Fantasy Draft Guide by telvanni_pimp

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 02/11/05 | Printable Version


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                              MADDEN 2005


Welcome to the first annual FAQ of Madden's Franchise Mode.  Within this
guide, we plan to help you get the most out of your Franchises.  The FAQ
will include tips and little tricks on how to squeeze your teams until 
you cannot get any more out of them. This guide also contains a giant
section on the quirks of the Fantasy Draft. With the help of this guide
(and some skill on your part) you should be able to build yourself a 
monster dynasty in no time at all!  And really, isn't the real point of 
this game to beat your opponents as mecrilessly as possible (well, 
within the rules, of course)? Well, how about we get on with it, yes?


1) Quick Tips (for those who hate to read)

2) Before You Start
    a) Choosing a Team
    b) Choosing a Play Style
3) The Giant Fantasy Draft Section
    a) Know the Competition
    b) Form a Battle Plan
    c) Shrewd as Serpents
    d) And the Dust Settles
    e) Prepare for Battle

4) Season Maintenance
    a) Dealing with the Drama
    b) Season Progressions
    c) Trading Players

5) The Players
    a) Diamonds in the Rough
    b) The Masters
6) Credits/ Misc. Info.    



-Play with others! It's more fun than just playing with yourself.  A
competitive Franchise is quite fun.  

-So you don't like to read much? Here's a few quick tips on how to get
some more juice in Franchise Mode:

-Pick your playing style before doing a Fantasy Draft.  Set priorities
and your draft will go smoother.

-Draft young.  Young players get better quicker than old ones and they
don't retire.

-Draft a speedy cornerback.  Nothing sucks more than getting burned deep
'cuz your slow corner couldn't catch Santana Moss.  Two is nice, but 
try and draft AT LEAST one.

-Pick a fun team.  I know winning is fun, too, but if you play for a
long time, having a team that is fun to play with is better than one
that you hate.  If you like to run, pick a running team.  If you like
scrambling QB's, pick a scrambler.  It is worth it in the long run.

-Turn off the music! It gets so old so quick....

-Now, wasn't that quick? If you want more info, keep reading.  It gets


-Now, there are many things you can do with this game.  You can't do
everything, so you have to pick and choose what is most important. 

 [A] Choosing a team.
-Well, for most people that's an easy choice.  Either your childhood 
favorite or your hometown stars will do.  However, each team has its
ups and downs.  Try some of teams out.  This will help you determine 
whether or not you really want to stick with them.  If you plan on
a Fantasy Draft, trying lots of different kinds of teams is a great way
to determine your favorite play style.  It also helps you find some
key players that you may want to pick up in a Fantasy Draft.  Be sure to
make a mental note of who they are.  

Another thing to consider is your home stadium.  What kind of weather 
does it get?  So you like playing in the rain, or do you crave the 
speed and surety of a dome?  When playing a franchise, also be sure
to note the team's prestige.  Popular teams make more money.  And
that is a good thing to have.  However, you also may want to take 
those Cardinals... in the offseason you can try to move teams to 
another location.  How about the Mexico City Cardinals?  It's a game
you are allowed to be a total jerk to the people of the great state
of Arizona.  Tequila is cheaper there anyway.

 [B] Choosing a Play Style
-The most important thing to do before starting a franchise is to 
determine what kind of team you want to be.  What style of offense 
catches your fancy? Run first? Pass all the time? A little of both? 
Decide where you want to focus your resources when the draft comes
around.  Steady run teams need a good offenseive line along with a
massively tough halfback who can run all day (his STA score is quite
important).  A big pass team needs compitent recievers and a QB with
a big arm (THP stat) AND a solid offensive line.  This makes for two
totally different Fantasy Drafts.
-Then comes the question of the defense.  Focus on the run? Focus on the
pass? Both?  Every team needs some skill at CB and at least one good
LB.  However, from there, it is all up to you.  The last question you
need to answer (which, I am afraid, is the hardest) is the mix of
offense and defense.  Do you want big D or a high powered offense?  We
prefer the big D (we live in Big 10 country where D is king), but 
your own preference is really what matters most.  We get frustrated if
our D can't stop the opponent.  So, you really can choose your own mix.
Again, try different existing teams to get a good feel for it.  We 
suggest:      Broncos  (good D, balanced offense)
              Eagles   (good D, throwing off.)
              Ravens (big D, running)
              Colts  (crappy D, unbelievable off)
              Panthers (big DL, running)
              Rams    (crappy D, big off)
Give these boys a try, they should help you get a feel for the game. 
Also, don't play the wussy teams; they won't give you a proper 
barometer of the players.  
-Another step you can take (this one is quite long, but very rewarding)
is to find your quarterback.  You can do this with other positions, 
but the QB has the most impact on the game.  Keep trying different
players until you find the one you like the best.  Be sure to include
the following into your considerations: 
             +mobility (how he moves, not just flat out speed)
             +cost (OVR, how easy is it to get him?)
             +southpaw (right handed or left handed makes a difference)


