Friday, August 25, 2017

Madden 18 Scouting and Draft Guide is Here!!!

Hi all - I'm happy to announce that the Madden 18 Scouting and Draft Guide is here! You have all let me know the past two years how helpful it is, and this year I went all out...over 13,900 data points recorded in spreadsheets and analyzed in Minitab to bring you the best analysis. (How did I get it done so fast? Well, I bought the GOAT edition and downloaded it August 21 at midnight, and have been playing almost nonstop since then.)

I've used it in five drafts so far and it is legit:  using this system the average overall ability for people I draft is a ridiculous 76.  By comparison, in the most recent draft I did, only 5 of the computer teams even had a single player above 76, and it is my average.

This guide is the best ever, and I decided to make a cleaner look to it, too, so it would be easier to use.  Enjoy! As always, it is for free.  Tell others about it and spread the Madden love (but of course, keep it private from the friends in your league so you have the advantage!).

Please use it - just please credit it back to me and send people my way to get their versions. Thanks!


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Personal note:  last year, some of you asked how you could thank me. I don't do this for money,
I do it for fun. But this year I decided to add a Thank You Gift Button to the right linked to
PayPal, so those who are interested can choose from the "Buy me a beer" and "Buy me a soda" option. Every time you get some unbelievable stud after round 4, come and buy me a beer and
we'll call it even. ;-)

A few who know me personally are aware of the difficult family situation we're in this year: my
father in law has terminal cancer and my mother in law has advancing dementia. Financially
I have taken on the burden of paying for most of their mortgage, insurance, etc. during this time.
So to those who wish to help with that, I expanded the Thank You button to include a few more
serious options.


Please feel no pressure or obligation. This is a free guide. But for those wanting to say thanks
for all the work...that's an easy way to do it...I'm confident if you saw this guide in a store you'd be willing to plop down a lot more than this for it. But I tend to be a bit libertarian, so I'm just gonna give it away for free and hope you guys are generous. Give whatever you think is appropriate...
including nothing!

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Overview

Below I will list an image of every single page of the 23-page Scouting Guide that I made for you all this year. However if you want to download it completely to print, for free, click on the link.

Enjoy!

(Note: edited typo on C and RG pages.)




























179 comments:

  1. This is incredible. You are a legend! You'll be getting a donation from me.

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    1. Thank you so much! Note that I had a copy/paste error on pages 10 and 11 (C and RG). Those have been corrected, so if you downloaded it before, do it fresh now.

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  2. Awesome as always! Have a beer on me! Will let you know how my drafts go down the line!

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  3. I would love to donate but I'm a broke 19 year old with a child. I would like to know though why this year QB only requires a B+ instead of an A-

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    1. B+ in this scenario often aids superstar development, which is really the only development that allows you to upgrade throw power at least once per season, so quarterbacks with great accuracy and physical traits, but maybe only have 88 throw power, can be upgraded by throw power 1st, then have other traits upgraded.

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  4. I just donated 4.99. Have a nice night :)

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  5. Thanks again Michael, you continue to improve on this stuff every yr! Donation coming again soon.

    Is the news almost pointless if you follow the guide like it has been in the past? It seems like studs and solids rarely have bad news feeds if at all.

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    1. Update after my first draft:
      Followed your program and took note of the news although it didnt affect my draft. Players with good news were anywhere from 77 to 68 OVR, most had either quick or superstar traits. Only one good news player ended up on my board. Bad news players from my board (which I drafted 2), were 79 and 80 OVR with normal traits.
      So its safe to ignore news completely.

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    2. Yeah the News is pointless. I tracked it for five years, and found zero correlation between most of the news stories and overall skill.

      I did find one or two types of stories which (can't say for sure due to small sample size) might be predictive. BUT...in every case, the Scouting Guide above ALSO highlighted those players, so there was really no value at all.

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    3. All Star MVP = Superstar devo 100% of the time

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  6. As a Madden fan and a trainee in Green Belt for Lean Six Sigma, I highly approve of this!! As I am only in the Define phase of my project, I like to see what I can do in the Analyze phase. Thanks so much for your hard work and dedication. Here's to happy scouting and drafting!

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  7. Should we pay attention to the draft news? In Madden 17 it seemed to be a better indication of development traits than it is in Madden 18.

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    1. Nope - completely irrelevant. I heard people say that about M17, so I tracked it for several years drafting and there is zero correlation between news stories and development traits.

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    2. Completely untrue, anyone that wins the heisman, or gets the MVP of the all star game, are guaranteed superstar development, otherwise unless they had the trait before, they won't have it, sim it, it's a guaranteed SS development trait every time

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    3. I'm on Madden 17 and can attest to this as well. MVP and Heisman are always SS. Combine studs are quick or SS. I'd rather have a 72 SS 21 year old than a 82 Norm 24 year old all day long so I reach for these players.

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  8. Question on the CB page, Under high risk high reward text, it says remove the B, even though the guidelines show both C+ Thanks

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    1. nvm, read the fine print, its right! xD sorry!

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    2. :-) Yes that was what I was just about to say

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  9. I'm a bit confused on the format. Looking at LOLB for example. Is the letter on the right the minimum grade the player can have? I found a LOLB who is a B pwr Moves, and a B- pursuit. Then his final score is C+ hit power. To me he appears to meet the requirements, but he is a 2nd round guy, who the game says is actually a 7th. I don't understand.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Nope you've interpreted it correctly. The B in power moves succeeds on the first test (left number); the B- pursuit succeeds in the second test. If the game is projecting him in the 7th round then you have a steal on your hands. Grab him in the 6th so you don't lose him and you'll be thrilled. I stole an OLB in the 6th last night actually, he was I think a 77 overall.

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. You say scout QB first but how many qb's per week? All of them, just one, or what? Please be specific and thanks for the clarification!

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    1. I scout everyone who is projected in the first seven rounds. Unless I'm totally stocked at a position in which case I skip it entirely.

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    2. Man, I wish I would have known that. I couldn't find anywhere that specifies how deep into a position you scout. It reads like I'm supposed to scout every single guy.

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  12. Can we still use the excel spreadsheet from madden 17 or is there an updated version?

    Again thanks for all you have done

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    1. I second this question. Thanks for all you've done!

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    2. No I will have to update and post a new one.

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    3. when will the excel spreadsheet be ready?

