How to Scout Development Traits in Madden 17 CFM

Introduction

Hi everyone, this is a detailed post about how you can start to scout development traits for draft prospects in Madden 17 Connected Franchise Mode. The consensus is that dynamic dev traits (the thing that affects how quickly a player accumulates XP and how much upgrades to skills/attributes cost) is completely random. And the consensus is 100% correct, the vast majority of the time. However, there are some indicators that give you clues as to which prospects will end up with Superstar, Quick, or – heaven forbid – Slow dev traits. These indicators come in the way of Draft Stories.

Read on to find out how you can draft with more certainty and find the prospects likely to have good development traits (and avoid players likely to have Slow dev!).

How do Dev Traits get determined?

When you start a new season in Franchise mode, a fresh draft class is generated for you. These prospects have largely pre-determined rounds in which they are projected to be drafted, scouted skills, combine stats, OVR ratings, and dynamic dev traits.

From what I’ve observed so far, in a draft class of approximately 200 prospects predicted to be drafted (as opposed to undrafted free agent prospects), the proportion of dev traits will be roughly as follows:

  • 90% will have a dev trait of Normal.
  • Remaining 10% will have either Slow, Quick, or Superstar.

These are what I refer to as prospects’ “default” dev traits, since they are pre-determined when the class is generated at the start of the season. However, as you shall see, sometimes these default dev traits can change during a season.

If you run a season multiple times through, all the way from Week 1 to the draft recap, you will find that 95% of players are drafted at similar times in the draft, have the same dev trait each time, and have an OVR within a +/- 1 range (this range is, I suspect, accounted for by the fact that scouted skill grades correlate to a range of possible in-game attributes, e.g. a ‘C+’ is somewhere between 76 and 79). The only exceptions where you will see different draft positions, OVRs and dev traits are for players who are subject to draft stories during the season*. So this means you can use draft stories to predict some previously unscoutable factors for your draft prospects.

* N.B. You may also see slight rises or falls that are secondary affects of players with draft stories. For example, a late round 1 prospect that was on the bubble of being a middle first rounder rises to the middle because an early first rounder has now dropped below him to early second round after an unfavourable draft story came out.

When and Where Do Draft Stories Appear?

Draft stories can be viewed within the News section of Franchise, which is under the League heading in the main screen. You will probably need to use RT/R2 to filter your news stories by ones related to the Draft so that you can see the wood for the trees. Draft stories appear on the below dates:

  • From weeks 2-14 during the regular season. Some weeks will have no stories, other weeks will have anything up to 4. It’s completely random.
  • Week 15: Heisman trophy winner is announced.
  • Superbowl Week: Stories from the College All Star game.
  • Off-Season Week 2 (Free Agency Week 2): Stories from the NFL Scouting Combine.
  • Off-Season Week 3 (Free Agency Week 3): Stories from college Pro Days.

A lot of people forget to check stories after the regular season, but the All Star game, Combine and Pro Days weeks provide some of the best scouting info available ready for draft day.

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What Might Draft Stories Affect?

Draft stories may cause some impact to following variables for a prospect:

  1. Projected Round: The prospect may rise up or slip down draft boards depending on stories about him.
  2. Overall Rating: A minor affect, but certain stories cause a prospect to get in-game attributes at the top-end of the ranges for scouted skill grades and combine measurables, while others cause them to be at the bottom end of the range.
  3. Dev trait: Some draft stories will change a player’s default dev trait in either a positive or negative way.

Anecdotally, I’ve also seen some draft stories that have an impact on Confidence, and I’m pretty certain that injury-related stories cause a decrease to a player’s injury stat too (but unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to test this out yet).

Draft stories also sometimes affect:

  1. Scouted skill grades
  2. Combine stats

Draft stories can also act as indicators of a player’s default dev trait (as opposed to actually affecting/changing the trait themselves). My analysis indicates that some stories are much more likely to be attributed to players with Slow development, though I cannot say for 100% certain yet (so – at the time of writing – you will need take some of the indicator-related analysis with a small pinch of salt).

