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Old 09-18-2010, 10:21 AM   #1
Ben E Lou
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Greensboro, NC
FOF MP Offseason Helps and Hints

This won't be particularly helpful if you're already a MP expert, but much of the info below, if applied, should move a below average/mediocre/slightly above average FOF MP participant into being a VG one. It's posted below for ease of replying and commenting, and a PDF of the whole thing is attached to this post. I haven't had a chance to proofread, so please excuse typos. Enjoy!
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File Type: pdf fof_mp_offseason.pdf (117.6 KB, 808 views)
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Last edited by Ben E Lou : 09-19-2010 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:21 AM   #2
Ben E Lou
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Greensboro, NC
Stadium/Staff

STADIUM STAGE
When it comes to how to approach the stadium stage, it’s important to understand that the financial system in FOF2K4/FOF2K7 is imbalanced in the sense that in several areas there are “best” strategies, no matter what your circumstances. When it comes to building or renovating a stadium, keep in mind the following.

  • It takes five seasons to build a new stadium, then 15 before you can make any changes to it.
  • By contrast, it takes only 3 seasons to renovate, and additional renovations are available immediately thereafter.
  • The great percentage of your ability to maximize revenue depends on the number of luxury suites you have in your stadium. Other seats don’t matter nearly as much.
  • The financial bottom line affects the maximum that you’re allowed to offer to coaches, scouts, and players.
  • I know of no controlled testing to isolate the impact of great coaching in FOF, but my personal opinion is that coaching matters more than most people realize.
  • With regard to signing players, there have been multiple reported cases in 6.3 of the owner salary/bonus restrictions being too low to meet player-demanded salaries.
  • Regarding the two bullet points immediately above, in other words, ignoring the financial bottom line could mean that your owner will decide that you’re not allowed to extend your star QB’s contract and that you will not be able to sign a coach as good as the next guy’s. Both of these have direct impact on wins and losses.
  • Turf condition has a massive impact on injuries.
So, with the above in mind, here’s how to approach the stadium stage.
  • It is virtually never the best idea to build a new stadium. Renovate.
  • Because of the above, it is virtually never the best idea to move to a new city. Renovate.
  • The pricing of renovations is such that there’s no reason not to pay maximum team contribution to help guarantee that the request passes.
  • If you have less than 200 luxury boxes, just focus on getting up to at least 300 and club seats up to at least 10,000. Don’t bother with adding overall capacity. It doesn’t really help much.
  • Always improve the stadium turf.
  • Always contract a high-quality construction firm.
  • However, if your “public support for projects” is at zero, don’t do anything; wait until it goes up a bit from that.
STAFF HIRING
Based on the in-game documentation, public comments from Jim in past Q&As, conversations with several FOF experts, and many years of playing this game, here’s my best take on what the staff attributes affect.


SCOUTS
  • Positional Ratings—For veterans, this helps nailing down the exact ratings. Quite often, for players in year 10ish and older, there’s as much as a 15ish% discrepancy in overall scouted rating between a player on your own team with an Excellent scout and a player on another team. In other words, if I have an Excellent scout, I may see that my aging QB is 75/75, while the rest of the league has him in the mid 60s. For rookies, this helps with the accuracy of the “Underrated/Overrated” assessments from interviews. The better your scout at that position, the more likely the interview assessment will be the correct one. (But no matter how good he is, there’s a chance that he can be just plain dead wrong.)
  • Young Talent Rating—Determines the amount of the blue-bar range for rookies. The better the scout at Young Talent, the more narrow the range of possible ratings will be.
COORDINATORS
Ignore what these guys do in real life. In FOF, their only role is to act as development accelerators. The positional ratings determine how well they develop that group, and the young talent rating how well they develop youngsters overall.

HEAD COACHES
Only the five bottom (highlighted in red) attributes matter for them. A combination of Discipline and years with the team determines how often your team is penalized. If injuries are high in your league, then injury avoidance crucial. If they're at 100 or lower, that attribute isn't terribly important.

