Madden 20: New Orleans Saints Franchise Mode trade targets, draft needs & roster moves to win the Super Bowl
The NFC South is incredibly competitive. Even with a good roster you’ll need to improve.
The Saints have been under .500 for their lifetime for a long time and long were the laughing stock of the league.
They have turned this around for the last 13 years under Sean Payton, with seven trips to the playoffs, including a famous Super Bowl victory in 2009.
Now its exactly a decade on from that fantastic victory – what do you have to do to get back to the promised land?
The Saints are very talented at 83 OVR. They have a high powered offense at 85 OVR, and a solid defense on 81 OVR.
The Saints team is stacked, with no less than four X-Factor Superstars. Leading the way is WR Michael Thomas (93 OVR) and throwing to him QB Drew Brees (92 OVR). Others include HB Alvin Kamara (90 OVR) and LE Cameron Jordan (91 OVR).
Other notable talent on offense includes Superstar LT Terron Armstead (88 OVR) and RT Ryan Ramczyk (86 OVR). They also have versatile QB Taysom Hill (56 OVR) who has his own set of formations in the playbook.
READ MORE: How to scramble with your QB
Their defense is just as talented. Superstar CB Marshon Lattimore (87 OVR) has taken the league by storm, and opposite him is CB Patrick Robinson (82 OVR). Steadying the middle is DT Sheldon Rankins (83 OVR) and FS Marcus Williams (83 OVR).
So where, if anywhere, can you improve this team to fight for a Lombardi trophy?
The big problems you should be looking to address are focused around all the left guard and left outside linebacker.
The Saints have one of the few rosters in the NFL that has great players at most starting positions. but that gets expensive.
With this in mind, whilst some may argue center is a bigger weakness, I would focus on replacing LG Andrus Peat (72 OVR, 76 run block, 71 pass block).
He has a cap hit of $9.63m which makes him the 4th most expensive player on the team – well beyond most of your Superstars. Cut him now.
READ MORE: MUT Team of the Week 14 Predictions
Likewise, the same principle applies on defense. MLB is a need, but Alex Anzalone (74 OVR, 88 acceleration, 74 zone cover) is only 24 and has the opportunity to be a scheme fit and build some XP.
Focus instead on LOLB AJ Klein (72 OVR, 83 speed, 61 zone cover). His stats are going to leave him exposed but his $7m salary is also going to leave you open.
Get these players traded or cut, free up some cap and get spending.
In Madden 20, OL being a position of need isn’t a new thing, so expect competition for targets. The LOLB position leaves things a little more open to getting some interesting talent, without breaking the bank.
READ MORE: How to improve your running game
Quenton Nelson, Left Guard (87 OVR)
Best Stats: Strength (97), Impact Block (92), Lead Block (88), Run Block (86), Pass Block (84), Awareness (82)
When the Colts took Nelson 6th overall in 2018 they thought they were getting a very good player but didn’t realize they would get a rookie Pro Bowler.
READ MORE: How to Block Properly
Imagine being 23 years old and one of the strongest (97) at your position. His impact block (92) is scary good already, with lead block (88) not far behind. Both run block (86) and pass block (84) are rare for the position, but at 23 he is going to dominant for your whole Madden experience.
Anthony Barr, Left Outside Linebacker (82 OVR)
Best Stats: Play Recognition (88), Acceleration (88), Speed (87), Hit Power (86), Tackle (86), Awareness (85), Pursuit (85), Zone Cover (71)
Another 1st rounder but in 2014, Barr has quietly gone about some very good business. In this position for the Saints, you want a good pass coverage guy and Barr is the best.
Whilst it looks low, zone cover (71) is great for the position. And Barr is such a good all-rounder. From tackling (85) and pursuit (85) to hit power (86) he is going to get around the field and make plays consistently.
Free Agent Targets
These guys won’t cost you draft picks, but you’ll need some cap space to sign them.
Brandon Fusco, Right Guard (73 OVR)
Best Stats: Strength (89), Lead Block (81), Impact Block (80), Awareness (78), Run Block (76), Pass Block (74)
I’m not here to tell you that Fusco is going to revolutionize your offense. But he is technically better than Peat, oh and he will save you about $7m a year you can spend elsewhere. Flip him over to left guard and you won’t lose any stats.
READ MORE: How to protect your QB in Madden 20
Good strength (89) fundamentally underpins this solid player. Lead block (81) and run block (76) is going to help spring Kamara for those big runs. Pass block (74) is better than that of Peat, who he would replace.
Nick Perry, Right Outside Linebacker (80 OVR)
Best Stats: Acceleration (87), Hit Power (86), Pursuit (86), Speed (85), Block Shed (83), Play Rec (82), Strength (82), Tackle (81)
Not the best player at the position, and not necessarily the best fit, but with a complete lack of depth in the NFL at this position – beggars can’t be choosers. Snap up Perry, and move him to LOLB to be an instant starter.
With fair acceleration (87) and speed (85), he won’t be a liability at the position. And with hit power (86) and tackle (81), I would expect him to be a solid run defender for the team.
The draft should be about looking ahead and therefore you should definitely look to replace Drew Brees (92 OVR) who is 41 years old next year and could well retire after your first season. Equally, P Thomas Morstead (84 OVR) can be replaced in the later rounds.
After that look to fill those tricky OLB slots with some better depth and then add pieces where you can. Depth in the secondary is always vital as you will be playing a lot of 5 DB formations. Meanwhile, a second high-end receiver alongside Thomas would be good.
READ MORE: How to break tackles in Madden 20
Nailing the draft can be a big ask, as players rarely fit needly into their expected stat ranges and the AI can snipe your targets from you. Don’t fear, we have all the tips & tricks for you to master drafting in Franchise Mode here.