Selecting a team is the most important moment of any Madden 21 franchise. Choose wisely and you set yourself up for an entire year of success. Choose poorly and you are destined for mediocrity.
Our goal with these power rankings is to give you an idea of what are the best teams to take and why. Obviously, your personal preferences will come into play as well and we won’t be able to account for that so please keep that in mind as you are going through this article.
We also assume that your league will go for at least 3+ seasons. The teams best equipped to win right now are often mediocre teams by the 2nd or 3rd year of your franchise mode.
Let’s dive in!
#1 Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs are the top overall team to use in franchise mode in Madden 21. Patrick Mahomes by himself would make them a top 5 team but with all of the talent around him in that offense, they become basically unstoppable if you know what you are doing.
If you spend a little time developing youngsters Mecole Hardman and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the Chiefs will have the perfect offense. You will get a few good years of our Travis Kelce. Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardmon will be 2 of the best/fastest wide receivers in the game, and if you develop him right Clyde Edwards-Helaire will become a decent (but fairly slow) halfback.
The Chiefs still have plenty of flexibility to add more players on defense to go with superstar DT Chris Jones and SS Tyrann Mathieu.
Sleeper Player: Don’t overlook rookie LB Willie Gay Jr. He is incredibly fast and with the proper development should turn into one of the best linebackers in Madden 21 by year 3.
#2 Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens could easily be #1 on this list depending on your play style. The Chiefs and Ravens are clearly the top 2 teams; it just depends whether you prefer Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes.
Much like with Patrick Mahomes, if you asked whether to take a team with Lamar Jackson and a bunch of free agents or a team somewhere around #6 or below on this list, I would passionately argue that Lamar Jackson by himself is worth more than someone else’s entire roster.
Lucky for you (if you are able to get the Ravens) they have a roster full of both young talent and established veteran superstars.
Calais Campbell, Earl Thomas, and Brandon Williams are all top tier veteran players even if they are getting up there in age. They will be retired or heavily regressing by year 3 of your franchise but for the first couple years, they will make a huge impact in your games.
The Ravens also have a huge stable of young talent. By year 2 or 3, Marquise Brown will be one of the most dangerous receivers in your league due to his amazing speed.
You will also have Mark Andrews at tight end, JK Dobbins at running back and Marlon Humphrey at cornerback. All of those players, including Lamar Jackson are 24 years old or younger so you’ll have at least 8 years to play with them in your franchise.
It is always nice to not have to worry about getting an elite kicker in franchise mode and the Ravens come with one of the best in the league already in Justin Tucker.
Sleeper Player: WR Devin Duvernay (if developed properly) could become an elite receiver in Madden. If you are able to make him a top player, your opponents will have to worry about 2 of the fastest/best wide receivers in the game, Lamar Jackson, and Mark Andrews.
#3 Seattle Seahawks
As far as Madden goes, the Seahawks are an amazing team. It’s hard to beat the playmakers that the Seahawks have on both side of the ball but they aren’t in the same tier as the Chiefs and Ravens.
Russell Wilson’s array of superstar abilities are incredible and wide receiver D.K. Metcalf is every Madden player’s dream.
Bobby Wagner is the undisputed best MLB in Madden 21. He should still be good for another 3 or 4 more years in franchise mode before you start to see crippling regression.
They were also able to trade for Jamal Adams which makes that defense incredibly scary but you should note that if you take the Seahawks, you will be missing 1st round picks in the next 2 drafts because of this trade.
Chris Carson needs to continue to trend upwards not only in real life but in your franchise as well for this offense to completely click on all cylinders. If he doesn’t progress, you should be able to draft a running back fairly easily.
Sleeper Player: LB Jordyn Brooks out of Texas Tech may be buried in the depth chart due to the fact the Seahawks already have Wagner and K.J. Wright but you will want to get him on the field as soon as possible. Everyone loves using a young speedy linebacker and Brooks could be one of the best.
#4 San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are an elite team in Madden 21. They have the best young defense in the game and solid players at every position. That being said, they are nowhere near as good as the Ravens or Chiefs. They are firmly in that second tier though.
Remember how dominant elite pass rushers were in Madden 20? Now imagine having Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Arik Armstead and rookie Javon Kinlaw on the same defensive line. After a couple years of progression, that defensive line will be just about unblockable.
