This series of posts form a detailed guide to my Madden 17 CFM Scouting Tool, which can be downloaded from this location:
- Part 1: Introduction
- Part 2: Data Input
- Part 3: Scouting Tips
- Part 4: Blue Chip Criteria
- Part 5: Red Chip Criteria
- Part 6: Off-Season Planning
- Part 7: Draft Day
You’ll find that the tool gives you plenty of options of who to draft in the first round, but it quickly tails off after that. In this year’s Madden, most of the top prospects will be taken in the first 50 or so picks of the draft, but at least you can comfort yourself in the fact this tool will ensure you don’t waste your top pick on a bust.
The biggest bonus of the tool is it will help to identify hidden gems, or blue chip quality players in the middle and late rounds. These are the players you must hit in order to really differentiate yourself from the competition in terms of your drafting. Even the CPU will usually manage to draft a decent player in the 1st round and sometimes even the 2nd too, but it’s very rare they’ll snag a blue chipper any later in the draft.
If all the blue chip prospects have been exhausted, you can look to the red chip players to find value late on and fill out your depth chart.
The 1st Round
I like to go through round 1 pick by pick, marking off any players taken from my tool’s board with an X so I don’t have to fumble about seeing if they’re still available when it’s my turn to pick.
I very, very rarely trade up, and would only ever do so in the following circumstances:
I am trying to take a top QB prospect the tool has given a 95+ rating to (ignoring any team need modifiers you put on this). You will usually need at least a top 5 pick for this type of prospect, but they’re the ones who have 82+ ratings.
As I am moving through the round, I see a fantastic prospect ranked right at the top of my big board fall into the middle/late portion of the round. I’d consider jumping up a few slots to take a player like this.
The rest of the time, you need to read your board. If a prospect you like falls to you at your pick, feel free to take him. If it’s all much-of-a-muchness or you think you can get a better/similar player later, then trading back is always a good plan. When trading back from the 1st round, I like to try and pick up at least next year’s first rounder and a high second rounder for the current year from whichever team I’m dealing with.
Using this tool, you can start to think like Bill Belichick, knowing you can find good players later in the draft and therefore not placing such a high premium on top picks.
You should only ever pick a blue chip player in the 1st round, even if there’s a red chipper with a high TVR you really like the look of. Occasionally you might find that red chipper is an elite prospect who fell through the cracks of the blue chip lounge, but most of the time they won’t be worthy of a top pick and you’ll regret not listening to the tool!
The 2nd Round
Again, you need to be hitting blue chippers in round 2. In round 1, the majority of players are usually blue chippers, but in round 2 they become a bit more scarce. You will find that you might be more limited in your choice of which player to select in round 2, but should always be aiming for another blue chipper.
Middle Rounds (3rd and 4th)
In the later rounds, your options in terms of who the tool says to draft will rapidly diminish. You need to be prepared to draft your earmarked mid/late round blue chip prospects as much as an entire round before their projected round to prevent other teams from taking them. Trading back out of the first round tends to yield plenty of solid mid-round picks (if you’re not afraid of cheesing the CPU), which will enable you to pick up a good bevy of potential starters or – at the very least – give you the flexibility to move around the draft board to ensure you don’t miss out on your desired prospects. 3rd and 4th round picks are incredibly important and valuable if you are using this tool, and it is by selecting blue chippers in these middle rounds that the tool will really help you to rebuild your team through the draft.
In the first round, a team is more likely to draft a good player than not on Madden 17. But beyond that, their chances of finding a functional starter become pretty remote, which is when this tool really comes into its own.
Some classes, you might find that you don’t have any more blue chippers available after about round 3. This is when you should be looking to the red chip prospects.
Later Rounds (5th, 6th, and 7th)
If I have any blue chip prospects left on my draft board by the middle of round 6 it’s pretty rare as I usually reach for any leftover blue chippers to make sure I definitely get them. Don’t be afraid to pick a blue chipper as much as a round early to make sure you get him. Any remaining picks, I use to fill holes in my team with red chippers. Occasionally you get a nice surprise with these red chip prospects as they turn out to be blue chippers who fell through the cracks, but at the very least, these players can provide good depth for my team.
If you’re someone who doesn’t mind cheesing the CPU, you might also consider trading out of the 6th/7th round as the CPU will offer ridiculous value in terms of future picks (e.g. a future 4th rounder for the current year’s 7th round pick). Pretty poor trade logic from Madden, but if you want to exploit it, feel free.
Dos and Don’ts
Thought I’d finish the guide with a few Dos and Don’ts for using this tool and drafting in general:
- DO purchase the expert scouting upgrade for your HC as soon as physically possible.
- DO ensure your scout specialises in O Line, DB, or WR.
- DO scout players/positions in the order advised.
- DO add players to your watch list in Madden if the tool says to draft them.
- DO NOT add players to your watch list in Madden if the tool says not to draft them.
- DO NOT spend scouting points on WRs and CBs (and, if you can avoid it, DTs, HBs and TEs) until after you have plugged in their combine stats.
- DO use the DCA sheet after week 2 of free agency to help you plan your draft and other off-season activities
- DO sort the board by rank prior to the draft.
- DO make a note of which picks you have in which round so that you can plan in advance which picks you will use on which mid-round prospects the tool identifies for you. If need be, you can trade up or down the board via trades to snag as many of the players you’re targeting as possible in the middle/late rounds at the best value possible.
- DO NOT ever draft a player you haven’t fully scouted.
- DO NOT draft a player the tool says not to draft (unless you like wasting picks).
- DO think carefully before drafting a player the tool says is a risky pick, unless they’re a pass rushing OLB (in which case, draft away).
- DO NOT waste draft picks on Kickers, Punters or Fullbacks.
- DO trade away your current year’s picks for future selections if there are no players left on your board that the tool says to draft.
- DO NOT despair if you end up drafting a bad player the tool thought would be good. The tool is not fool proof, and even can’t miss prospects can sometimes turn out to be poor players in the Pros (Aaron Curry anyone?). But generally, you’re much, much better off with this tool than without it!
Thanks for reading, and happy drafting!
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