How Did I Conduct My Analysis?

I did about 8 runs of a season with the same draft class, painstakingly recording each prospect, any draft stories attributed to them, their projected round before the draft, and their OVR and dev traits after the draft. After a few runs through I was able to make sure I had recorded the “default” OVR, projected round and dev trait for each prospect that they have when they do not have a draft story all year. This has allowed me to spot any clear patterns that certain stories have in terms of the variables they impact or indicate.

DSA 1.png

Some stories crop up every run through (e.g. the Heisman winner), while others are rarer. My level of certainty about the impacts of different stories is therefore greater for some than others, based on my sample size. So keep this in mind if you put this information to use in your CFM!

I started off by recording pretty much word-for-word what each story said, but I quickly realised that certain stories are exactly the same in terms of their impact, but have different wording depending on the player’s position. For example, the story for a DE who breaks his team’s single game TFL record is has exactly the same affect as a story for a WR who breaks the TD record, or Safety who breaks the INT record. A story about an O-Lineman who has been playing well (e.g. referring to him as a “Wall”) has the same affect as a story about a QB who has thrown TDs in each of his last 5 games. And so on and so forth. Later in this post you will see the ‘groupings’ I’ve given to stories, and I’ve provided some specific examples of the stories that fall into which grouping as sometimes it might be slightly subjective.

DSA 2.png

The other thing to keep in mind is that some stories – although very similar – can have a different effect if they occur at the Combine, All Star Game, Pro Day, or during the regular college football season. For this reason, where applicable, I have prefixed each story group name with either “Season”, “All Star”, “Combine”, or “Pro Day” to help you differentiate.

Summary of Analysis

So enough ballsing about, I know what you really came here for: Which stories indicate who is going to be a Superstar and who is going to be a Captain Slow? I’ve got some detailed info below, but I’ve attached a summary image here for those who have short attention spans and like TL;DR versions of stuff. In other words, Reddit users 🙂

Summary Image.jpg

Detailed Analysis

The key here is the difference between what I call an Identifying story, and an Indicative story. An Identifying story will change a prospects default dev trait to something else, be it Quick, Superstar or Slow.

An indicative story offers a clue as to the default dev trait of a player, but will not actually change anything.

Other stories (or groups of story) are not identifiers or indicators for dev traits and only appear to affect projected rounds, causing prospects to rise or fall on teams’ draft boards.

Stories That Identify A Prospect As A Superstar

These are the stories that – no matter what a prospect’s default, generated dev trait, will always result in them getting the Superstar dev trait:

Season: Heisman Trophy Winner

The easy one, the one everyone already knows all about. The Heisman winner will always be a superstar. As I mention later in the post though, just because you know he will be a Superstar doesn’t mean you should always draft him. A 68 scrub with Superstar dev ain’t gettin’ no game time, so he would actually be better off as a 78 OVR Captain Slow.

  • Week Revealed: 15
  • Impact to Projected Round: Rises by 1 (if player is originally projected outside of 1st Round)
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the upper bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 higher than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Superstar

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All Star Game: MVP

The other obvious one that most players already know about, the All Star Game MVP will always be a Superstar. Just make sure you remember to check your news articles before you advance to the off-season in Superbowl week!

  • Week Revealed: Superbowl Week (College All Star Game)
  • Impact to Projected Round: Rises by 1 (if player is originally projected outside of 1st Round)
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the upper bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 higher than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Superstar

All Star Game: Great Performance

In addition to the story about the MVP, the All Star Game might also tell you about some other guys who put in great performances. These will be stories like “100+ yds rushing and 2 TDs, made 3 INTs, had 2 Sacks and a Forced Fumble, etc etc. These guys will be Superstars too.

