TOTW Reviews – 94 Overall Ryan Shazier and HB JJ Watt

Ratings scale with players rated based on price unless their performance justifies their outrageous price like Bo Jackson:


Strong Buy – Top Recommendation. A game changer or budget beast


Hold – Try out and see if the card works for you before deciding whether to sell


Strong Sell – Sell immediately upon pull and don’t look back.


MLB Ryan Shazier 94 overall review (Set hero)

Speed is the name of the game here. Unmatched speed that will stay relevant as a user until Madden 17. A user dream he’ll be the gold standard user that we will compare all else to.

As to his user stats, 94 speed, 93 acceleration, 98 jumping, 92 block shedding, 95 hit power with poor to decent catching stats means he will be all over the field for you. He’s faster than many of the WR’s you’ll face. Crossing routes? Cross them off.

And outside of usering, he’s not bad letting him drift on his own. 86 play rec is admittibly poor but 95 pursuit means he’s taking the right angle. 78 Zone means he won’t be as close to the opponents receiving targets as you’d like but he’s still a body in the middle of the field to fly to the ball once needed.

And finally for the rest of the bad, 89 agility is good but not great for usering because you need to bait one way then quickly cut the other.

Rating: Strong buy

HB J.J. Watt (48 hour limited edition) – 90 overall

Half back J.J. Watt out of position is a tank in Madden form. Basically changing strategies of the opponents the way tanks changed WWII strategies. It’s where we got the term blitz from. His biggest downside is his lack of speed and blocking ability. Is EA saying JJ can’t pick up a blitzing LB? Well that’s what they are saying with his 45 pass block. You know what I say? Well you don’t because you’re distracted by my spit in your face.

But on to what you are going to use him for, short yardage FB dives and HB isos and zones. Boasting a unique skill set with his height, weight and trucking ability, you have to be concerned with the lack of ball carrier vision hindering his ability to slide between blockers in his only job. I don’t fear the one on one with defenders as much as I fear getting stuck on guards and centers backsides slowing his momentum and making him easy prey for the suction tackle.

His high end awareness would make him a great full back but the terrible blocking stats on the card all at 45 means he’s useless there.

So try him out in the short yardage situations and see if you like him. Let me know if the BCV hinders him too much or if it’s a non-factor for you.

Rating: Hold

MLB Rey Maualuga – 89 overall

85 speed is the minimum threshold you want out of an MLB. Tosses and outside runs are too prevalent this year to be any lower. So in order to justify the low-ish speed the player must be stacked in other areas. Unfortunately this is not the case with Rey. Low blockshedding, zone coverage and play rec doom the card. He’s got nice hit power  and tackling but what are you going to do with it if you can’t get close to the ball carrier? Pursuit’s also nice so he might be able to angle the RB out of bounds on a toss 20 yards down the field.

Rating: Strong sell

WR Davante Adams – 87 overall

You look at speed and height first when evaluating WRs. And Davante’s is 6’1 and 92. Both workable but of course not exceptional. Great acceleration but unfortunate route running and run block might doom the player. But 95 spec catch is interesting.

So he’s not a guy that can get separation for you with either his speed or route running. His release isn’t great but his catching in traffic is okay. I’m not feeling this card provides you with an edge in any one area you want it. Elusiveness, spin and juke aren’t anything to write home about.

Davante seems like a jack of all trades that can do most things except run block and run routes well. I would avoid this card.

Rating: Sell

ROLB Mike Neal – 86 overall

A 3-4 ROLB with 80 speed, 83 play rec, 88 blockshed and 70 zone coverage. 95 power move is not enough to justify a guy you can’t put at DT. Just brutal.

Rating: Strong Sell

CB Trae Waynes – 85 overall

95 speed – whoa, right now that’s tied for the 3rd fastest CB. And since EA is unable to balance speed with the other stats in game, high speed is always worth looking at as it can make up for a lot of other errors in the card. And trust me, this card has errors.

88 man coverage with 91 zone, I wish those were flipped. Blockshedding at 44 means he’ll get pancaked easily in the run game. Low tackle and hit power at 51 and 40, good luck against Walter Payton or worse, Bo. Not a nickel and not someone you should rely on stopping the run. Have a good safety next to him.

His play rec is 80 so don’t expect him to jump many routes when you’re sitting in zone coverage. But the catching in the 70’s means he’ll pick it enough that you won’t be cursing his name too often over drops.

But on the good side, again, SPEED, and his press is 90 with high man coverage style bonus you can boost that to 95 and his man coverage rating to 93. A solid man corner at that point at 6’0 means you can comfortably use him in that scheme but his 89 agility is a detriment.

I don’t know how to feel about this card. So many emotions like when I stare at a picture of thatdudesly. Might be decent at the right price.

Rating: Hold

HB – Chris Thompson – 84 overall

93 speed, 94 acceleration with 98 juke on 93 elusiveness. 88 catching. Those are his standout stats. He’ll be a great budget back to get the ball in the flats and have him do his thing, juking and jiving making defenders miss like my punches in a fight. Carrying is low so don’t let him take a hit stick from Sean Taylor but I like the budget speed/catching combo even though trucking is better than elusiveness this year.

Rating: Buy

LOLB: John Simon – 83 Overall

There are a lot of gold 3-4 OLBs that are budget beasts like this one. Unfortunately you can start only 1. Or 2, or 6 really. But is John Simon worth it over 84 Anthony Barr at 3-4 OLB? Possibly. He’s not as good of a user, but his blockshed and play rec is better. So you can user Barr at MLB and put Simon on his own out wide to shut down those faster HBs and QBs trying to scramble. Don’t rely on either in coverage, but both of them are beasts when attacking either the QB or HB.

But Johh Simon has entered Barr territory as the new gold standard at the position.

Rating: Strong buy

CB Antwon Blake – 83 overall

Talk about an undeserved card for the worst corner in the league as graded by Pro Football Focus. Has been an absolute train wreck in real life. But his mut card has 95 speed so we have to take a second glance at it. 91 man coverage but only 84 zone. He’s only 5’9 so it’ll be easy for him to be aggressively caught over. Block shedding is low but tackling and hit power are okay. He’ll be decent in a man coverage scheme for a budget team that doesn’t run press coverage. Play rec is also very low but if I were creating a budget team Antwon would get serious consideration if only for the speed. But his height means it’ll be hard for him to stop the opponent’s Vincent Jackson.

Rating: Hold

HB Knile Davis – 83 overall

95 speed used to be rare. Now they are giving to just about every gold card released it seems. But this card might take the cake as easily the best budget back card in the game. 95 speed, 95 acceleration, 92 trucking. Crazy stats for an 83. Knile Davis specializes in the most important stats for running in Madden. Carrying at 81 is dangerous but YOLO, don’t let him get tired and take hits like a boxer in the 12th and he’ll having you seeing painted grass. Get this card.

Rating: Strong Buy

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