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Madden NFL 18 Ratings Guide.

3704 posts Game Changer
edited July 2017
The crew from "Madden NFL 18" released rookie ratings on Monday, and top pick Myles Garrett -- unsurprisingly -- has the top overall rating in the video game. No. 2 might surprise you, however -- it's No. 19 pick O.J. Howard.

Check out the overall ratings for all 32 first-round picks below, and go here to see them sorted by rating. "Stats to know" have been provided by ESPN Stats & Info.

To read the entire article, click on the link below.

Post edited by NatureBoy2323 on


  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    edited July 2017
    Madden NFL 18 Ratings: Quarterbacks

    Ah, the quarterback. It’s the only position in football where even the most casual of fan forms an opinion. Whether it’s Peyton Manning who could apparently do no wrong, or Jay Cutler who could, well, he was sort of the opposite of that, QBs are the most recognized players in football.

    Just like in the NFL, a solid QB is the foundation of Madden offensive success. Here, we take a look at the top five signal callers in Madden NFL 18. 

    1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
    Wait, do you hear that? That’s the silence of Brady’s critics. He’s the G.O.A.T. You get to be named that after winning five Super Bowl rings, the most recent of which was won after the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

    For that, he’s earned his spot in the coveted Club 99. Inside sources here at EA say that this was Brady’s biggest goal all along. I’m basing that on a complete lack of inside sources though, and have zero evidence to support that theory. 

    2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
    If Brady is in Club 99, then Rodgers is the first guy in line outside, wondering if he dressed right for the occasion. You could argue that Rodgers has the greatest set of intangibles at the QB position. There just isn’t a single throw he can’t make.

    To prove it, his Throw on the Run rating is an outstanding 97, the best in the game. With Rodgers at the helm, your offense is scoring. It’s just that simple.

    3. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
    Brady might be the G.O.A.T., but Matt Ryan was the best QB of 2016. He led the league in most passing stats. and starts the year with a 96 OVR.

    Which isn’t bad when you consider he started last year at, let’s see here, at 84! Ryan performed so well that he climbed that high in just a year. He earned his spot among the Madden elite.

    4. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
    Brees has been among the top Madden QBs for years. He’s a methodical pocket passer and it shows in his ratings. His Awareness is 99, the only QB besides Brady to score that high.

    He moves well in the pocket, too, with a Juke rating of 70, which should come in handy whether it’s running for a gain or shaking past an edge rusher. 

    5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
    With a 91 OVR, Big Ben rounds out Madden 18’s top five signal callers. Roethlisberger is a tough QB to bring down. For that, his Strength rating is 82, strongest among QBs and providing some second chances on offense if pass rushers can’t bring him down.

    With a 93 Throw on the Run rating, he’s second only to Rodgers. Whether it’s after the line collapses and you’re extending the play, or throwing with his feet set, few in Madden are better than Roethlisberger. 

    The last two QBs rated 90 or above are Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck, but let’s talk about some guys that could be on the rise once the season starts. Cam Newton is starting this year at 88 OVR. Last year was one to forget for Super Cam. Look for him to climb back into the 90s quickly.

    Historically, the Carolina Panthers’ offense doesn’t throw to running backs very often. They clearly look to change that up by drafting Christian McCaffrey. 

    The Dallas Cowboys’ new signal caller is doing everything he can to avoid a sophomore slump. One thing to consider, Dez Bryant. Prescott and Bryant didn’t have much chemistry last season. With an offseason to work on their game, look for Prescott and Bryant to establish themselves early in the season and for their ratings to climb. 

  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    Madden NFL 18 Ratings: Running Backs

    It’s all about the air attack in today’s NFL. But even though the real-life gridiron has moved away from the ground-n-pound mentality, a quality runner can still make a defense look foolish.

    If you’re able to combine solid stick skills with one of the Madden elite, then you’re ready to deliver extreme trash talk in some H2H matchups. With that in mind, let’s look at the top 5 running backs in Madden NFL 18.

    1. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
    Bell is at the heart of the Steel City’s explosive offense. His combination of speed out of his cuts and patience behind the line of scrimmage is unmatched, giving him a 98 Juke. Only one other person in the game matches that score, Tavon Austin. Bell’s Ball Carrier Vision, 97, also only beaten by one player, his teammate Antonio Brown.

    He has the most consistent blocking scores of the top 5 backs and nearly all his ball carrying stats are in the 90s – his weakest is an 87 Truck rating. When an 87 is one of the “weaker” attributes, that gives you the best overall-rated RB in Madden.

    2. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
    The Cardinals’ 2016 campaign was one to forget, outside of David Johnson. Johnson not only put himself among the NFL elite, he had an MVP-level season. The team is healthier now, so look for Johnson to continue rolling and for the Cards to be an NFC threat.

    One of the better-balanced runners in terms of ratings, Johnson also edges out Bell with a 76 Catch rating. That gives he and Theo **** the highest Catch rating in the top 30 OVR RBS. Oh, and let’s not forget his Kick Return Rating of 85.