   [A] Know the Competition
-When you plan to Fantasy Draft in your Franchise, you need to change
your entire team selection strategy.  Contrary to what I first assumed, 
not all teams have the same propensity for good draft positions.  Some
teams have higher or lower numbers when it comes to draft order.  Also,
computer teams have unique tendencies when it comes to drafting players.
For example, the Eagles always spend their first two picks on CBs.  So,
when choosing your team, you need to take the computer's tendencies into
consideration.  If you want better recievers, pick a team that spends
its picks on WRs.  Now, we only looked at the first three picks (I 
think these are the most important- that's when you get your 
superstars), but there are definite trends for most teams.  The same
applies for draft order.  Depending on when you want your pick (either
at the beginning or the end), you should choose a team whose pick
trends match your desires.  The data we gathered follows.  Each team
has their draft selections and order tendencies and is displayed
in the following format:  

+team name: [picks 1-10],[picks 11-21], [picks 22-32]
           [1st pick], [2nd pick], [3rd pick]

-The picks are the number of times the team landed a pick within that
range during our twelve trials.  Remember, these are tendencies.  Every
draft is different, even when simulated.  You may want to redraft if
you get a bad one.  Or, you may think that is kind of cheating, but 
that is the fun of video games- you can play straight or "bend" the

Here we go

+Arizona: [5],[2],[5]
          [QB],[QB],[WR or OLB]
          they take two QBs.  It's annoying.

+Atlanta: [1],[7],[4]
          [T or OLB],[T],[OLB]

+Baltimore: [6],[2],[4]

+Buffalo: [3],[2],[7]
          [P Manning or WR],[T or WR],[WR]
          They usually take 3 WRs.  It is also annoying.

+Carolina: [1],[2],[9]
           [K Jenkins],[M Rucker],[P Kerney or another LE]
           They draft those two guys every time.

+Chicago: [6],[3],[3]
          [no pattern here. They do take one WR and one T]
          I can't predict their picks.  Sorry, it happens.

+Cincinnati: [2],[7],[3]
             [D Brooks or K Brooking],[J Peterson or OLB],[D Nguyen]

+Cleveland: [4],[3],[5]

+Dallas: [1],[5],[6]
         [R Seymour],[T Pryce or P Kerney],[P Williams]  
         They pick the same guys every time.

+Denver: [3],[6],[3]
         [HB],[J Delhomme or A Brooks],[W Shields]
         HB is usually L Tomlinson or J Lewis or P Holmes.

+Detroit: [3],[2],[7]
          The 3rd guy is usually just a good value player.

+Green Bay: [7],[3],[2]
            [DE],[the other DE],[WR]
+Houston: [3],[6],[3] 
          [No pattern. They take CB, T, and MLBs.]  

+Indianapolis: [5],[5],[2]
               [No order, but they take WR, CB, and OLB]
               They ususally take the best value of the 3 metioned.

+Jacksonville: [2],[5],[5]

+Kansas City: [0],[5],[7]
              [WR or T Brady],[WR],[WR or HB or T Green]
              They usually steal 2 of the super WRs.  

+Miami: [5],[3],[4]
        [Best value ending with: MLB and 2 CBs by the end of Rd 3]
+Minnesota: [4],[4],[4]

+New England: [8],[2],[2]
              [CB],[CB],[M Hasselbeck or G Ellis]

+New Orleans: [2],[8],[2]
              [T],[T],[J Sharper or A Brooks]

+New York Giants: [3],[5],[4]
                  [J Lewis or S Davis],[CB],[CB or L Little]
+New York Jets: [8],[2],[2]
                [No real order.  Tendency towards QBs and DL]
                Lowest average picks of all the teams.