  • Week Revealed: Superbowl Week (College All Star Game)
  • Impact to Projected Round: Rises by 1 (if player is originally projected outside of 1st Round)
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the upper bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 higher than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Superstar
  • Example Stories:
    • HB with 100+ yards rushing and 2 TDs;
    • CB with 3 INTs;
    • Etc.

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Season: Football Convert

Early in the season, you might see a story about how a player used to be a boxer, soccer star, rugby player or sprinter in a previous life, but converted to football. These ‘converts’ will always be Superstars.

  • Week Revealed: Early in regular season (week 2-5)
  • Impact to Projected Round: None
  • Impact to OVR: None
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Superstar
  • Example Stories:
    • Former boxer;
    • Former rugby player;
    • Former sprinter;
    • Former soccer player.

Season: Son of a Legendary High School Coach

Sometimes you will see a story in the regular season about a player whose dad was a great coach in Texas high school football, and how his son has been around football his entire life. These prospects will be Superstars.

  • Week Revealed: Early in regular season (week 2-5)
  • Impact to Projected Round: None
  • Impact to OVR: None
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Superstar

Season: Son of an Olympic Medallist

Occasionally you’ll see a story about a guy whose dad was an Olympic sprinter and won some medals. These prospects are always Superstars.

  • Week Revealed: Early in regular season (week 2-5)
  • Impact to Projected Round: None
  • Impact to OVR: None
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Superstar

Stories That Identify a Prospect as Quick Dev

Some stories will change a prospect’s default dev trait to Quick (and indeed, the ones in this category may even boost it up to Superstar).

Combine: Good Performance

In Free Agency week 2, you will see stories about guys who impressed and disappointed at the Combine. Most of the guys who impressed (e.g. a story about how they look lean and agile, or benched more than expected, or set a really good 40 time, etc. etc.) will get at least a Quick dev trait. It’s about 60:40 as to whether they get Quick or Superstar, but generally these guys are worth drafting.

  • Week Revealed: Off-Season/Free Agency Week 2 (Combine)
  • Impact to Projected Round: Rises by 1 (if player is originally projected outside of 1st Round)
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the upper bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 higher than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Quick/Superstar
  • Example Stories:
    • Looked lean;
    • Showed surprising agility;
    • Best 40 at the Combine;
    • Good 40 time;
    • More bench press reps than anticipated;
    • Etc.

Pro Day: Good Performance

One week after the combine, you will see stories about players’ Pro Days. These are very similar to combine stories in that they can indicate either a Quick or Superstar dev trait.

  • Week Revealed: Off-Season/Free Agency Week 3 (Pro Days)
  • Impact to Projected Round: Rises by 1 (if player is originally projected outside of 1st Round)
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the upper bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 higher than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Quick/Superstar
  • Example Stories:
    • Impressed at his pro day;
    • Improved on combine stats;
    • Etc.

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Stories That Identify a Prospect as Slow Dev

The flip side of the positive stories are ones that – when they affect a player unfortunate enough – they will make his dev trait slow, even if his default, generated trait was Superstar or Quick. Fortunately, these stories are actually pretty rare (indeed, I suspect there are stories out there I haven’t seen yet which may fall into this category as they do seem to be pretty few and far between).

Combine: Missed Curfew

You might occasionally see a story about a player who misses multiple curfews, including one at the combine. These guys will have Slow dev.

  • Week Revealed: Off-Season/Free Agency Week 2 (Combine)
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 2 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round)
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the lower bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 lower than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Slow

All Star Game: Intelligence Questioned

Now, this one isn’t to be confused with a low IQ score at the Combine, as that story doesn’t have the same effect. This is quite a specific story that calls a player’s intelligence into question, and is revealed at the All Star game. Again, not a commonly seen story, but one to be aware of.