    3. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
    If Shady has proven anything, it’s that he can shake it. At a 90 Speed, he’s not the fastest back in the game. But combine that with his elusiveness, and he’s a difficult back to stop when the controller is given to a skilled Madden player.

    If a 93 Elusiveness and Juke of 96 isn’t enough to persuade you, maybe his best-in-position 96 spin move is. He’s also the best route runner of the top 5 RBs. With all of that going for him, Shady is dangerously close to cheat code status. 

    4. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans
    Murray’s short and ineffective stint with the Philadelphia Eagles was quickly forgotten. Murray showed a bit of his old form last season, and it was enough to put him in the Madden RB elite, back in the 90s with a 91 OVR. Murray’s 95 Awareness is second only to the immortal Frank Gore among RBs.

    He scores well as a pass catcher too, racking up mostly high 70s in catch ratings – worth noting is his Catch in Traffic rating of 78. Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen, and Charles Sims III are the only better targets in traffic among RBs.

    5. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
    Elliot was the most talented back of the 2016 Draft class, and had enough luck to play behind the Cowboys’ talented offensive line. Pair those factors up, and it only took one year for the former high school track star to crack the top five.

    With Speed, Acceleration, and Agility all in the 90s, Elliott has the potential for huge positive gains. But outside of his 71 Catch rating, other pass catching scores fall to the 60s. His catching skills might not be as high as the others on this list, but Elliott is a back to always keep an eye on in Madden.

    Honorable Mentions
    Regardless of what team you’re a fan of, the Beast Quakes were some of the best plays you’ll ever see in football. I miss Marshawn Lynch. What’s that? Oh, he’s back. With who? Didn’t they move to Vegas or something? Never mind.

    Point is, Lynch is back and he’s on what should be one of the more exciting teams to play as this year. Lynch might not be as fast as he used to be with a Speed of 89, but he still has a 94 Truck and a 92 Stiff Arm. Bringing him down is going to be an issue.

    The award for best running back core goes to the Atlanta Falcons. Seriously, it seems a little unfair to have Devonta Freeman (89 OVR) and Tevin Coleman (85 OVR) on the same team. Play as the Falcons, and fatigue at the running back position is a non-issue.

    They both even have solid Kick Return ratings. So, congrats on the award Falcons. The New England Patriots were the runners up after they picked up 27 RBs during the offseason. Maybe check the math on that one.

  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    Madden 18 Overall Rookie Ratings For All 1st Round Draft Picks
  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    Top 5 Rated QBs in Madden NFL 18.
  • The top 10 running backs and Elliott is where?! Well, according to NFL's top 10, Elliott is highest at 7 and bell is 9th: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000817263/article/tom-brady-ranked-no-1-in-the-top-100-players-of-2017
  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    Madden NFL 18 Ratings: Wide Receivers
    Attacking through the air is all the rage in the NFL. The skill level of today’s wide receivers makes that easy to achieve. OK, so nothing in the NFL is easy. Not even the tablets are easy, just ask Bill Belichick.

    Fortunately, turning on your console to play Madden is a lot easier than getting into the NFL. Here, let’s focus on the best WRs Madden NFL 18 has to offer. 

    1. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
    When teams draft a wide receiver in the first round, they want that receiver to basically be Julio Jones. Defensive coordinators lose sleep over stopping Julio. His combination of size, speed, and strength are difficult to match. Jones scores a 94 Speed, 98 Catch, has a 91 Juke, and has an 84 on Spin Move and Stiff Arm to boot. Few in the game, ever, have been better than Julio Jones.

    2. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
    In terms of Madden ratings, there’s Jones and Brown, and everyone else. There are other great receivers, but these two are the top. Brown falls behind Jones in some of the intangibles, but makes up that ground elsewhere, combining a 98 Agility, 98 Catch, and a 97 Elusiveness. Both his Elusiveness score and Ball Carrier Vision (98) are the highest among WRs. Let’s throw in a 97 Juke, 88 Spin, and 93 Kick Return just for fun. 

    3. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
    It should be a testament to how good WRs are in the NFL that somebody as talented as A.J. Green is 3.  Only slightly slower than the two guys rated above him, Green carries a 91 Speed, with a 94 Agility, and 97 Jump. Green is big too, standing at 6”4’. At this point, you can just lob it up to Green, ignore coverage completely, and still have some success. 

    4. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants
    As a rookie in 2014, OBJ became the darling of every sports highlight reel made since that point. It’s clear the Madden ratings gods haven’t forgotten and have blessed OBJ with a 99 Spectacular Catch rating. He also matches Julio’s speed and nearly matches Brown’s Agility. He may not be as big as the other guys on this list, but he doesn’t need to be. Even his Kick Return is decent for a desperate times scenario.

    5. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys.
    The Cowboys’ x-factor rounds out the top 5. He’s the slowest here, but still very effective with 89 Speed with solid scores down the board. Worth noting is Dez’s 98 Jump, highest in the WR class. This is paired with a 97 in both Spectacular Catch and Catch in Traffic. Just like in the NFL, Bryant is a reliable target even when covered. 