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    4. No clue. :-) Sorry guys this has to come after my day job that pays the bills. I will get to it at some point

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  13. Thanks man! sent a 4.99 donation your way! have enjoyed your guides the last 3 years! :)

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  14. Ok for LG I SCOUTED A GUY WITH B IMPACT BLOCKING B FOR RUN BLOCK AND A C+ FOR PASS BLOCK. IS HE GOOD ENOUGH TO GO ON MY BOARD SINCE HE GOT ONE B IN RUN BLOCKING OR DOES HE NEED A B IN PASS BLOCK TOO?

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    1. He is good enough to go on the board. However notice he also needs a 33 in bench so check after combine to be sure you don't have to remove him.

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  15. Why the different stats for LOLB and ROLB? In game I haven't noticed the OVR rating change swapping from one side to the other.

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    1. Check out Appendix B and you will see that they are indeed calculated differently by the game

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  16. First of all, awesome work!

    Now my problem: Spending points on FS or SS only gives values for Coverage, Tackle and Hit Power, but not for Pursuit. On which of these do I have to watch.

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    1. These are two very rare positions. Don't be surprised to go 4-5 drafts without getting one. In both cases a B- is needed for pursuit. But if you've revealed three scores and all are B- or better then he is presumed to pass and should be added to the board. Otherwise ignore

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    2. Also as an FYI, I usually grab ANY FS or SS who pass, even if I have players at that position. I can either make them CBs or trade them or let the more expensive older people go. But they are rare, so value them.

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  17. Are your Outside Linebackers based off 3-4 or 4-3 scheme? Or just neutral? I Have a Prototype ROLB thats pretty good (Still in season scouting), but I run 3-4, so I'd use him as MLB..

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    1. Neutral. It is based on how the game validates the OVR but then feel free post draft to adjust roster and move them to more advantageous positions

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  18. Thank you for this man. I've been trying to turn the Jets around (something I'm sure many madden lovers are doing this year). My drafts have been fairly decent as I understand football, but with this I think I can get the Jets to the Superbowl in a year or two (without putting the difficulty down LOL). Just one quick question before I put everything into use. If I am drafting, no matter the position, and that player passes the qualifications of a stud but ends up with a lower draft round than projected or god forbid undrafted projection I should still be able to get a STUD or SOLID player?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's a question I'm curious about as well

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    2. Yes, if they pass as a stud or solid, you can ignore their projections. REMEMBER though that you MUST go back after the combine for some positions to validate that they remain studs and solids. Often times a person will do fine on the skills, but then fail the combine because their physical gifts just aren't NFL quality.

      Use that knowledge, though. If someone is projected as a 7th round talent but you know they're a solid, grab them in the 5th and you'll be happy.

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  19. Tried your method for the first time last night. I can attest to your work. I was already through most of a season before I found your guide so things didn't work out exactly right (plus I had the worst college players to choose from). But I chose 4 players, traded away picks since everyone seemed to be a DUD. But I followed your guide and grabbed a 77 LG and a 77 CB (both were given 2 rounds lower talent than what their projection was). They were both given the Quick development trait. The other two players I choose were significantly lower, but I had no real good picks to choose from and wanted to test the voracity of your claims (of course they work but you have to do your own testing right?) I do have a bit of a problem though, most of the time when I scout a QB I get stuck seeing Throw on Run over basically any accuracy unless that QB is slated to go in the 1 or 2 rounds. Is that just something that happens sometime or is there a way to judge their accuracy based on the top 3 traits?

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    1. Glad to hear you like it! And yes it's totally fine to check...even I do it sometimes :-) But it keeps working. I'm using the Jets and am in year 18. I never play any games, only simulation (so of course, there are probably a lot of games that I could win, but don't because it's simulated). Even so, I have just won our 6th Super Bowl in 18 years and have won 10 AFC championships. That's a pretty historic run based purely on simulation.


      Regarding QB: I would be cautious if you aren't seeing at least one Accuracy score in the top 3. I've been able to get 1 stud fairly cheap (late 1st or after) every 2-3 years by relying on the accuracy. Remember that Throw on Run tells you nothing (2% of overall score). Technically I say on here "Innocent until proven a dud"...so if you have all Bs or higher, then in theory you could still be a B in the accuracies and therefore he should be on your list. But I'd be nervous if, say, all I had revealed was Throw on Run, Throwing Power, and Playaction. I'd like to see at least one of the Accuracies as a B or higher.

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    2. Ok hopefully you still answer questions on here because my draft is coming up in a few days and I need to nail these picks. I have the 3rd and 4th overall picks and then nothing again until round 5. My qb situation is currently dobbs as my starter but I dislike him and want to draft a new qb with one of my picks. Based on the two teams ahead of me in the draft and knowing one of them has Carr I can safely assume ill get a crack at one of the two qbs. The early first round projected qb has A- short acc b+ throw power and b+ med acc and the mid first qb has a- throw power b+ short acc and b+ throw on run.

      Now ive been leaning towards the mid first round guy because of his throw power but should I be looking at the early first round guy based on the projected grades so far? does where they are projected to go factor into dev traits and such?

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  20. Did one draft where I was able to scout everything except D-Line and TE. 11/12 "studs" hit. 2 QB, 2 HB, 2 WR, 3 RT, 1 CB, and 1 SS. Missed on a LOLB who ended up being a 70. Also missed 9 78+. 2 WR, 1 LT, 1 LG, 2 RG, 1 LOLB, 1 MLB, and 1 ROLB.

    Seems pretty consistent with your results except for linebackers. I'll run a few more drafts but it looks like you're quite a bit off there. Maybe a recent patch changed criteria?

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    1. Huh that's odd on the OLB, I haven't had a dud drafted yet in 18 drafts. It's possible that you just got insanely unlucky. But I know for a fact that in 2017 they released a patch that definitely did change things.

      I will see if I can't take another look at the OLBs and see what I can find. LOLB has a "looser" criteria than ROLB, so I may need to change that, or possibly add a Combine stat.

      11/12 ain't bad though. ;-)

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  21. Sorry to hear about your family! Haven't had my first draft yet, but felt the 4.99 was well worth your effort and cause. God bless!

