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 Panthers and Browns game that’ll take place at 4 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.
Set your free to play lineups here: Madden Stream $5K FREE Contest [5 Entry Max] (CAR vs CLE)
Madden Stream: Panthers at Browns
LIVE at 4 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
Carolina PanthersCam Newton ($10,800) is the most expensive player in this game and no one is really sure why. He’s been nothing special in these simulations at all, averaging just 13 DKFP with a putrid 184 passing yards and an 18:4 TD:INT ratio. Oh, BuT sTeVe, NeWtOn CaN rUn. Yeah, well, he’s averaging 5.5 yards per game and one rushing touchdown. So you can throw out that argument. Needless to say, he’s not a player I’m looking to spend up for at all.
With the poor play of Newton, as you’d imagine, it’s affected his receivers as well. Curtis Samuel ($5,400) has the highest overall DKFP average among the Panthers receivers at 12.6. While he’s listed as the WR2, he’s been seeing volume like a WR1. His speed, which is the best in the game at 95 among offensive players, has really been a difference-maker. Samuel is averaging 3.8 receptions, 51.7 receiving yards and has scored seven touchdowns through 15 games. The WR1 in DJ Moore ($8,600) is next for the Panthers with a DKFP average of 10. He’s been a big disappointment overall, averaging 2.8 receptions, 42.6 yards and six touchdowns. It’s not as if he’s rated poorly in this game either with an 85 overall and a 93 speed. It’s just been Samuel who has been the one producing. Greg Olsen ($8,000) is almost identical to Moore in terms of production with 2.8 receptions, 44 receiving yards but only three touchdowns. Moore has the big speed advantage of the 83 of Olsen but nothing else has really been different.
Christian McCaffrey ($10,200) is also someone that feels vastly overpriced, seeing as he’s averaging just 13.6 DKFP. Sure, he has a perfect 99 Madden rating and a 92 speed but that way he’s been playing, you’d never know it. In fact, over his last five games, McCaffrey is averaging just 9 DKFP with only one touchdown. Do you really want to spend $10,200 on that? I’m certainly not. Even worse, he’s averaging just under two receptions per game, meaning those PPR points you’d expect, simply aren’t coming.
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Cleveland BrownsI usually don’t get very excited about a Browns team but it’s hard not to like them so much more than the Panthers. Baker Mayfield ($10,600) has the second-best DKFP average in this game at 19, as he’s averaging 262 passing yards and a 29:4 TD:INT ratio. In his last three games, Mayfield has simply roasted the opposing defenses, averaging 27.3 DKFP, 313 passing yards and a 9:0 TD:INT ratio. When you look at him and Newton, it’s not even close.
While it hasn’t exactly happened in reality, Mayfield has been hooking up Odell Beckham Jr ($9,800) with the production we all hoped for. Beckham is averaging 19.5 DKFP, the highest in this sim, thanks to his 5.4 receptions, 80.4 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. He’s gone over 20 DKFP in five of the 15 games and has scored in four of the Browns last five games. He will see some Donte Jackson in coverage, who has the fastest speed in this game at 96 but it won’t steer me away. Even with all the production that Beckham has generated, Jarvis Landry ($7,200) has posted some good numbers of his own. At a sizable discount, Landry is averaging 11.1 DKFP, 4.2 receptions, 45.6 receiving yards with five touchdowns. While I’m not actively looking to fade Beckham by any means, Landry does provide some relief and good production. Another good value in the Curtis Samuel range is Damion Ratley ($4,200). He’s only a 69 overall but his speed is a 93. He’s averaging double-digit fantasy points at 10.3 and has scored six times. Finally, the TE1 in David Njoku ($6,600), who struggled to be on the field last season, is not having that issue in the sim world. He’s not a big scoring threat but he’s good for 4.3 receptions per game and 55 yards.
With so many good receiving options, it’s hard to justify paying up for Nick Chubb ($9,000). He’s not catching out of the backfield with just four receptions through 15 games. On the ground, his 55.8 rushing yards isn’t good enough, but he has scored 10 times. The problem is, if he doesn’t it’s been a total bust. In games he hasn’t scored, which has happened eight times, he’s averaging 3.5 DKFP. Kareem Hunt ($3,000) is handling the pass-catching from Mayfield but he’s been a total boom-or-bust himself. The relief here is that he’s $6,000 cheaper.
THE OUTCOMEI absolutely love using Baker Mayfield ($15,900) as my captain in this game. Even pairing him with Beckham, you still have an average of just over $6K per player in your flex, which can easily go up by using guys like Samuel and Ratley. If you want to go cheap at captain, using either Ratley ($6,300) or Samuel ($8,100) is not a bad play by any means with the speed and work they get through the air.
Final Score: Browns 27, Panthers 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.