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.
Friday’s six sim games kick off with a nice matchup of two of the top RBs in the NFL as the Giants host the Titans at 12:00 p.m. ET. The Giants have gone 6-7 in their 13 sims while the Titans have gone just 5-8. While both teams have struggled they do have some fantasy stars and some players to check out as you build your single-game Showdown lineups. These two teams don’t meet in the coming season and haven’t met in real life since Week 15 of the 2018 season when the Titans got a 17-0 shutout win. Can the Titans’ defense come up large again in this matchup or will the Giants get back to .500 after 14 games? 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.
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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
EDITOR’S NOTE: Madden Streams have been updated to 8-minute quarters as of Apr. 14.
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
Tennessee TitansI would expect the Titans to build around their X-Factor Superstar Derrick Henry ($9,600), who has a team-high 91 overall rating with a 91 speed rating, an 87 strength rating and a 98 stiff arm rating. He has the awesome X-Factor of “Freight Train” to go with his “Arm Bar” and “Outside Zone Guru” Superstar abilities. Henry has been a little disappointing in these sims, though, since he isn’t getting a heavy workload and doesn’t get very involved in the passing game. He also gives up work in pass-focused formations to Dion Lewis ($3,000), who is the team’s third-down back. Henry has had a few bright spots, like when he racked up 124 yards and a touchdown for 21.4 DKFP against the Ravens two sims ago, but he has only reached double-digit DKFP three times in 13 sims, so I’m passing on him at his almost $10K price. Lewis could actually end up the better play since he does frequently catch passes out of the backfield and is so much more affordable than Henry. He’s not my favorite value play in this matchup but can be feasible.
Instead of giving Henry all the carries he needs, the Titans have had to rely more heavily on Ryan Tannehill ($10,800) who has been fairly inconsistent. He has only an 80 overall rating but does have decent awareness and accuracy ratings, coming in in the mid-80’s across the board. He hasn’t added much rushing at all lately although his 81 speed isn’t an awful mark if he does take off. Tannehill hasn’t hit for more than 17 DKFP in eight straight games and has been held under 13 DKFP in each of his past four games with just one passing touchdown in each contest. Tannehill gets hurt a little bit by having Henry in the backfield since giving it to the big RB is such a good option in the red zone that Tannehill doesn’t get to attempt as many red-zone throws.
When he does throw the ball, rookie A.J. Brown ($8,000) has been his top target, which isn’t surprising since he’s the WR1 with a 80 overall rating. Brown’s 90 speed rating and 87 elusiveness rating give him some nice big-play ability, and he has put up a 12.7 DKFP per game average that is second on the team only behind Tannehill. Brown usually gets plenty of passes thrown his way and has produced over 19 DKFP in two of his past four games and has found the end zone five times.
TE Delanie Walker ($7,600) has been the team’s second-best option in the passing game, averaging 10.7 DKFP per sim. He has over eight DKFP and 40 yards in three straight games and in five of his past six. He should be able to use his 86 overall rating and 85 speed rating to create space over the middle and make plays down the field. He doesn’t have the high ceiling of Brown but has been involved enough to consider a relatively low-risk play at this price point.
Corey Davis ($6,400), Tajae Sharpe ($4,800) and Adam Humphries ($2,800) round out the involved receiving options. Davis has had a few big plays but has also vanished at times like his one catch for 10 yards in his most recent sim. He has decent upside but is even more volatile than Walker and Brown. Sharpe is the WR3 but Humphries gets more work because he is the slot receiver. He’s my favorite value play on the Titans and already has five touchdowns in his 13 sims, which ties him with Brown for the team lead. He doesn’t have a super-high ceiling but makes catches over the middle and is extremely cheap.
In the games Tennessee has won, the Titans’ DST ($3,800) has come up strong, allowing under 17 points in all five of their wins. They don’t usually get a ton of sacks or turnovers but have averaged 4.7 DKFP mostly by holding their opponents to low totals. Since the offense has sputtered so often, Ryan Succop ($4,000) has actually been one of the best kickers in the game averaging over 8.0 DKFP per sim. I’d prefer Succup to the DST but both are usable if you have to.