    Honorable Mentions
    The depth at WR is just crazy. Case in point, DeAndre Hopkins (91), Jordy Nelson (91), Mike Evans (90), and Larry Fitzgerald (90) make up the rest of the 90 OVR group. Heck, you have to go 62 players deep into the WR list before you find one below 80 OVR. Point is, there’s some great talent here.

    I did want to also single out Brandon Marshall. Marshall scores an 85 OVR with solid ratings throughout. But he’s also paired with OBJ now. Either one of these guys are reliable targets on their own. Playing H2H against the New York Giants won’t be fun. 
    -Daniel Williams

  • I'd like to know the spectacular catch and jump ratings for Julio Jones.
  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    Madden NFL 18 Player Ratings: Offensive Line
    The offensive line is the foundation of success in the NFL. The only reason any offense is able to accomplish anything is because the big guys up front not only have the ability to fend off attacks, but communicate well as a unit when adjusting to defensive game plans. Players like Orlando Pace should’ve won MVP every year he played.

    So let’s breakdown the top 5 O-lineman in Madden NFL 18.

    The Dallas Cowboys’ line. Phew, that was long-winded. Goodnight, Madden community!
    Okay, here’s the actual top 5. Spoiler alert, if you’re not a Cowboys fan, you won’t be happy. 

    1. Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens
    When you have a big arm like Joe Flacco, you must give him time for the deep passes. That’s where Yanda comes in. At 96 OVR, Yanda is the top-rated O-lineman in Madden 18, largely based on his pass blocking prowess. His 87 Run Block rating is very good, but his 98 Pass Block is the best in the game. Other blocking attributes score in the high 80s, low 90s. He’s the guy to have for a passing offense. 

    2. Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys
    The Dallas O-line is scary. At the forefront of that is Zack “You Shall Not Pass” Martin. Okay, that nickname is completely made up. And maybe a nickname shouldn’t reference a scene where the character dies. Or, doesn’t die? I don’t care. Point is, Martin is one of the more balanced blockers in the game with a Run Block of 91 and Pass Block of 90. His Block Strength and Block Footwork steer a little more towards the run, but not by much. 

    3. Trent Williams, Washington Redskins
    Seems almost fitting that the player fending off the remaining flood of Cowboys on this list is a player on their biggest rival. Williams’ 95 Strength is beaten by only two other players amongst O-linemen, Russell Bodine and Kyle Friend. Base blocking stats, Williams scores a 94 Run Block and 95 Pass Block, the best combo of any big man. However, his Impact Blocking rating is an 83, falling short of everyone else in the top 5 by at least seven points. 

    4. Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys
    Reference the earlier spoiler alert, for Cowboys populate the rest of this list. Smith is the best pass blocker of the Dallas bunch with a 94 Pass Block, but he’s less balanced than Martin with an 89 Run Block. He makes up for that though with exceptional scores for Block Footwork and Block Strength for both pass and run.

    5. Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys
    So, if you have Smith on the left, and Martin on the right, that leave’s Frederick in the middle. The best rated Center in the game, Frederick is a good balance to smith with Run Block stats taking the lead over Pass. His Run Block Strength is best-in-game at 99 with an Impact Block at 97. Something to keep in mind here, Awareness as a unit now effects how the O-line performs with Madden 18’s new blocking mechanics. All of the Dallas O-line members mentioned here score well into the 90s. There isn’t a better unit in the NFL, so there isn’t a better unit in Madden.

    Honorable Mentions
    Dallas O-line got lots of love from the ratings gods, as well they should. But the Oakland Raiders’ O-line deserve some props. Kelechi Osemele (92 OVR), Rodney Hudson (90 OVR), and Donald Penn (89 OVR) all made it into the top 12.

    The only other team to do that is obviously Dallas. Both of these units should leave you well protected in Madden 18. 
    -Daniel Williams


  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    Madden NFL 18 Player Ratings: Tight Ends
    The days where the tight end is just another blocker are far behind us. It remains a Jack-of-all-trades position, but the modern NFL has a plethora of elite talent at TE.

    Possibly, we’re watching the best to ever play tight end. The elite guys below aren’t just the tops in the position, they’re also the top targets to throw to on their respective teams. This is mismatch heaven in Madden.

    Here we have the top 5 TEs in Madden NFL 18.

    1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
    This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Last season’s Madden cover model and all-around human cheat code, the beast known as Gronk is the finest at the position. An 85 Strength scores him as the strongest TE in the game. He also has a 95 Catch, 94 Spectacular Catch, and a 96 Catch in Traffic. There’s few rosters in Madden that can attempt man coverage on Gronk with success. Your offensive gameplan here should be to throw to Gronk and see what happens. 

    2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
    The Chiefs are loaded with top-tier talent on defense. They have some great role players on offense, but Kelce is their brightest star. He even had his own reality show! No, I will not link to it, you’ll have to use the power of the Internets. I don’t want that chaos on my work computer’s browser cache. No, YOU stay on topic! Ratings-wise, Kelce is less overpowering than Gronk, but more elusive, and scores a 79 Juke, highest among the top 5 TEs

    3. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks
    Overall, it’s great to see Graham back to form after recovering from a torn patellar tendon. I can tell you about his blocking scores, but you’re playing Madden wrong if you’re concerned about that. He has a solid 87 Catch rating, but where he separates from the pack is a 96 Spectacular Catch, highest of all TEs. To boot, he also carries an 87 Catch in Traffic and 84 Route Running. Seems like you should feed him the ball, but that’s just the strategy to use if you want to win. 