+Oakland: [2],[8],[2]
          [QB],[HB],[DT or T]

+Philidelphia: [2],[6],[4]

+Pittsburgh: [6],[4],[2]
             [L Glover],[L Arrington, T Spikes, K Bulluck],[K Bullock 
                    or S Barber]
             They get low picks yet spend them kind of foolishly. We
                    recommend NOT picking the Steelers. 

+San Diego: [1],[6],[5]
            [Speed/catching HB],[M Stroud],[T or OLB]

+Seattle: [3],[5],[4]
          [QB],[HB],[CB or OLB]

+San Francisco: [4],[2],[6]
                Annyoing.  They take 2 QBs straight off.

+St. Louis: [5],[3],[4]
            [HB or WR],[WR or HB (the one not taken in Rd 1) or T],
                       [QB, T, WR]

+Tampa Bay: [4],[4],[4]
            [RE],[LE],[C Hovan, T Green, or CB]

+Tennesee: [3],[4],[5]
           [experienced DE],[other DE, also experienced],[S Davis or T]

+Washington: [8],[2],[2]
             [Speed/catching HB],[MLB or DT],[DT or MLB (whichever
                          remains from Rd 2)]
             Redskins give you the best chance for #1 or #2 pick.

-So, knowing what you want to do with your first 3 picks and an idea
of a draft position, you can use the above data to find your team.  If
you want WRs, pick a team that drafts lots of WRs, so you don't have
to compete.  

   [B] Form a Battle Plan

-Hopefully you have an idea as to what you want your team to look like.
What we suggest is to break up the positions in order of importance. If
you want a passing team, you'll need WRs and a good QB and some good
OLs.  But don't neglect your defense.  You will probably want a 
solid MLB and at least one speedy corner (to keep up with those WRs
who have a rocket implanted in their behind).  So, before even firing
up the Franchise mode, have at least a rough mental picture to help
you.  You may want to even write them down.  

-If you're using a cheat sheet, then break down each position into 
different groups (ordered by importance).  For example:
      Group 1: QB, MLB, CB, WR, T
            2: DE, HB, WR, T, G
            3: CB, G, DE, OLB, DT
            4: OLB, G, SS, DT, G
            5: FS, K, TE, FB, KR

BIG NOTE HERE::::Don't forget to draft a kick returner.  You can get
                 some good ones really late, but having a good one
                 is a giant boost to your special teams.

-Before moving on to group 2, be sure to fill up all the spots in group
1, so that you don't leave an important positin empty on accident.  
You can change the size and contents of the groups to fit your style,
like if you want 3 good WRs or run a 3-4 defense.  This is simply an

-You may also want to make a list of players that you don't want to 
miss out on.  If you want a certain player at WR that you think is
underrated, mark him down so that you don't accidentally forget to
pick him up later on in the draft.  However, the most important 
thing to do when drafting is to draft the team you want to play with.
Picking a high-rated team is worthless if you hate playing with them.
Take a team that matches your style and have fun with it.

  [C] Shrewd as Serpents

-Well, if you've got your team and your battle plan, then fire up the
Franchise mode.  It's time to do a Fantasy Draft.  First things first,
turn off the sound.  The same 4 songs that Madden plays over and over
get old so fast.  A good Fantasy draft can take well over a half hour,
so put in a CD before you start.  This way you and your friends don't
shoot yourselves before you even start the Franchise. Get some drinks
and settle into a comfy chair. We think that the Fantasy Draft is 
big fun and hope you will find it fun, too.

-Now.  What draft position did you get? Was it good?  Let's hope so.
Be sure to check the whole board before you zoom in on your first 
dude (unless you're like some players I know who require a good
scrambling QB, then just take one and move on to Rd 2).  Be sure to
look for player value along with position need.  However, there may
be a time where you will have to bite the bullet and take a player
just to fill your need without it being a great value.  Also, there
may be times when a great value is available, even though you may not
need that position yet.  Pick him and place him on the trade block
to see what you get.  You can get some sweet deals sometimes.  

-Don't forget to take your favorite players or to fill that important
position.  This is where the cheat sheet comes in handy. 

