Franchise mode is one of the most popular game modes in Madden NFL 17.  We’ve put together some of our best tips and tricks to build your team into a powerhouse in this year’s game.

You can check them out below.

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Always Look For Youth

This one seems pretty obvious to people who have played franchise mode before but you want as young of a team as you can get.  A rookie who is a 75 overall with decent development is going to be much more sought after than a 32 year old player that is a 85 overall.

Having a team full of young players gives you the ability to compete now and well into the future.

Younger players also develop faster than older players (who get worse as time goes on).

That brings us to our next tip:

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Focus On Improving The Players On Long Term Contracts

You can usually tell which young players on your team are going to be absolute studs in a few years.  You will want to sign these guys to the longest contract you can.  It may seem like you are overpaying to do it, but in the long term, it will save you a lot of money.

The one exception here is if you plan to trade any of these guys, you will not want to give them a big contract because that will cause a big salary cap penalty.

Once you identify those guys and have them locked into a long contract, these are the guys you’ll want to develop.  Don’t waste a lot of time improving players who you have no intention of resigning or trading.

Speed, Speed, Speed

Look for players with traits that are expensive to upgrade.  It is very cheap to upgrade things like awareness or zone coverage.  However, some ratings are incredibly expensive to upgrade other attributes.

The one that gets a lot of attention is speed.  90% of Madden players would rather have a young cornerback with 98 speed 80 man coverage and 80 zone coverage rather than a cornerback with 85 speed, 90 man coverage, and 90 zone coverage.

While the 2nd cornerback is going to have a much higher overall rating, the first cornerback will overtake him in terms of effectiveness with 1 good year of development and has the chance to be a game changing player.

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This idea can be applied to other expensive attributes and even height.  You can’t upgrade a receiver’s height so if you find a guy 6’4″ and above that you like, he could have much more potential than the same receiver at 5’10”.

Pay Attention To The Salary Cap

One all too common mistake that you see in franchise mode in every Madden game is ignoring the salary cap.  People get so focused on making trades and building the best team that they lose sight of the salary cap.  There is nothing worse than not being able to resign a key player because you gave players who aren’t as important big contracts.

Even worse is when a trade from the previous year causes a big cap penalty.  While you want to build the best team you can, make sure to keep the salary cap and any cap penalties in mind.

Development Is Important

This one is fairly obvious to many but the development trait is one of the most important attributes in franchise mode.  A player with superstar development will progress much faster than a player with slow development.

Don’t focus too much on overall or how good each player is right now, you are much better off focusing on how good your players can become.

Build Your Team To Match Your Style

Another common mistake is trying to adapt too much to your team.  If you have a team that has a great quarterback and receivers but you are more comfortable with a power running game, don’t try to force the passing game.  Your best bet is to get a different team but if that isn’t possible, there are plenty of people in your league who will be willing to make trades.

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Once you enter year 3 or 4, you should have a team that is perfectly crafted to your playing style.

If you are more interested in how to dominate once you get your team on the  field, check out our free Madden 17 tips, or if you are serious about dominating your franchise in Madden 17, check out our Madden 17 strategy guides and ebooks via Madden School Unlimited.

What other tips do you have for franchise mode in Madden 17?  Let us know in the comments section.