Then you add in one of the best young linebackers in the game, Fred Warner, and you have one of the most feared front 7s in recent memory.
You also have young players like Tarvarius Moore and Dre Greenlaw who should progress nicely to make the defense even more dominant.
The main issue the 49ers have is they lack that truly elite QB1, HB1, or WR1 top tier teams need in Madden. Jimmy Garoppolo has a massive contract that will hurt your cap situation but he won’t be anything special in Madden 21.
The stable of running backs is nice to have in the NFL but it doesn’t translate well into Madden.
The wide receivers aren’t elite just yet but at least you have a bunch of young guys who can become elite by year 3. Look for guys like Deebo Samuel, Dante Pettis, and Brandon Aiyuk to progress nicely in your franchise.
Of course we can’t talk about the 49ers without mentioning George Kittle. He is one of the most versatile players in the game and someone you definitely want to have on your team.
Sleeper Player: Rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk might be buried a bit on the depth chart, but you will want to make sure to train him and let him get playing time. Young rookie wide receivers like him often progress really well.
#5 Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals got a pretty good deal this offseason by adding WR DeAndre Hopkins. Kyler Murray is going to be a threat in this year’s game as well with his superstar abilities Escape Artist and Quick Draw. Anytime you can get a young superstar quarterback with 90+ speed, you go for it.
This should be one of the most exciting teams to take into battle especially since it should be incredibly easy to turn Kyler Murray into an elite quarterback within a few years.
Isaiah Simmons will be one of the best user defenders in Madden history standing at 6’4” and 93 speed, he should be an awesome piece to play with in the beginning stages of your franchise mode.
Being able to keep RB Kenyan Drake was vital as well, with mostly good things to say about this team it’s definitely up for debate that they’re even a top 10 team to choose from.
Sleeper Player: Andy Isabella in his rookie year didn’t completely break out but he has the speed every Madden player looks for. If you develop him properly, he should turn into a very dangerous Madden receiver.
#6 Cleveland Browns
Surprisingly enough the Cleveland Browns had another good offseason and it could be exactly what they needed to turn into a decent franchise instead of always being a team with high potential.
The Browns most glaring needs were met by adding veteran RT Jack Conklin and rookie LT Jedrick Wills and maybe that’s exactly what QB Baker Mayfield needs to produce after all of the hype.
The Browns are a solid choice in franchise based solely off of ratings, but with star studded talent all over the offensive side of the ball they still are one of our favorite teams to shock the Madden world.
3rd year running back Nick Chubb is a franchise guy and has proved it so far even without the passing game living up to its potential.
The obvious weapons on the outside are OBJ and Jarvis Landry. If you can develop a third wide receiver, you will be in a great spot on offense.
Sheldon Richardson is always a solid name to have and he will continue to light up the stats department on the defensive line while in Cleveland.
Having a guy like Myles Garrett who’s still very young will be huge for the future as long as you work your salary cap to be able to afford him.
The Browns continue to try to become a top team in this league, and with the right coach in Madden 21 (you) that could definitely become a reality.
Sleeper Player: Grant Delpit the safety from LSU is a playmaker, it’s tough to tell if this will translate to the NFL but if it does his ability to make big plays and find a way to the ball could help this Browns secondary in a major way.
#7 New Orleans Saints
That’s right, coming off of being the top rated offensive team in Madden 20, the Saints haven’t lost much at all. They have even added some pieces on both offense and defense that could be exactly what you need to overcome the power house teams ranked above the.
Drew Brees has been as consistent as they come, the only downfall is obviously you’ll have to get used to an inside the pocket quarterback. However, the added threat of Emmanuel Sanders on the opposite side of Michael Thomas should add a dynamic big play potential making opposing teams have nightmares preparing for your offense.
Jameis Winston also provides a bit of relief in quarterback depth especially if you’re able to develop him while still reaping the benefits of Drew’s lengthy career.
The Saints’ first round pick, Cesar Ruiz, is going to add even more depth and reliability to the offensive line, as well as OLB Zack Baun helping to get to quarterbacks a little quicker.