As far as how to approach these three stages:
  • You should never, ever, ever offer anything less than the maximum amount that your owner will allow. (Again, the financials are imbalanced.) The difference between the most expensive staff and least expensive is trivial compared to the profit/loss potential in this game.
  • If your league is one that allows you to see who has exported, PAY ATTENTION! If there’s a stud new staff member available and the guy who was #1 in profit last year turned in an export, don’t bother bidding on the stud. Unless he’s a dummy (and if he’s #1 in finances, he’s probably not), he will beat you. Similarly, if you’re near the bottom in finances, don’t bother with going after the top-tier staff in the first stage. You’re better off going after the next tier before people start going after them. (To see where you stand against the rest of the league in profit, check every team’s “Income Statement” screen, or an easier look, if you’re in a league that uses my php code, is to browse to the profitlastyear.php page: http://www.younglifenorthdekalb.com/...itlastyear.php is an example.)
  • What attributes are most important depends on your league’s setup. If you’re in a league with a higher injury setting, “Avoid Injury” is crucial for Head Coaches. If it’s down around 100, the other four are far more important. For Scouts, consider switching scouts out each year based on what position groups are important to you in the upcoming draft. Young Talent is the most important rating for Coordinators.
  • It’s worth noting again that years of service for the Head Coach plays a big part in penalties. Don’t hire a new Head Coach if the guy you’re going after is only marginally better than your existing one.
  • In order to sign a guy away from the team who had him last year, it takes significantly more money, so if you’re in the middle of the pack financially and your coach/scout/coordinator is a “free agent,” you might be able to sign him even over the top-tier financial teams.
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Last edited by Ben E Lou : 09-19-2010 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:21 AM   #3
Ben E Lou
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Greensboro, NC
Franchise/Summer/Ticket

SUMMER/TICKET/FRANCHISE STAGE


TICKET PRICES
This is probably the most misunderstood mechanism in FOF, so I’ll highlight it. If your seats are full, you aren’t charging enough money, and you’re not maximizing your revenue. I have no idea if this is how the developer intended it to work, but this *IS* how it works, so you can either play the game the way you think it should work, or play it the way it *does* work. This is *especially* true when it comes to luxury boxes. I want somewhere around 60-75% of those filled per game. That’s where the real money rolls in. To give a specific example, in the WOOF 2021 season, we were #1 financials. We made 190.1M in suite revenue—by far the biggest revenue number we had-and our total profit was 214.3M, so basically our entire profit was from suites. Apart from QuikSand, who also kinda gets the financial thing (he was right behind me at 187.7M), the next-highest suite revenue was 142.0M. That #3 box-revenue team had the maximum number of luxury boxes (19,900), but he’s screwing around charging nickel and dime prices to fill every one of them for every game. I have only 7,500 boxes, filled 5,200 per game, and made over 30% more revenue. Let me repeat that: I had 5,200 boxes filled per game, the other guy had 19,900 boxes filled per game. I made 190.1M on my suites. He made 142.0M on his.

Some other helpful hints on these.
  • Apart from luxury boxes and club seats, do *NOT* increase your prices very much anywhere else from year to year. People won’t come.
  • You can increase your luxury and club prices significantly from year to year without losing many people, and you’ll increase your revenue quite a bit by doing so.
  • As has been posted at FOFC, in some instances, you can max out luxury box prices and get a small handful of people to show up. If your league allows it, know that it's still a huge risk if you're a top-tier team in revenue. However, if you're in the bottom tier financially and it's legal, I don't see any reason not to give it a whirl.
  • Again, if luxury boxes are full, you’re not maximizing revenue. All that miscellaneous stuff like concessions that’s dependent on attendance is a drop in the bucket compared to what you can rake in from overcharging for your suites. The WOOF has a stadium with the maximum number of seats (99,900) that averaged 98,600 in attendance last year: they made a massive 21.4M in concessions. I made 14.5M with my 61,800 attendance. His 6.9M lead there doesn’t come close to the 77M lead I had over him in suite revenue.
  • To set your prices, look at one of your home games from last year. If you’re setting upper deck and your upper deck seats were full or close to full last year, increase them. Here are my attendance figures from a recent home game in the WOOF, and how I’ll change my prices for next year based on them:
Section
Attendance
Stadium
61,100 (70,000 capacity)
Upper Deck
14,300 (17,100)
End Zone
11,200 (12,400)
Mezzanine
6,700 (7,100)
Sideline Seats
9,700 (10,900)
Club Seats
14,200 (15,000)
Luxury Boxes
5,000 (7,500)
UD: Tiny increase. ($85à$90)
EZ: Moderate increase ($95à$110)
MEZ: Significant increase ($130à$155)
SID: Moderate increase ($165à$185)
Club: Significant increase ($410à$445)
Luxury: Significant increase ($320,000à$400,000)

SUMMER LEAGUE


Worth knowing about summer league…
  • Summer league results are revealed after FA2:5 is run. What you see in FA1:1 has nothing to do with summer league.
  • Players *NEVER* lose true ratings as a result of summer league. They usually gain current. They sometimes unmask future. (If you're confused by this statement, read my Unmasking 101 thread at FOFC.
  • As of the 6.3x patches, players can now be injured in summer league, so there’s a risk/reward. I’ve seen guys lost for the entire season due to summer league injuries. Again, these are revealed with summer league results after FA2:5.
  • Because of the injury factor, I don’t send guys I’m planning on being contributors in the upcoming season to summer league. Between training camp, preseason playing time, and mentoring, I can get those guys enough extra development that doesn’t come with as much risk of injury.
  • Summer league is a development accelerator. In rare instances, a player will become significantly better because of Summer League. I repeat from above: players *NEVER* lose true ratings as a result of summer league. They do sometimes unmask. In other words, if a guy was a true 40 potential, but he was showing up as 35/45, he might gain 5 current in summer league and would therefore unmask to 40/40. But he didn’t lose ratings. He was never a true 35/45. He was a 35/40.

