With real-life sports in the midst of an extended time out, DraftKings has been helping to fill the void with some very entertaining simulated sports action. With six Madden Streams per day, there are now eight free contests daily, with a single-game Showdown for each game along with a pair of classic contests. Each simulation is played out via an online Madden Stream using Madden 2020 with rosters and ratings from the end of the 2019-20 season. In this format, you can enjoy watching the game stream on the DK Live app or right here in this post. Follow along to watch your fantasy team rack up some big fantasy points.
The Game of the Week was selected by the fans in a Twitter poll on the DraftKings‘ main account, and by a landslide this game was chosen as the game for the $10K contest and the primetime slot on Thursday. This 8 p.m. ET kickoff between the Texans and Chiefs will be a rematch of the Divisional Round game in which the Texans jumped out to a big lead early, but the Chiefs rallied for a 51-31 win. It’s also a preview of what we’ll get on Opening Night when real football is scheduled to return on September 10, with the Texans visiting the real-world Chiefs as they open their Super Bowl defense. So far in these sims, the Chiefs have gone 6-6 while the Texans have struggled to just 4-8. Houston has been involved in plenty of high-scoring contests since their secondary is suspect and their offense can put up points as they try to come from behind. Will the Texans avenge their playoff loss last season or will the Chiefs come out with another win? I’ll give you my pick to win and my thoughts on who should be in your lineup after this quick review of the rules and settings for this simulation.
Set your FREE to play lineups here: $10K FREE Game of the Week Contest [5 Entry Max] (HOU vs KC)
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Madden Stream: Redskins at Jets
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
EDITOR’S NOTE: Madden Streams have been updated to 8-minute quarters as of Apr. 14.
For all info on settings and upcoming games, click HERE
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
Houston TexansThe highest-rated player on the Texans is WR DeAndre Hopkins ($10,000), who has a 98 overall rating with a 99 awareness rating and a 92 speed rating. His great hands are acknowledged in his 98 catch rating, and watching him go off in these sims has to be tough for any Houston fan who is still bummed about the trade that now has Nuk in Arizona in real life. Hopkins had a touchdown and five catches for 50 yards but lost a fumble in Houston’s most recent game against the Vikings. He still posted a solid 14.9 DKFP, but it was a bit of a letdown after 34 and 48 DKFP in his two previous sims, respectively. Hopkins has been one of the most reliable WR in the Madden Universe since we expanded to eight-minute quarters and has piled up nine touchdowns in his six most recent sims with at least 13.9 DKFP in every one of those contests.
All those touchdown passes have helped Deshaun Watson ($10,600) pile up points as well. Watson has an 86 overall rating with the Superstar abilities of “Escape Artist,” which makes him faster and more responsive while scrambling behind the line of scrimmage, and “Agile Extender,” which makes him almost guaranteed to evade the first sack attempt by a blitzing DB. Watson lost two fumbles against the Vikings and only managed 14.6 DKFP. However, he did continue to make plays on the ground and ran for 55 yards, giving him at least 39 rushing yards in six of his past seven games. He showed his high ceiling with 28.18 DKFP against the Seahawks and 34.56 DKFP against the Jets, so you can consider him as a pivot play if you don’t want to go with his counterpart on the Chiefs.
Across from Hopkins, Will Fuller IV ($6,600) also has big-play potential with his 94 speed rating and 82 overall rating. He was almost shut out against the Vikings but was rolling nicely before that with double-digit DKFP in three straight games, each of which included a Fuller touchdown. He has been boom-or-bust, but his speed gives him upside. WR3 Kenny Stills ($6,200) doesn’t have nearly as much upside but is very highly-priced in this matchup. He’s definitely going to be a fade for me at this salary since he has only six catches all sim season (12 games) and has never caught multiple passes in one contest. The WR value I do like on the Texans is Keke Coutee ($1,400), who is involved out of the slot and had three catches for 65 yards and 9.5 DKFP against the Vikings giving him over nine DKFP in three of his past five games. Another option much more involved than Stills is Houston’s big TE Darren Fells ($5,000), who has at least four catches in four straight games and is usually around 50 yards. He hasn’t been quite as involved in the red zone as fantasy owners would hope with just two touchdowns in our sims so far, but he is still worth a look at $5K.
The Texans run game is all about a healthy Lamar Miller ($8,600), who is the RB1 and the third-down back with his 84 overall rating and 92 speed rating. He has only averaged 4.7 DKFP per sim, though, since Houston has been so pass-heavy and does lose short-yardage work to Carlos Hyde ($2,400), who has vultured three touchdowns this sim season and typically gets a few carries per game.
