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    Fantasy Draft Guide by telvanni_pimp

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 02/11/05 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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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.    
    (1) QUICK TIPS
    -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!!!
    EMAIL US::::: randylikesjoye@yahoo.com :::::SU LIAME