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    1. Thanks so much! Enjoy...it's always interesting to hear the early feedback of the "Beta testing" but it seems like results are very good, such as the 92% rate of the prior comment.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Results working very well so far! My first draft was ok, but didn't get to scout all the players fully or know the nuances of setting up a draft board. Now that I've ran a few drafts, set a little more stringent criteria in a few areas and learned to set my draft board better it's worked out really well. Once you learn to identify potential studs based on the first grade you can fully scout your class (sans fb, k, p - but they are typically UD anyway). Also, once you learn to set your board you can get a stud in every round. Landed a superstar TE (76 overall) in the 7th round last night. The other pick I was considering was a RB would ended up being a 77, but not a superstar.

      By the way, I haven't tracked the rumble in the controller, but 90% of the time those players are ones that I add to the board anyway. Typically if it doesn't rumble they are a red diamond or a lower value than projected. In addition, the C rating is the hardest to decide whether or not to move forward with. I usually don't add any players with a grade below a C+ to my board, but have a few studs slip through. My lowest grade is a 72 in most drafts and hit on almost every pick.

      Overall fantastic baseline! Saved me hours of trial and error! Still need to perfect draft board though.

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  22. I tend to not fully scout a player if the first stat isn't at least a B-. That seems to save me some scouting points. Just found this site, really appreciate it. Beer coming your way!

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  23. I'm a bit confused. Have a HB with b+ bc vision and b carrying. Havent got the combine results yet but let's assume it's better than 4.62 40 time. That's only 2/3 of your criteria to add to the draft board. Ignore this player? With that being said he's a green gem but doesn't fit all criteria. Have had that with other positions too. What do you suggest doing in that situation? As you say follow exactly what you say for it to work.

    Hope that makes sense about what I'm asking. Thanks for this guide btw and wish your family the best.

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    1. Correct. Ignore this player. He fails because he doesn't have a B+ in Carrying. Whether he shows green diamond isn't relevant; those do not accurately predict final overall ability.

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  24. You changed my entire scouting strategy last year. Was able to carry a lot of it to this year. Thank you for this

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  25. Does the combine grade mean anything?

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    1. Not except as noted in the guide. So for example it's valuable for TE and MLB, but not at all for QB. Just follow each page as written and you'll be fine.

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    2. It does matter a lot for every position except qb really, OL & DL you want good bench press, with your DEs having decent shuttle and 3 cone. WR, TE and RB need to have good shuttle and 3 cone. DBs need to have a good 40 yard dash, LBs need to have very high combine scores with good bench press, shuttle and 3 cone.

      What the OP has posted will probably guarantee high overall players but in game performance relies heavily on the combine. For example there's plenty of high overall wrs that aren't especially quick but they can't make plays because they can't get separation.

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    3. I've been following a plan pretty similar to what you outlined. Regardless of rounds, using my draft board, I have lots of luck drafting like this! I've gotten lots of studs.

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  26. Should we take any of the tips you gave in your Madden 17 scouting guide into consideration?

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    1. All tips from past guides are included here, if they are still applicable.

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  27. Great guide, last years was excellent too. Just a question re the news, I realise in the main that it doesn't give any useful info, but you mentioned elsewhere that the news has zero impact on dev traits. However in my experience the Heisman winner story always indicates a superstar, have you not found this or was that one implied? Thanks again

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    1. I didn't track Heisman winners as a separate data point so I can't speak to that; I only tracked positive vs negative stories. I seriously doubt that it would tell you something that you wouldn't get through using the above, but maybe.

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    2. As I say, your guide is great - but it helps me predict the overall rather than dev, I've had an 81 TE using the above but he was slow dev. Just thought it worth mentioning that a Heisman winner who doesn't hit your criteria may only have a 73 ovr, but will definitely be a Superstar. I've run maybe 15 drafts this year, and 50+ on 17 and it's never missed. I'd never be without your guide though, so thanks for taking the time!

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  28. For QBs, the guide only gives grades for Throwing Power, Short Acc and Mid Acc. Some of the QBs have Throw on the Run instead of one of the Acc grades. Do I just ignore these QBs and not continue to scout them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Page 1, Guiding Principle 1...assume that they are good UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE. So if you have Throw on Run and it's a B, then it is still possible that the accuracy is a B as well. Therefore, they stay as studs.

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    2. Got it. Thank you, sir.

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  29. So for the CB section, it says one or the other must be a B. So the players man or zone has to be EXACTLY a B? Or B or better? Thanks! Amazing job btw!

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  30. Replies
    1. Without your guide, I just picked up a early second round corner (A- Press, B+ Man Cov, B Zone) ended up being an 83 quick. And his 40 was top 10. Currently in Divisional round, he is an 88.

      I used a lot of the same methods that are listed in the guide. It does work!

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  31. regarding the defensive end position wouldn't worst case be 42% instead of best case best case you could end up with 60% plus for total attribute allocations known

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    1. Maybe the wording is confusing but I am saying that in the common case where pursuit and hit power are in the top 3, then at that point the best case scenario is you could know 42%

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    2. I have one more question do you compile all of the values for skills and if you do what is the average awareness for rookies coming out of the draft

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    3. I do not compile the non recrutiable skills. So I do not know the average AWA

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  32. thank you for the guide. i especially like the part with the overall calculation chart and line of best fits graphs

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  33. Great guide man!Just got a 78ovr MLB in the 6th thanks to your method!

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  34. Great guide man!Just got a 78ovr MLB in the 6th thanks to your method!

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  35. got an 84 overall mlb in 4th round

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  36. for MLB what is your reasoning for looking at pursuit rather than tackle when tackle is weighted heavier than pursuit

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    1. This is based on linear regression so each one I choose has a reason. In this case it is: every MLB has a high tackle so that doesn’t separate the good from the bad.

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  37. Hi - just a quick question on how your guide works.

    As an example, I have a first round LOLB which has C hit power, C pursuit and C tackle. Obviously these grades aren't very good, but going by your guide ("stud until proven a dud") he could potentially have B block shedding and B- power moves. I don't know because those grades aren't available. Do I draft him with my first round pick because he has not been "proven" a dud?

    Thanks for the excellent work!

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    1. I would say no. Block shedding and power moves didn't appear because they aren't high enough to be a a B or B-DAY.

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    2. No the top three skill scores that player has are ALWAYS listed. So if you see a “C” and he needs a B- in something then you can immediately stop scouting. He’s been proved a dud because the best score he has is a C. You’ll never have three Cs showing and the fourth is an A or something. It always is in descending order.