-Some quick tips for getting some extra draft power:
 +B. Dawkins is worth more to the computer teams than their draft 
    choices show.  Pick him up and trade him away for a little
    boost on your roster.
 +Some positions are drafted later than others. Pick them up early
    to get some major power at a minor position.  The number is
    the round that the top guy ususally goes in (estimated low).
    FB: 19  
    TE: 12
    C:  16
    FS: 6
    SS: 6
    K:  21
    P:  23

+Note that when the Ps and Ks start to go, get one asap.  When one 
team picks one, the rest of the teams also pick theirs in that or
the subsequent round.  Get one early or you get stuck with the 
leftovers (which may or may not be a good thing for you). 
 +Picking up a good TE in round 13 or 14 can get you a great
quality reciever after most of the good ones have gone in the
draft.  You can even start the guy at WR by accessing your depth
chart and manually reordering it.
 +We usually take a really low rated P.  We don't see the point in a 
good one.  We do take SS and FS early.  They are helpful in a pinch.
 +WRs and CBs absolutely vanish, so you need to get them early if
you want good ones.    
 +Don't underestimate a good FB.  They can add a little juice to 
almost any team. They are easy to get, too.
 +Draft young. Older players get worse with time.  Rookies grow the

   [D] And the Dust Settles  

-The draft can get really ugly, so watch out.  After the mess, go
to your roster screen and evaluate your team.  What positions are
weak? Which are strong? Do you have anyone you missed? Anyone you
don't want?  Do some trading. There is a section on trading later
in the Season Maintenance section, if you want to look at that.

-Next is Training Camp.  If your players need work (most of them do)
focus on that.  Generally, don't put your first pick through training
camp; they don't need it.  If you have a great HB, you can try to
do that drill with your kick returner.  It gives him a little bit
of a boost.  Otherwise, just put a younger guy through it and move on.

  [E] Prepare for Battle

-Preseason schedules don't really matter.  You can play whoever.  As
for the position battle, try to focus on the players that you want to
win.  Then you're sure to get them starting.  Play lots with your
rookies, too.  They can gain a couple points even in the four
preseason games.  
-When the season starts, you are never going to be satisfied with 
your team.  There will always be a player that isn't as good as you
want, but that's the natue of the thing.  To make it fair, everyone
has to have a weakness.  In the Fantasy Draft, you get to detemine
where your weakness lies.  Which is really cool.
-That's it for the Fantasy Draft section.  Time to get your season on.



  [A] Dealing With the Drama

-Every few weeks you need to go into your team info and check your 
morale, players who aren't happy don't play their best, and the madder
they are the worse they play.  If they are still unhappy at the end of
the season the words "Trade Me" will appear on their picture, this
means that they refuse to play for you anymore, and it would be in 
your best interest to trade them.  Morale goes down if you trade NFL
icons.  Certian players will get upset if they don't play.  There's 
really no way of knowing who will get mad about sitting on the bench
but the rule of thumb is the better the player, the more likely he
will get mad at you for benching him.  Morale is also affected by
how well your team is doing, so you need to be careful they don't
get too upset or they will play poorly, and you will start losing,
making them even more upset and play worse and...well you see the 
pattern forming here.
-Something else you have to worry about once the postseason comes
around, are holdouts.  They don't happen often, but they really 
bake my clams when they do.  The word Holdout will appear on the 
player's picture, and you have to re-sign them otherwise they won't 
play.  This usually only happens with middle-aged players who were 
drafted in the later rounds and end up making it to the pro bowl.
-Make sure you check your email every week, usually when players
start to get upset they'll let you know about it.
-If you can't avoid it and there are some grumblings in the locker
room all hope is not lost.  The easiest way to quiet them down is
to throw money at them.  In some cases a quick contract
renegotiation will solve the problem, but you may want to check 
their interests, they may be getting mad about the team prestige,
their importance to the team, or the allmighty dollar.  Sometimes
you just have to bite the bullet and let them go.

  [B] Season Progression

-At the end of preseason, as well as weeks 5,11,17, and during the
playoffs there is a progression.  What this is is your players' 
stats going up or down depending on how they have been playing and
your coaching staff.  One of the main reason to draft young is that
the younger players go up pretty fast, while the older ones get 
what we like to call "old man bonus" where their stats go down 
simply because they are getting older.  We have had some of the 
younger quarterbacks go up as much as 20 overall points in two years!
So make sure you check your progression every time it comes up.