FRANCHISE TAG
  • If you franchise a guy twice in a row in his career, you’ll get the “past injustices” tag and there's a good chance that he'll never sign a contract with you again. You’ll have to franchise him forever to keep him. (And if he holds out, he still won’t sign with you, and you’ll be forced to hope he signs, or trade him.)
  • Franchise players almost always request a contract with at least all of the franchise cost coming as guaranteed money. In other words, if a guy franchised for $10M and the minimum salary for his experience is $1M, his contract request will be at least $9M bonus and $1M first-year salary. He’s gonna get his $10M outta you.
  • Applying the franchise tag to a player lowers his loyalty, usually by around 20-30 points.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:22 AM   #4
Ben E Lou
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Greensboro, NC
Roster Building/Management

OFFSEASON ROSTER BUILDING/MANAGEMENT


FA1:1 (RENEGOTIATING)


A few notes...
  • When it comes to making an offer relative to the asking price, this isn't OOTP or BM or other pro games. You can't simply lower the bonus and salary a little bit from his asking price and get him to sign. If you want to restructure the deal he's asking for, you'll need to increase either the bonus or the first-year salary.
  • The most important things to an FOF player in evaluating the value of a contract are the amount of the bonus per year, and the amount of the first year contract. Everything else is trivial in comparison to these two factors. If a player is requesting a $15M bonus and a $2M year 1 salary, it is extremely unlikely that he will sign for anything less than $17M bonus+year1.
  • Because of the point immediately above, you can get guys to take a longer contract than requested in order to spread out the bonus hit a little bit more, but you usually have to add a little bonus to the requested offer. For example, if a guy is requesting a bonus of $9M, a year 1 of $1.5M, then $5M, then $6M, you might be able to get him to take a four-year deal for a $10M bonus, with an additional year at $7M on the end of the deal. Doing this can be a win-win. The advantage for the player is that he gets a bit more guaranteed money. The advantage for you is that the cap hit in year 1 drops from $4.5M in the requested contract to $4M in the modified one.
  • Don't sign young guys to contracts that end after year four. End them after year three, and then sign them to (often cheaper) three-year deals that go through year six.
  • Also because of the point about salary and year 1, you can sign a player to a contract worth significantly less than his overall asking price by offering a high bonus, higher-than-requested year 1 salary, and then MUCH lower-than-requested future-year salaries. In leagues with higher injury settings, this can be a huge risk because you may end up giving the player much more guaranteed money than he's asking for.
  • Think through the ramifications of your long-term renegotiations, especially if you're in a league that only allows final-year renegs.
  • Be very careful about using the “cap out” option (if your league allows it). Those chickens can come home to roost in a hurry. For the most part, I only use it when I have to get a little more cap room to extend a key player, and then only on players with three years or more left on their contract. That spreads out the hit a bit.
FA1:2-12 THROUGH FA2:1-5 (SIGNING FAs)


FOF free agency is still a big mystery to many. The hope of this section is that it won't be. First off, it's vital to understand what is important to a free agent in FOF.

  1. Bonus per year
  2. Salary in the first year
Everything else is trivial compared to these two. If I offer a player a 3-year deal with a $30M bonus ($10M bonus per year) and $2M first-year salary and you offer a 7-year deal with a $42M bonus ($6M bonus per year) and $2M first-year salary, my deal is going to be viewed as the better one, likely even if you offer untold millions in future salary. Contracts in football are not guaranteed, so the non-guaranteed money has very little meaning compared to the bonus and first-year salary.


With the above in mind, and other general strategies taken into consideration, I offer these tips...

  • The shorter contract is usually going to be the better one. (It's virtually always going to be the better one for a VG player who hits free agency.) If your league requires contracts of at least three years, it's rare that you'll want to offer a deal longer than that, assuming you're actually interested in signing the player.
  • Don't get in phantom bidding wars. Pay attention. If you're bidding on a 65/65 tight end and the guy you're trying to beat already has a 72/72 tight end, consider the possibility that the contract he's throwing out there may be fake (low bonus and year 1 salary with a bunch of money on the back end that the player sees as nearly meaningless).
  • Think through the long-term ramifications of a contract. Renegotiating has changed in 6.3. Most notably, if a player has a big base salary, quite often he will want to renegotiate in a way that will move that salary into mostly bonus money. In other words, if he was set to make $20M in salary this year, he might request a $19M bonus and a $1M salary when you want to re-up with him.
  • Things like loyalty and play for winner DO matter. The reason they're not noticed is that in most leagues, the cap doesn't really matter, and there's always someone willing to pay wayyyyyyyyyyyy more for a guy than anyone else. If you're in a cap-tight league, pay attention to these. You can often re-sign a high-loyalty player for a bit less than others are offering. (Keep this in mind when considering giving out contract extensions. You might be able to get the guy more cheaply in Free Agency than by giving him what he wants.)
  • When offering older players multi-year deals, it's usually best to go low bonus, high salary. Often these players will accept a minimal bonus with a big first-year salary. If they tank in TC, you've lost very little. Of course, if someone else offers them a decent bonus and first-year salary, they'll take that offer.
  • If a player has one offer that stands out from every other offer in the first stage, he'll often take it immediately. Don't sit around waiting to see what others might do. Get serious in FA1:2 and FA2:1, or someone might steal the guy you want. The “wants to sign in” bit on the player card is assuming that everyone will offer something close to his requested amount. That's how it works in SP. It does not work that way in MP.

