Gold Goons – MUT 16 Budget Players for Defense

****Updated Posts 12-15-16****

Budget Running Offense

Budget Passing Offense

Budget 4-3 Defense

Budget 3-4 Defense


Our Budget Series continues with Gold Goons. Watch the video above or read my script below. Enjoy!

LE – I’m going to run a 4-3. At the ends I’m going to want someone to be speedy to contain the passer but with decent blockshed to help against the run. Unfortunately, there aren’t any good 4-3 left defensive ends. But fear not. We have alternatives like pass rushing linebackers to save the day for obvious passing situations and run stuffers for short yardage.

So as a tangent I really like finesse move over power move for defensive ends. I don’t know why, but Dee Ford on my silver studs with his high strength and finesse move gets more pressure than my other linemen combined on that squad and they all have power moves.

In addition, I had Jadeveon Clowney as my right end for a really long time on my main squad. He had 0 impact on games and he has a 91 power move. I’m going to avoid power move on my DEs this year and see what I get.

But I’ll answer who my 4-3 DE would be at the end of the right end segment.

As to the 3-4, you need someone strong with good blockshed at each position on the defensive line. Having 3 DTs is a strategy that would work. But at LE I want Stephen Paea 78 overall. 99 strength, 84 blockshed, which is a little low.

RE – For the 4-3 It really depends if you consider the combined Randy Gregory a gold or an elite. He’s a really solid player at 4-3 RE, basically the best on out right now, and pretty cheap. Otherwise Lawrence Sidbury can rush the passer effectively, Vic Beasley is a stud and you could move a fast outside linebacker here. But for dollars to donuts, Randy Gregory 84 overall is the choice at both defensive end spots in a 4-3.

For the 3-4, I want Mike Devito, 80 overall. 91 strength, 89 blockshed.

DT – This one is pretty easy and a combo I’ve been running on my main squad which runs the 4-3, Dan Williams and Brandon Williams. Both high strength, high blockshed mean SOBs.

Although if you hate screens enough, get someone like Jonathan Babineaux or Henry Melton who can recognize the play and have a decent shot at chasing it down with their okay speed.

for the 3-4, either of those Williams’ work. But I’ll choose Dan Williams. As an aside, if you really want to shut down the run, put Dan Williams at RE and put Damon Harrison at NT.
MLB: I’ll user this position. I might still use Nate Askew due to his speed, catching, jump and height. But this is a golds goons so I have to go with Ryan Shazier and his shefter star card that coming out Thursday. I’m really hoping that thing has no improvements to intelligence stats and all of them to physical so he can be a user god. I’m probably going to be let down, but a boy can hope.

So in a 3-4 at MLB one position will be the user of Nate Askew/Ryan Shazier, the second should be a good run stopper with high play rec. Speed isn’t as necessary because the 3-4 does a better job at shutting down the outside run. The second MLB should be focused on stopping the run up the middle with high blockshed.

I kind of like Daryl Washington’s mix of skills with decent speed. But I’m going to try a better run stuffer, I’m going with Stephen Tulloch to start. High pursuit, blockshed, 93 play rec, 90 awareness, we’ll see if his smarts are able to put him into good spots his speed isn’t able to.

LOLB: I want someone who plays the run well in a 4-3. Because when I’m in a 4-3, 46 or 3-3-5 alignment, which is the only time this player is on the field, his first job is to stop the run. Pass coverage skills are secondary but still needed. In the end, I’m going to go with Nigel Bradham. 86 speed, 87 accel, 91 hit power, 93 pursuit, 84 zone coverage.

For this position in a 3-4, you want a pass rusher who can also help against the run. This battle comes down between Jayrone Elliott and Bruce Irvin, Finesse moves vs. power moves. I’m going to go with 81 Jayrone Elliott off the bat and see how he plays. Even though he is 4 points slower than Irvin, he’s got a significant strength and finesse move advantage.

ROLB: for the 4-3 want someone stout against the run but also really good in coverage. A tall task for a gold linebacker. Lavonte David is obviously a great choice, but he’s 1 overall too high. If this was 15 and 85s were still golds, I’d tell you to scoop him up.

But, for what you want out of a 4-3 ROLB, 83 overall Sean Lee fits your criteria. 95 play rec, 93 pursuit, 83 zone coverage, 83 hit power, 92 tackle, 87 awareness,  89 acceleration, he’s a little slow at 82 though. But overall, you couldn’t ask for a much better player at this position.

In a 3-4 I’d go with Jadeveon Clowney Because he has 88 speed with 92 acceleration and 91 power moves. I tried him in a 4-3 at end and he made no plays for me. We’ll see if having him play his natural position changes anything.


You need to decide whether you want a smart guy or a dumb one with great physical attributes. But 4-3 and 3-4 secondaries can play very similar to each other so I won’t be differentiating between the two.

In addition, you need to decide what your main defense will consist of. What will you use, man or zone to stop the offense. Now you don’t need to run just one or the other because mixing coverages is the key to success in defense. But you should pick one to go to as your main shut down. We’ll start with man press corners even though the scheme might not be to terribly effective just with gold corners.

For man-press, I’d go with:

Jimmy Smith 84 – 94 press, 90 man coverage. But 88 speed unfortunately

Xavier Rhodes – 91 press, 87 man, 90 speed

Marcus Peters – 91 press, 86 man, 90 speed

At Dime you could put a very capable Team of the Week LaDarius Gunter

-89 speed, 88 press, 84 man coverage

And take two looks at Shefter’s star Damarious Randall, he’s fast with decent man coverage, his press is unfortunately low at 84 though.

