While Madden 18 is set to release August 25th, now is the perfect time to start preparing for the launch. Not much information has been released about Madden 18’s upcoming franchise mode but you should be able to fantasy draft your team. With that, I wanted to lay out some key positions to consider when drafting in the early rounds.

First, you must understand your playstyle. By that, I mean you must understand your strengths and weaknesses as a Madden player. Also, it’s best to know what kind of defense/offense you want to run. Personally, I love working with a west coast offense and an attacking 4-3 base defense. Those are what work best for me and that allows me to draft players that will fit that mold.

Another thing in the early rounds is to look at a players age. When building a dynasty, you want to have young “superstar” players on your roster. For example, while Tom Brady may be rated higher than Marcus Mariota, you may be better off taking Mariota who is only 23. This helps build a long-lasting dynasty.

Now, let us get into the positions to target in the early rounds.

3. Wide Receiver

Having elite ball catchers on your offense will open so many doors for your team. It gives you confidence by having the ability to trust one of your receivers. Someone who you can look to on that third down play, move to the slot and create mismatches and of course provide the deep play when it is needed. Speed has always been an important component in Madden games and the wideout position will provide that.

If I were to draft a receiver early, I would target them in rounds 3-4. Some guys I would look to take early are Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, John Ross III, A.J. Green, Amari Cooper. AB and Julio are in the prime of their careers but are still worth an early selection because they are elite.

2. Quarterback

I’m guessing that most of you figured this would be #1. Surprise – it’s not. For me, having an accurate quarterback with a good arm is fundamental in establishing a winning franchise. This should be pretty common amongst all madden users. They bring a spark to your offense and will allow you to score more points. It’s always better to have a good quarterback than a bad one. If you don’t have one that is serviceable, well then your team might struggle.

I would target QB’s as early as round 1 and as late as round 3. Some names to look for early would be Andrew Luck, Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, and Carson Wentz. (No particular order).

1. EDGE Rushers

Boom. The most important position when doing a fantasy draft would be the outside pass rushers. They can do it all for a defense. Providing consistent pressure from the outside will create sacks, bad throws from the QB and you may even begin to tip passes. Yes, QB’s in Madden can feel the pressure too. These are the players that are going to go off the board first and foremost and it is important that you grab them early.

I would target DE’s/OLB’s as early as round one and as late as round two. It’s essential to have these guys. I would look for Khalil Mack, Von Miller, J.J. Watt, Myles Garrett, Aaron Donald, Joey Bosa and Chandler Jones.

Some other positions that I would target early would be cornerbacks. It’s a great thing for a defense to have sustainable cornerbacks who can provide coverage. It will only allow your pass rushers to eat up for more sacks.

I just wanted to reiterate that it is essential to know your own playstyle. These are three positions that for me and a lot of other users will benefit the most. You might be different and that is OK. Roll the dice and get guys that you like. Play to your strengths and expose your opponents weaknesses.

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