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    3. Thanks Michael, that makes much more sense now. Appreciate you responding and great guide - I've dropped you $5.

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  38. great stuff, do the predraft rankings matter?

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  39. the heat map doesn't seem to work anymore for 18 I'm gonna do some research and let you know

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  40. I apologize if this is a resubmit. This is my first draft, and ran into some situations not covered in this guide that I would love your feedback on.

    I scouted a LOLB predicted to be drafted in the 2nd round. He has a B Pwr Move, B- Tackle, and B- Hit Power, but was readjusted to a 7th round talent. Based on your metrics, he is worth drafting, but in the 2nd or 7th? Why did this happen?

    Similarly, I have a Cornerback also projected as a 2nd round talent with a B in M. Coverage, B- in Zone Coverage, and a C in Press. His red triangle determines him to be a 6th round talent.

    Finally, if there is a LOLB that meets the requirements of a ROLB, will his Overall be consistent with your findings if I draft him and change his position to ROLB? Same question regarding a SS that meets the FS standards.

    You are amazing.

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    1. He is worth drafting if my metrics say so. You can ignore the red arrows that say what "your team's scouts" grade him at. But if he is projected to go in the 2nd round, if you don't grab him by then, someone else will.

      Of course, there is a margin of error in all things. So if I have two players who are projected to go in the 2nd round, both are "yes" on my metrics, and one has a projected 7th round grade, then I guess in that rare case I'd consider using that to pick the other guy. But I would never NOT pick someone who my metrics say "yes" to just based on that useless round grading. There is zero predictive correlation, statistically, based upon the round grade.

      Yes, I think it's fine to draft someone who meets the qualifications of a different position and then swap them afterward. I do this with FS and SS all the time, and it works well. They may show up as like a 73 FS but if they passed SS, after you edit their position they will end up as a 76 for example.

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    2. Thanks! BTW here is a tip I dont think I've seen mentioned yet. As an owner, I keep firing my scouts after i finish scouting their position of specialty. I just finished scouting in week 15, and I only have left to scout; WR, DT, LE, RE, and FB (probably skipping). I feel like i am going to have time to go back and check out some undrafted prospects. It's not cheating, I just consider them consultants ;)

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  41. Did a draft last night. Had a terrible player pool it seemed like. But I did grab a 80 FS with the first pick thanks to you. Coincidentally? he won the heisman. I got a 78 mlb in the 5th and a 79 role in the 6th! The DE metrics are tough. Took 1 that fit your metric but he ended up being a “reach” at 75. I was happy with that in the 3rd round! Got a superstar WR in the 4th as well. So overall 4 superstars and 2 quick progression guys. Just figured I’d share my results. Thanks for all your hard work on this!

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  42. Definitely getting a donation, I've just got a 86 overall QB because of the guide, just want to know where is the thank you gift button

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    1. Sounds great! The thank you button is in the upper right of the screen

      Delete
  43. How would you determine who the better player is after you scouted for the Draft? How should I arrange my draft board?

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    1. That's a good question. It is really tough after that because you won't have access to enough details to say who is strictly better.

      I arrange my draft board based on value. So I go in and put them in order from Early 1st to Mid 1st to Late 1st, and repeat for each round. Then during the draft, I simply take the highest player available on the board, unless I am just insanely deep at one position and don't need it, then I might skip and drop down.

      Also I will tend to be a bit more cautious on taking TE, DE, and DT very early in the draft unless I'm super confident in them. The high bust rate is just concerning, because even with the combine you can't get enough info. (It's still a lower bust rate than any other system you can find, of course, but I'd rather spend those picks on someone I know has a <5% chance of being a bust).

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    2. Awesome! Thanks for the quick response!

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  44. Thank you so much for this. If anyone reads this comment trust this guide.

    I have a question for you though. I'm scouting LOLB right now.

    B Power Moves
    B- Pursuit
    I've not scouted the third thing, do I need to? Does he pass or if I scout the third thing and it's a C+ do I ignore?

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    1. No need to keep going he passes. Add him to the board, he will be good.

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  45. I'm confused on the LOLB part. Left is B and right is B-. Block Shedding is on both. What if I get a B block Shedding, does that complete both left and right, or just the left one? Do I move on to the right and find one of the other stats that's not block shedding?

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    1. No, it is an "AND" statement - you need to complete both sides. If you get a B for block shedding to complete the left side, then you ALSO need a B- in one of the other categories to complete the right.

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  46. This guide is amazing! I spend through a season just to scout and draft. I had majority studs, and barely missed on a few other players. I should've traded picks once my board was empty.

    The one question I had was do I fully scout the player? Some had the right traits in the first couple clicks. A lot left me hoping that the combine would solidify them. I eventually started looking for the key attributes.

    I need to find this spreadsheet from 17, but nonetheless, a donation is coming!!

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    1. No need to fully scout. Once they have proved to be a Draft Board eligible person, you can add them and keep moving. That lets you see an even bigger part of the draft pool.

      And you're right - it is critical to trade forward picks if you don't have anyone eligible. I ate several subpar seasons in my franchise and one year had a stupid first round, something like 9 first round picks, because I'd keep trading forward and forward and forward. Two years later that team went undefeated because I had almost all 88+ on the roster. It was basically an allstar team.

      One caution - don't forget to review the players when the combine comes out. When people mess up in this system, what usually happens is that (a) they do not trade forward but blame the system that they drafted someone I had already said not to; or (b) they add someone to the draft board based on the scouting but then when the combine comes, they forget to go back and check their combine scores and remove them from their board.

      Sorry on the spreadsheet delay - it just takes a lot of cleanup (I do the work in Minitab, not Excel), and with our family health issues and whatnot, I haven't had the emotional/mental energy for it. On the rare times I'm not at the hospital or working, I'm playing my franchise. :-)

      Delete
  47. Your guides are amazing! Thank you for all the time and effort you put in to doing them!

    I scouted a QB who ended up being:

    Throw Power: A-
    Throw on the Run: B+
    Short Throw Acc: B

    I understand your "Stud until proven Dud" concept and fully intend on drafting this guy even though I don't know medium or deep throw accuracy (I accept the risk of not knowing for sure and taking a slight gamble). Was just wondering if you happen to know how often your "Studs until proven Duds" actually turn out to be duds?