    4. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
    Walker is the all-around good TE of the top 5. They’re all exceptional, but Walker is the best overall blocker. Not the most dynamic on offense, but super reliable. If he’s on your roster, remember he boasts an 86 Stiff Arm. It’s his best ball carrying move and it’s also the best among TEs.

    5. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
    If you know Madden, you know we couldn’t get through a TE list without Greg Olsen. He’s by far the Panthers’ best receiving option. He’s got a best-in-class 97 Catch, along with a 92 Spectacular Catch, 93 Catch in Traffic. Oh, and he’s also the best TE route runner at 94. He may not have a great Juke or anything, but he’s an excellent pass catcher. 

    Honorable Mentions
    You watch Antonio Gates, and it’s clear his best years are behind him. Thankfully, Father Time doesn’t have quite the same effect in Madden. Feel free to use him and enjoy having the (soon-to-be) all-time TE touchdown leader on your roster. You know, until Gronk eventually breaks that record.

    Someone else to watch is Julius Thomas. He’s with the Miami Dolphins now, reunited with Adam Gase. Gase used Thomas with great success as the Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator. None of that matters too much for Madden, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see his ratings climb once the season starts. 
    -Daniel Williams

  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    Madden NFL 18 Player Ratings: Defensive Tackles
    When we covered offensive lines, I mentioned that they were the foundation of an offense’s success. That would mean the defensive line’s job is to bring that foundation to the ground.

    D-linemen are essential to stopping an offense, as they can slow the running game to a crawl and potentially prevent a throw from even leaving the quarterback’s hand. And D-tackles are the main force pushing up the middle.

    Here are the top 5 D-tackles looking to stop your offense cold in Madden 18:

    1. Ndamukong Suh, Miami Dolphins
    When playing Madden, it’s generally a good idea to keep the ball carrier away from Suh. He’s basically just a wall. Suh’s Strength rating is a whopping 98. That makes him the strongest player in Madden 18. To stick with that theme, he’s got a 92 Tackle and 95 Hit Power, which is also the strongest among D-tackles. Mental note: don’t run towards him. 

    2. Geno Atkins, Cincinnati Bengals
    Atkins isn’t as strong as Suh, few human beings are, but he’s still strong enough to disrupt plays. His 90 Strength is quite a bit lower that Suh’s ridiculous 98, but Atkins has the advantage with a Power Move of 93 to push past a block. Another handy attribute is a 92 Play Recognition. So manually controlling another player and letting the AI handle Atkins isn’t the worst idea. 

    3. Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles
    Cox is a unique talent among DTs with regards to Madden Ratings. With an 89 Strength, which is still good, he’s the weakest of the top five DTs. However, he matches Suh’s 92 Tackle and has an 80 Speed, making him the fastest DT of this top tier group. 

    4. Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Enter Gerald McCoy. His Strength is 92, so he’s one of the stronger ones in the group. McCoy is more of a traditional DT – an obstacle for the O-line as opposed to an attacker as he only has a 69 Speed. But he’s a great addition to your roster if you have someone else attacking off the edge.

    5. Damon Harrison, New York Giants
    Let’s get this out of the way – Harrison is slow. 54 Speed makes him the slowest of the top 5 by far. But he’s one of the more reliable DTs in Madden 18. He has a Strength of 93, 94 Tackle, and a 95 in Awareness and Play Recognition. He also scores a 94 in Block Shedding. So he makes up for his lack of quickness with a reliable set of skills to get past the O-line. That Speed might not sound impressive, but keep in mind that O-linemen are rarely fast themselves. Harrison’s top five spot is well deserved.

  • "To stick with that theme, he’s got a 92 Tackle and 95 Hit Power, which is also the strongest among D-tackles. Mental note: don’t run towards him."

    In his entire career Suh has two forced fumbles, and that gets him a 95 hit power.
  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    Madden NFL 18 Player Ratings: Defensive Ends
    It’s time to talk about big men on the attack. This group is the first since we talked about quarterbacks that features one of Madden 18’s Club 99 members. Like QBs, it also includes a player that’s at the front of the line to enter Club 99. So, this is a pretty talented group.

    Defensive ends are usually the main attackers upfront. These elite few are the guys that cause O-lines to shift and double team rushers. Offensive coordinators lose sleep when facing these players because you cannot afford to hope that your running back can handle one of these guys once they’re past the line.

    Here are your top 5 Defensive Ends in Madden NFL 18. 

    1. Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
    The Rams’ best strength is on the defensive side. If you want proof, look no further than Donald. He’s your second Club 99 member currently. Not only does he have a massive 94 Strength, but his 83 Speed makes him the fastest DE of the top five. Once he’s passed the line, he’s going to close in quick. He also carries a Block Shedding of 91 and Power Move of 96, which is tied for best in the DE class with just one other player. More on him, well, right now.

