Madden 20 Ultimate Team: TOTY prediction (MUT Team of the Year) – Michael Thomas, Christian McCaffrey, Chandler Jones

The best of the best in MUT. Who did enough in the regular season to earn a TOTY spot?

by Remy Cabache

The NFL playoffs are here, the All-Pro teams have been announced, and there are no more TOTW sets to come in MUT. That can only mean one thing.

It’s time to look back at everything that has been to decide which players are in a position to make the Madden Ultimate Team Team of the Year.

The 2019 NFL season has seen so many storylines develop throughout, be it the passing of the torch from the old generation of ‘pocket passers’ to the new age of mobile QBs, or the toppling of records that once seemed untouchable. Many players have reasons to think they deserve a spot in the MUT TOTY, but who is going to make it?

Here are our picks to make the prestigious squad.

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*Choices have been made based on a combination of the player’s performance, MUT cards they already have, and MUT cards they are in position to get.*

Quarterback: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

DEALING: Wilson has been red hot in 2019

It’s hard not to put Lamar Jackson in this spot, but with Jackson likely to receive an MVP card, like Pat Mahomes last year, I think another QB will take his place in the TOTY, and that is Russell Wilson.

The Seahawks passer has turned in yet another elite season, with a squad many believed wouldn’t be challenging for the number one seed in the NFC. He is right on pace with his very best years in the NFL and for a long stretch of the season seemed to be the unquestioned MVP.

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With 3,877 yards, 32 total touchdowns (29 passing, three rushing), and only five interceptions, Wilson has been at a TOTY level all year.

Running Back: Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers; Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

Not much has to be said about Christian McCaffrey. As a runner or a pass catcher he is among the best in the league. The once-thought-to-be ‘undersized’ runner has 1,361 rush yards with 14 touchdowns, and 933 yards and four touchdowns on 109 catches. He has been the entire Panthers offense.

Chubb, meanwhile, as blossomed as comfortably the most reliable (and arguably best) offensive weapon on a stacked but horribly underwhelming Browns team. He leads the league in rushing in just his second season, with 1,453 yards, and has added eight touchdowns.

Full Back: Patrick Ricard, Baltimore Ravens

IRONMAN: Ricard has starred for the Ravens in two positions

Pat Ricard may not fill up the stat sheet, but his role in the Ravens’ offense is huge and will get the recognition. Kyle Juszczyk may feel hard done by, but Ricard has opened up lanes for the best rushing offense in the NFL, while contributing key catches (and tackles as a DT) along the way.

Wide Receiver: Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints; Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions

145 catches. With one game left. Do I need to say more than that about Michael Thomas? He is going to smash the single season receptions record and have had one of the finest receiving seasons in NFL history.

Chris Godwin took a huge step this season, leapfrogging Mike Evans as the Buccaneers most dependable receiver. Not only that, Godwin has shown many times he is just as capable of the spectacular. He has racked up 86 catches for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns.

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Golladay may have been playing on a losing team, but he has quietly put together a great season. Going from Matthew Stafford to Jeff Driskel to David Blough does a receiver no favors, but Golladay has still made 62 catches, at 18 yards per catch, for 1,118 yards and a league leading 11 touchdowns.

Tight End: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

MONSTER: Kelce is one of the best pass catchers in the NFL

Kelce is one of several players to make history this season, and in doing so helped put himself atop a very talented group of tight ends.

The Kansas City Chiefs star is having one of the better receiving seasons among all pass catches, let alone tight ends. He is fourth in the NFL in receiving yards, with 1,205, and has reeled in 94 catches and five touchdowns. He also has a rushing touchdown for good measure.

Left Tackle: Ronnie Stanley, Baltimore Ravens

Ronnie Stanley is the best pass-blocking tackle in the NFL, per PFF. Through Week 15 he hadn’t allowed a single sack and had only allowed six pressures in 412 pass-blocking snaps. To help matters he is one piece in the league’s most dominant offense. That should be enough for a TOTY nod.

Left Guard: Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts

BRICK WALL: Nelson smothers everyone he faces

Nelson was here last year, and he should be this year. By PFF grade, he is the only offensive lineman in the NFL to be his team’s most valuable player. What’s more, he has graded higher than he did last year. He is comfortably the best LG in the NFL at this point.

Center: Frank Ragnow, Detroit Lions

Given the Lions’ lack of success this year, this may be surprising, but Ragnow has been excellent this year after moving to center, coming out as the second highest graded center in the NFL.

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He has been a bright spot on a very disappointing Lions team.

Right Guard: Brandon Brooks, Philadelphia Eagles

FOLLOW ME: Brooks has sprung up lineman rankings this season

With RGs like Marshal Yanda and Zack Martin still dominating, it’s hard to see someone else in this spot, but through Week 15 Brooks has been the best lineman in the entire NFL. He is the highest graded run blocker among interior offensive lineman and second highest in the NFL, he has been immense. 