    Again, I and this whole community thanks you! Prayers and best wishes to your family!

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    1. Thanks very much for the kind words!

      So far on QBs, the bust rate is less than 1%. (Truth be told that is only statistical: the actual observed is 0%, but statistically I can't go to zero in the analysis.) I'm in year 23 of my franchise, plus the five year trial done to develop the system. So far, I've drafted I think 8 QBs in my franchise and all were studs. So I think it is close to 100. I would be comfortable drafting that person you have listed, especially in the right round.

      (Note - here is one thing I've started doing. My team tends to be way under the cap because so many players are on rookie contracts; that happens because every time I don't have a draft-board player available, I trade the pick to future years, which usually lets you move up 1-2 rounds. Keep repeating and some years I'll have 4-5 picks in each of the first three rounds. Anyway - point is, I end up with young and thus cheap teams.

      So often on QB, I will sign the aging FA veteran to a one year deal with a high bonus. So you can get like Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan etc. around age 38-40, they are still in the high 80s but no one else wants them due to their age. So you grab them on a one year deal, that lets you be patient waiting for a steal at QB. Because every third or fourth year I can find a good QB in the 3rd round or lower. That way I'm never spending 1st round picks on QBs--letting me stack up at positions on the OL and WR, while finding every "Tom Brady" steal in the drafts.

      By doing this, my current franchise now has three QBs, all on rookie contracts, all 77 or higher, all Quick or better development trait.

      I'm gonna pick one, trade him for multiple draft picks, and still be ridiculously deep.

      So all that to say...this guy is absolutely worth drafting. But also don't be afraid to be patient to find someone with simmilar abilities in the 4th or 5th.)

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    2. To be clear - 8 drafted in my franchise, plus nearly 30 studied during the 5 year trial.

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    3. Yes. In one draft I got a superstar QB in the 1st AND 4th rounds (stuck with the 1st rounder). Needless to say my team, Giants, won back to back Super Bowl's in his 5th and 6th years. Not only thanks to him (looks like he's heading to Canton) but I have a ROTY in MLB as well as now at LE (finally got a stud on the DL). Still OBJ and Shepard plus an additional stud at WR and RB. Solid OL and CB's.

      The WR is tough to find those exact three skills with the ratings. I noticed a lot of A- to B- for the top three skills and I'm hesitant to add to draft board even if the combine stats check out.

      I do have a question about the rating for DE. B- FOR ALL THREE SCORE AND B FOR TACKLE/FINESSE/POWER. Does that mean a B is required for just one of those three and a B- is needed for the other two skills, whichever ones they may be?

      And lastly, is there a reason why for the combine stats that those times were selected? I see so many times where the top three skills check out but the times are a second or two off. Same thin applies to bench press. Is one or two bench presses going to drastically alter that player?

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    4. Correction to previous post. My QB was drafted 4th rd with pick 9 in 2018. In five seasons, he's made one pro bowl, led league in passer rating and was 2022 OPOY. He's thrown for 4,000 yards and 30 TD's every year. Completing above 62% of his passes every year (67% highest). Again, all this with 5 years experience with a Quick Dev and not a Superstar. Currently at 88 OVR.

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  48. WOW!!! Thank you so much for all the work you have put into this. I can't wait to give it a shot. You are the MAN!!

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  49. Sorry if this has been addressed and I didn't see it but if a player meets your criteria but drops in projections (or a red diamond as I call it) from a 2nd to say a 5th or 6th round guy do you still draft him? I didn't know how much those projections affected their score. Thanks.

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  50. Please remove this web page before my competition finds it. thanks

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  51. I just finished the first season of my all madden, simulation, 12min qtrs franchise playthrough with the lions. By the time i got to the draft i had scouted every single player from every position besides WR, and only 8 players total qualified for any of the above features. As i got all the way to the nfc championship and lost i was only able to grab 2 of the 8 studs which 1 was an 82 overall DT and the other was a 76 overall HB. Did i just get super screwed by my draft class? How many studs should i expect per class? I only had 1 stud projected to go lower than 2nd round (which the ai sniped). Should i take more risks?
    I traded away a lot of my picks this season so i can nab a whole lot next year
    -zeald

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    1. Not sure if he will reply but I noticed this too. I only had 3 guys outside of the top 2 rounds. I'd love to hear the feedback from the author on what a good and bad class look like.

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  52. There's a much easier way to go about this. I never use scouting points to evaluate offensive linemen. I wait till the combine and see there overall score. If a lineman has a 5.9 and up overall evaluation you can bet he's a minimum 74 rage player. Normally I get a ton of these guys towards the back end of the draft. For RB, WR,TE, CB, Safety's and D-Linemen I look at 3 combine scores the 40 yard dash the the cone drill and 20 yard shuttle if all are fairly high let's say top 5 in all 3 especially at RB CB and WR chances are you're going to get a kid 73 or up. The riskiest ones are the prototype players though some have great numbers but could be duds I will sometimes use scouting points on them. Quarterbacks are pretty simple with not many in each class so I use scouting points for them. In conclusion it's essentially 3 combine scores that matter 40 yard 20 yard shuttle and the Cone Drill.

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  53. This is so great. Thank you for all your dedication. You'll be getting a beer on me!
    I have a question though: Do you take schemes into account?
    Since a player's OVR depends on the scheme he is in, what schemes are used to get the formula on Appendix B?

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  54. Not sure if anyone pointed this out yet and it's not really a big deal but it says that the MLB's are on the offensive line.

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  55. Hi :) First of all, great job with what you did. Question: Do you have a correlation sheet between the combine scores and physical attributes? I believe 4.5 40 time is right at 90 speed, would be great to have statistical backup there.
    Suggestion: Run over your Linebackers. I do not have a great sample size (a few drafts), but your numbers exspecially the false alarm rate feels off. I found it to be way higher than 1% in: MLB, LOLB, WR, HB (this one is debatable, since there were 76+ players not included, but had terrible carrying so I would not want them anyways). Pretty significant seems WR, since I experienced multiple very fast Superstars excluded by your numbers. Do you think that was by chance? Would love an answer, also sry for bad English, I am from Germany. Have a nice Day :)

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  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Where did you find the Excel file?

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    2. Odd, I don't see it anymore but here is a link. https://www.reddit.com/r/Madden/.../madden_cfm_scouting_tool_v5_for_madden_1...