  • Week Revealed: Superbowl Week (College All Star Game)
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 2 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round)
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the lower bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 lower than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Slow

Stories That Indicate A Prospect’s Default Trait

So the above stories will change a prospect’s trait from the default, generated one to either Superstar, Quick, or Slow. However, there are other stories that offer an indicator as to the default trait of a player, but will not actually change it. What I’ve observed in my analysis is that – generally – players of a certain dev trait seem to be orders of magnitude more likely to be the subject of certain types of story compared to your bog standard Normal dev guys. This part of the analysis is less certain than what I’ve presented above, but offers useful info none-the-less. So yeah, as I said before, take everything from this point down with a small pinch of salt since it’s much less of an exact science.

Season: Record Breaker

There are a lot of different types of stories that I’ve collated under the heading of ‘Record Breaker’. These stories are the ones that are revealed in the season and are often position-specific. They might concern breaking a team record for a game, or a team record for a season. Some examples are as below, but these give a good indication that the player will be at least Normal dev, but quite likely Quick or Superstar.

  • Week Revealed: Regular Season (Weeks 2-14)
  • Impact to Projected Round: Rises by 1 (if player is originally projected outside of 1st Round)
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the upper bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 higher than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Indicates possible Quick/Superstar dev (approx. 35% of the time). Indicates player will NOT have Slow dev.
  • Example Stories:
    • Team record for TFL in a game
    • Team record for INTs in a game
    • Team record for catching TDs in a game
    • Least sacks allowed in a season in team history
    • Most passing TDs in a season in team history
    • Etc.

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Season: Consistent Excellence

These are stories I’ve grouped under ‘consistent excellence’ that occur in the regular season. These are all position-dependent stories that suggest a player is performing at a high level for an extended run of games.

  • Week Revealed: Regular Season (Weeks 2-14)
  • Impact to Projected Round: None, though I’ve not seen the story for players outside of Round 1, so it might cause players in later rounds to rise.
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the upper bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 higher than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Indicates possible Quick/Superstar dev (approx. 20% of the time). Indicates player will NOT have Slow dev.
  • Example Stories:
    • Offensive lineman is a “Wall”
    • QB has not thrown an INT in several games
    • HB has consecutive 100+ yard rushing games
    • Etc.

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Good Performance Versus Rival

You will see lots of stories about players who have a great performance versus another top prospect in the draft. For the player on the receiving end of this beating, it has absolutely no effect. But for the player who comes out on top, it can offer a slight indicator that they are going to have a default trait of Quick/Superstar.

  • Week Revealed: All weeks of year that stories are revealed
  • Impact to Projected Round: None, though I’ve not seen the story for players outside of Round 1, so it might cause players in later rounds to rise.
  • Impact to OVR: None
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Indicates possible Quick/Superstar dev (approx. 10% of the time). Indicates player will NOT have Slow dev.
  • Example Stories:
    • CB has shut down a top receiver
    • QB has come out on top in game against a rival QB
    • TE has a better combine than a rival TE
    • LT blocks well against a top DE prospect
    • Etc.

Season: Inconsistent Play

During the season, you will hear reports of players who are struggling with consistency. Some of these stories will sound similar to the ‘Poor Play’ ones below, but the key is that the word consistency is actually mentioned for these ones.

  • Week Revealed: Week 2-14 of Regular Season
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 1 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round). Occasionally might fall by 2 depending on the exact story.
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the lower bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 lower than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Indicates possible Slow dev (c. 40%). Highly unlikely the player will have Quick/Superstar dev.
  • Example Stories:
    • Player having an up and down season.
    • Player not showing any consistency.
    • Etc.

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Season: Poor Play

During the regular college season, you will sometimes get reports of players playing especially poorly. These reports are a pretty solid indication that the player will have a default dev trait of Slow.

  • Week Revealed: Week 2-14 of Regular Season
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 1 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round). Occasionally might fall by 2 depending on the exact story.
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the lower bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 lower than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Indicates possible Slow dev (c. 40%). Highly unlikely the player will have Quick/Superstar dev.
  • Example Stories:
    • Player keeps dropping passes
    • QB has thrown 4 interceptions in a game
    • O lineman cannot block anyone

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Combine: Poor Performance

Players doing badly at the combine can sometimes indicate that they have slow dev. Poor performance might include running a slower 40 time than expected, or getting gassed midway through the workouts.

