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Early Madden 18 Franchise Tips

Building a competitive team in franchise mode can be one of the most rewarding parts of Madden 18.  That being said, it can be a difficult task, especially if you are in a league with other user owners.  That’s  why we’ve put together some of the best tips and strategies for franchise mode in Madden 18.

Regression Can Be Brutal

If you have older players on your team that you rely on, you should immediately try to get some young up and coming stars.  Some of the best players in the NFL become just about useless within 2-3 years once they start regressing due to old age.

Right when you start your franchise, you should try to trade any players on your team over 27 years old for younger guys or draft picks.  The older guys may be good for a year or 2, but if you plan on playing in your Madden 18 franchise for more than 2 years, you have to rebuild your team early regardless of the cost or the cap penalties you will suffer.

Look For Players With Attributes That Cost A Lot To Increase

Ratings like speed, strength, and hit power can cost an insane amount of XP to increase.  Everything else being equal, you are much better off taking a player with 95 speed and 50 awareness than you are taking a player with 92 speed and 80 awareness.

The cost of upping a player from 92 to 95 speed is significantly higher than raising a player from 50 awareness to 80 awareness.  Even though the speed is only a 3 point difference, the actual cost is much higher than the cost of the 30 point difference in awareness.

Development Traits Matter

All players fall into 4 development categories in Madden NFL 18: Slow, Normal, Quick, and Superstar.  It goes without saying that if you can find a Superstar player, you should target him immediately.  Players with superstar development get XP much quicker so they will improve 3 times as fast as players with normal development.

Quick development is also good, they improve twice as fast as normal development players.  In general, stay away from slow development players in Madden 18.  It takes them twice as long as normal to develop.

Monitor Your Salary Cap Situation Closely

Part of the fun of being in a Madden 18 franchise is to rebuild your team, the way you like it.  That usually involves trading players and possibly cutting guys to make room for people you want on the team.

This can result in large cap penalties that will really hurt you the following year if you don’t take your cap situation into consideration.   This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t trade players, just be aware of the cap hit you will take if you do.  For some players on huge contracts, it can absolutely ruin your cap space the next year.

Improve Players On Long Term Contracts

You should find and identify the players on your team that you want to keep for a long time and sign them to long term contracts.  Don’t waste your time training players who you aren’t 100% sure that you will keep around for the long term.

Sign them to long term contracts first.  Then improve them.

Build A Team To Match Your Style

A lot of people try to adapt to the team they are given in a franchise.  That is the wrong technique.  You have to adapt your team to match your style.

If you are a guy who loves to pound the rock, but you have a great quarterback and a mediocre running back, you should trade for a good running back instead of trying to become a prolific passer just because your team has a good QB.

Once you get on the field, it just comes down to gameplay.  If you are looking for improve your game in Madden 18 and dominate your opponents, check out our Madden 18 strategy guides and ebooks.

What other tips do you have for dominating in franchise mode in Madden 18?  Let us know in the comments.

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Samuel Miller
Samuel Miller
6 years ago

Amazing tips I will make sure I do that when I’m rebuilding the jets franchise

6 years ago

I hope you won’t be able to trade practice players for draft picks this year. That took a lot of steam out of my online league

Dimitris Ionas
Dimitris Ionas
6 years ago

Quick question, for madden 18 I’m always out of cap space going into preseason with like 58/75 players. Is there a way to invite rookies or sign players for preseason without having cap penalties for cutting them for regular season? Trying to simulate real football with a large preseason roster to play around with but cap gets in the way. I remember madden 17 allowing you to go over cap in preseason but can’t do that right now in Madden 18. Is this just something I have to deal with?

Jason Stubblefield
Jason Stubblefield
6 years ago

i had a player lock me out of contract negotiations in Franchise mode. is there a way to break the lock?

6 years ago

When I play franchise it’s vs the AI. I got some tips/ideas. Right player at the right place. I like a blazing speed wr at no.2 and boost his release, if you see press-man you know he got a good chance for 6-points. That way you can use him as a one-trick pony and don’t worry about alot of other stats.

I also like inside zone to the left side (usually my weak side). Put the best run blocking OL at LT and LG and that play will be there given the right front. I-formation vs a standard 4-3 in a cover 2-look, and this play can get you alot of yards!

On defence, man or zone? Focus on one! Know wherer your slow CBs are and back them off if you play a fast WR, unless you have a short field. When you blitz, pre-play guess pass, that way you have a great chance to get a sack if it’s a play-action pass. If you don’t the blitzing LB/DB will bite on the play-fake and tackle the RB.