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* These are the suggestions I forwarded to the EA Games Changers for Madden 13 community day.
1. Please consider using a player ratings team instead of just one person. To have accurate, consistent, and objective player ratings/attributes a team is needed in my opinion. The job of player ratings is too big for one person, plus a team will reduce the subjective (bias) opinion of just one person. Plenty of people in the Madden community would contribute to this type of program for free; each could be vetted to make sure that they are not rating their favorite team/division. A ratings team would also reduce the chances of a team/players being neglected due to having a poor season or for being from a small market (unpopular). All teams deserve to have accurate and consistent player ratings/attributes.
Rating Team Option:
The lead ratings person would supervise eight individuals who are each assigned to one division in the NFL. These eight individuals would watch every game in for their divisions each week and would do all gathering of stats/analysis for those teams. They would follow each team in the division from the NFL draft/Free Agency to Super Bowl each year. These eight individuals would come together every week to discuss their suggestions for increases and decreases to player attributes. This ratings round table discussion would take place prior to the official roster update for the upcoming week. Although, each of the individuals are not experts on all of the divisions in the NFL, they will be able to hold each other accountable. They will also help each other decide on ratings that are more subjective like CIT, SPC and HPW. If you wanted to take this a step further, you could have volunteers assigned to every NFL team that give feedback to the Division representatives. ** Please note, each Division representative should be assigned to an opposite conference than that of their favorite NFL team, as well as any volunteers. To have a more objective ratings system, no one should be rating their favorite team/s or division rivals.
2. Please consider establishing guidelines/procedures for Madden player ratings. Guidelines would indicate what type of things should be considered when changing a players attributes. Things to consider when rating a player include: NFL draft combine numbers, college career (for rookies coming in), NFL statistics, expert analysis, and in-depth NFL statistics like those provided by ProFootballFocus.com. By having guidelines/procedures to rate players, it will reduce bias and give the player ratings person documentation to support why changes were made. These procedures for player ratings should be made public, so that the Madden community knows how players are being rated and why. Part of the frustration for fans when dealing with the Madden Ratings Debate is that they have no idea what is being considered and universally used to rate each player.
3. If the ratings person/team is going to utilize a website like ProFootballFocus.com for more in-depth statistics, then those ratings and analysis need to applied to all players on all teams equally. Credibility is lost when one player’s rating/attributes are justified by the ratings staff based on ProFootballFocus.com, but another player with a similar grade from PFF is being ignored or possibly decreased. No matter what the procedures are for rating Madden players, there must be consistency or you lose all credibility.
4. In no way should the popularity of a team effect Madden ratings, such as the clear bias toward the Dallas Cowboys http://maddenmanniac.blogspot.com/2011/12/ea-madden-ratings-dallas-cowboy-bias.html . This type of bias must stop to have credibility within your ratings system. Consumers from all markets (big and small) purchase Madden NFL and they deserve accurate and consistent ratings.
5. Utilize more statistics for the objective attributes in the game like: CAT, CAR, MCV, ZCV, and TAK. The key is to utilize all available statistics to come up with a more accurate rating.
