Madden 20 Franchise Mode: Top tips on how to build a dominant team

Building a team is the most exciting part of franchise mode.

If you are part of a league, or even those that play on a hard difficulty setting, you will know that only one team can win the Lombardi trophy each year. It’s tough emotionally. But what helps is being the best general manager (GM) you can be.

Some teams are harder than others, depending on what you have to deal with when you start the game. But to those that know they aren’t going to be the best player in the world – being the best GM is up there as a good consolation.

Here are Realsport’s tips on how to build a great team.

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Salaries and Managing Cap

You cannot underestimate the skills needed to manage an NFL team’s salary. There have been many franchise players who are fantastic players but have failed due to their inability to manage cap space.

The current salary cap in Madden is around $200m in 2019, all your players’ salaries need to fit under this mark to keep the league even and fair. There is also now a 5th-year option in Madden to reflect real life.

The temptation is to just go after all the best players you can. But the cap is here to prevent that. Be aware of what salary each player is on.

A quick tip is to go to the salaries page, filter on the 2020 salary and then look at the overall ratings. You’ll see very quickly that you will have some player’s who might not be that good, earning a lot of money.

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When it comes to Cap problems, the quicker you deal with it the better.

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Thing long term, you will suffer penalties for cutting these deals but once that is dealt with you will have much more space to get talented players in free agency in a future seasons time.

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Finally, when resigning players – weight up the cost of the contract they want versus their skills and their role on your team.

Don’t just look at the overall rating. Consider performance, depth and other things. If you have an emerging rookie, you might decide they are worth the chance when they are so much cheaper.

What you do now, affects seasons 3,4 and 5. Just remember to balance the books and have a multi-season mindset.

Scheme and Playbooks

This is a very small part of the game in terms of visibility but has a huge effect on performance when you are playing.

You have to make sure your players, scheme, and playbook all lineup. It is within your gift to choose which you change, and often changing it wholesale is the most exciting situation to be in.

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Under schemes, there is a screen that shows how well your current players fit the schemes you have selected.

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This is a basic view, and sometimes your player can be good in an archetype position, without it being the main one listed. That said, it’s a good steer and can show you where you might have gaps in your depth. A score of 80% up is a decent result.

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  • Run and Shoot
  • Air Raid
  • Pistol
  • Spread
  • Vertical Power Run
  • Vertical Zone Run
  • Multiple Power Run
  • Multiple Zone Run
  • West Coast Spread
  • West Coast Power Run
  • West Coast Zone Run

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  • Tampa 2
  • 46 Defense
  • Base 4-3
  • 4-3 Under
  • 4-3 Cover 3
  • Multiple 4-3
  • Base 3-4
  • Multiple 3-4
  • 3-4 Under
  • 4-3 Quarters
  • Disguise 3-4
  • 3-4 Storm

You may choose a scheme you like to play with, and then need a new set of players, so get trading. Remember, you get XP boosts for players that fit the scheme. This is shown on the player card in purple and can really help develop young talent over a season or two.

Finally, you need to make sure your playbook matches what you want your scheme and players to be. There is no point in having a 3-4 defensive scheme and then playing with a 4-3 playbook that doesn’t suit your players or what they are good at.

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