    2. J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
    If you’ve ever watched J.J. Watt play, you’ve realized two things. One, Watt is just a level above everyone else. And two, if he was a character on Friends, he’d be Ross. Point is, Watt is good at football. Ratings wise, he matches Donald’s 96 Power Move. His 97 Strength is only outdone by Ndamukong Suh and his Block Shedding is 93, best of the elite DEs. Oh, and he can catch, too, with catching scores in the 70s. Cheat code. 

    3. Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
    Graham isn’t as rated as strong as the previous two players mentioned, but he can cause some major damage to the offense. With a Speed of 79 and Agility of 82, he’s faster and more agile than Watt. Of the top 5, he’s the best one to drop back to cover a short zone or quick pass. To boot, he also has the best Hit Power of the top five with 88.

    4. Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints
    Jordan is a great all-around rusher with good-to-great base stats. He’s going to be your power guy, with a Power Move rating of 92, but his Finesse Move score drops down to a 71. Nothing fancy here, just power through and flatten the opposition.

    5. Calais Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars
    Campbell was a huge pick up for Duvall County. It’s a big add to a defensive unit that’s loaded with talent – and will show this season if Blake Bortles can quit his habit of giving the ball away. Campbell should provide consistent pressure. He’s not as fast or as strong as the other players listed here, but still effective. Rather than punch through and overpower the line, Campbell breaks passed the trenches with an 89 Finesse Move rating. That’s beaten only by Watt in the top five.

    Honorable Mentions
    Ndamukong Suh demands tons of attention in the trenches, but players often forget about Cameron Wake (89 OVR). The pair of them on the same defensive line is devastating.

    Speaking of D-line pairings, the San, errr, Los Angeles Chargers are the only team with two defensive ends in the top 10 with Melvin Ingram (89 OVR) and Joey Bosa (88 OVR). Increase that to top 15, two other teams make the grade. The Seattle Seahawks with Michael Bennett (90 OVR) and Cliff Avril (86 OVR), and the New York Giants with Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon (both at 88 OVR).
    -Daniel Williams

  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    Madden NFL 18 Player Ratings: Middle Linebackers
    Middle linebackers are often the workhorse of the defense. It’s this position that typically racks up the tackling totals to ungodly proportions. They’re never too far away from the play and the elite MLBs can shut down an offensive gameplan and are routinely used in coverage or on the attack.

    Get ready to create chaos for the offense with the top 5 MLBs for Madden NFL 18.

    1. Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers
    Kuechly is a stud linebacker who is likely entering Club 99 before the season is over. He’s routinely leading the league in tackles, and there’s not much I can say here that his ratings don’t say better. Kuechly has the best rating in the MLB class in several categories, including Catch 80, Tackle 98, Pursuit 97, Play Recognition 96, and 87 in Zone Coverage. He’s sort of a big deal. His hit power is only beaten by one MLB, and that player is . . . 

    2. Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks
    Wagner is the monster that led the NFL in tackles last season. Kuechly barely edges him out in most categories, but there are a couple that set Wagner apart. With an 88 Speed, he’s the fastest of the top 5 MLBs, and he has a best in class Hit Power of 95. Sounds about right for a player that’s never far from the ball and is the foundation of the loaded Seahawk defense.

    3. Dont’a Hightower, New England Patriots
    With all the attention that goes to some guy name Tom, it’s easy to forget that the Pats are well equipped on the defensive side of the ball. Hightower isn’t as fast as the others listed here, but he’s the strongest of the 5 with an 84 Strength rating. He also scores an 84 on Power Move, best among MLBs. This gives him plenty of potential to blast past blockers and stop plays before they get started.

    4. C.J. Mosley, Baltimore Ravens
    Honestly, it would feel weird if the Ravens didn’t have an excellent linebacker. It’s just too ingrained in their identity. Outside of Strength, Mosley scores well in terms of ratings. He’s rated high enough in both man and zone coverage, and while he may not rank at the top of the MLB class, he’s still a dangerous defender.

    5. NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers
    Coming in with an 88 OVR, Bowman is one of the few Madden ratings bright spots for the Niners. Bowman is rated higher in zone coverage than he is man. He’s also a solid tackler with a 93 Hit Power. That combination is a cause for concern for an offense looking to not turn the ball over. 

    Honorable Mentions
    Let’s talk about Ryan Shazier of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s rated at an 81 OVR, largely because his Awareness and Coverage scores aren’t the best. But, his base stats make him an interesting pick to control on defense. He has a solid 85 Tackle and 87 Hit Power.

    To go along with that, he has a best in class 90 Speed and 97 Jump ratings. He can cover a lot of the field and has the potential to swat away tons of passes in the right player’s hands. 
    -Daniel Williams

  • Wagner, the tackle leader last year, gets a 95 for hit power. So how many forced fumbles last year for this terror? None. Not a single forced fumble last year in over a 100 tackles.
  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    edited August 2017
    Madden NFL 18 Player Ratings: Outside Linebackers
    Linebackers are an interesting breed. The guys in the middle are typically the consistent workhorse of the defensive side of the ball. They read plays, they drop back into coverage, and they have to be where the ball is at all times.