FA1:2-12 THROUGH FA2:1-5 (ROSTER-BUILDING TIPS)




CSV.TXT
There's a file in your FOF program directory called csv.txt that's intended for roster-makers. In several cases it seems to do a better job of explaining what the different bars are than the Help File. Here's the key section of it.
Column Y: Completing Screen Passes.
Column Z: Completing Short Passes.
Column AA: Completing Medium Passes.
Column AB: Completing Long Passes.
Column AC: Completing Very Long Passes.
Column AD: Completing Third-Down Passes - ability to convert those pressure-packed third- and fourth-down throws.
Column AE: Scramble Frequency - desire to abandon the pass and scramble downfield. Unlike most categories, this rating is not assigned on a logarithmic curve.
Column AF: Avoid Interceptions - ability to avoid throwing interceptions.
Column AG: Passing Accuracy - ability to connect with receivers in full stride, maximizing their ability to gain yardage after the catch.
Column AH: Passing Timing - ability to connect with receivers who deviate from the planned play.
Column AI: Sensing the Pass Rush - ablility to avoid sacks.
Column AJ: Reading the Defense - ability to adjust to effective defensive pass coverages.
Column AK: Two-Minute Offense - ability to pass when the team is running a hurry-up offense.
Column AL: Preferred Play Style - the set of plays a quarterback is most comfortable running. You can choose a roll-out offense (1), which is best for quarterbacks who like to run a lot, or a short-pass offense (2), ideal for what's often called the "West Coast Offense", or a long-pass offense (3), which is a more traditional approach to passing. Use 0 for non-quarterbacks.
Column AM: Breakaway Speed - ability to break free for a long gain.
Column AN: Running Power Inside - ability to break through the line for yardage inside.
Column AO: Third-Down Running - ability to gain yardage in third- and fourth-down and short situations.
Column AP: Hole Recognition - ability to make the most of running paths forged by the offensive line.
Column AQ: Running Elusiveness - the ability to avoid getting caught behind the line of scrimmage.
Column AR: Running Speed to the Outside - ability to "turn the corner" to gain yardage on outside runs.
Column AS: Running Back's Blitz Pickup - the ability to handle a blitzing linebacker.
Column AT: Receiving Hands - ability to catch a thrown ball.
Column AU: Getting Downfield - ability to gain yardage after the catch.
Column AV: Route-Running - ability to shoulder the load as a receiver. Receivers with high ratings in this category can be the target of more frequent pass attempts.
Column AW: Third-Down Receiving - ability to make catches in clutch third- and fourth-down situations.
Column AX: Big-Play Receiving - ability to catch long and very-long passes.
Column AY: Courage over the Middle - ability to hang in there on routes planned across the middle of the field.
Column AZ: Adjusting to Bad Throws - ability to catch poorly thrown balls.
Column BA: Punt Returning - ability to return punts.
Column BB: Kickoff Returning - ability to return kickoffs.
Column BC: Avoid Fumbles - ability to avoid fumbling the football.
Column BD: Run Block Technique - ability to block for running plays.
Column BE: Pass Block Technique - ability to block for passing plays.
Column BF: Blocking Strength - ability to handle physical defenders.
Column BG: Punt Distance.
Column BH: Punt Hang Time.
Column BI: Directional Punting - ability to kick the ball inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
Column BJ: Kickoff Distance.
Column BK: Kickoff Hang Time.
Column BL: Field Goal Accuracy.
Column BM: Field Goal Distance.
Column BN: Run defense - ability to stop the run.
Column BO: Pass Rush Technique - ability to rush the passer.
Column BP: Man-to-Man Pass Defense.
Column BQ: Zone Pass Defense.
Column BR: Bump-and-Run Pass Defense.
Column BS: Pass Rush Strength - ability to handle physical linemen.
Column BT: Play Diagnosis - ability to recognize the flow of an offensive play.
Column BU: Hard Hitter - ability to punish the ball carrier.
Column BV: Pass Intercepting
Column BW: Endurance.
Column BX: Special Teams Play.
Column BY: Long Snapping.
Column BZ: Holding for Placekicks.


