Preparation. If you search Madden Daily’s blog the past few weeks for madden 13 tips, you will see this has been the common theme. The more information and knowledge you gain prior to the release of Madden 13, the bigger the advantage you have on your opponent the day the game drops. I have carefully broken down the ratings of all the running backs released by EA Sports and have come up with three important sleepers heading into next season. I have selected underrated players from quality teams and describe how they can help you win more games in Madden 13.
RB, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals
If Madden 13 is anything like Madden 12, then the Cincinnati Bengals will be one of the most dangerous teams to face. In Madden 12, many would tell you the Bengals had the best defense in the game (myself included.) Quarterback Andy Dalton will boast a respectable 83 overall; a major improvement from the start of last season. They also have two large targets in Jermaine Gresham and A.J. Green. The Bengals have everything you need to make up a complete Madden team (and in real life too). The Bengals only “Madden” flaw last season was inconsistency at the running back position. However, that has all changed with the acquisition of former Patriots RB Benjarvus Green-Ellis. The “Law Firm” brings many unique elements to the Cincinnati Bengals that many teams don’t have. Green-Ellis is the only running back in the game with 99 carry! Everyone hates fumbling, and so does Green-Ellis, that’s why he just doesn’t. Green-Ellis has never recorded a lost fumble in his entire NFL career, just like former great Tiki Barber.. oh wait. Along with his 99 carry, Green-Ellis will have 94 trucking and 94 stiff arm; giving the user the luxury of not having to shy away from big hits as he fights for extra yards. The reason “The Law Firm” is on this list is because of how well he compliments other Bengals RB Bernard Scott. The lightning to his thunder, Scott is a speedy elusive back who can break the big one at any moment. The luxury of having the Bengals defense with a backfield of Green-Ellis and Scott, gives the user the ability to play a very vintage NFL system. Hard nosed defense and a conservative clock management system.
99 Carry, 94 Stiff Arm, 94 Trucking
82 Speed, 65 Elusiveness, 41 Catching
RB, Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions finally got it together in the 2011-2012 season. Matthew Stafford’s breakout season, along with Calvin Johnson’s superb campaign, lead the Lions to their first playoff birth since 1999. The success the Lions had didn’t just affect them in real life; the Lions became usable in the Madden virtual world as well. Jahvid Best, a player who didn’t positively affect their season accomplishments due to injury, help made the Lions a lethal Madden 12 team. For as long as he is on the roster, Madden 13 will be no different. His 97 speed makes him one of Madden’s fastest backs. With the defense constantly having to account for Calvin Johnson on every play, the running lanes may open up a little wider for the speedster to break a big one. Any fast running back will always be productive in Madden, but having the supporting cast Best has will make him even deadlier than the rest.
97 Speed, 95 Acceleration, 93 Ball Carrier Vision
81 Carry, 36 Pass Block, 67 Injury
FB, Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers
I know people probably saw Mike Tolbert’s name and instantly jumped on their keyboard. He will probably have a bigger impact than most running backs in Madden NFL 13 and I’ll tell you why! First of all, you’re probably thinking, “if I have Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams why do I need Tolbert?” This was actually my thought when the Panthers acquired him. Mike Tolbert will be playing Full Back for the Carolina Panthers, and I really can’t come up with a reason of why this is a bad real life decision. As for a Madden perspective, it is actually a fantastic decision. Cam Newton, Steve Smith, Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, and Greg Olsen make the Panthers one of Madden’s best, if not the best offense in the game. How does Tolbert fit in? Tolbert has 84 speed, and for a FB that is really high. It is actually the second highest behind Marcel Reece of the Raiders. Along with his 84 speed, he has a 96 trucking rating. This is perfectly ideal for FB dives, one of Madden’s most popular runs for years. Usually gamers will put a RB at FB for me speed and athleticism out of the backfield. However, most running backs have poor pass and run blocking attributes. Tolbert gives you the ability to do both. With all the weapons the Panthers have, Tolbert will initially get overshadowed. Once the defense emphasizes on stopping him, Cam Newton will have a field day. Triple Options and Read Options will be deadly (Carloina’s playbook) with this team. This concept, with Mike Tolbert, will be one of the first things I do in Madden NFL 13. I encourage you all to try this as well.
84 Speed, 96 Trucking, 95 Stiff Arm
75 Spin Move, 65 Elusiveness, 77 Juke Move
***Note*** Notice how Tolbert’s weaknesses aren’t really attributes you will be looking to trigger when using Tolbert, he will be a great option for Madden NFL 13. You heard it at Madden Daily first!
Madden Daily wants to know who do you think will be an overlooked running back in Madden NFL 13? Please post your comments under the post to open a blog discussion.