    Then you have your outside variety. They do a bit of the dirty work that the MLBs do, but your OLBs are more focused on the attack. Getting to the QB and stopping the play cold is what they do.

    Let’s take a look at the top 5 drive-stomping OLBs of Madden NFL 18. 

    1. Von Miller, Denver Broncos
    And here is the final member of Club 99 in Madden NFL 18, joining Tom Brady and Aaron Donald. There basically isn’t anything he can’t do defensively. His base stats are exceptional. What puts Miller above the rest, though, is his ability to toss blockers aside. He has a great 91 Power Move and an even greater Finesse Move rating of 97. His Block Shedding is 95 and Pursuit is 98. His skills and ratings are just not matched, hence his spot in Club 99.

    2. Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders
    Not too far behind Von Miller is Mack, the Raiders’ star on defense. Mack is the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year and has won games for the team with turnovers in the final minutes. His base ratings nearly match Millers. While doesn’t have the same strength at shedding blockers as Miller, he’s still very good with a 95 Power and 90 Finesse. Mack also has a better Catch rating than Miller and an insane 94 Jump. Prepare to have your passes swatted. 

    3. Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs
    If you look at the Chiefs roster, you could easily say their defense is the best in the league. It certainly looks that way in Madden 18. And Houston is a force at OLB. His Block Shedding rating of 83 isn’t as high as the first two players listed, but he comes close to matching the base stats for both Mack and Miller. He also matches Miller’s Hit Power of 89, the best of the top 5.

    4. Sean Lee, Dallas Cowboys
    Lee is one of the more talented players on the Cowboys’ roster. He tops the rest of the elite guys with an outstanding 96 Tackle rating. However, he’s not nearly as skilled at getting passed blockers with a Power Move of 68 and 56 Finesse. The good news is, he’s one of, if not the, best OLB in coverage. His 75 Man Coverage and 84 Zone Coverage ratings pair very well with his Tackle rating. He’s more effective at attacking routes than he is the QB.

    5. Chandler Jones, Arizona Cardinals
    Jones rounds out the top 5 at this position. He’s not as strong or fast as some of the other guys on this list, but still has some of the ratings to be a playmaker. His 92 Power Move is stronger than Miller’s and it’s paired with a 77 Finesse. Mostly a QB attacker, his 62 Man and 70 Zone Coverage ratings means he’s also handy for a short zone drop back.

    Honorable Mentions
    Along with Mack, the Raiders are the only team with three OLBs in the top 20. Mack is joined with Aldon Smith (85 OVR) and Bruce Irvin (84 OVR).

    If you’re looking for an OLB to watch climb the ladder, it has to be Vic Beasley Jr. At a 83 OVR, look for last season’s sack leader to climb the rankings rather quickly this season.
    -Daniel Williams

  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    Madden NFL 18 Player Ratings: Cornerbacks
    The NFL is stacked with elite level quarterbacks. Drew Brees himself has at least 18 seasons with 5,000 passing yards. Don’t bother checking the numbers, they’re right here on my stat sheet. And by stat sheet, I mean napkin. And by napkin, I mean nothing. There’s nothing there. I’m lying to you. Don’t believe everything on the Internet. Lesson learned.

    Point is, there’s a lot passing going on. It’s only natural that to defenders will get better against the pass. Here, we have an elite group of cornerbacks who are extremely effective at making QBs regret throws.

    Let’s look at the top 5 corners in Madden NFL 18. 

    1. Chris Harris Jr., Denver Broncos
    So, technically this is a tie between two players at 94 OVR, but let’s give it to Harris based on last name. Just like in grade school. Harris has great base stats, but his 60 Hit Power is the lowest of the top 5. That means little though since Harris has the best coverage ratings of the CB , carrying scores of 97 in Man Coverage and 93 in Zone Coverage. He’s not the guy in the secondary that’s going to rock a receiver with a big hit, but good luck finding any separation.

    2. Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos
    Oh man, the Broncos’ D already has Von Miller, but they also have the top two cornerbacks in Madden 18. There’s a lot of potential for turnovers here, and Talib is dangerous once he grabs the ball. He’s a great pairing to Harris, not as fast, but a bit stronger. He’s only slightly lower in coverage ratings, and his Jump and Catch ratings are enough to snag interceptions. Talib is basically a receiver when he has the ball with a 77 Elusiveness, 87 Ball Carrier Vision, 80 Spin, and 89 Juke. So if you can’t make a throw in Harris’ direction because of his coverage skill, just remember that Talib is on the other end waiting for a pick-six.

     3. Malcolm Butler, New England Patriots
    Butler is the ultimate Longshot story (shameless plug for Madden 18 story mode). He’s gone from no-name, to Super Bowl hero, to one of the most consistent corners in the league. Balanced down the board in terms of ratings, Butler scores a 70 Tackle, highest of the top 5. Butler also has a 95 Man Coverage and 93 Zone Coverage. No matter the assignment, Butler can handle it. 