OFFENSIVE ROSTER TIPS
  • You can get by with a mediocre QB if you have good receivers. If you're going this route, look for a QB who is good at avoiding interceptions (high solecismic score and low intelligence) and sensing the rush.
  • If you have offensive linemen good at run blocking, you may be able to skimp on talent at the RB position. Any pair of 42/42 guys can do ok there.
  • That said, a big advantage of having a stud RB, as opposed to two decent ones, is that the stud will usually have a very high hidden avoid fumble rating (just like all the rest of his bars). One of your 42/42 guys might be a 15 in avoid fumbles.
  • Above all else, look for run blocking from your FB.
  • I strongly believe that the big-time tight end is the most underrated player in FOF. And I further firmly believe that the main reason for this is that the default formation set doesn't account for having a stud there. Check this thread at FOFC for the details, but the short version is this: if you have a stud TE, you need to adjust the formations screen so that he's on the field a lot more. The default screens (which are not changed by Rexing) will have your TE off the field in 40-50% of passing situations. That's fine if he's a blocking-only TE, but if he's good at pass catching, he's often a better choice than your WR3 or WR4, and sometimes even better than WR2. From everything I can tell, FOF does model pretty accurately the match-up problems of a stud TE. Even people who don't game plan particularly well routinely get 8 to 9 ypt out of a big-time guy. They just tend to overlook his value because he's only on the field 300-350 plays per year and gets 400-500 yards receiving.
  • So, with the above in mind, I look for the key pass-catching bars in a TE: getting downfield, avoid drops, big-play receiving, route running. If I can't get someone good in those categories, then a run blocker is acceptable. Of course, if you don't have a pass-catching TE, then you'd better have a pair of good wide receivers.
  • For WR, I look for the same bars mentioned above in TE. One little thing that I've noticed lately is that Big-Play Receiving may be more important to a short-passing offense than the conventional wisdom holds.
  • As for the o-line, a few quick hits.
  • QB Sense Rush is the biggest factor in sacks. O-line pass blocking is still important, though, for lowering the number of hurries.
  • I mentioned TE above as the most underrated position in FOF. I think C is #2. I'm reasonably certain it's the most important o-line position in the running game.
  • When players have full positional experience at another o-line position than their main one, I've seen little/no drop-off in playing them in the position where they have that full experience.

DEFENSIVE ROSTER TIPS (3-4 ONLY)
NOTE: I don't play the 4-3 in MP. Ever. So here are tips on the most important skills for building a 3-4 defense. I have no idea what works in the 4-3 besides big red barz.
  • LDE—Pass rush technique and pass-rush strength
  • NT—Run defense. (PRT and PRS are helpful, but not musts if you have good pass-rushers at WLB and LDE.)
  • RDE—Run defense. (PRT and PRS are helpful, but not musts if you have good pass-rushers at WLB and LDE.)
  • SLB—All coverage bars, esp. BnR. Run defense. PRT and PRS are useful here, too.
  • SILB—Run defense, zone.
  • WILB—Run defense. Nothing else. He comes out in nickel/dime. If you are paying anythign more than minsal for your WILB, you are overpaying, unless you have four VG LBs and therefore you rarely use nickel/dime.
  • WLB—PRT, PRS
  • CB—BnR, M2M
  • SS—Run defense, zone.
  • FS—Zone.

SPECIAL TEAMS ROSTER TIPS
As a general thought, keep in mind that the 6.3 family of patches lowered offense across the board. This makes special teams more important than in the past. Roughly 15%-20% more FGs are being attempted, and teams are punting roughly 10% more frequently. Simply put, your special teams guys are on the field more than they were in the past. As for specifics:
  • I look for hang time and directional for my punters. I my opponents to have short returns and lots of drives starting inside the 20. I tend to have pretty good offenses, so I don't worry much about punt distance.
  • For kickers, accuracy is king. I can always adjust my game plan to avoid trying FGs out of range, but missing a 35-yarder is inexcusable.
  • Make sure you have a holder and long snapper. Get backups with these skills who are chemistry matches.
  • There's mounting evidence that the “Special Teams” bar is used for much more than just gunners. As above, get backups with a good special teams bar and chemistry. It makes a difference.

DRAFTING
There's a wealth of drafting information available at FOFC, so I won't rehash all of it. Just a few principles, and some links.

