Sunday, May 20, 2012

Attribute Spotlight: Speed (SPD) Projecting Madden 13 Rookie Wide Receiver's

ATTENTION - As of now Madden 13 will not give gamers the ability to hold fantasy drafts, online or offline.  If you would like to let your voice be heard by voting and commenting on the "fantasy draft" topic, please go to this link

This is the 3rd installment of my Madden 12 speed series.  It includes my Wide Receiver (WR) speed projections for Madden 13.  For a full description of how I went about collecting the data and  projecting speeds (RB and CB included), please see my original speed blog at this link:

Also, here is the 2nd blog in the series were I projected QB and ILB (MLB) speed ratings for Madden 13:

I strongly encourage you to read the first blog if you haven't already.  My projections will make more sense if you do.

I collected the speed ratings and 40 times of all Madden 12 rookie QBs, WRs, RBs, ILBs, and CBs (214 players total).  I am fine tuning my formula as I collect more data, so there may be slight differences from my last blog as a result of that additional data.

Here is the new graph which now includes 214 rookies from Madden 12:

Remember the closer the points are to the trend-line, the stronger the correlation between 40 time and Madden 12 speed (SPD).  Several points are actually in the exact same location, basically stacking on one another.  My goal is to collect this data on all Madden 12 rookies, I still have several positions to go.  As discussed in my previous blog, any R^2 value over 0.80 is considered a strong correlation.  After adding the WR's, the R^2 value actually increased from 0.866 to the current 0.8671.  The correlation is getting stronger as I add positions to the data.  If you are interested, here is a link that explains this type of statistical analysis:

These predictions are based on Madden 12 rookie speed rating trends.  I don't claim that it is 100%, but I believe in many cases it's going to be very close.

Here are my Madden 13 speed (SPD) attribute projections for the incoming rookie WRs (including all drafted, undrafted free agents who have signed with a team, and combine participants).

* PLEASE NOTE - If a player didn't run at the combine, I used their Pro Day time.  I consider Pro Day times less reliable since all players are not timed together like at the combine, but it's the best available data.

Justin Blackmon (#5 overall pick) received an 88 SPD in MUT12 (Madden Ultimate Team).  His ProDay time of 4.46 resulted in me predicting a 90 SPD, he did not run at the NFL combine.  I would not be surprised to see Blackmon get a bump in SPD by the time Madden 13 is released.

Michael Floyd (#13 overall pick) received a 91 SPD in MUT12.  My projection has him rated an 89 SPD based on his 4.47 (40) at the combine.  He was just a tick slower than Blackmon's ProDay time.  Although my formula has Floyd at 89 and Blackmon at 90, that is really splitting hairs when you are talking about a difference of .01 seconds in 40 times.

Kendall Wright (#20 overall pick) received a 92 SPD in MUT12.  I projected him at a 91 SPD based on his ProDay time of 4.42.  Either of these ratings could be debated due to Wright running a horrible 40 time (4.61) at the Combine, which would project to an 82 speed.  The reason I used his Proday time, was that I believe EA will use that time as well, when it comes to Wright.  His 40 time was a complete shock to many observers at the combine and the general belief was that Wright was much faster then 4.62.  Wright redeemed himself at his ProDay; for that reason, I believe his combine time will be disregarded when it comes to his Madden speed attribute.  The MUT12 speed of 92 also supports the use of his ProDay time.

Stephen Hill (2nd round pick) received a 96 SPD in MUT12.  I projected him at 94 based on his combine time.  I stand by the 94 SPD projection and I hope EA will come down from the 96 he received in  MUT.  I don't believe every rookie MUT attribute is set in stone, but I could be wrong about that:)

Alshon Jeffrey (2nd round pick) received an 87 SPD in MUT12.  His ProDay time of 4.48, projects to an 89 speed based on my data.  Jeffrey did not run the 40 at the combine, so his ProDay time is the best available data.

Many of my WR projections are in the ballpark based on the few MUT ratings that are available.  I am finding that the later a player is picked in the draft (or if they go undrafted), the correlation between 40 time and Madden speed tends to be even stronger.  I am planning a separate blog about that.  

This entire blog series was created to refute claims from EA's (Donny Moore), that in his own words "40 time does not equal = Madden speed rating, that is the quickest answer."  He has tweeted similar statements several times.

Is the correlation between a rookie's 40 time and the assigned Madden speed 100%?