CAT (catch) should not be based on just the number of catches made; you must also look at drop percentage. Brandon Marshall is a good example of this. While he makes a lot of catches every year, he is also one of the leaders in drop %. If CAT is the ability of a player to catch a pass, than drop % must factor in. Marshall currently has a 94 CAT in Madden 12; his drop % has not been factored in. This works the other way for player who catches fewer passes. Just because a player only caught 40 passes in a season does not mean he should be a 79 CAT. What if he didn’t drop a pass all year? I am not saying he should be a 99 CAT, but he is clearly more sure handed than a 79 CAT attribute. Here is a link to a blog of mine for more examples: http://maddenmanniac.blogspot.com/2011/12/inconsistent-catch-cat-attribute-in.html
CAR (carry) should be based on the number of fumbles a player has, not just used to increase/decrease an OVR rating. By using statistics provided by NFL.com, you can create a number for each player based on fumbles per touch. CAR should be a very objective attribute, the player either fumbles or he doesn’t. Someone like Josh Cribbs who has 28 career fumbles should not have an 82 CAR which is the highest for all WRs in Madden 12. Here is my in depth blog about NFL running back fumble per touch percentages:
TAK (tackle) should not only be based the number of tackles made, but also the number of tackles missed. If TAK is the player’s ability to tackle, you can’t ignore the missed tackles. The missed tackle stat has been available for quite some time, but ProFootballFocus has now made easier with their new tackle efficiency stat which is based on opportunities versus tackles made. Also notice that they exclude a tackle efficiency rating for defensive tackles (DT). I contacted them to ask why, they stated because DT/NTs in the NFL rarely miss tackles, but they do track the missed tackle stat for them. The tackle attribute should not be used to decrease a DTs overall (OVR) rating. The OVR formula is broken. You have DTs that didn’t miss a tackle all season with TAK attributes rated in the 70s, this is just unacceptable. It does not reflect their actual ability to tackle. Here are some more examples in these blogs:
MCV/ZCV – There are many statistics available to help rate these attributes. Some of the best statistics available are from ProFootballFocus.com, who the lead ratings person touts as his most reliable and trusted source for NFL player and team analysis. Again, it appears the PFF grades/ratings are used for some players and ignored for others. The rookie CB Patrick Peterson is a good example of that. He still has elite MCV and very ZCV despite the fact that he struggled in coverage per PFF. Also, please look into what type of defense a team actually runs when adjusting MCV/ZCV. It makes no sense to give a player a big boost in ZCV when their team primarily plays MCV. The OVR formula for CBs is broken and gives too much weight to MCV; this is why we see increases in ZCV, but little change in MCV after updates. Many statistics are available to help make this a more objective attribute, please use those stats and use them consistently for all players.
KAC/KPW – This is also another set of attributes that can be very objective. Statistics are available to help accurately rate both of these. NFL.com even has average kickoff distance which can be an additional tool for determining KPW. I propose you create one more kicker attribute and call it something like LKA (long kick accuracy) for FGs over 50 yards. This would make the kickers more realistic and reduce the impact of KPW on long FGs. Right KPW is the most important factor for making long FGs in Madden 12. LKA would factor in each kickers history of making long FGs, which would result in a more accurate representation of all NFL kickers. Here is a blog with more examples: http://maddenmanniac.blogspot.com/2012/01/position-spotlight-kickers-kackpw.html
6. Last, but not least. Please fix the OVR formula or make it a stand-alone number. Right now the current OVR formula is based on much more than 99 OVR points. The current OVR formula is forcing the ratings person to decrease (inaccurately) player attributes to hold OVR at a predetermined number. Since accurate attributes would result in a 99 OVR for many players, the current formula is preventing consumers from having an accurate representation of the NFL player’s true ability. I have attempted to figure out what the formula for OVR is and what attributes effect OVR for each position. I might not be completely right, but I think it’s close. That said, the OVR formula for Madden player ratings should be released to the public so they understand the system better.
Right now, the OVR is being determined first in the mind of the player ratings person and attributes are manipulated from there to reach that OVR. It should be the exact opposite. Attributes are what matter to gameplay and they should be rated accurately and consistently regardless of trying to reach a predetermined OVR. So, unless the OVR formula can be fixed to allow for accurate/consistent player attributes, it should be a stand-alone number that the player ratings person can just enter. OVR would basically become a ranking not a direct result of attributes. Here is another blog addressing this topic:
7. Thank you very much for listening and considering any of these suggestions. I know I didn’t enter the #MaddenRatingsDebate the correct way. I was a jerk and took personal shots at people. I would like to apologize to everyone for that and let you know that I am now trying my best to keep all suggestions and observations focused on the game itself. My goal is and has always been to make the game better by having more accurate, consistent, and un-biased player ratings. The bottom line is we all love this game, which is all the common ground we need to make a difference.
*** View and vote on all of my Game Changer Ideas here: http://mgi-gc.easports.com/a/ideafactory.do?id=18503&mode=author&discussionFilter=active