which among these two teams, is still the second-best in this game. Nonetheless, he’s averaging just 13.4 DKFP over his last five games. Now he’ll be dealing with snow in this game and it doesn’t exactly make me all excited to use him. His decline in recent performance coupled with the bad weather doesn’t exactly scream a quarterback game, in my opinion.
It does make using these receivers tough as well but we can’t just roster every running back on the depth chart. The one I’ll be looking toward first is Marvin Jones Jr. ($7,600), who is listed as the WR2. He’s been all over the map in terms of his production but his nine touchdowns blows the WR1 in Kenny Golladay ($10,200) out of the water. Golladay only has three to his credit and if anything, Golladay hasn’t exactly been fed like a true WR1. Jones is averaging four receptions and 47.7 receiving yards per game. It’s hard to nail down what kind of day you’ll get out of Jones but his salary makes it a lot more sustainable over spending $2,600 more for Golladay. T.J. Hockenson ($6,400) is one of the cheaper TE1 you’ll see but his production mirrors the cheap salary. We’ve seen him post under double-digit fantasy points in nine games of their 15 games but he has scored five times. He’s a bit hard to justify using when Vance McDonald ($6,800) is just $400 more and has been beasting these simulations as of late. Danny Amendola ($4,800) has been good relative to his salary and is averaging 8.5 DKFP entering this game. He isn’t going to post huge numbers but he’s averaging just under three receptions per game and is a cheap way to save some salary.
One of the more intriguing players comes in the form of RB2 J.D. McKissic ($2,600). He’s the pass-catching back for the Lions and is averaging 6.0 DKFP per game. His reception average is just under two, which isn’t great, but this sets up as a potentially good game for him with the elements. We’ve seen him catch at least three passes in five games thus far, so he’s certainly capable of doing so today. Kerryon Johnson ($9,000) is just too expensive for me, especially with seven receptions through 15 games. He’s not getting anything on the ground either with 28 yards per game and only four touchdowns.
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Pittsburgh SteelersBen Roethlisberger ($10,800)is the most expensive player in this game. He’s been a touchdown machine with 34 through 15 games but he’s also thrown seven interceptions. Nonetheless, he’s averaging 17.6 DKFP with 220 passing yards. The elements aren’t going to help much but he’s been much more effective in spreading the ball around than Stafford. He’s only been under double-digit fantasy points in two of his 15 games, making him one of the most consistent quarterbacks. I would use him over Stafford if the salary allows it but again, I don’t deem it necessary to lock either in at this position.
The Steelers receivers have benefited immensely from how well Roethlisberger has played and they’re almost all lumped together in terms of their average DKFP. His WR1 in JuJu Smith-Schuster ($10,000) tops that list with 14.7 DKFP, 4.6 receptions and 55.7 receiving yards per game. He’s reached double-digits in touchdowns, earning that mark in a 22.7 DKFP performance against the Redskins. He’s scored in three-straight games now, giving him four in that span. He’s a tough fade even at his high salary. If you can’t afford him, as I mentioned, McDonald has been a force himself, averaging 13.6 DKFP and a $3,200 discount from JuJu. McDonald is up there with his touchdowns as well with eight, which combined with JuJu, accounts for 52% of the touchdowns thrown by Roethlisberger. As we move down the WR depth chart, the WR2 in James Washington ($5,600) has 10 touchdowns of his own to go with 12 DKFP and 48 yards per game. Don’t let his overall rating of 77 fool you, as he has sneaky speed at a 90 rating. Finally, one of the better values belongs to Dionte Johnson ($3,400), who’s salary refuses to budge despite posting some solid numbers. Getting anyone averaging double-digit fantasy points at this price range is hard to pass up. His speed is slightly better than Washington at 91, so you aren’t sacrificing at that either.
Just like Johnson, James Conner ($8,400) is a really tough sell for me with how expensive he is. He’s getting some decent yardage on the ground, averaging 47.1 per game but he’s not catching and has only scored twice. Thus, his DKFP average is only 6.1 DKFP. So, would you rather pay for that or save or go all the way down to Jaylen Samuels ($1,000), who is averaging 5.5 DKFP? We’ve seen Samuels produce next to nothing at times but he doesn’t have to do much to pay off that microscopic salary. He hasn’t scored as of yet but it only takes a couple of receptions to put you in a good position.
THE OUTCOMEThis is one of those rare games where I’m not looking to take a quarterback at the captain spot. We have a lot of risk in this game with the snow. I still think it’s worth using a receiver and this game offers nothing but value options to do so. Players like Marvin Jones ($11,400) or JuJu Smith-Schuster ($15,000) are fine but I think we can go lower. James Washington ($8,400) and Dionte Johnson ($5,100) are two of my favorites to consider.
Final Score: Steelers 20, Lions 14
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.