Facing the Chiefs is a tough matchup for the Texans DST ($3,600), who have forced just five turnovers in their first 12 games although they do have 20 sacks. They’re led by J.J. Watt, who has an impressive 97 overall rating and an X-Factor of “Fearmonger” to go with superstar abilities of “Strip Specialist” and “Edge Threat Elite.” We had his brother T.J. Watt score a defensive TD for the Steelers on Wednesday, so let’s see if J.J. has anything special in store for this matchup. Due to the matchup, I’m passing on the Texans DST and their kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn ($3,800).
Kansas City ChiefsThe Chiefs are led by the only QB in the game with a perfect 99 overall rating, Patrick Mahomes ($11,400), who should feast on this suspect Houston secondary. He started the sims slow but has shown off his high ceiling lately. In his most recent sim, he racked up 26.88 DKFP against the Broncos solid secondary with 272 yards passing along with four touchdowns. He has multiple touchdowns in five of his past six games with over 25 DKFP in half of those contests. In addition to his ticket to the exclusive 99 club, he has the X-Factor of “Bazooka,” which increases his maximum throw distance by 15 yards after he has completed two long passes, and the Superstar abilities of “Escape Artist,” “Dashing Deadeye,” “No-Look Deadeye” and “Red Zone Deadeye.” Those abilities make him accurate and effective in specific situations and allow him to extend plays and improvise in true Mahomes style. He has a great group of pass-catchers too, so it’s easy to see why he’s so expensive.
WR Tyreek Hill ($10,400) doesn’t have an X-Factor but he’s the only player in all the Madden universe with a 99 overall speed rating, and he also has a 99 acceleration rating, a 98 elusiveness rating and a 97 juke move rating to go with his 96 overall rating. He piled up 33.3 DKFP against the Broncos and has at least 75 yards in five of his past six games with over 28 DKFP in four of those contests. The Chiefs use Hill as their slot WR, which puts him in a matchup against slot corner Vernon Hargreaves III for Houston. Hargreaves has a 90 speed rating but only a 68 awareness rating, and his 73 overall rating means that Hill will have a huge mismatch for Mahomes to attack.
The problem with such a mismatch for Houston is that they can’t afford to roll all their coverage toward will since Travis Kelce ($9,000) also has an 86 overall rating. Hill doesn’t have an X-Factor but Kelce has the X-Factor of “Double Me” along with Superstar abilities of “Double-Move Elite” and “In-Out Elite.” When he’s in the zone, he’s virtually impossible to stop with just single coverage. Kelce has had a few big games and is a very reliable play with exactly four catches in four straight sims. However, Hill is the better play here due to matchup.
The Chiefs have even more options, though, since Sammy Watkins ($6,800) has an 81 overall rating with a 92 speed rating, giving him a very high ceiling and a 12.2 DKFP per sim average. He has over 13 DKFP in three of his past six games and tends to be a little boom or bust. Demarcus Robinson ($4,400) is also involved as KC’s WR3 with double-digit DKFP in four straight.
The Chiefs have also gotten great work from their do-it-all RB Damien Williams’ ($8,200), who has six touchdowns in his past four sims and has produced over 10 DKFP in eight straight contests. He showed an incredibly high ceiling with 38.3 DKFP and is a great dual-threat option as a rusher and receiver out of the backfield.
The Texans can be turnover prone, but I’m still not totally in on the Chiefs DST ($4,000) as a value play since Houston can also put up plenty of points. I’d rather go with Harrison Butker ($4,200), who has an 82 overall rating and is averaging 7.2 DKFP per sim. He has a 95 kick power rating and 86 kick accuracy rating. He’s the third-highest rated kicker in all of Madden, making him a special-teamer who regularly finds his way onto my roster.
THE OUTCOMEThere are a few places you could look for your Captain’s Pick play, but my favorite is the lopsided mismatch that waits for Tyreek Hill ($14,700 CP). It’s hard to argue against Patrick Mahomes ($17,100 CP) as well due to his 99 club membership, but I think most of the work will go to Hill in this one. I also really like Damien Williams ($12,300 CP) since I think the Chiefs will play from ahead and be able to run the clock. If you’re looking for values, I like Coutee, Robinson and Butker as salary-savers.
The Texans have been very inconsistent in these sims but have shown a little fighting spirit lately with wins against the Jets, Bills and even the 49ers. However, at home with Mahomes, the Chiefs just have too many options on offense, and ultimately, I don’t think the Texans have the depth or consistency to keep up.
Final Score: Chiefs 38, Texans 28
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) 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.