The SFDL - A Madden 15 Online Experience (ft. the Tennessee Titans)
Last week I joined the SFDL, right as they were hitting the 2014 playoffs.
It is a full 32 user-controlled league I found through Operation Sports. The available teams were Pittsburgh (:redface:) and Tennessee.
I hopped on Tennessee. I like a rebuild. I figure it will be fun.
They have a full website here - DaddyLeagues Madden NFL - SFDL
All-Madden with some tinkered sliders.
These guys are probably pretty better than me anyway, so I figure if I take the lowly Titans, it won't stand out so much if I stink.
And boy, are the Titans lowly. They finished 2-14.
The next post will detail the 2015 offseason, when I started to put my stamp on the roster.
The Packers won the Superbowl.
Heading into FA, I dumped any expensive player that didn't have a signing bonus. I also let FAs Nate Washington, Shonn Greene, Delanie Walker and Jake Locker go.
The goal is to rebuild but also stay competetive, as we have picks 1.3, 2.3, 3.3, 4.3, 5.3, 6.3, 7.3
So we head to free agency and I had maybe 25 guys under contract, with 80 million to play with.
The only players we had that you could consider as impact guys were CB Jason McCourty, TE Jordan Cameron (acquired from Browns from previous owner), SS Bernard Pollard, ROLB Akeem Ayers, and a building block in HB Bishop Sankey.
So we have holes pretty much everywhere.
The biggest names in free agency are: QB Joe Flacco, QB Alex Smith, WR Jeremy Maclin, WR Anquan Boldin, WR Stevie Johnson, WR Steve Smith, WR Hakeem Nicks, DT Haloti Ngata, DE Brian Orakpo, DE Greg Hardy, CB Brandon Flowers
I put offers out to Alex Smith, Jeremy Maclin, Greg Hardy, and a couple of offensive linemen.
Haloti Ngata signed with the Chiefs.
Steve Smith back to Carolina.
Hakeem Nicks and Jeremy Maclin both signed with the Jets.
Stevie Johnson went to Tampa Bay.
The Browns signed CB Brandon Flowers.
Boldin remains a free agent.
We sign Alex Smith to a 2 yr, 10.5MM contract. Smith is going to fit well with my offensive scheme- a west coast run and shoot style of attack.
We land our biggest target, Greg Hardy, to a monstrous 6-year, 113MM contract. Honestly, I probably could have gotten him for 10 million cheaper, but I screwed it up with how Madden's free agency works.
We ended up signing C Will Montgomery to fill a need (2 yr, 7.75MM)
So we have a QB, no real receivers except for a young unproven Justin Hunter, and a decent defense led by Greg Hardy.
This takes us to the draft.
JUST BEFORE THE DRAFT
The SB Champion Packers traded QB Aaron Rodgers to Oakland for QB Derek Carr and a first round pick. Crazy trade.
We make a move of our own, sending Rd 2 + 3 to the Giants for Victor Cruz. Cruz immediately becomes our primary receiver, a bail out type of guy who is great at those slants and short routes. I give up two good picks, but the draft is kind of a crap shoot and Cruz is a bonafide stud. Plus, we carry none of his bonus so releasing him will not cost anything in the future.
This draft is a funky one. We're sitting here with the third pick, and the top 5 projected are two safeties (of which we have 2 very good safeties), a tight end (ahem Jordan Cameron), a LT (our LT is servicable), and a RE (we just signed Hardy).
So great. Either I'm reaching on one of the receivers I really like - there are 3 bunched together projected to go 8,9,10 - or I am taking that left tackle.
But first I get on the proverbial phone and try to make some deals. Some of the guys I talked to are the typical guys you'd hate to talk to. Offering stupid trades, insulting offers as if I don't know what I'm doing. However, I almost pulled the trigger with the Browns, sending my 1.3 for his 1.10, 1.17 and future 1+4.... but he backed out right as the draft got underway.