Alvin Kamara is always a nice weapon to have coming out of the backfield, and if he’s progressed correctly has the chance to be one of the best RBs in your franchise within a few years. The last addition to make a note of is the Saints replacing Safety Vonn Bell with two time super bowl winning Safety Malcolm Jenkins. This should really help complete the Saints’ secondary.
Players like Cameron Jordan and Demario Davis will continue to help you dominate both the run and pass on the defensive side of the ball. Having a young elite corner on the edge like Marshon Lattimore will also be huge to put him on an island against some of the top stars on the other side of the ball.
Sleeper Player: QB Taysom Hill is a household name at this point, but with a 90 speed rating it will give users some exciting potential in case they’re struggling to move the ball in the Saints conventional way. If you’re able to get some confidence in his throwing ability throughout the franchise he could become a threat that opposing defenses will always have to worry about.
#8 Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys were always a solid choice in Madden 20 especially if you can manage to not have too many pressure inaccurate throws with Dak Prescott. This year should be no different as an elite offensive line returns with star running back Ezekiel Elliot.
The worry is going to be on the defensive side of the ball where you’ll have to find a way to manage without stars like Robert Quinn and Byron Jones both leaving to other teams in free agency.
Coaching changes that happened in the offseason won’t affect your franchise as much as real life but the addition of Mike McCarthy could add a new look playbook that enables some big time plays.
Speaking of big plays it helps when you get one of the best receivers in the draft class. WR Ceedee Lamb should come in and be an immediate threat in your offense and with the proper training and nurture he has the potential to be a Julio Jones type receiver in a few years of Franchise mode.
Sleeper Player: The standout Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs joins the Dallas Cowboys and should have an immediate impact. The brother of star receiver Stefon Diggs has the potential to be a shutdown corner. Make sure to focus on developing him early and you will reap the benefits in a few years.
#9 Los Angeles Chargers
There Chargers have way too much talent to not utilize them in Madden 21. They are a great sleeper team to pick for your Madden 21 franchise.
So much of whether you will find success with the Chargers comes down to if you are able to properly develop rookie Justin Herbert. However, you are pretty well setup at every other important Madden position so even if Herbert doesn’t work out, you should just be able to draft a new quarterback.
Guys like Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry all make this offense capable of moving the ball somewhat efficiently but the real excitement of picking the Chargers comes on the defensive side of the ball.
Joey Bosa and Derwin James are two of the best players in the league and they managed to add rookie Kenneth Murray to the mix. That is one of the best young defenses in the league and should put fear into your opponents.
Sleeper Player: Justin Herbert, the former Oregon Ducks QB, will compete against Tyrod Taylor for a starting spot this year. If you are smart, you will start Herbert right away to give him the maximum amount of time to progress.
#10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs obviously had a roller coaster of an off-season adding Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to an already star studded offense. These weapons will probably translate even better in Madden 21 than they do in real life.
This offseason hype could be the real deal though, Tom Brady has already received a 90 overall rating and adding weapons like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin should make beating man coverages pretty easy on you.
The defensive line is also going to be a top line with guys like Suh, Vea, Gholston, and Pierre Paul making life a little easier on the question marks in the secondary.
The linebacking crew for this team has the potential to be the best in the league especially if you’re committed to developing guys like Devin White, Shaq Barrett and Lavonte David from stars into superstars throughout your franchise.
The real issue with selecting the Bucs is that after the first year you immediately need to draft a quarterback to replace Tom Brady which is easier said than done.
Sleeper Player: Ronald Jones II is the starting back in Tampa but hasn’t met his full potential, with a lot of buzz around the passing game and Tom Brady, getting him going and developing his skills could be the key to long term success. The young running back has huge upside.
#11 Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have been a solid team in Madden but haven’t been able to breakthrough as an elite team. The offseason and draft goals for them were to add weapons for Rodgers or possibly look for his replacement.
They did end up drafting Utah State’s QB Jordan Love which was in most fans minds an F grade but obviously Green Bay feels like he has the ability to be the future and if you’re choosing the Packers you should at least a little as well.
Still, this team was able to win 13 games and still has the talent to be a solid franchise pick. LT David Bakhtiari is the best in the game and OLB Za’Darius Smith proved himself after his pro bowl 2019 season.
