We recently talked about building your team in Madden 13. There are many different ways to do this strictly by picking up talented players that
are rated as such. On the flip-side, there are also many other players out there that are diamonds in the rough. You can make it your mission to take some players out of the late rounds of the draft or even pick them up during the preseason as other teams give up on them because of low overall ratings.
You need to take some chances on players you might not know about and that will often mean scouring the free agent market during the pre-season for a player that could make all the difference for you in the current season or simply develop him into a future star.
There are a few different ways to look for a player that might ‘fly under the radar’. The first is to look at position specific ratings and determine if they are what you are looking for in a player at that position. Assuming you even need someone at that position.
Quarterbacks are some of the easier ones to look for as far as ratings go, but they will often be the first ones to go during the preseason. Look at their Throw Power and Throwing Accuracy ratings. If you run a West Coast offense you don’t need a QB with 95+ THP, but you do need them to have good-to-great accuracy when throwing short and medium routes. If you prefer a more vertical passing attack, you will want someone with a higher THP (like 95+) and a better accuracy for deep passes. The moral of the story is – If the shoe fits, pick up the QB you need. As you develop a QB you should focus on improving their passing ratings first rather than some sort of speed increases.
Runningbacks are a different breed when it comes to determining what is a ‘steal’ (assuming you need one). The first thing you will notice is that developing a runningback will be costly if you want to increase their SPD rating. If you want a ‘fast’ HB, make sure he is fast before you pick him up. As well, pay close attention to his ratings in Carrying and Injury/Toughness. A decent HB can have his season and career derailed if he takes a shot from a powerful MLB or Safety. The ratings for a HB that need to be increased in order to develop their market value are the AWR and Carrying ratings. Use your XP on these and your HB will be a force to be reckoned with… or traded in his late 20’s.
Receivers are among the most common diamonds in the rough. They are also the easiest to stock up on and never use… therefore, losing a roster spot just to carry a potential talent. Receivers need to have the obvious CTH (catch) rating, but they also need to have a few others that you can easily build up if you get them enough playing time and touches. The AWR rating is something that can effect a WR as he needs to be able to know when the ball is thrown and where to run his routes. Also, there is an issue of getting your potential diva WR the ball often enough to build him up. I am currently in a situation where I have eight (8) WRs on my team. I have turned the Browns into a pass first team, but in the process I have also over-stocked my team with WRs. Here are a few of my current project players –
Offensive Line is another easy place to upgrade players, but you should really make sure you draft them with great ratings first. It isn’t often you will put an under-rated O-Lineman on the field to protect your QB. On the other side of this argument, you can always grab a lineman with great strength and size, put him on the line and try to dominate with the running or passing game (whichever is his focus for XP) and develop him in that fashion.
The hardest players to develop are Defensive Linemen and Linebackers. The reason being that they develop most of their XP through tackling statistics. The issue is that tackling stats are broken in Madden 13 and the interactions between defensive players and offensive blockers is shaky at best. You will want to increase the Tackle ratings first and then move on to increase every player to ‘Big Hitter’ status so they cause more fumbles as well as increasing their Hit Power ratings.
Depending on what type of coverage you run for your defensive backs you will want to focus on their coverage ratings as well as their press ratings. If you are running a lot of man-coverage with your CBs you will want to increase their MCV ratings first as well as their Press rating if they are a physical type of player. Their XP is generally determined by how many INTs they get during the course of the year and if you can develop a talented defensive backfield you will be almost unstoppable.
When it comes to safeties you will want to look at how you have them playing as well. I have a defense made up of ‘enforcers’ like Laron Landry and TJ Ward… if you come across the middle you will end up with a broken jaw because these are like Honey Badgers… they don’t give a s**t! Make sure you up their Zone Coverage ratings as well as their tackling and hit power as they are often the last line of defense if someone does get past your front-seven. The last thing you want are a bunch of DBs trying to ‘tackle’ like Deion Sanders.
Kickers require a lot of field goals in order to increase their stats. The bad thing about this is that most people want to score touchdowns rather than kicking a lot of FGs. Whenever you want to increase your kick power you will notice that it starts to get really expensive after awhile. Your best bet is to pick up a kicker with a high kick power rating starting off.
Punters are along the same lines as kickers. How many teams really ‘want’ to punt? Try to pick up these players as you go and hope that they have the high kick power ratings that you need rather than try to build them up.