  • Week Revealed: Off-Season/Free Agency Week 2 (Combine)
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 1 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round). Occasionally might fall by 2 depending on the exact story.
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the lower bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 lower than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Indicates possible Slow dev (c. 10%). Highly unlikely the player will have Quick/Superstar dev.
  • Example Stories:
    • Player got gassed midway through workout.
    • Player ran a slow 40.
    • Player did badly

Pro Day: Poor Performance

Very similar to players having bad combines, if they have bad Pro Days it can often indicate they have Slow default dev traits.

  • Week Revealed: Off-Season/Free Agency Week 3 (Pro Day)
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 1 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round).
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the lower bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 lower than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Indicates possible Slow dev (c. 10%). Highly unlikely the player will have Quick/Superstar dev.
  • Example Stories:
    • Player got gassed midway through workout.
    • Player did poorly at combine, but even worse at Pro Day

Season: Major Injury

During the college season, you will sometimes hear reports about unfortunate souls who rip, tear, break or rupture some part of their body. The strange thing is that these major injuries don’t cause guys with Superstar dev to switch to Slow dev, but are much more likely to befall Slow dev players in the first place. Sucks to be a Captain Slow in Madden 17. Major injuries in the season are a really interesting one, given how far (3 rounds) a player’s draft stock will fall. You can sometimes pick up absolute steals in the middle rounds thanks to them getting injured in the season, though of course you run the risk they will have Slow dev.

  • Week Revealed: Week 2-14 of Regular Season
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 3 (!!) (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round).
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the lower bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 lower than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Indicates possible Slow dev (c. 40%). Highly unlikely the player will have Quick/Superstar dev.
  • Example Stories:
    • Player needs surgery.
    • Team doctor discovered fracture late.
    • Player’s season is over due to injury.
    • Etc.

Combine/Pro Day: Aggravated Injury

Weirdly, at the Combine or Pro Days, it’s pretty rare for a guy to get a story about a brand new injury. Usually it’s about them aggravating a previous injury. The effect on their draft stock isn’t as pronounced as in the regular season though, hence why I’ve given it a separate category here.

  • Week Revealed: Off-Season/Free Agency Week 2 (Combine); Off-Season/Free Agency Week 3 (Pro Days)
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 2 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round).
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the lower bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 lower than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Indicates possible Slow dev (c. 40%). Highly unlikely the player will have Quick/Superstar dev.
  • Example Stories:
    • Player aggravated a previous injury
    • Player reinjured the same part of his body as earlier in the season
    • Player missed combine due to injury
    • Etc.

Season: Removed/Suspended from the Team

During the season you might see guys who get kicked off their college team for various reasons. Despite how serious this might seem, the affect isn’t all that pronounced come draft day.

  • Week Revealed: Week 2-14 of Regular Season
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 1 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round).
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the lower bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 lower than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Indicates possible Slow dev (c. 20%). Highly unlikely the player will have Quick/Superstar dev.
  • Example Stories:
    • Player kicked off team for missing practices;
    • Player kicked off team for missing organised team activities.

Combine: Cannot Master Playbook

This one is slightly different to a lot of the other bits in this article in that it is one specific story rather than a group of stories that have the same impact but different wording. This one concerns players who are unable – for whatever reason – to master the playbook. It’s not a slam dunk dev trait change, but it can be an indicator the guy you’re looking at is a Captain Slow.

  • Week Revealed: Off-Season/Free Agency Week 2 (Combine)
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 2 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round).
  • Impact to OVR: Will always find the lower bounds (i.e. he will be about 2 lower than he might otherwise have been)
  • Impact to Dev Trait: Indicates possible Slow dev (c. 40%). Highly unlikely the player will have Quick/Superstar dev.