Davante Adams is still a really great weapon to have. If you’re able to get him in space he’s almost unstoppable.
The defense is still led by superstar DT Kenny Clark and number one corner Jaire Alexander who both continued to trend up last season not only in the NFL but in madden rankings. These are the type of young superstar players that you can build around.
Rodgers, if used correctly, can take this team to your franchises’ playoffs. Ultimately, your ability to replace him as well as develop young players at other positions will determine your success with the Packers.
Sleeper Player: OLB Preston Smith is still only 27 years old and came out to a sizzling hot start last year. If he can be developed and utilized correctly he can be a force in both the rushing and passing game for years to come.
#12 Buffalo Bills
The Bills have slowly emerged as a consistent playoff team. They did a good job over the offseason of acquiring more talent to their roster. The additions of veteran Mario Addison and rookie AJ Epenesa should add some pass rush to the front seven.
Josh Allen now has a number one receiver in Stefon Diggs that he lacked last year which should open up your offense a little more especially considering his 99 throw power rating.
There really aren’t any glaring weaknesses that you should worry about when choosing the Bills to be your franchise team.
CB Tre’Davious White is already amazing but he should become a top tier shutdown corner in Madden by season 2. Defensive tackle Ed Oliver is only 22 years old and has the potential to be defensive player of the year. He is definitely someone you could build your franchise around.
There is a lot of young talent to like on the Bills.
Sleeper Player: Tremaine Edmunds is a real deal LB, the 22 year old is a tackling machine, and is starting to turn into a very solid coverage linebacker. His size/speed combo will make him one of the most feared defenders in your league by season 3.
#13 Houston Texans
The Texans took a major step back this offseason in a head scratching trade of their best player DeAndre Hopkins. They were able to get RB David Johnson in the trade but losing Hopkins really hurts in Madden.
Luckily, the Texans still have Deshaun Watson who is the real reason anyone will take this team. He is a legitimate young playmaker at the most import position in Madden 21 and already comes with the highly sough after “Escape Artist” superstar ability.
Speedy wide receiver Brandin Cooks should help the offense without Hopkins. You can pair him at wide receiver with Will Fuller and it will be tough for any defense to stop both of those speedsters.
The defense is still capable of stopping any offense in the league with Benardrick McKinney, Justin Reid and of course J.J. Watt to hold things down.
At the end of the day, without Deshaun Watson, the Texans are a bottom tier team. However, with Deshaun Watson, this may be a team you take relatively early on in your draft.
Sleeper Player: Rookie DE Ross Blacklock should be able to develop nicely with teams worrying about J.J. Watt. He comes in with 76 speed and 88 strength which are great attributes for interior pass rushers.
#14 Denver Broncos
The Broncos have the potential to be a sneaky good team in Madden 21. The defense was already pretty nice last year. This year they will be even better with the acquisitions of DL Jurrell Casey and CB A.J. Bouye.
The offense seems to have gotten better as well, adding Melvin Gordon to the backfield to compliment Philip Lindsay and you also have 2 amazing rookie wide receivers in Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler.
Those guys with Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam at tight end make the Broncos offense young and incredibly scare.
The main issue you will need to figure out is if you plan to develop Drew Lock at quarterback or give up on him and draft a new one in season 2. At only normal development and 70 overall, it may be an uphill battle to develop him.
Sleeper Player: TE Albert Okwuegbunam is the best tight end prospect for Madden in the entire rookie class. Even though he is only a 66 overall, he has 88 speed, 91 acceleration, and is 6’5”. If you know what you are doing, you can turn him into one of the best tight ends in the league by year 3.
#15 Las Vegas Raiders
If you draft the Raiders, you are doing it for speed. Rookie WR Henry Ruggs comes into Madden 21 with 98 speed and if your opponent pays too much attention to him, you have another speedy wide receiver in Rico Gafford.
Tyrell Williams should be poised for a big year and being so young, he has major upside year 3 or 4 of any franchise mode. With Ruggs there to help carry the load, Williams should be able to succeed a little easier in Madden 21.
Having a young running back like Josh Jacobs will be really helpful as well. If you progress him correctly, he should be a 95+ overall running back for years to come. The only problem is his lack of speed.
