New York Giants
The Good: The offense is the bright spot for this team, specifically the weapons. The weapons came in at 5th in the weapons ranking. In addition to their top 5 ranking, the offensive weapons were also 1st in athleticism. Beyond the offensive weapons, the biggest bright spot of this team is it’s youth as they ranked 10th in YPI.
The Bad: The defense is flat out one of the worst in the game. 30th in man coverage and 31st in zone coverage means very little will be getting stopped in terms of pass defense. Maybe they can stop the run? Nope, the Giants are 29th in run defense. Don’t even think about rushing the passer with 31st ORR ranking.
The Bottom Line: The Giants are a bad team, but the defense is arguably the worst in the whole game. There is not a single defensive player that is going to excite people, and that is difficult to do in Madden. Saquon Barkley along with Evan Engram and a solid wide receivers group make this team at least somewhat intriguing form an offensive standpoint.
If you are looking to rebuild this team you are obviously starting on the defensive side of the ball. With needs at every level, my personnel opinion would be to bargain shop any expensive veteran people are looking to dump. Even if those veterans are simply one-year fixes, this team needs any help it can get.
The Giants should be one of the last teams off the board in your franchise draft. There isn’t a single positive on the defensive side of the ball, but maybe an owner who doesn’t care about defense sees value in them late. The weapons on this team are impressive and the age of the team along with solid cap space may force someone to take a chance on an offensive-minded rebuild. This will be quite the rebuild attempt in a really strong division.
Washington Football Team
The Good: The brightest spot on the team is their pass-rushing group, which checked in at 10th in ORR. Washington is one of the youngest teams in the league sitting at 5th in YPI, along with being one of the best-situated cap-wise sitting at 5th in the league. With extra picks from the Trent Williams trade, Washington is above average in draft capital.
The Bad: Washington posses the worst offensive unit in the league as they rank 32nd for offensive weapons skill. Not only are the weapons not very talented, but they also aren’t very athletic either checking in at 30th for offensive athleticism. On the defensive side, both man and zone coverage rank in the bottom 10 for the secondary. The run defense is also porous sitting at 28th in the league.
The Bottom Line: Along with not having a team name, or logo, Washington lacks much in the way of skilled players. Now with that said, they do have potential and that’s what any person who takes this team is banking on. Specifically, this team has an abundance of talent on the defensive that should be developed into one of the better units in your franchise.
By my count, there are 6 quality players on the defensive line for 4 spots in Washington’s 4-3 defense. It would make sense for Kerrigan and Ioannidis to be the two guys to get moved in order to build this team up. For me, it starts with finding another WR and for that, I’d be calling Cincinnati with their abundance of receivers. After receivers, I am looking for some help in the secondary, either at safety or a corner.
This team is pretty bad on paper right now, however, the 5th ranking in YPI is a positive sign in how this team can develop. The key will be developing that defensive line without losing any of the pieces that should make it dominant. Better off then the Giants, whoever takes Washington will have to love a challenge, as well as not having a team name or logos on their uniforms.
The Good: There is almost too much to name here, but we will try. The Eagles dominance starts with the #1 rated pass and run blocking offensive line. Speaking of the trenches, on the defensive side of the ball the Eagles lead the league in pass rush with the #1 ranked ORR. Throw on top of all of this a top 10 adjusted QB, weapons, and secondary coverage units and this team is going to be tough.
The Bad: As good as this team is they have some minor issues…and then one massive one. Let’s start with the minor issues, the run defense ranking 27th in the league is not a great position to be in. In terms of team youth, the Eagles check-in at 20th in the YPI. As for the big issue, the Eagles cap is simply unmanageable (more on that below).
The Bottom Line: As good of a team as the Eagles are on paper the conversation starts and stops in terms of franchise with their cap. Simply put, it cannot be properly managed inside of Madden unless 1. they changed contracts as to not reflect real-life contracts, or 2. they added tools such as restructuring. In the absence of either of these changes, this team will require gutting, but also commissioner intervention to even get to a legal roster.
How do you dig out of this hole? As I said above you really can’t, however, if a league commissioner was open to clearing cap there are a couple moves to make. How bad does the roster need to be gutted? If you cut, or trade, Cox, Jefferey, Graham, Johnson, and Hargrave you’d be positive in cap by $5 million. The issue with that is you still wouldn’t have enough for your rookie reserve and you’s be clearing about $98 million in dead cap to do this.
I have hammered on this all offseason, but the Eagles value as a franchise team is completely up to how your commissioner will approach this cap issue. If EA goes ahead and bails out users by modifying contracts as to not crash the Eagles cap, or your commissioner does, then they should be one of the first teams off the board in any team selection, but if they don’t this team falls dramatically. The Eagles are a “buyer beware” team to me because of these issues.
The Good: Tied for the most abilities of any team at launch, the Cowboys will be lighting up the field, literally. 4th in YPI means that the long term stability of this franchise is really strong. Always a strong point for Dallas, the offensive line is once again a top 5 unit in both pass and run blocking. Dak Prescott finds himself at #5 on the adjusted QB rankings solidifying the Cowboys’ future at QB, maybe.
The Bad: Not a lot of hate about this team, hence why they are top 3 overall. The biggest concern would be in the secondary. With man and zone coverage ratings in the bottom 10 in the league, the Cowboys secondary appears to be the glaring issues on this team. Depending on what an owner chooses to do with Dak Prescott’s contract the Cowboys’ 17th ranked cap space could quickly become a bottom 5 cap situation.
The Bottom Line: Every year the Cowboys seem to be one of the top teams out of the box and this year is no exception. Elite talent exists at most positions outside of the secondary. With a strong upside in terms of youth, the Cowboys are in a great position to succeed. The only real question for any owner is “what do you do with Dak?”.
I’ll take a crack at solving the Dak Prescott conundrum. I personally would move Dak year one in my league. Why? Because even a tag would move the Cowboys into potentially negative cap territory. Instead, I’d move Dak for a younger development option and an elite secondary piece to round out this team. This would set the team up better long term financially than paying out a high-end QB contract.
Unlike the Eagles, the Cowboys elite status isn’t asterisked with a franchise breaking issue. Potential owners will have to decide on Dak and how to proceed, but beyond that, this team is set up to win day 1. If an owner prefers developing QB’s over having established ones this team becomes one of the most enticing teams in the game.