3-game slate

We’re all in need of some entertainment during these times of the unknown. DraftKings is doing its part by offering Madden simulations with a variety of teams going at it. For this piece, we’ll focus on the 3-game slate, which starts at 12:00 p.m. ET. 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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Even Teams: Off
Quarter Length: 8 minutes
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Play Clock: 20 seconds

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Patrick Mahomes, KC at ATL, $8,000 – Mahomes is the only quarterback priced at $7,000 or above, making him the default selection in this spot. As far as needing to write a player up goes, we could certainly do worse than the top rated player in the game going up against a lackluster defense. Overall, Mahomes is my favorite QB play on this slate and it doesn’t seem very likely he will have a poor performance. He’s scored at least 21 DKFP in four consecutive games and the Falcons have allowed over 30 points in back-to-back games.


Jameis Winston, TB vs. MIA, $6,000 – Winston is leading one of the top teams in our Madden sims. With him under center, the Bucs are 10-5. If he played like this in real life, he almost certainly would still be a starting quarterback. The big difference in Winston in real life and the video game is the difference in turnovers. Winston has thrown just eight interceptions and is yet to lose a fumble. He averages 19 DKFP, only slightly behind the 19.2 DKFP averaged by Mahomes.

Running Backs


Devonta Freeman, ATL vs. KC, $5,800 – I often wonder if NFL general managers aren’t paying enough attention to our sims. Christian McCaffrey ($7,900) recently signed a record-breaking contract while Freeman remains a free agent. Despite this, Freeman is the better fantasy producer of the two in Madden, scoring 15.5 DKFP per game compared to 13.6 for CMC. This also sets up as a nice spot for Freeman to be involved in the passing game. The Falcons figure to be trailing to the Chiefs and we have seen Freeman haul in as many as seven catches in a game.


Patrick Laird, MIA at TB, $3,000 – It is slim picking as far as cheap running backs go on this slate. The safe way to build lineups is to spend some money at the position. If in a pinch, Laird has shown the potential for a decent game. He’s min price and typically gets on the field for a catch or two per game. A 6.1 DKFP average isn’t awful for minimum salary.

Wide Receivers


Odell Beckham, CLE vs. CAR, $7,100 – Beckham averages 19.5 DKFP, the most of any skill position player on this slate. He rarely has bad games (unlike his actual first season with the Browns) and has 13 touchdown receptions in 15 games. Cleveland has played against many of the top secondaries in the league and OBJ has had his way with most of them. Today, he’s in a great matchup against the Panthers. Beckham has a 90 overall rating and is going to be covered by Donte Jackson, who is an 81.


Sammy Watkins, KC at ATL, $4,400 – Honestly, just about every pass catcher is an option to stack with Patrick Mahomes. The issue is that most of them are expensive. This is where Watkins comes into play with a cheap salary. He’s an 81 overall in Madden, meaning he’s in a favorable spot against 73 rated Kendall Sheffield. Watkins isn’t always consistent, but he has flashed upside in Madden. He’s coming off a game with a pair of touchdowns and has scored as many as 35 DKFP in a win over the Seahawks.

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Tight Ends


Travis Kelce, KC at ATL, $6,300 – It’s tough to consider anybody over Kelce when it comes to expensive tight ends. He has 96 overall rating and leads the position on this slate with an average of 14.9 DKFP. There is also a decent floor that comes with rostering Kelce since he always gets targeted by Mahomes. Kelce has caught at least four passes in eight consecutive games and in 13 of 15 games overall.


Mike Gesicki, MIA at TB, $4,000 – If only he scored more touchdowns. Gesicki has been Ryan Fitzpatrick’s ($5,700) top target in Madden and averages 12.6 DKFP. This leads all the pass catchers on the Dolphins, even topping DeVante Parker ($6,000). The only drawback is that Gesicki only has three touchdown catches, which slightly hampers his upside. For his price, he’s a safe play although he likely won’t score enough DKFP to break the slate.

Defense/Special Teams

Browns, CLE vs. CAR, $2,600 – This game is a classic case of a stoppable force against a moveable object. Something has to give. Cleveland is only putting up 2.3 DKFP per game, but the Panthers have only scored over 20 points in three of their last 13 games. Ultimately, I don’t trust Cam Newton ($6,300) to make plays, so this could be a breakout spot for the Browns’ defense.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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.