Darren Waller is an elite Madden tight end who will provide matchup problems for opposing defenses.
The Raiders are a solid young Madden 21 team.
Sleeper Player: Clelin Ferrell is a guy you will definitely want to develop moving forward. Even though his rookie season was a bit underwhelming, you should be able to turn it around with him in year 2.
#16 Philadelphia Eagles
If you played with the Eagles in Madden 20 you probably remember wanting a lot of help in two specific positions. Receiver and cornerback both needed to be addressed for them to become a top Madden team.
After drafting TCU’s top WR Jalen Reagor and Boise State’s John Hightower the future looks bright for the Eagles’ receiving crew.
The only issue is that instead of answering the cornerback concerns via the draft, the Eagles decided to take QB Jalen Hurts. This may not have addressed their immediate needs but Hurts may end up being really useful in Madden 21.
The pickup of Darius Slay is huge though and he has the ability to at least take away one side of the field and make it easier for you. He comes in with an 87 overall rating.
Carson Wentz is still a good Madden quarterback and having Fletcher Cox in Madden 21 should be a nightmare for your opponents.
Miles Sanders and Boston Scott aren’t the ideal running back tandem but they will get the job done in the short term until you can draft someone better.
Sleeper Player: QB Jalen Hurts could become one of the best dual threat quarterbacks in the game if you develop him early on in your franchise.
#17 Pittsburgh Steelers
With Big Ben going down last year in week 2 it was easy to forget about the Steelers. However, the fact they were battling for a wild card spot shows how much depth and talent this roster has, and it should translate to this year’s game as well.
This defense is serious and with names like Minkah Fitzpatrick and T.J. Watt it’s easy to tell why. Unfortunately, the Steelers lack cap space in the offseason and not having a first round pick have the team looking a lot like the same team as last year.
For your franchise, you have to realize he’s 38 years old and there isn’t a dominant frontrunner to replace him. Building around this defense though could yield some success for users in the 3rd and 4th year of a franchise until you are able to find a suitable replacement.
Sleeper Player: You will want to develop rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool. His size/speed combination could make him one of the best wide receivers in your franchise by year 3.
#18 Minnesota Vikings
Free agency was the reason that the Vikings fell out of the top 15. They lost DE Everson Griffen, Stefon Diggs, and their top 3 cornerbacks this off-season. Fortunately, they were able to select Justin Jefferson from LSU to try to replace Diggs.
The Viking are a solid team to get in your franchise. They surely aren’t the best team, but they are far from the worst.
Guys like Danielle Hunter, Harrison Smith, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thilen and Eric Kendricks are all superstars.
These players alone make the Vikings a dangerous team.
Sleeper Player: Justin Jefferson, the LSU wide receiver is one of the best receivers to come out of the draft. If you develop him correctly, you will have one of the scariest wide receivers in the league by season 3.
#19 Washington Football Team
This team is actually another one of the sleeper picks despite their not so great ranking. The reason for this is the extremely young, extremely talented defensive line they’ve been able to put together.
They have five, yes that’s correct, five first round picks on the defensive line and with how important defensive line is in Madden 21, that isn’t something to be overlooked.
The defense, which is just solid in year 1 could become one of the best in the league by year 3. Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Johnathan Allen, DaRon Payne, Matt Ioannidis all progressing and improving together will be a sight to see.
If you can get comfortable using Dwayne Haskins, this is a team that might be perfect for defensive minded gamers.
It will be fun to see Derrius Guice in action this year. Coming into Madden 21 he has 90 speed and 81 strength with an overall rating of 81. With him only being 23, he could easily turn into a superstar running bacl.
Sleeper Player: DE Chase Young is not exactly a sleeper because he’s the second overall pick but you need to make sure to focus on progressing him. He should be incredibly fun to play with from the first snap of Madden 21.
#20 Tennessee Titans
If you take the Titans in your franchise, you are doing it because you want to use Derrick Henry. This is a great team for runners but may not be a good fit for passers.
Ryan Tannehill isn’t a long term answer at quarterback in Madden 21, so you will have to draft one to replace him.
The Titans defense is so young and so talented that they are worth taking a shot on in longer franchise modes. Possibly one of the best young defenses in the league if they’re able to keep all the playmakers on the roster.