    4. Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals
    Peterson is a freak show athlete. His coverage ratings aren’t as high as the other guys listed here, but his 92 Speed is the fastest of the elite CBs, and he has a 97 Agility rating. Peterson is going to be the return specialist, with a Kick Return rating of 88, and scores an outstanding 93 Elusiveness, 95 Ball Carrier Vision, 87 Spin Move, and 92 Juke Move. Yikes. Those are game-changing ratings.

    5. Josh Norman, Washington Redskins
    Norman’s passion for football and personality make easy headlines. For all the attention the sports world gives Norman, it’s easy to forget that Norman is one of the smarter players in the NFL. Along with being physically capable to cover anyone, Norman is constantly reading QBs to cause a turnover. He scores a best in class 95 in Awareness and Play Recognition. Norman deservedly rounds out the top 5. 

    Honorable Mentions

    Richard Sherman is the final CB that hits the 90s, with a 90 OVR. Still one of the best in the game, Sherman is one of the key components to the Seattle Seahawks’ loaded defense.

    The New York Giants is the only team besides the Broncos to have two CBs in the top 10. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins both score an 89 OVR. This makes the Giants a sneakily good defense to play in Madden. 
    -Daniel Williams

  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    Madden NFL 18 Player Ratings: Safeties
    Just like cornerbacks, safeties are tasked with slowing down explosive passing attacks. Safeties can be assigned to cover players, but most have some freedom to read the play and predict where the offense is going. These guys can make deep passes impossible and give receivers nightmares about open-field hits.

    Let’s get to the top 5. Here are the best safeties of Madden NFL 18. 

    1. Kam Chancellor, Seattle Seahawks
    That nightmare comment earlier? 90 percent of those nightmares are about Kam. He excels in zone coverage and is the strongest DB in football. For Madden, he carries a Strength of 82, more than every other safety. Not to mention his colossal Hit Power of 97. So the Madden gods watched Kam play, and they awarded him the best Hit Power of Madden 18. 

    2. Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs
    Let’s put Madden ratings aside for a second. Eric Berry’s story is one of the best things going in the NFL. He’s not only returned to playing after battling Hodgkin's lymphoma, but he’s one of the bets DBs in the league. Truly remarkable.

    Ratings-wise, Berry is excellent down the board. He doesn’t excel at hitting as well as Kam, but he’s good in both Man and Zone, and is a DB that has great potential to score when he has the ball, with an 84 Elusiveness, 81 Ball Carrier Vision, 87 Juke, and 83 Spin. He can create a turnover and make the opponent pay for it on a single play. 

    3. Earl Thomas III, Seattle Seahawks
    Breaking news, the Seahawks defense is still really good. In the NFL, Thomas is the most crucial cog to Seattle’s defensive machine. In Madden, he’s an excellent defender and is the guy the offense should avoid giving the ball to. In terms of ratings, he’s actually very similar to Berry. Berry has a slight edge in ball carrier moves and Thomas has a slight advantage in zone. It should be no surprise that the Seahawks are dangerous to throw against.

    4. Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings
    Smith is another physical safety who excels in zone coverage schemes and hitting people. Among the elite five listed here, Smith’s Strength and Hit Power are only beaten by Kam Chancellor. A nice addition for Smith is a Catch rating of 82. 

    5. Eric Weddle, Baltimore Ravens
    Weddle is part of a Ravens secondary that’s quite formidable in Madden. While other teams might attract more attention with their DBs, the Ravens have a few deep players that make exposing zone coverage difficult. In fact, the Ravens are the only other team besides Seattle that has two safeties in the top 10, the other being Tony Jefferson (88 OVR). Weddle has the highest Awareness of the top 5 with 93.

    Honorable Mentions
    Madden 18 is loaded at safety. The New England Patriots’ Devin McCourty (92 OVR), New York Giants’ Landon Collins (92 OVR), and the Miami Dolphins’ Reshad Jones (91 OVR) round out the rest of the 90s class.

    Side note: I’ve been mentioning the Madden gods a few times in these ratings pieces. It’s a little-known fact that the Madden ratings aren’t based on an algorithm or real-life athlete performance. Instead, there is actually a mystical, supernatural process where we toss NFL trading cards into a green-glowing fire pit*. The ratings numbers appear in the smoke formations. Every once in a while, it’ll do something crazy like give an offensive lineman 99 Kick Power, so we correct that afterwards by sacrificing moldy eggplants into the flames, which always sets the ratings right.

    The nights can get pretty strange at here at EA.

    *Editor’s Note: Of course this isn’t true – the awesome and tireless Madden game team is behind the ratings. Or are they . . .
    -Daniel Williams

  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    edited August 2017
    Madden NFL 18 Player Ratings: Fullbacks
    In the NFL, fullbacks are often the unsung heroes of the team. They provide a last line of defense against the pass rush and can plow for the running backs while getting little credit. In the fantasy football community, they’re touchdown vultures that can drastically change your score, leading to a loss that knocks you out of the playoffs.

    Here’s your list of top fullbacks in Madden 18.