New York GiantsWhile the Titans have struggled badly on offense, the Giants haven’t had much trouble putting up points but have given up plenty as well. QB Daniel Jones ($10,400) has out-played his 70 overall rating and averaged 17.2 DKFP per sim. He actually has better mobility ratings than Tannehill with an 84 speed rating, and a comparable 87 throw power rating. He has been held under 16 DKFP in four straight but before that had over 22 DKFP in three of his previous four sims with at least three touchdowns in each of those big performances. The expanded quarters and arcade mode have definitely been to his advantage and the Giants offense has been rolling.
The Giants offense largely rises and falls on Saquon Barkley ($10,000), who does it all out of the backfield when he’s on his game. He doesn’t share time like Henry and is more involved in the passing game as well. Because he is so involved, he has produced over 12 DKFP in seven of his past eight games. He also has a super-high ceiling with over 22 DKFP in three of those contests. He doesn’t have the power that Henry brings but is faster with his 92 speed rating ad 89 elusiveness rating. The big difference between the two, though, has been their usage, and since the Giants lean on Barkley so much more heavily, he’s a better play. He is the Giants’ only skill-position player with an X-Factor, and his “First One Free” ability is activated by multiple runs of at least 10 yards and lasts until he is tackled for a loss. It increases his fake-out rate on the next juke, spin or hurdle when he’s “in the zone.” He also has Superstar abilities of “Evasive” and “Backfield Mismatch,” giving him faster juke and spin animations and better ability to make catches in traffic against linebackers and linemen.
While he doesn’t have an X-Factor or Superstar abilities, Evan Engram ($8,600) does have the distinction of being the fastest TE in the game with his 90 speed rating. He is usually a good option for Jones, checking in with an 88 overall rating, higher than any Giants WR. He showed his ceiling with a massive 31-DKFP performance against the Chargers and has over 11 DKFP in three of his past five sims dating back to that contest.
The Giants’ WR have also been solid and are actually led by WR2 Darius Slayton ($5,200), who has been very good with 14.2 DKFP per game, which is higher than anyone on Tennessee and only behind Jones and Barkley on the Giants. Slayton went off for 105 yards and 21.5 DKFP against the Bears in his most recent sim and has over 13 DKFP in three of his past five contests. His 93 speed rating is the highest of any WR who regularly sees the field in this matchup, and he’s a great play at this price.
The Giants’ WR1 is also their slot receiver in Golden Tate III ($9,200). Tate has an 83 overall rating, which is the highest for any WR in this matchup. He has caught two scores in his past two games and produced over 13 DKFP in each of those games and four of his past eight. In an interesting depth chart situation, the Giants WR3 Sterling Shepard ($3,600) is just behind Tate with an overall rating of 82, but he is third on the depth chart behind Slayton, who only has a 77 overall rating. Shepard has been boom or bust with just one catch in a couple of his games, but he has also gone off for almost 100 yards in other contests.
The Giants’ DST ($3,400) has been able to get to the QB with 25 sacks in their 13 games, but they have only forced four turnovers. Humphries, Shepard, Lewis and even the Titans DST have been better plays, though, so I’ll probably fade the Giants DST with other options in the same price range. Aldrick Rosas ($4,200) is a solid kicker play, but I prefer Succop since he has been more active in these sims as a whole.
THE OUTCOMENeither of these offenses has been great, so we could get a low-scoring, defense-focused game. The one shining star has been Saquon Barkley ($15,000 CP), who has the highest ceiling of any of the players in this matchup. Derrick Henry ($14,400 CP) also has a high ceiling but doesn’t get consistent work, so he’s also riskier. I could also see A.J. Brown ($12,000 CP) going off against the suspect Giants secondary, and I’d actually rather go with him than Henry. Darius Slayton ($7,800 CP) is a great bargain Captain’s Pick play if you want more to spend in the flex spots. If you need value plays for flex, check out Humphries, Succop and Shepard.
This game could be ugly, but ultimately the Giants offense has shown a lot more than the Titans. There probably won’t be a ton of fantasy points, so spend every dollar of your salary cap wisely. I think Saquon and Slayton ultimately make the difference and the Giants get a win at home in a close, competitive contest.
Final Score: Giants 20, Titans 16
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.