Jayon Brown and Rashaan Evans both had more than 100 tackles in 2019 and they’re not even the best players on this young defense.
Sleeper Player: CB Adoree Jackson with proper development could turn into one of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the league.
#21 Carolina Panthers
We’re at the point in this list where you start taking teams just because they have 1 really fun player even though the rest of the team may not be great.
The Panthers and Christian McCaffery fit that description perfectly. You get a young, 99 overall player who can do a little bit of everything if you take the Panthers.
The downside is, you don’t get much else that is exciting.
Teddy Bridgewater is a serviceable Madden quarterback but at 27 years old and only 75 overall, you may need to draft a new QB in the long term.
The hit stick master Luke Kuechly retired and that puts this defense at a huge disadvantage to start your journey but you still have some nice pieces.
RE Brian Burns is exactly the type of guy everyone wants on their Madden team with 88 speed and 91 acceleration. Mix that in with the fact that he is only 22 years old and already a 79 overall and you are looking at a top 5 edge rusher by year 3.
You also have early draft pick Derrick Brown to go with Burns on the defensive line. By year 3, that defense could be scary good.
The real issue is your division though. The Saints and the Bucs are very good Madden teams so you will have to compete with them in order to make the playoffs.
If you can wait out winning immediately and have a long term winning goal, the Carolina Panthers could be the team for you.
Sleeper Player: Rookie safety Jeremy Chinn is the prototypical Madden safety. He is a large physical freak at 6’3 with good speed. He is the perfect defensive user in season 1.
#22 Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are one of the teams that have fallen the furthest from last year to this year. They were a solid team to get in Madden 20 but in Madden 21, they have fallen a few spots down the rankings.
The division they’re playing in doesn’t help them much either with the Cardinals, Seahawks, and 49ers all being amazing Madden 21 teams.
It’s not all bad though. Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald are still two of the biggest defensive stars in the league and will continue to wreak havoc on opposing offenses. Trading either of those guys would net you a fortune but they are so good you’ll probably want to keep them on your team.
The offense is still solid with Jared Goff, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Tyler Higbee. Rookie RB Cam Akers could turn into something special if you use him right.
Sleeper Player: Rookie safety Terrell Burgess is a guy you will want to focus train. He is only 21 years old and has a 72 overall rating with 90 speed. Any experienced Madden player can see the potential this guy has.
#23 Chicago Bears
Anyone taking the Bears in Madden 21 does so because they love defense. Khalil Mack is still one of the best defenders in the game.
You add in guys like Eddie Jackson, Roquan Smith, Akiem Hicks, Kyle Fuller, and Eddie Goldman and anyone can understand why the Bears defense scares opposing offenses.
The big issue with the Bears is that you don’t really have much on offense. Nick Foles isn’t the answer at quarterback and neither is Mitch Trubisky.
The only real star player on offense is Allen Robinson and maybe Tarik Cohen.
It could be a lot of fun to try to completely overhaul the Bears offense while letting the defense lead you to wins early on.
However, if you are a guy that needs offensive superstars, the Bears definitely aren’t the right team for you.
Sleeper Player: Rookie TE Cole Kmet could be a fun guy to develop. He is a big bodied guy at 6’6” and has 82 speed. Make sure to sub him in on your depth chart as a day 1 starter.
#24 Miami Dolphins
There are some bright spots to look at if you’re a Dolphins fan or interested in taking them to be your franchise. The first being obvious in the fact your quarterback is now Tua Tagovailoa who has just as much upside as any other QB taken in the draft.
As a bonus, it is always fun to use a left handed quarterback in Madden.
This team ranks so low primarily based on the fact of the unknown. The Dolphins look vastly different than they did in Madden 20, and only time will tell if the young franchise can compete.
The Dolphins went out and signed a bunch of guys including Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson, Byron Jones, Emmanuel Ogbah and Ereck Flowers just to name a few.
They also had three first round selections so the amount of young talent is there it just depends on whether you can progress them and be successful.
If you are a fan of the Dolphins, this could be a really fun team to use but if you aren’t, you may want to find a different team.