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    3. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_j3eHm2ZFqVaDhqWWFaZ3RUWEE/view?usp=sharing

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  57. Hey brother! Another year, another fantastic guide. I donated to the cause, you do fantastic work. My only question is if you could post or make available a larger image of the graphs showing the correlation of speed/accel etc to the times? They look very nice but the image has them too small!

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  58. Hi, Michael.

    I understand how rare FS and SS are, once every 3-4 drafts, however in my current draft class there are 2 FS who are studs. Anomaly? Have you found any inconsistency with how often they appear?

    Thank you so much

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    1. I made the same experience, usually two combined safeties per class are studs, almost every time early first rounders. However, I did not experience a decent late round qb and found it extremely hard to get good wr- i think ea changed something up slitely after this guide was made :)

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  59. Michael,

    I don't have Madden 18 myself (still running 16), but I would like to help you with the guide if you would like. I ran some data of my own off of 16 and found some little known combinatorial effects that I could apply to your data set for 18. I could probably get your Appendix A R^2 values to 99% (I even did it for Acceleration and Agility in Madden 16). If I could get a copy of your Minitab file, I would appreciate it. That software is what I used previously myself as it is far superior to Excel for statistics. If you do not feel comfortable with my request, I understand.

    Tom

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  60. Thanks for posting this for free man! I have no doubt that you invested crazy hours in this! I also love the title of the page "Reboot Christianity"

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  61. Anonymous is correct...

    In the first 3 weeks you will have a Superstar revelead to you (usually a convert or spent a lifetime around football: someone who has transferred from one sport to another or for example someone who's father is a high school coach)
    Also in week 15 the Heisman is revelead in which this person will also be a Superstar
    Then like said above the MVP of the all-star game will be a Superstar and anyone else who "performs well" in the All-Star game will be a Quick or Superstar Development. I believe this is revealed the week of the Super Bowl. Just pay close attention to the "draft news" around that week and before the combine.

    This article really helps with learning what the other players will be though. Great work!

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  62. Hey Michael, thanks so much for this guide! Just got one question. Are the three attributes shown the top 3 for that player? For example if I have a QB that has A- Throw Power, B+ Medium Acc and C+ Throw on Run, does that mean his Short Acc will definitely be under C+ and thus disqualify him?

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  63. Confused why Javonte Wallace is on your draft board sample. Looks like a bust but he doesn't meet the criteria for DE...does he have ridiculous combine stats? Same question on the #7 guy don't you have to scout all 3 slots for a DT to meet the criteria...just trying to better understand...Thank you

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  64. That draft board screenshot is purely an image from the internet to show what the draft board looks like. It isn’t mine, and it doesn’t reflect the scouting rules.

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    1. Thank you...made quick half page cheat sheet can't wait to test this out this weekend, I'm in a franchise with 4 other people...I think you addressed this earlier shouldn't the b-free safety grade go on left pursuit then followed by the c+ on right? Thanks again!

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  65. I've simulated a bunch of drafts and this system is great. In one of my simulations I had 12 draft picks, but only had 3 guys on my board so I traded the rest of the picks. I'm frustrated now because I'm in my "real" league with a couple of buddies and I am halfway through my FS list and I so far DO NOT HAVE 1 guy on my board. Has this happened to anyone?

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    1. Stop scouting by positional need and scout every guy that fits your scheme. If you run Hybrid D, you'll only be able to scout the first 5 rounds or so, otherwise you'll be fine. But this way you can find all the good players at all the positions. You're really limiting yourself if you only scout by the positions you need for that single season you're passing on half a dozen stud players to add to your roster. A good player is a good player is a good player... right? If you need a stud HB, miss one in the draft, but now you have 4 stud corners... trade one and get your guy.

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  66. good stuff, man. I hope my donation helps. I'll be praying for you and your family.

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  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  68. I'm new to the whole Madden franchise gameplay do you think you can explain appendix B to me? I'm not sure what the numbers are supposed to represent and the color of the boxes also you mentioned that not that often catching a route running will show up on The Scouting grade. But that is a sign of a really good player do you mean that if those two stats are shown he's going to be a good player? (B+ RR, B catching) or if those aren't shown that it's going to be a good player. Thanks!

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  69. How would you find a good kick returner (to draft in the 5-7th round)?

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  70. where do i find the combine guide for each position is it the same as last years?

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  71. Just donated this morning after my first draft using your system last night. It went fantastic. I'm an analyst for a bank, so I appreciate your approach and methodology (especially the regression analysis).

    Anyway, for anyone out there who is thinking of trying it, I'll share my draft results from last night.

    Position-Total Draft Rated Players to scout-"Studs" (Stud's Projected Round)
    LOLB-10-0
    ROLB-10-0
    LT-11-1 (1st)
    LG-4-0
    C-5-0
    RG-8-0
    RT-8-0
    HB-11-2
    QB-9-1 (5th I couldn't believe the only stud QB was graded in the 5th round)
    MLB12-1 (1st)
    SS-10-0
    FS-7-1 (3rd)
    CB-27-4 (1st, 1st, 2nd, 4th)
    WR-31-3 (1st, 2nd, 2nd)
    TE-15-2
    DT-19-7 (1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, Und)

    Results:
    I had a super low amount of draft graded Offensive lineman. And only one "stud" indicated by the system. So I expanded the search for right guards according to the notes. For everything else, I didn't "reach" at all.

    My Draft Picks:
    Round-Pick Position-Final rating

    1-11 MLB-79 OVR
    1-21 DT- 83 OVR (I needed a franchise
    1-22 RG- 80 OVR (Glad I "reached" for this right guard)
    1-29 TE- 78 OVR
    2-9 TE- 77 OVR
    3-2 CB- 76 OVR
    3-15 FS- 78 OVR (Apparently these are rare, so I'm glad to get it)
    4-2 QB- 73 OVR (B+ THP, B+ TAS, B TAM Came out a 73 OVR instead of 76+ but I'm good with it. He is a short West Coast type and His awareness is in the 50's so maybe that's why he didn't get the 76+)

    Seriously people, trust the system here, it's the quickest way to get through scouting. One thing I recommend is to find out what the first scouting disqualification is and get in the mindset. For instance, ROLB requires a B+ for the first trait. If you get a B for the first trait, just move on and don't waste any points. Maybe that's obvious to some people, but I found it very helpful.