  1. Combines, combines, combines. Look at the combines above all else.
  2. Combines >>>>>> bars.
  3. Combines are more important than bars. Learn how to use them.
  4. If a guy's bars are great and his combines mediocre, do not pick him with a high first. He is worse than he looks.
  5. If a guy's combines are outstanding and his bars mediocre, get him.
  6. If you are in a MP league and ignore the advice about putting combines over bars, you have forfeited all rights to whine about injuries or exploits or unintuitive parts of FOF. You are not losing because of FOF. You are not losing because some other guy is exploiting the engine.
    You are not losing because of injuries. You are losing because you are effectively behaving like a child, putting your hands over your ears and screaming, “LA LA LA LA!!!! I AM NOT LISTENING TO YOU!” when people who are better than you at FOF are trying to help you.

So, read these threads.


COMBINE BENCHMARKS
OFFENSIVE COMBINES
DEFENSIVE COMBINES


And use Draft Analyzer.


Beyond the above, a few other points:
  • If you aren't a perennial 10-win team, don't trade your future first round picks away unless you're getting a young stud sure-thing QB/RB/WR/DE/CB.
  • Pay attention to the talent pool. If your pick is about to come up and there are 4 or 5 guys you'd be very happy to get at that spot, consider attempting to trade down a little. If you're successful, you'll get one of your targets for a cheaper price, and pick up some additional draft capital as well.
  • Likewise, if you're 8 picks away and there's only one guy you really want, don't sit there 8 picks away just HOPING your guy falls through the cracks. Odds are that if you're interested in him, someone else is. Be willing to trade up to get what you want.
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The media don't understand the kinds of problems and pressures 54 million come wit'!

Last edited by Ben E Lou : 09-19-2010 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:23 AM   #5
Ben E Lou
Morgado's Favorite Forum Fascist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Greensboro, NC
Training Camp/Misc

TRAINING CAMP

  • Weight training is most important for guys you're wanting to position switch.
  • If you are set in terms of formation knowledge at QB, consider dropping the time spent on film study. There's a dice roll there. When I had a veteran QB who was pretty much maxed out on formations, I dropped it all the way down to one minute in IHOF for several seasons, and one of those years he actually gained one more. He never lost one, and he had some great years late in his career, I believe partly because I dumped all that time from film study into passing.
  • If you're in a higher-injury league, increase time on the training table. If you're in a low-injury league, decrease it.
  • Beware of skimping on special teams time.
  • If you already have high cohesion, there appears to be little negative from skimping on the touchy-feely stuff (team functions). I've done this in IHOF and WOOF when I had veteran teams.
  • There's no great way to test it, but I'm fairly convinced that finding places to cut back and dumping extra time into running/passing/defense has helped my MP teams significantly.
MISC. OFFSEASON NOTES

  • Every player who has a valid offer will sign with someone in FA1:10 and later, and FA2:3 and later.
  • When I say “valid offer,” I mean that some players will not accept offers that are absurdly less than what they have requested. They will accept offers that are a lot less than what they have requested. Experiment.
  • If you're wanting to build strong chemistry, go after guys with high personality ratings as your position-group leaders.
  • Also on chemistry, be willing to cut bait on your failing former draftees in favor of chemistry-helping backups. In other words, if you've got a guy you drafted as a 23/56 player, he went to 25/51 in TC and is now in year 3 and 28/46, he's heading for 35/35 or so. Unless he's an affinity match, there's no reason to keep that guy around. Pick up a 35/35 veteran for three years at minimum salary who also helps you in chemistry. You get a better player to be your backup, he's cheaper, and he helps everyone at his position group play better.
  • Acquire mentors for your undeveloped players in year 3 or less. The mentor does not have to be active (but the young player does) for the mentorship to have an effect.
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Last edited by Ben E Lou : 09-19-2010 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:43 AM   #6
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Another outstanding write-up.

IRT Training Camp
One of the big lessons I've learned recently deals with exactly what you're talking about here. For the longest time I was using the "magic formula" of training time because I was very successful for a while but when I had to rebuild, I failed to account for the dramatic changes in my team structure when doing training camp. You hit on some of the key nuances. For instance, I was hardcore about putting a lot of special teams minutes on my teams. When my team was pretty good, this was a great way to shorten the field, but when your team is bad, who cares if you're starting at the 20 or 35...you need to get first downs! So Special Teams is a great icing on the cake for a good team. Bottom feeders might want to focus on chemistry and QB formations (for younger QBs). Still lots of variation available on one small screen. Over the long haul, training camp is pound-for-pound one of the most valuable stages in the game.
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ben E Lou
DRAFTING
There's a wealth of drafting information available at FOFC, so I won't rehash all of it. Just a few principles, and some links.

Combines, combines, combines. Look at the combines above all else.
Combines >>>>>> bars.
Combines are more important than bars. Learn how to use them.
If a guy's bars are great and his combines mediocre, do not pick him with a high first. He is worse than he looks.
If a guy's combines are outstanding and his bars mediocre, get him.
If you are in a MP league and ignore the advice about putting combines over bars, you have forfeited all rights to whine about injuries or exploits or unintuitive parts of FOF. You are not losing because of FOF. You are not losing because some other guy is exploiting the engine.
You are not losing because of injuries. You are losing because you are effectively behaving like a child, putting your hands over your ears and screaming, “LA LA LA LA!!!! I AM NOT LISTENING TO YOU!” when people who are better than you at FOF are trying to help you.