Sleeper Player: Noah Igbinoghene is a rookie cornerback who has the tools to be a shutdown corner in the NFL. He is super athletic and the best part is, he is only 20 years old so you should be able to progress him incredibly fast.
#25 New England Patriots
For the first time in about 20 years gamers who choose the Patriots won’t have Tom Brady on their team. Luckily, they were able to sign Cam Newton to replace him which should make the transition not nearly as bad as it could have been.
The Patriots have a great defense. Stephon Gilmore is the best cornerback in Madden 21 and he has a ton of talent around him.
On the offensive side of the ball, Cam Newton will still have Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu to move the ball through the air. Sony Michelle is another key reason to pick the Patriots in your franchise as he could turn into a really solid running back in your franchise.
The main downside of taking the Patriots is they are an aging team who isn’t loaded with young talent like many of the top tier teams are.
Sleeper Player: N’Keal Harry is a receiver you will really want to focus on developing. If you do it right, he should become a very solid WR #1 for your franchise for years to come.
#26 New York Giants
The Giants are another one of those teams that you take just so you can get 1 amazing player. Saquon Barkley is that guy.
Obviously Saquon Barkley in the backfield will do damage even if he didn’t have abilities in Madden 21 but with his abilities he is just about unstoppable in the right hands.
The real question is going to be if you can make Daniel Jones your franchise quarterback in Madden. Young tight end Evan Engram should help make that job a little easier.
The Giants defense leaves a lot to be desired but additions like Safety Xavier McKinney and free agent linebacker Blake Martinez should help a little.
Sleeper Player: Cornerback Darnay Holmes is a raw young guy who could progress really nicely if you can land him a development game early. Look for him to make plays early on in his career and help you mightily down the road.
#27 Cincinnati Bengals
Anyone who take the Bengals does it because they believe that they can turn rookie QB Joe Burrow into an elite Madden quarterback.
He comes in at 76 overall and with a superstar development trait but be careful. He only has 86 throw power which could severely limit your offense if you are a guy that likes to air it out deep.
The offense is decent with wide receivers A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd, as well as a top flight back in Joe Mixon. Unfortunately, A.J. Green is getting up there in age so he won’t be that helpful to you after season 1.
It also hurts the Bengals that they have no players on their roster that are rated 90 overall or higher.
At the end of the day, you only take the Bengals to get Joe Burrow.
Sleeper Player: Tee Higgins, the Clemson wideout has a lot of potential and with the other star receivers on this team, he has the ability to get into some pretty favorable matchups. He is young and big but if you need speedster wide receivers, he may not be the right fit for you with only 87 speed.
#28 Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have plenty of talent all over the field just for whatever reason, they aren’t that impressive of a Madden 21 team.
Undoubtedly, Julio Jones is an amazing wide receiver in Madden but at 31 years old, you will only get 1 or 2 good years out of him before he starts regressing.
Matt Ryan is a solid quarterback but he is already 35 years old which means he will start regressing right away too.
If you want a solid rebuild team, the Falcons might be the team for you. You can trade away your aging pieces on offense while still having a pretty good defense.
Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones, Keanu Neal, Dante Fowler Jr., and Takkarist McKinley are all really nice pieces to have. If you do it right, you could turn the Falcons into one of the best defenses in Madden 21 by year 3.
Sleeper Player: RE Takkarist McKinley is only a 79 overall but with 86 speed and 89 acceleration, he could become one of the most feared edge rushers in the game if you can get him a bunch of sacks in year 1.
#29 Indianapolis Colts
With Andrew Luck’s unexpected retirement last year, most people have either written the Colts off or at least forgot about them. However, they are still a solid franchise choice with upside in a lot of places.
The addition of QB Philip Rivers is a temporary fix at the QB position but could definitely give you some wins early in franchise mode. After that you will want to immediately trade for or draft a new quarterback.
The exciting part about this team is their off season moves trading for DT DeForest Buckner while also adding RB Jonathan Taylor and WR Michael Pittman Jr. through the draft. Those 2 young players could both be threats in your offense by season 3 or 4.
Star LG Quenton Nelson and T.Y. Hilton give you some pieces to work with on offense and Darius Leonard who’s becoming one of the better linebackers in the league.
All in all, the Colts are a solid team to take in your franchise.