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Stories That Have No Impact Beyond Projected Round

Getting into the dregs now, since these stories don’t seem to impact much and don’t offer much in the way of indications about prospects’ dev traits. However, they’re useful to know about since they can cause an otherwise crap player to rise up boards unjustifiably, or cause a stud to slip a round or two for no good reason.

Season: Great Play

Not to be confused with Game Winning Play, which does nothing whatsoever. See further down in this guide. This concerns a particularly great play by one individual player, but doesn’t mention it being game-winning.

  • Week Revealed: Week 2-14 of Regular Season
  • Impact to Projected Round: Rises by 1 (if player is originally projected lower than 1st Round).
  • Impact to OVR: N/A
  • Impact to Dev Trait: N/A
  • Example Stories:
    • Spectacular catch;
    • Incredible run

Season: Putting Up And Down Season Behind Him

Again, a specific story. It’s one of those I’ve always wondered whether it was a positive or a negative thing, but it turns out it’s kind of neither. It just makes a player slip by a round.

  • Week Revealed: Week 2-14 of Regular Season
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 1 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round).
  • Impact to OVR: N/A
  • Impact to Dev Trait: N/A

Season: Left Team (By Own Volition)

There’s a few specific stories this one group covers, but the basic proviso is a player leaving his college team by his own choice (as opposed to being kicked off involuntarily).

  • Week Revealed: Week 2-14 of Regular Season
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 1 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round).
  • Impact to OVR: N/A
  • Impact to Dev Trait: N/A
  • Example Stories:
    • Left team early to focus on studies;
    • Left early to focus on the draft and avoid injury;
    • Left team for personal reasons.

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All Star Game: Lack of Conditioning

At the all star game week, sometimes you’ll get a story questioning a player’s physical state/appearance. This is a pretty benign story that just causes them to fall a round.

  • Week Revealed: Superbowl
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 1 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round).
  • Impact to OVR: N/A
  • Impact to Dev Trait: N/A

Combine: Player Elects Not To Compete

The player decides not to throw, run, whatever, at the combine. Hate when guys do this as it’s impossible to scout them, but for some positions – such as QB, where physicals matter less – it can allow you to nab an absolute steal as guys drop 3 (!) rounds when they do this.

  • Week Revealed: Off-Season/Free Agency Week 2 (Combine)
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 3 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round).
  • Impact to OVR: N/A
  • Impact to Dev Trait: N/A

Pro Day: Low IQ Score

Don’t get this one confused with the “All Star: Intelligence Questioned” story, which is a specific story that indicates a player’s default dev trait will be changed to Slow. This one is a group of stories that reveal a player did badly on the IQ/Wonderlic test at the combine, but is generally benign in that it only seems to impact projected round.

  • Week Revealed: Off-Season/Free Agency Week 3 (Pro Days)
  • Impact to Projected Round: Falls by 1 (if player is originally projected higher than 5th Round).
  • Impact to OVR: N/A
  • Impact to Dev Trait: N/A

Stories That Have Absolutely No Impact Whatsoever

There are some stories that Madden chucks in just to add a bit of colour, which appear not to affect anything in either a positive or negative manner for a draft prospect. You can safely ignore any stories like these and continue about your day!

Season: Great Game

You’ll see some stories dotted around about players having great games, but they don’t seem to mean much unless they have either battered a rival in the process, or have strung together a series of great performances (i.e. Consistent Excellence).

  • Week Revealed: Week 2-14 of Regular Season
  • Impact to Projected Round: N/A
  • Impact to OVR: N/A
  • Impact to Dev Trait:N/A
  • Example Stories:
    • Memorable late season performance;
    • Player’s skills on full display;
    • Etc.

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Season: Game-Winning Play

These seem like significant stories, but alas they are not.

  • Week Revealed: Week 2-14 of Regular Season
  • Impact to Projected Round: N/A
  • Impact to OVR: N/A
  • Impact to Dev Trait:N/A
  • Example Stories:
    • Game-winning pick six;
    • Game-winning touchdown run;
    • Etc.