That is funny, I don't care who you are.

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Old 09-18-2010, 05:28 PM   #8
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Don't get in phantom bidding wars. Pay attention. If you're bidding on a 65/65 tight end and the guy you're trying to beat already has a 72/72 tight end, consider the possibility that the contract he's throwing out there may be fake (low bonus and year 1 salary with a bunch of money on the back end that the player sees as nearly meaningless).

Shit, I thought I was the only one evil enough to do this

Great job Ben. Pretty much agree with everything you said. I learnt some stuff to. The only thing that comes to mind is I would list zone along with the other 2 coverages for CB.

Turf is massive with injuries huh. Is it more massive than the coaches rating? That rating never really seemed to do much to me.

Last edited by Hammer : 09-18-2010 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:37 PM   #9
General Mike
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Anyone know the rules on releasing an injured player (injury settlement). I have a player who is killing my cap space and has no value, but it won't let me release him. Is it because his injury is only questionable?
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:44 PM   #10
MalcPow
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Nice work Benny
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:52 AM   #11
Karim
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This is extremely helpful for SP too. Thanks for this.
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:27 AM   #12
Ben E Lou
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Made a couple of cosmetic edits, and added special teams and a few more comments in the last section. PDF updated. That's likely the final version of this.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:16 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hammer View Post
Shit, I thought I was the only one evil enough to do this
It happens often in the leagues I'm in.

Quote:
Turf is massive with injuries huh. Is it more massive than the coaches rating? That rating never really seemed to do much to me.
You see it dramatically in leagues with injuries turned up. WOOF and IHOF are at 200, and you can really tell it there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by General Mike View Post
Anyone know the rules on releasing an injured player (injury settlement). I have a player who is killing my cap space and has no value, but it won't let me release him. Is it because his injury is only questionable?
If I recall directly, you can't release an injured player who is in a multi-year deal.
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:28 PM   #14
thenewchuckd
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Thanks for this. I just had a couple of questions on combines:

1) Do players come out with different sensitivity to injuries? Does that show in the combines (your post seems to imply that it does).

2) What about players with average-above average combines who come out as studs? Are you saying 100% that his performance will suffer?

For example, in the GEFL I just took Fred Taylor with the 1.7. His combines were ok but nothing to write home about. He comes out as an average back (43/52 if I remember right). But his static bars (breakaway speed, power inside, speed to the outside and blitz pick-up) are all higher than they should be vs his combines. My scout also has him at VU.

Now, let's say that Taylor booms and is actually a 70 rated back. Are you saying that in the background, he is still only an average back because of his combines? Or is there more to it than that?
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:13 PM   #15
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Great stuff!
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:17 PM   #16
Gallifrey
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Thanks Ben, this is really helpful.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:43 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by thenewchuckd View Post
Thanks for this. I just had a couple of questions on combines:

1) Do players come out with different sensitivity to injuries? Does that show in the combines (your post seems to imply that it does).

2) What about players with average-above average combines who come out as studs? Are you saying 100% that his performance will suffer?

For example, in the GEFL I just took Fred Taylor with the 1.7. His combines were ok but nothing to write home about. He comes out as an average back (43/52 if I remember right). But his static bars (breakaway speed, power inside, speed to the outside and blitz pick-up) are all higher than they should be vs his combines. My scout also has him at VU.

Now, let's say that Taylor booms and is actually a 70 rated back. Are you saying that in the background, he is still only an average back because of his combines? Or is there more to it than that?

He is saying combines point towards where a player will end up better then your scout. Neither is the end all be all but taking into account the static bars you can take a good guess which is correct.

Last edited by iBomb1st : 09-23-2010 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:50 PM   #18
iBomb1st
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I would like to see this posted on the reference sticky.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:33 PM   #19
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COORDINATORS
Ignore what these guys do in real life. In FOF, their only role is to act as development accelerators. The positional ratings determine how well they develop that group, and the young talent rating how well they develop youngsters overall.

I had no idea...
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:05 PM   #20
merry
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Hi,
Can some one discuss the draft analyser?
How is it best used?
Are there more useful and less useful aspects?
Thankyou,
Merry
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:32 PM   #21
General Mike
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How many offensive lineman do you generally keep? I've been keeping 11 in most leagues for the longest time, but when I look at NFL teams I see most with only 8 or 9 on their 53 man roster. Am I doing my team a disservice?
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:29 PM   #22
Yoda
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I usually keep 8 or 9.
5 starters, 1 backup for each position. (C, G, T)
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:56 AM   #23
Firefly
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Originally Posted by General Mike View Post
How many offensive lineman do you generally keep? I've been keeping 11 in most leagues for the longest time, but when I look at NFL teams I see most with only 8 or 9 on their 53 man roster. Am I doing my team a disservice?