    1. Kyle Juszczyk, San Francisco 49ers
    Juszczyk is a great fullback and should be one of the more fun players to control in Madden this season. He scores at a 91 OVR and, wait a second! Oh man, he’s the Niners highest-rated player. He is that good, but wow. Let’s score that as an L for the Niners’ front office.

    With that in mind, Juszczyk is a solid backfield blocker with enough ball carrying skills and good enough scores as a pass catcher to be a significant threat in the redzone. He also scores in the 70s for Catch in Traffic and Spectacular Catch.  At 82 Speed, defenders will close in relatively quick, but he looks to the best offensive option in the FB class.

    2. James Develin, New England Patriots
    Full disclosure, I got physically ill when I typed this. Of course, the Pats would have the fullback with the highest Strength rating. Because, you know, they didn’t do enough this offseason. Back to Develin, he’s got an 87 Strength and scores better in the run blocking categories than Juszczyk. He’s solid enough as a runner for short yardage scenarios, but his Spin and Juke aren’t rated well. He’s going to be your straight-ahead plodder with a Speed of 70.

    3. Patrick DiMarco, Buffalo Bills
    DiMarco isn’t as spectacular as Juszczyk, but he’s also a bit more dynamic of a runner than Develin. He’s serviceable with Juke and Spin, so you might be able to squeeze another yard or two out of a run. Downside here is he’s not as balanced on the blocking front. DiMarco is a sturdy run blocker, but not so much in pass blocking. Watch his assignments when audibling. 

    4. Aaron Ripkowski, Green Bay Packers
    In the world of Madden, Ripkowski is the standard definition of a fullback. He’d a good enough runner for short yardage situations, fine blocker, and his name is fun to say. He’s not as elusive, but his core running stats come close to matching Juszczyk. He’s also the best overall blocker of the top 5 FBs. His down fall is pass catchin, but if you’re playing as the Pack, it’s not like you don’t have others to throw to. 

    5. Andy Janovich, Denver Broncos
    Janovich is a straight up fullback. He scores well enough on Stiff Arm, but less so on elusive moves like Spin or Juke. He’s a good run blocker, but his pass blocking stats score just a little lower. So yes, you should probably watch your assignments with Janovich, too, but just not to the same degree as other FBs.

    Honorable Mentions
    Can’t get through this article without mentioning John Kuhn in terms of fantasy hate. True story, I played a Franchise and Kuhn was a free agent pickup. With him, my team was short yardage king, and I scored 15 touchdowns with him on the season. Fun stuff. Kuhn comes into Madden 18 with an 80 OVR. He’s a good enough runner and catcher that you can use him in any offensive scheme and is a good blocker, especially in pass blocking scenarios.
    -Daniel Williams

  • NatureBoy2323
    3704 posts Game Changer
    Madden NFL 18 Player Ratings: Kickers and Punters
    It is time. This is the article you’ve been waiting for all along. Kickers and punters are the positions that make Madden worth playing. Stop laughing. Fine, I’ll admit I overshot that one a bit, but getting your punting and field goal kicking skill down is essential to winning in Madden.

    Your top 5 kickers and punters for Madden NFL 18 await.

    1. Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens
     If you’re having trouble scoring in the red zone, Tucker can win games for you. He carries a Kick Power and Kick Accuracy of 98, making him the best overall kicker in the game. But back to the swag. A normal run-off-the-field celebration isn’t good enough for Tucker. He has to show off his sick dance skills.

    2. Johnny Hekker, P, Los Angeles Rams
    Hekker is going to be your best overall punter with a Kick Power of 97 and Kick Accuracy of 96. If you’re the guy that likes to fake punts, he’s also your guy, because he boasts the best overall throw accuracy in this class. If Hekker sounds familiar, and you’re not a Rams fan, it’s probably because you’re a Seattle Seahawks fan. His amazing duck-and-cover performance is what probably earned him his outstanding Truck rating of 15. Well played Johnny. 

    3. Matt Bryant, K, Atlanta Falcons
    Yep, Matt Bryant is still playing football. And why not? At 42, he’s older than some coaches, but he’s still one of the best in the league. The longest field goal of his career is a stupidly-long 62 yards. Just last season, he nailed a 59-yarder, so he’s not losing any leg. In Madden, he scores a 96 for both Kick Power and Kick Accuracy.

    4. Bryan Anger, P, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    A Kick Power of 95 and a 94 Kick Accuracy make it easy to see that Anger is an excellent punter. If you want real-life proof, the Bucs gave him a five-year extension worth millions last season, so there’s that. Though not as strong as Hekker, he also has decent enough throwing stats for the occasional fake. 

    5. Marquette King, P, Oakland Raiders
    We started with swag from Tucker, and we’ll end the top 5 with the King of punter swag. See what I did there? And punter swag because, never mind. King is the most athletic of the bunch. His Kick Power is 98 and Kick Accuracy is 92. His 85 Speed though means there’s great potential for short yardage fakes.

    Can’t end this without mentioning Matt Prater. He’s made a career of hitting FGs from 50-plus yards. Prater is also the current record-holder with a massive 64-yard FG. Since then he’s still nailing kicks in the high 50s. His Kick Power is 98 with a Kick Accuracy of 93.
    -Daniel Williams

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