No, but the statistics don't lie.  An R^2 value of 0.8671 is a very strong correlation and that can't be denied.  I believe many of these predictions will be very close to the actual speed attributes given to these rookies in Madden 13.

I am very glad that EA uses something objective like 40 time, to assign SPD to Madden rookies.  Why they deny it, is beyond me.  I plan to do every position, so that I have the best possible data set.  

Moving forward, I don't want to hear anyone at EA claiming that 40 times don't contribute heavily (if not solely in many cases) to Madden speed.  It's just not true.  The 40 does contribute, and I believe it's the most important factor in determining rookie Madden speed attributes.

By insisting that they use "game speed", EA will continue to lose credibility when it comes to player ratings.  They simply can't afford that.  "Game Speed" sounds cool and some people might think that is what fans what to hear.  I would argue, that "Game Speed" is the opposite of what fans want to hear.  When I hear them say, "we use game speed", I instantly think about how subjective (bias) that term is.  Many Madden fans already believe that there is too much bias in player ratings.  There are no clear procedures for objectively assigning player attributes to every player regardless of the team they play on.  Why in the world would EA want to add fuel to that fire by denying the use of something more subjective (unbiased), like 40 times?

** Some final thoughts for EA:

1.  Ratings and attributes do matter in gameplay, even though some folks continue to believe they don't.  If attributes didn't matter, then why is Tom Brady better in the game than Colt McCoy?  Oh Oh.  They do matter.  The difference between Brady and McCoy in Madden is the assigned attributes.  The fact that fans want those attributes to be objectively and accurately assigned is not too much to ask.  Is it?  

2.  Since attributes do matter when it comes to gameplay, you need to give the ratings department the resources and respect it deserves.  Donny Moore can't be expected to provide accurate and consistent ratings on his own, it's too much data.  

Give the man more resources.  By that I mean, more people to help him and more funding for his department.  My guess, is that the ratings department is toward the bottom of the list when it comes to funding the development of Madden games.  

3.  Please, for the love of all things good and evil, give Donny Moore a new Overall (OVR) formula to work with.  Anyone who has spent some time dissecting the OVR formula in Madden, can see that it's broken and it forces Donny to assign inaccurate attribute ratings.  Get rid of OVR and go to an independent ranking system that has no connection to attributes.  Rating attributes to reach a predetermined OVR is simply inexcusable and only adds to the inaccuracy and inconsistency in player ratings.

4.  Develop a clear set of procedures for rating each and every player attribute.  Those procedures should be objectively applied to all players and teams regardless of popularity.  After you develop this set of standard operating procedures (SOP), train your staff on how to use them, that way everyone is on the same page.  Having SOP will allow others to step in and help Donny, but will hold everyone to the same standard as well as providing guidance.  This would require you to build a ratings team, "yes" a real team.  Donny will no longer be the punching bag for frustrated gamers.  

I will be the first to admit, that no ratings system will be flawless and fans will always defend their favorite players and teams (right or wrong).  

The #1 question that Madden fans want answered, in regards to player ratings is, "How is each of these ratings and attributes being determined?"  If you develop a set of Standard Operating Procedures for player ratings and release that information to fans, it would not only educate them on the your process, but it will eliminate the frustration of not knowing.

5.  Last, but not least.  Ratings and attributes need to be giving the same respect and time at community day events that other aspects of the game receive.  Donny Moore and the ratings "team" should be allotted time to hear:  ideas, suggestions, and concerns, in regards to ratings/attributes.  This is were the added resources come into play.  Donny can't be everywhere, he needs help.  The ratings department needs to represented by people who know how deliver accurate and consistent player ratings.  Remember, it's not just fans of popular teams that spend $60 a year on Madden NFL football.  Each and every fan base is entitled to objective, accurate, and consistent player ratings.


If you want to see the projections for the Madden 13 rookie RB's and CB's, you can find them here:

QB and ILB (MLB) speed projections are here:

The projections are toward the end of the blog.

Stay tuned for more Madden 13 player rating projections.  Thank you for following my blog.  You can also follow me on twitter @mannmicj

Next week I plan to take a break from rookie speed projections and release a blog I have been working on for a few weeks now.  It's should be fun and will be out early due to Memorial Day weekend. I will be on a fishing trip and won't have time to release it over the weekend.

As always, have a great week.

*** View and vote on all of my Game Changer Ideas here:

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