Sleeper Player: Michael Pittman Jr. is most likely going to be on the field from day one. The 6’4 WR needs to be involved early on.
#30 New York Jets
The reason you take the Jets in Madden 21 is to get their draft picks. They have a bunch of extra first round picks in the next couple of years due to the Jamal Adams trade.
You’ll have to figure out how good the Seattle Seahawks user in your league is because if you get 2 top 10 first round picks from them, by year 3 or 4 the Jets could be a force to be reckoned with.
There really isn’t any other reason to take the Jets unless you are a big fan of the team.
Their first round pick this year, Mekhi Becton is a great offensive lineman but anytime you team’s first round pick the previous year was on the offensive line, it is mostly a wasted pick when it comes to Madden.
Sleeper Player: Ashtyn Davis is a safety and return man out of California. The former hurdler could provide some immediate sparks to your special teams and could develop nicely for you on defense with his 92 speed rating.
#31 Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars won’t be on anyone’s top lists for franchise mode in Madden 21 but if you are dealt a bad hand and are forced to take them, they do have some pieces that could help you build them back up.
Unfortunately they lost Jalen Ramsey but they received multiple first round picks in exchange. Everyone knows that first round picks are incredibly valuable in Madden franchises. The Jaguars having extra is a silving lining for an otherwise poor team.
Leonard Fournette is still a weapon on offense and D.J. Chark is a fun wide receiver to develop into a monster by season 3.
As fun as Gardner Minshew is in the NFL, it doesn’t translate that well into Madden so you may need to find yourself a new franchise QB in the draft.
Rookie cornerback C.J. Henderson should be an elite cornerback by season 3 with any competent owner.
The Jaguars have a ton of young players that you should be able to progress into solid players, they just don’t have anyone to get that excited over.
Sleeper Player: DaVon Hamilton could become an anchor on the defensive line for years to come. Make sure to try to get him some stats early on to get his development trait up.
#32 Detroit Lions
To put it plainly, the Detroit Lions are a team you get stuck with in Madden 21, not a team that you choose.
The Lions do have a couple of young rookies to get excited about though.
They were able to get Jeffrey Okudah at corner. If you progress him correctly, he could turn into a Jalen Ramsey style corner early in his career. They also got DE Julian Okwara to help get to the quarterback on defense.
D’Andre Swift adds a new dynamic to the offense and Matthew Stafford is still very capable of doing his job.
This team needs work but can win a few games with the right owner in charge.
Sleeper Player: Rookie RE Julian Okwara is the prototype of a raw Madden defender. 6’4” 250 pounds with 86 speed and 89 acceleration, you need to focus train and develop the 3rd round pick as soon as you can.
Where do you agree/disgaree? Let us know in the comments!
First off the Browns at number 6 and the Colts at number 29 wtf are you smoking cause I need that those numbers should be flopped the Colts are the sleepers you watch. How many times are we gonna hype the Browns and be dissapointed no mater who the Browns get they are who we thought they were terrible. These rating suck you only got the top 3 right.
To everyone, first this is the team not the picks, second the colts have Phillip Rivers that is why and the browns have a very good team and the same with the steelers with Ben plus this was pre year did you think that the steelers would be that good and their offense in real life was horrible no receivers over 90 overall and Connor is low to mid 80’s plus Ben is washed and slow.
The colts will win the AFC south and be the number 3 seed in the AFC for the playoffs don’t underestimate the best offensive line in the league with good defense and running game you heard it hear first folks don’t be against the Colts this year cause you will loose.
Facts the colts my favriot team
What’s this dude smoking talking abt what the colts gonna do in RL. I def wouldn’t take them in madden they got trash ratings and I’m not a believer madden OL matters. Altho jags at 31, they’re hella young and got 2 1sts so I could make an argument there! Otherwise was a good read.
Bro who smokin pot puttin the browns that high
How do you feel about sellers at 17 there are top 5 team in the league
The author undervalues offensive line in madden big time. Having a great line especially a run blocking line can make all the difference in the world. I usually build around my o line and lead the league in rushing.
Why are the steelers and titans so low they good?
bro cheifs would be the best no matter what with travis kelce.
Just sayin the bucs stacked teaam needs to be top 5
The packers should be in top 5