If you style your defense to put you above a 90 on man coverage, all of a sudden those man coverage and press stats start to look quite elite and your scheme much more effective. Jimmy Smith goes up to 99 press and 95 man coverage. Those are better than any corner in the game.

But don’t sleep on their zone coverage rating either. They all have upper 80’s so you aren’t missing much by dropping them into zones as opposed to man to keep the offense guessing.

If you want to mainly play zone with your corners, I like to have tall guys on the outside. Although I have heard from a few sources that height doesn’t matter as much this year. I think of it like this, height doesn’t factor into overall, so it’s basically a free stat that doesn’t cost you on overall. Unfortunately, the market does adjust for height. But in a cover 3 base, the outside guys should be tall for the lob streak. So my recommendation is Darius Slay and LaDarius Gunter at the number 1 and 2. I’d recommend Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie but he’s 15,000 coins so he really isn’t too budget. He’s both tall and in a captain set so he’s unfortunately someone that might just be too high priced for the so called budget status. But if it’s later in the year and you are watching this, check his price. He might be in your zone.

But your nickel corner in this scheme should be someone with high play rec and blockshed to stand up to the run on the inside. William Gay is the ideal corner for you. 91 awareness, 61 block shed, 90 play rec, 85 zone, 72 tackle and 69 hit power. Don’t ask him to play man for you though. But if you use him exclusively in zone as your nickel corner, you should have a great player for your scheme.

Dime corners aren’t on the field a lot but you should get someone Gay-ish to play there like Alterraun Verner, good stats to hold up in the run and pass.

FS – Do you want someone fast? Do you want someone intelligent? Someone to play in the box to stop the run? Someone over the top in cover 3 or cover 1 and 2 man? Or play man to man in a blitz scheme?

There are many different roles you can have your safety play. And having a capable defender back there can be the difference between a good defense and a great one. But unfortunately, gold safties can’t do it all, so you’ll have to pick what you want from your player and call plays that fit their strength.

The guy I’m going with is Reggie Nelson.

89 Speed, 92 accel, 91 agility, 87 zone, 94 jump, he can play man in a pinch with 77 man, his awareness of 81 is okay. his downside is the 74 play rec and the lowish tackling and hit power. It’ll be interesting to see if the low play rec hurts my run defense or if he gets fooled on play action frequently.

But I like him mostly to play deep in a blue zone to help against streaks with his jump, and his acceleration and speed to get to the sideline to help with those deep passes against the corners. I think of all my defenders I’ve picked so far, I feel the most unease with this one due to that play rec.

There aren’t any good man to man gold free safeties. If you want a guy that can run it, get Devin McCourty 87 overall. I ran with him for a long time and that dude is a stud. Or you could always move a corner there if you want someone good at man to man at a cheap price.

For a run stuffer at FS get LaRon Landry, he’s fast and hits like bull. He’s also great for kickoff team.

But it would be interesting to try someone like 82 Charles Woodson out. He’s slow but he’s got the only awareness above 91 for a safety in the game. He’s got 94. And there is only one other safety above an 87 awareness. That was a purposeful decision by the developers, to leave awareness low on these safeties that they aren’t too smart. Basically, the seams are open right now against cover 3. Wait until later in the year when we get free safeties who have smarts like Woodson and Speed like Dezmond Southward. Those 20 yard completions will turn into picks like they were in 15.

Strong Safety.

Everything I said above about Free Safeties applies to Strong Safeties. But to reiterate, gold safeties kind of suck. Their play rec and awareness are all bad. If there was one position on your entire team that should be elite, it’s your safeties.

But in the cover 3 that I’m going to be playing, a strong safety with good play rec is important in order to diagnose the run to help shut it down.

The best gold Strong Safety is 84 overall Nate Allen, the football outsiders card

89 speed, 91 acceleration,  80 awareness, 81 play rec, 87 zone coverage. Good catching stats, okay height at 6’1. His downside is that he isn’t a hard hitter and his tackling is only a 74, which I guess isn’t terrible when compared to his competition. He’s an all around good player.

If you’d like a man strong safety you should look at Tyvon Branch who has 91 speed and 94 acceleration along with 78 man which is high for a strong safety. Again you might be better with a corner here due to their much higher man coverage skills.

For the kicking game, at kicker get gold Brandon McManus if you can afford him. If not, get his bronze card.

At punter get Tress Way. If he’s too expensive get silver Marquette King or bronze Robert Malone.

So in summation here are the lineups:


LE – Randy Gregory – 84 overall

RE – Randy Gregory – 84 overall

DT – Dan Williams – 84 overall

DT – Brandon Williams – 81 overall

LOLB – Nigel Bradham – 80 overall

MLB – Ryan Shazier – Shefter Star

ROLB – Sean Lee – 83 overall

CB – Darius Slay – 81 overall

CB – LaDarius Gunter – 84 overall

CB – William Gay – 81 overall

CB – Alterraun Verner – 83 overall

FS – Reggie Nelson – 82 overall

SS – Nate Allen – 84 overall


LE – Stephen Paea – 78 overall

RE – Mike Devito – 80 overall

DT – Dan Williams – 84 overall

LOLB – Jayrone Elliott – 81 overall

MLB – Ryan Shazier – Shefter Star

MLB – Daryl Washington – 81 overall

ROLB – Jadeveon Clowney – 76 overall

CB – Darius Slay – 81 overall

CB – LaDarius Gunter – 84 overall

CB – William Gay – 81 overall

CB – Alterraun Verner – 83 overall

FS – Reggie Nelson – 82 overall

SS – Nate Allen – 84 overall

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