Madden 17 Ultimate Team: Budget Defense

Do you want to make a great team on Madden Ultimate Team without spending hundreds of thousands of coins? Here is a budget defense that is as good as any other lineup.

by Remy Cabache

Madden NFL 17 is quite possibly the best Sports game on the market, and part of the reason why is its Ultimate Team mode. Ultimate Team is a main feature of all EA Sports game but Madden does it the best. It is the place football fans go in order to build a team that is completely their own. Unlike Connected Franchise, there is no cap space to worry about, no salaries and contracts to worry about and players aren’t owned by other teams who demand high trade prices. Any player you want you can get and that allows you to build a team filled with the best players available or all of your favourite players.

One thing does get in the way of that though: MUT Coins. Players obviously aren’t free, and the only way to guarantee you get the players you want is by buying them from the Auction House, which requires MUT Coins. Typically, the better the player the more expensive they are. Therefore, creating your Ultimate Team isn’t as simple as you may have hoped, especially if you’re low on Coins.

Well not to worry anymore as here is a defense that you can create for less than 85,000 Coins (7,084 average Coins per player) that will be plenty good enough.

I limited the lineup to 85,000 Coins and limited each position to 15,000 Coins and picked the player I feel best strikes a balance between price and skills and I only selected starters and no backups.

Prices are based on Xbox One averages at the time of writing (January 19th  2017) and change day to day so they are subject to change.

First off, here is a defense that fits the 4-3 scheme.

Left Defensive End:

Michael Bennett, 86 Overall, 4,100 Coins

Bennett is one of the most versatile 4-3 LE’s in this price range. Though he is not really a speed rusher, he is a very effective pass rusher and he is very solid against the run. He has 88 Strength, 92 Power Moves, 91 Block Shedding and 89 Tackle, which makes him good all round. He is able to beat tackles and pressure the QB or seal the edge to force a cutback or knife into the backfield to make a tackle for loss. At that price he is great value.

Defensive Tackle:

Kawaan Short, 87 Overall, 10,000 Coins

Short is a little more expensive than most of the players on this defense but he is worth it. Like Bennett he is very versatile. He is more than capable of pushing the pocket onto the QB’s lap or getting through it to pressure him thanks to his 91 Power Moves and 81 Finesse Moves and he is more than capable of making big plays in the run game with 85 Strength, 90 Block Shedding and 86 Pursuit.

Geno Atkins, 86 Overall, 8,000 Coins

Atkins is versatile but his pass rushing is his main attraction. He has 77 Speed which is very fast for a defensive tackle and is thus very quick of the ball. He also has 88 Play Recognition so is very quick to diagnose what the offense is rung and then has 92 Power Moves to rush through and hit the QB. He has 90 Block Shedding and 87 Strength, so as I said he is no slouch against the run either.

Right Defensive End:

Brandon Graham, 85 Overall, 3,000 Coins

Some of Graham’s ratings may not seem all that great but for the price he is more than good enough. He has 86 Tackle, 88 Pursuit, 91 Power Moves, 85 Finesse Moves and 79 Block Shedding. This means that he is a very good pass rusher and he can also do a pretty good job of setting the edge or preventing cutbacks in the run game.


Joe Haden, 88 Overall, 12,500 Coins

Again, Hade may seem pretty expensive but he is worth it. He has 88 Man Coverage, 87 Zone Coverage, 88 press Coverage and 92 Jumping. Not only does this mean that he can stay close to any receiver in the game in coverage, he can win jump balls even against taller receivers. What’s more, his high Press Coverage means he is very good at jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage and disrupting their timing with their QB.

Chris Harris Jr., 87 Overall, 6,300 Coins

At this price it would be stupid not to include one of the best all-round cover corners in the entire game. He has 92 Play Recognition so is very quick to diagnose whether he needs to stay in coverage or come down and defend the run and he has 91 Man Coverage and 90 Zone Coverage. Very few cornerbacks who have higher Overall ratings can boast cover skills like that.

Darius Slay, 85 Overall, 2,900

The coins you spent on Haden are saved here and it doesn’t even come as a downgrade. Though he is worse off in the Overall Rating column he is as good as the others in coverage but has a slight edge physically. He is the tallest and the fastest of these three corners at 6’1 and with 90 Speed and he has 89 Man Coverage and 88 Zone Coverage.

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Left Outside Linebacker:

Tahir Whitehead, 87 Overall, 10,000 Coins

Like a lot of the players on this defense, Whitehead is pretty good all-round and can do anything you would need an outside linebacker to do. With 84 Speed, 89 Jumping and 87 Acceleration he is one of the more athletic linebacker available and that means he is pretty good at covering from sideline to sideline. What’s more, he has 93 Tackle, 93 Pursuit, 84 Power Moves and 89 Block Shedding which makes him very good against the run and effective rushing the passer.