It obviously depends on the talent on your team. I'm not keeping 11 OL if the last 4 are bums, nor am I cutting a promising OL just because he's over some arbitrary limit.

That being said, I don't feel comfortable with fewer than 9, although I suppose you can get by with 8 if you're lucky with injuries.
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:02 PM   #24
digamma
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Originally Posted by thenewchuckd View Post
Thanks for this. I just had a couple of questions on combines:

1) Do players come out with different sensitivity to injuries? Does that show in the combines (your post seems to imply that it does).


There isn't a specific (or I should probably say specifically visible) injury prone-ness rating, but if you look at some players' injury histories, you will definitely see that some players are more prone to injuries than others.
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:19 PM   #25
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Try to keep 10 - always developing somebody - but usually only activate 8
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:32 PM   #26
aston217
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Originally Posted by merry View Post
Hi,
Can some one discuss the draft analyser?
How is it best used?
Are there more useful and less useful aspects?
Thankyou,
Merry

This is an interesting question that I wanted to comment on based on my (limited) experience using it. I've used it for two drafts now, but really only relied on it for one. How did I live without it? It was hard...although I don't understand all of it either, so I'm feeling my way around it. Maybe others can chime in.

But, anyway. I would caution against relying too much on the combine numbers. I'm looking over one of the drafts where I got some good combine guys. LT rated 12.18 for his combine and 54.8 for his bars. The "rate" bar showed 73.3. He had the fourth best combine score among all OTs in the draft (being fairly close to #3, and having some separation from #5 and 6). Got him in the 4th round, and he went 22/44->24/41.

Exhibit 2: this 3rd round corner with a 12.01 combine rating, 32.3 bars for 45.5 overall. His combine was the third best in the draft. #1 and #2 were over 20, and #4 was 10.57. He went 15/24->17/25. Neither made the team.

I know combine is king, but I guess just a word of caution before comparing players based on it. Also you probably have to tweak around the weights settings a bit. I haven't before, but this time I'm removing Broad Jump from factoring into the combine results for corners, safeties, and receivers since they just refer to returns. Also applying the weights seems to give the QBs numbers where they didn't have them before.

I guess the bottom line is it tells you a lot about the player, but the bottom line is it's just part of the story. A workout warrior that has lousy bars across the board will probably underwhelm. A player with great bars but a lousy combine across the board probably means the bars are lying. Where it's more interesting is if one or two things don't match up. And there I don't know.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:04 PM   #27
mau92
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I agree, I know we gotta look to the combines above all else, but we gotta look to other things too, in a SP League I had two options as LT a great bars, poor combine or a poor bars, great combine, the second had something like 20 for his combine, but terrible bars (the BS was bad too), and the other had great bars, including BS but a negative score for the combine.

So, I took the great combine player and he went from 31/53 to 31/47 after TC, and the other LT went 15/59 to 19/61 after TC, I regret choosing the combine guy.

I think combine show the current ability, like my combine guy was 31 and the other 19, but the potential is more difficult than that, I still think that static bars are great to see the potential, plus masking bars. It's just my opinion.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:15 PM   #28
aston217
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I think you have to look at how the combines and the bars align. I figured out a few more things since the last time I posted, I think. A great static bar is reassuring, but if the combine supports the static bar, it isn't a good sign that the player is necessarily better than he looks.

For example, the guard that has high BS but a 40 bench press. If his 40 and agility are average, his pass blocking and run blocking are likely average.

The guy with the negative score for the combine, for example, could have had a very low bench, corroborated by the low BS, but stronger scores in the other areas.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:17 PM   #29
Ben E Lou
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Bump/unstick.
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:55 PM   #30
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Bump/unstick.
The end is near....

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Old 09-13-2015, 04:57 AM   #31
Templar
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This guide was quite useful in the past. Are these guidelines now also remain valid for FOF7?
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:21 AM   #32
bigc45157
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*** Wow, this is four years old...

Amazing thread. Thanks, as always, Ben.

Couple things:

*** What is "the summer league"? Is this new? Am I over looking it? I've never seen this before.
This may be answered by the date of the game

Any additional DA info, on how to adjust the sliding bars/weights would be greatly appreciated.

I learned a lot of new info about pricing and the stadium info.

Last edited by bigc45157 : 09-16-2015 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 09-16-2015, 12:12 PM   #33
garion333
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Summer league no longer exists. That was in previous versions but won't be moving forward.

Heck, stadium stuff might be outdated now. Rexxing ticket prices seems to work best now, not maxing out luxury.

Last edited by garion333 : 09-16-2015 at 12:13 PM.
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