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  72. Used your stuff for 16, 17, & now 18. Great stuff!!!

    Question about 2nd contracts with players. You keep saying you are WAY under the Salary Cap. I don't seem to be as lucky. It could be the team though. I play as the Cowboys, and pretty much resigned Dak, Zeke, Z. Martin, Jaylon Smith, Byron Jones, and a few more.

    I typically go into the year with 8+ draft picks in the first 3 rounds, causing my rookie reserve to be like 30M. This puts me right up against the Salary Cap. This past season I had to take some "bad trades" just so I could slow down getting so many picks in the first round and not go over the salary cap.

    Do you sign players to a 2nd contract when their time is up for extension?

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    1. Once the foundation of your roster is built start targeting the "value" picks that meet the parameters. Stop drafting by need and only take players that fit your scheme, are available in rounds 2-7, and meet the parameters. I.e. if two guys meet the parameters and one is a 1st round projection and the other is a 5th round projection, you should pass on the first rounder and wait. Also, if you're acquiring way too many picks by trading back (my problem), you can always just dump them for a stud player or even to move up. I often will turn 3 mid to late 1st round picks into the first or second pick in the draft. My character is a coach and it's 2028 in my franchise. My team is rated 96 OVR and I have 54m in available cap. One final note... your available cap will always project very low or even negative at the end of the season if you're carrying too many picks. Try trading some that you know you wont need, prior to the deadline to have cap available for free agency.

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    2. I lied... LAST FINAL NOTE lol...

      Upgrade your coaches "Player Retention" ability for the prime positions as soon as you can.

      When you land a stud rookie that you're certain you will want to resign, upgrade his "Predictability" trait when you have enough XP.

      Both of these methods can make a huge difference in the cost to resign players.

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    3. I should probably just stop saying "one final note" at this point...

      But signing the "middle class" of your roster to long contracts helps alot too (24-26 yr olds w/ OVR 78-82ish. Those guys still have time to improve their ratings, are usually seeking "prove it" deals (3-4 yrs for 10-15m). A 25 yr old asking 3 years / 15m... I would offer 7 years / 16-20m. They almost always bite on the contract length and lower salary/bonus (especially if the player is "predictable"). It's worth noting that you will have far greater success doing this with players you are resigning rather than acquiring via FA. However, it can still be done sometimes.

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  73. I found a WR with a 4.24 speed. But Has C plus everything going undrafted. I see in previous post that’s a 99 speed guy. Have you ever seen madden cfm actually create a 99 speed guy. As I’m debating on drafting him?

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  74. Thanks, my first draft I did not this until late, but I got a WR for the Falcons in the 3rd round that became the 2nd highest rated WR on my team. And this last draft, my 6th round pick, when I picked him told me he was the 27th best player in the draft haha. 79 rated DT and he is awesome.

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  75. Noob question here. I need an FB, but your system doesn't scout FBs. Why are they not worth drafting?
    Great work though.

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    Replies
    1. You can literally ALWAYS find a serviceable UDFA.

      Delete
  76. Just sent you $4.99. This game is allowing me and my boy to bond. He is going to be elated when I show him your research. Just a quick question: Can't the ROLB criteria just be B- or higher for tackle, block shedding, finesse moves or am I missing something or over-simplifying this?

    Thanks!

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  77. Overall, this is a great list. However, I have a problem with your outside linebackers. I’ve had so many linebackers that entirely fit the requirements, and even have the green symbol by their picture (which I’ll get to), and the busted players were all in the 60s. It’s not incredibly common, but for sure common enough to give note to.

    Second, I’ve seen a few replies to comments in this thread that say to entirely ignore Madden’s green and red symbols. However, every single player that has the red symbol next to their name that projects well in this guide has been bad, while many players that narrowly miss on the projections (in skills that, in the author’s note, say not to risk taking players that don’t pass the parameters), I’ve had several 76+, quick development players, mainly at wide receiver. This is still the best guide on the internet, though.

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    1. To clarify with what I meant about the wide receivers and co., I’m saying that they narrowly miss your parameters, but have the green symbol, and that seems to mean something, because they are often very good.

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  78. How do you decide between two players that both qualify. For instance in my current draft class there are two FS, one with B- Z. Coverage, B-Tackle, and B- Pursuit, and another with B Hit Power B- Z. Coverage and B- Pursuit, 4.45 and 4.47 40 yd dash respectively.

    In another instance I have two HBs one with A-Carrying B+Elusiveness B Juke move and the other with A- Stiff Arm B+ BCV and B+ Carrying. Is it worth going for the one with higher carrying since its BCV might be a B? Or is it smarter to go the one where I can see that both stats are adequate.

    Thanks so much for the guide, it's incredible

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    Replies
    1. Draft the younger player when debating between 2. Always been my rule of thumb. I would rather have a rookie who will be 24 or 25 when its time to resign them over a guy who is 27 or 28.

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  79. Thank you so much for this! This guide is well worth 4.99 so please, take it, I hope it helps. I've used this a ton already and really want to see how you do it. I'm a huge fan of anyone who can break apart a game like this. Incredible stuff thank you so much.

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  80. Great stuff here! I am currently attempting to rebuild the Indianapolis Colts. First draft i followed your system as best I could. I had three 1st round picks and with that I drafted a 83 ovr corner back with quick dev, the a 77 ovr mlb with quick dev, and finally a 83 ovr rb with superstar dev. (pretty much Saquan Barkley). Also got a 77 ovr LT with superstar dev and a 76 over RT with normal dev in later rounds.

    I fell in love with Madden CF all over again with this in front of me!!!

    Only issue I had was with trying to get through the MLB/HB by the end of the SB. I found myself only at the RG position at that point. My question is does the guide assume that the user is a coach and not a owner? Because I think with a coach you get the extra scouting points if you have the scouting package. I created an owner because I wanted to the satisfaction of firing C.Pagano.

    Anyways, just need some help here to make sure I can follow the guide 100% for the next draft! Oh yeah, and btw the two positions I skipped in the first draft was Qb (Andrew Luck) and FS (Malik Hooker).