  [C] Trading Players

-Trading is a tricky business.  You need to decide a couple things 
before you start.  For one, you need to decide how long you are going 
to play with this team.  If you are only going to play one year, have 
fun, if not you need to check the cap penalties before you trade.  
The cap penalties are directly realated to that player's signing bonus
so if you plan on trading them you might want to think about re-signing
them with a higher salary and lower signing bonus, the low signing 
bonus keeps the penalty down, and the higher salary takes up more cap 
room for the other guy(heehee).  
-Draft picks are a handy thing, if you know what you want from them.
If you are playing long-term, you may want to pick up some more or 
upgrade the ones you have, that way you will get a good infusion of 
youth in your aging team as well as picking up some stars to be.  If 
you are looking at the short term, one season, or have absolutely no
desire to draft anyone, draft picks are your best friends.  There's 
really no way of knowing in week 6(trade deadline) who is going to end 
at the bottom, but there are a few things you can look at to help 
decide whose picks will be better in the offseason.  One thing to look 
at is the injury report, if there are any major players out for the
season(or their life) you may want to pick up their picks.  You can
also look at how all the teams are doing and pick up the worst teams'
picks, and make sure you keep in mind that you play everyone in your
division twice in the season.  One tricky thing about trading for draft
picks is that the good picks aren't cheap, and the good players you 
trade to them means their season is going to get better than it is now,
and keep in mind that you can only have ten draft picks total at once.
If you don't want them, or need them, they're gold in trade.  Unless
your picks aren't worth alot(I'm sorry, it happens) chances are good 
you can get pretty much anyone you want(more if you're lucky).
-The trade block is pretty useful at getting what you want, unless you
want someone specific the block is generally the quckest way to get 
what you want, but be careful.  Always save before you start shopping
your players around, because they get upset when you want to trade
them, and if you save it first, and decide not to trade, you can 
reload and avoid the hurt feelings.  The block is also handy if you 
want a specific player, find which team he is on, and go to the block
and see if they want anything.
-The one stat you want to watch when straight trading is importance
(IMP) the higher the importance the harder the player will be to get.
One trick we found is if you trade someone in the same postition as
who you are after, the value of the person you are trying to get goes
down, it doesn't always work, but it's handy when it does.  Just make
sure that when you're trading you keep an eye on your cap room, you
want to make sure you have some room in case one of your guys gets
injured, you're gonna want them duckets for a replacement.  If you are 
playing a long term league, you are gonna want at least ten to fifteen
mil for your draft picks, more if you have several early round picks.
Even if you aren't planning on drafting you still wanna pinch your 
pennies, because you just never know who's gonna show up in free agency
at the end of the season. 


[A] Diamonds in the Rough
-Good players that are easy to get (rookies are money):

QB: B Rothelisberger (one of the best deals in the game!!), K Stewart
HB: J Jones
WR: D Carter, Michael Jenkins, M Clayton, R Woods
TE: B Hartsock
DE: K Udeze
DT: T Harris
MLB: J Vilma, Z Moreno, A Davis
CB: C Gamble, D Townsend, D Hall, K Irvin
FS: S Taylor
SS: T Kiel

[B] The Masters
-We have chosen who we think are the best players at each position.
Take it or leave it.  We can't agree, so I'm sure you won't either.
Don't email us just to say you hate our picks.  You are able to 
form your own opinions just like us.  If there are 2 players, then 
we couldn't agree on one player, so we put both.

QB: M Vick/ D McNabb
HB: L Tomlinson/ J Lewis
FB: M Alstott
WR: M Harrison/ R Moss
TE: J Shockey/T Heap
RE: S Rice 
DT: K Jenkins
LE: J Kearse/J Peppers
OLB: K Brooking/ J Peterson
MLB: R Lewis/ B Urlacher
CB: C Bailey
FS:B Dawkins
SS: E Reed/ J Lynch
K: M Vanderjagt
KR: D Hall

(6) ETC
-All this crap is mine: telvanni_pimp
-If we took something (I don't think we did) that is yours, email me
and we'll credit it to you.  Madden 2005 and all the related stuff is
owned by EA Games. All the NFL stuff belongs to the NFL, etc.
-If you want to post this guide, email us and we'll probably let you
post it.  But you DO have to ask persmission!!!