Middle Linebacker:

Derrick Johnson, 87 Overall, 7,500 Coins

Johnson is the perfect middle linebacker and for the price is a bargain. With 81 Speed he is by no means slow for a linebacker but to makes thing better he is very good against the run and the pass. Against the run his 84 Tackling, 92 Pursuit, 93 Play Recognition and 83 Block Shedding mean he is great at finding himself in the backfield or in the correct whole to stuff the run and his 78 Man Coverage and 85 Zone Coverage ratings make him one of the better cover linebackers in the Madden.

Right Outside Linebacker:

K. J. Wright, 89 Overall, 7,400 Coins

I was shocked to find that this version of Wright was so cheap when I was putting this team together and if he was 15,000 Coins I would have put him in the team. He is a great ROLB and can do everything. He has 83 Speed which is very good, 93 Tackling, 88 hit Power, 84 Power Moves, 89 Block Shedding, 90 Pursuit, 90 Play Recognition, 79 Man Coverage and 87 Zone Coverage. He is a great player and is great for this team.

Free Safety:

Tavon Wilson, 89 Overall, 7,000 Coins

This was another player that I was incredibly shocked would be so cheap. I was so surprised because he is very good in coverage but then is better against the run than most other free safeties. He has 88 Speed, 85 Tackling, 92 Pursuit, 91 Play Recognition, 77 Man Coverage, 87 Zone Coverage and 82 Press. He is another bargain.

Strong Safety:

Reshad Jones, 88 Overall, 8,000 Coins

Jones is virtually a linebacker that can cover and that makes him a very good strong safety. He has 87 Tackling, 89 Hit Power, 78 Block Shedding, 93 Pursuit, 90 Play Recognition, 73 Man Coverage, 86 Zone Coverage. He only has 84 Speed but the rest of his ratings kind of mask that as he still makes lots of plays all over the field.

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And here are some alternates if you prefer to run a 3-4 defensive scheme. The cornerbacks, safeties, defensive tackle and the number one middle linebacker can remain the same from the 4-3 scheme.

Left Defensive End:

Muhammad Wilkerson, 86 Overall, 4,400 Coins

Wilkerson is the type of player you would come out with if you were to create a perfect 3-4 defensive end. He has 91 Strength, 93 Tackling, 90 Power Moves, 92 Block Shedding, 88 Pursuit and 86 Play Recognition. His strength, block shedding and pursuit make him menace against the run. Against the pass he is more than capable of powering through and creating pressure for the QB.

Right Defensive End:

Jurrell Casey, 86 Overall, 3,500 Coins

Like Wilkerson, Casey is a great model for a 3-4 defensive end and also like Wilkerson he excels against the run and the pass. He has 89 Strength, 88 Tackle, 93 Power Moves, 81 Finesse Moves, 89 Block Shedding, 86 Pursuit and 85 Play Recognition.

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Left Outside Linebacker:

Khalil Mack, 87 Overall, 6,000 Coins

Mack is a physical beast and is great as a pass rusher, run defender and even in pass coverage if you need him to be. He has 84 Speed, 82 Strength, 86 Acceleration, 91 Jumping, 89 Tackling, 83 Hit Power, 93 Power Moves, 81 Finesse Moves, 88 Block Shedding, 87 Pursuit, 81 Play Recognition and 76 Zone Coverage. He is a monster and is a great addition to this team.

Middle Linebacker 2:

Brandon Marshall, 86 Overall, 3,500 Coins

Pairing Marshall with Derrick Johnson means your linebacker will not have any issue defending the run or the pass from sideline to sideline. Marshall has 82 Speed, 90 Tackling, 84 Block Shedding, 89 Pursuit, 89 Play Recognition, 71 Man Coverage and 80 Zone Coverage. This due will be able to do everything for this defense.

Right Outside Linebacker:

Terrell Suggs, 86 Overall, 3,900 Coins

Suggs isn’t the physical freak that Mack is but he is no less effective against the pass or the run. His 89 Strength, 90 Tackling, 88 Block Shedding, 92 Pursuit and 88 Play Recognition make him a very dangerous edge setter against the run and then his 91 Power Moves and 83 Finesse Moves make him a great edge rusher.

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That does it for the defense on our Budget Madden 17 Ultimate Team. What do you think of this lineup? Let us know in the comments!

Related Reading

Madden 17 Ultimate Team: Budget Offense and Special Teams

Madden 17 Ultimate Team: Team of the Week Set Guide

Madden 17 Ultimate Team: NFL Playoffs Set Guide

Madden 17: Best Ultimate Team Packs on a Budget

Remy Cabache