So the draft starts, a CB goes first to Jacksonville, Tampa takes that RE 2nd and I'm on the clock. I have a choice to make. Do I grab what is probably a sure thing LT, or do I roll the dice and go for a 6'6" WR who is the 2nd best projected at his position?
This is Madden, baby. I take the WR - his name is Broderick Payne. As I said, 6'6 with decent ratings (79 ovr, 91 speed, 85 acc, 90 agi, 80's in all the catching categories), but the clutch part is that he has the 'superstar development' trait, which means he will progress quicker and more than your average guy. That's fantastic.
So now I have the offense set with him being able to lineup opposite Victor Cruz, and a big, looming RZ threat.
The other rounds are rather unremarkable. We misfire on our 4.3 taking LT Boris McCain (62 ovr). We get two decent OLBs in 5 and 6 with ROLB Bronson Austin, a hard hitting tackler and Mario Cates, a speedy cover backer. In the final round we get a pretty ho-hum CB.
So that was last night.
Today is the preseason FA bidding period, where we use a point system to try to claim guys to add to fill the roster.
I won't bore anyone with those details, as they are mostly marginal talents. But tomorrow I should have a roster of 53 filled, so I can show off the depth chart and other fun things like that.
I know this was all a bunch of rambling, but with the season just about here there will be more interesting things for people to read about, nice boxscores and I'll take some pictures and videos. And also, I'll probably complain about the guys I play against.
Looking forward to this - will be watching!
The Free Agency posting period is over, and we got everyone we wanted.
FB Lonnie Pryor
TE Mychal Rivera
LT Byron Bell
RG Uche Nwaneri
RG Davin Joseph
RT Jah Reid
CB Alan Ball
After the posting period, it was a free for all, as I needed to fill the roster with 8 more players.
Here's the 53-man roster. I'll post the depth chart once the season gets rolling, I've got some interesting choices to make.
During the preseason, we signed Scott Tolzien (69) to come in and be the backup, and CB Ike Taylor, who will play FS for us.
Here's how our depth chart shakes out:
A lot of shifting on the defensive side of the ball - most notably moving ROLB Akeem Ayers to the defensive line, where he looks better. We sacrifice hitting over the middle for quickness, most of our linebackers are fast. Which is stark contrast to most of our defensive backs, who are mostly long in the tooth.
WEEK 1 - @ JACKSONVILLE
Jacksonville in 2015 is largely the same team you currently see on Sundays, except they added Sidney Rice.
Our gameplay is to have a balanced run and pass heavily dependent on short slants and curls, a tic-tac conservatism to chew clock and safely move the ball down the field.
We kicked off, and stopped Jacksonville on their first drive - three and out. On our first offensive possession, Alex Smith threw a pick 6. Not a good sign.
But things would change. After stopping Bortles and the Boys again, Smith audibled out of a quick slant after seeing the corners pressing with no deep safeties, and hit rookie sensation Broderick Payne on an 81-yd go route early in the 1st quarter.
We largely kept the Jags at bay. Bortles somewhat picked us apart, but we slammed the door shut on Toby Gerhart.
Offensively, Bishop Sankey started off blazing, averaging well over 6 ypc in the first half. With a decent lead and more predictable runs, he got more shut off in the 2nd half but still had a decent game.
Smith had a game quite the opposite of what I expected: 50% completions, an 81 and 70 yard TD pass. Things happen funny like that. Our gameplay was different than our gameplan. We didn't have any long drives. Instead, a lot of 3-or-6-and-outs, or quick, bombing scores. A bit concerning that we couldn't consistently trumpet down the field against a poor team.
All in all, though, against a relatively weak team, we start the season 1-0! 31-21 victory.
We host the Texans next week.
WEEK 2 PREVIEW
About to play my game, here's a preview of the matchup against the Texans. That D is nasty.
We've got to stop the run, Foster ran all over the field in Week 1. I'd also like to control the ball more, and give Sankey more rest. He carried 25 of 26 balls last game.
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