Bad Performance Versus Rival

You will see lots of stories about players who have a great performance versus another top prospect in the draft. For the player on the receiving end of this beating, it has absolutely no effect.

  • Week Revealed: All weeks of year that stories are revealed
  • Impact to Projected Round: N/A
  • Impact to OVR: N/A
  • Impact to Dev Trait:N/A
  • Example Stories:
    • CB has shut down a top receiver
    • QB has come out on top in game against a rival QB
    • TE has a better combine than a rival TE
    • LT blocks well against a top DE prospect
    • Etc.

All Star: Returning For Final Season, Putting Draft Plans On Hold

This is a weird one, since the player will disappear from draft boards after he decides to return to school for another year. But then on draft day, he will magically reappear and be draftable, with his default dev trait, projected round and OVR to boot. Bizarre. Guess it’s a bit of a bug to be honest.

  • Week Revealed: Superbowl
  • Impact to Projected Round: N/A
  • Impact to OVR: N/A
  • Impact to Dev Trait: N/A

How To Make Best Use of This Info

Ok, so now you’re armed with more knowledge about the effect different draft stories have on your prospects. But predicting dev traits should only form a small part of your scouting arsenal. A scrub HB who wins the Heisman might get Superstar dev, but if he’s a 68 OVR and 24 years old, it’s not going to help him much. You’d be better off with a Slow Dev, 21 year old who comes out at 75 OVR. So you still need to scout properly, and the best way to do this is via my Scouting Tool, which you can read about at great length here: Scouting Tool Guide Part 1: Introduction

At the time of writing, I haven’t included my new research on predicting dev traits in the tool, but I will in the next version. This will help ensure you place sensible value on players with good draft stories (e.g. Heisman winners) but do not ignore better prospects who are unlikely to have SS dev, but ultimately be much better players in the Pros.

I believe in this guide I have covered off a decent percentage of the stories (or rather, types of story) that Madden 17 CFM throws up. But there are definitely some rarer stories out there I haven’t yet encountered and that may not fit comfortably into one of the existing categories, depending on the impact they have on dev traits. However, doing the analysis for this piece was incredibly tedious and time-consuming, so I’m not really up for wasting more of my life trying to find ever increasingly rare stories and comparing how they impact players. But if anybody else wants to take on the mantle, please feel free! Just keep in mind that your analysis will only be useful if you know a player’s default state (i.e. their OVR, projected round and dev trait when there are no stories about them during the season) first, as there would be know way to know if your newly discovered story changed his trait or acted as an indicator for a pre-existing one that was originally generated at the inception of the draft class.

But I hope you find this useful and it gives you an edge in your Franchise. Thanks for reading and happy drafting.

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9 thoughts on “How to Scout Development Traits in Madden 17 CFM

  1. Very interesting. I never paid much attention to those stories. I went and looked after reading this. It’s week 8 and one player says he had an injury that ended his collegiate career but he was nowhere to be found in the draft pool.

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    1. Keep an eye out for him. Some of the draft stories are glitched in that they say a player’s career has ended, he’s left football, or gone back to school, but then he appears as draftable on draft day. So he might still be there.

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  2. Wow this is great stuff, very helpful! Thanks for putting all this together Oldmannathy!!

    Could you help me out with a couple draft stories I’m having trouble interpreting?

    1. During Stage 3 of the offseason — A strong safety had “uneventful Pro Day that could have been worse if he dropped the few passes he had trouble bringing in.” Is this a meaningless report?

    2. During Super Bowl — A cornerback “struggled in coverage at the All-Star game and was targeted heavily all day.” I’m guessing this player will be slow development?

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    1. 1. I’d say your safest bet is to put “Pro Day: Poor performance” but that’s not a story I’ve specifically come across yet.

      2. I forgot to include this one in the tool and on here, but it’s the same impact as the Season: Poor game story type.

      Liked by 1 person

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