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  81. This is a great guide! I've used it for seven drafts over two different CFMs and it's given excellent results. However, I will add a few observations:

    First, follow this guide to the letter if you sim every game. The player's OVR is much more important then individual ratings when you sim the results. If you play every game, then this guide might not always apply for later rounds when you can find some valuable role players. Sometimes getting depth / role players for the upcoming season is more important than rolling a 2018 5th round pick into a 2019 4th rounder. For the early rounds, I would no doubt trade down in the draft and stockpile picks if nothing of value is present on your board... but the later rounds you can find value. Sometimes you don't even need to spend a single scouting point.

    For TE: Balanced player type + 6.1 combine score or higher almost always gives a serviceable 2nd TE, you don't need to reveal a single grade. Perhaps not a world beater, but a guy that is going to be a solid run blocker + respectable receiver. If you run a lot of two TE sets, these guys can earn enough XP to be upgraded nicely by the end of their rookie year.

    For MLB: Combine scores over 7.0 are rare in the later rounds, but not unheard of... I've snagged a few 71-75 OVR MLBs in the later rounds that are good enough rotational / special teams / backup guys. If you play every game with realistic fatigue settings, these types of guys will see snaps and earn some decent XP. Like the TEs, they can be nicely upgraded without much effort by their 2nd year.

    HB / WR / CB: Combine scores are big for finding specialization with these positions. KR/PR specialists with 96 or 97 SPD can break a close game your way. I drafted a 63 OVR WR in the 7th round with the aforementioned 97 SPD. He ran back one punt and one kickoff for TDs as well as a couple of big gain catches when specifically subbed in for a screen pass. So, taking fliers on guys with insane combine speed can offer rewards if you find niches for them to fill. They may never rush for 1,800 yards or catch 90 passes... but again... role players are important if you are not simming every game.

    OL: I typically stick to the guide with OL, but if I am desperate for depth and the FA market was thin... guys with high combine scores, specifically bench press, have fallen into "decent backup" territory more than "outright bust" territory.

    Secondly, the news stories do make a difference. Perhaps not in predicting raw OVR, but for development traits. There are guides out there on the internet, but a lot of news stories guarantee that a player will have superstar or quick development. Having a 21 year old 71 OVR with superstar who misses the requirements of this guide is probably preferable to having a 24 year old 76 OVR who does meet the requirements. Development starts costing a lot more XP once a player is 26 years old, so age + development trait is a factor that this guide doesn't really address... it's more focused on landing raw OVR... which again is fine if you sim every game result.

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  82. Does this draft guide still work? I've been following it to a T and my average OVR is coming out closer to 69/70 than the 76 reported above. Maybe EA has changed how players come out? Or maybe I'm doing something wrong. From my results, the OVR has been determined more by what round I draft someone than what this guide purports...

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  83. "For each position, I will define the path to discovering
    STUDS and SOLIDS" I only see one defined path in the position pages. Are there separate requirements for solids and studs, or does this just mean a player meeting the requirements will at least be a solid and maybe a stud?

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  84. Awesome stuff!! I love it! I do have 1 question though. Just read a comment saying once you finish scouting, you arrange your draft board by early 1st to mid to late first and so on but are leary about the high bust rate positions. My question is you take best available. Lets say you have the 32nd pick and every other 1st round projection is taken, just an example because I know that will not happen. So the last guy in the first round passes your criteria but he is scouted as a 5th rounder instead. Would he be your best available still or would you go to your best available 2nd round guy and wait until a later round to draft that 1st round guy projected as a 5th rounder?

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    1. I draft them all roughly one round before their projection. Talent wise they're usually good enough to take a projected 5th rounder in the first, but it's much smarter to wait until later in the draft. Trade your picks back if you need to. If you wait until later it will save your ass in salary cap.

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  85. Have you ever done any research on players that are better in a different position in another scheme?
    Fullback to tight ends
    Defensive ends to defensive tackles
    Linebackers to defensive ends

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  86. its not working very well for me :(
    I dont really get why
    just reached on two MLBs one 70 and one 71 in the 3rd and 6th rounds respectively
    seems like it only works for me for the first two or three rounds

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  87. Is it possible or have you ever considered attempting to solve the TE conundrum by creating separate processes for the three different types of TE?

    It's definitely difficult to scout as a blocking TE and a vertical threat TE have different skillsets, with balanced TE being in the middle. I'd imagine most players who are looking at drafting a TE already know if they're looking for blocking/balanced/vertical before they draft. Couldn’t you tailor processes for each of the types of TE with the blocking TE shading toward the OL grading, Vertical TE shading toward the WR grading and the balanced TE somewhere in between (likely similar to your current TE grading)?

    Just a thought. Great work again, and thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Same Anon -
      Just realized that with the number of stats for TEs, it isn't possible as it would be hard to hit enough TE stats to isolate Blocking vs Vert cs Balanced TEs. Still, great job.

      Delete
  88. Firstly, this is fantastic work. Was wondering if you have any insight as to how to compare the identified “studs”. For example, you have identified 7 guys as first round “studs”. Which one should you take with the 3rd pick in the draft, is there a theory on how to rank them?

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  89. First and foremost, awesome work! I use this for every single draft. I will say that the criteria for HB seem to be a little too stringent. I have been able to find several solid HB's with a lower carrying attribute. Everything else has been great!

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  90. I know I am late to the party on this, but this is freaking amazing. I have a yr 1 draft coming up in one of my franchises so hopefully I can put some of this to use. I love dominating my friends, I am way more analytical than they are so this is awesome.

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  91. It is a great to here about franchise consultant.
    Franchise Consultant

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  92. Thanks for your hard work. This guide helped me have a great online draft.

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  93. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PLAYERS WE ARE ABLE TO CREATE ON MADDEN 18?

    I downloaded the roster that had the most DL's. The description was fantastic with all the updated draft picks etc. But I also wanted to create my own player, along with family members, friends, fictitious characters, and the 2 Long Shot characters Devin Wade and Colt Cruise. I created them both, then went to the rosters of their teams and they weren't there. Checked free agency and they weren't there either. Do you know what's up with this? What is the maximum amount of players we are able to create on MADDEN 18?

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  95. Great job! Did draft with the Detroit Lions and Brooklyn Beats/Houston Texans. Got a stud OLB who could play both LOLB and ROLB (though is still a backup for Mercilus and Clowney). Also got a superstar dev, 83 OVR wide receiver named Cameron Price. This was actually the second time I got him in a draft. Thanks so much!!

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