Right Tackle: Ryan Ramczyk, New Orleans Saints

The Saints are in play to be the number one seed in the NFC despite missing Drew Brees for a large portion of the season, and that is thanks to their offensive line. Particularly Ryan Ramczyk.

The third year RT is enjoying his best season and is the second highest graded tackle in the NFL. What’s most impressive, though, is the Saints average an incredible 6.5 yards per carry when running his way. That should be enough to earn a TOTY spot. 

Defensive End: Cameron Jordan, New Orleans; Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings; Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers

EDGE: Jordan has done it all defensively for the Saints

Cameron Jordan has been the steadiest member of the Saints’ defense for years now, and this year was a continuation of that. He has 14.5 sacks on the year and has registered at least one QB hit in all but three games, with two or more QB hits in seven of his 15.

Danielle Hunter is on a record setting pace for career sacks, becoming the youngest player to ever reach 50 sacks. In 15 games this year he has 14.5 sacks with three forced fumbles and 22 QB hits.

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With the added bonus of one-upping his brother, Bosa is enjoying yet another disruptive season against the run and the pass. He has 11.5 sacks, with 29 QB hits, and has added 18 tackles for loss.

Defensive Tackle: Arik Armstead, San Francisco 49ers; Jordan Phillips, Buffalo Bills

The 49ers were perhaps not expected to be quite as good as they have been, and their defense is the biggest reason why. Particularly their defensive line, on which Armstead has been a monster. From the interior he has notched 10 sacks, almost doubling his career total, along with 17 QB hits and 11 tackles for loss.

Another team which has surprised many is the Buffalo Bills, whose defense also took a big step forward. Phillips has been a key part of the Bills’ defensive line rotation and has been one of the best pass rushers from the DT position in the NFL with nine and half sacks.

Left Outside Linebacker: T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers

HAVOC: Watt has wrecked offnses all year

T.J. Watt is not only TOTY worthy, he is well in the argument for Defensive Player of the Year. The Steelers defense flipped a switch this season and became one of the most physical units in the NFL. Watt leads the way making plays in every way. He has two interceptions, seven forced fumbles, with four recoveries, 14 sacks, 34 QB hits, and 14 tackles for loss.

Middle Linebacker: Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks; Demario Davis, New Orleans Saints

It is impossible to keep Bobby Wagner off the TOTY year upon year. He is too good. He is the Seahawks defense leader and heart, and makes incredible plays all over the field. Wagner is leading the NFL in total tackles, with 154, has three sacks, an interception and six passes defensed.

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Demario Davis was a playmaker for the New York Jets and was a great free agency signing for the New Orleans Saints. Other than Cam Jordan, Davis is the emotional heart of that defense. He may only have 109 total tackles, but 86 of them are solo tackles, sixth in the NFL and ahead of Wagner. He also has four sacks and 12 passes defensed – the most PDs among LBs.

Right Outside Linebacker: Chandler Jones, Arizona Cardinals

HISTORY: Jones is on the verge of history this week

If there was one player in the NFL who is not getting the attention they deserve for the season they’re having, it’s Chandler Jones. The Cardinals outside backer has a league leading 19(!) sacks, putting him one big game away from the single season sack record. If that isn’t enough to earn a TOTY spot, I don’t know what is.

Cornerback: Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots; Logan Ryan, Tennessee Titans; Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills

Stephon Gilmore is the best CB in football. End of. He has been immense this season, leading the league in passes defensed (19) and interceptions (six), while scoring more touchdowns (two) than he has allowed (one).

Logan Ryan is also enjoying a great season as one of the most versatile cornerbacks in the NFL. He is right on Gilmore’s tail with 18 passes defensed, adding four interceptions of his own, and leading all CBs in tackles with 109. He also has three and a half sacks and four forced fumbles.

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Tre’Davious White has been a top CB since entering the NFL. The Bills’ star is tied with Gilmore with six interceptions, and has defensed just two fewer passes (17). He has been locking down number one receivers all year and is in the conversation of being a top five NFL CB.

Free Safety: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh Steelers

Since his trade to the Steelers, Fitzpatrick has been a game wrecker. He has five interceptions on the season, one of which he returned for a touchdown, along with two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He has been a huge part of the Steelers’ defensive turnaround.

Strong Safety: Jamal Adams, New York Jets

LEADER: Adams is the heart and soul of the Jets’ defense

Adams is another repeat member of the TOTY. He may have been on a very underwhelming Jets team, and missed some time due to injuries, but when he has been on the field he has been dynamite.

He is the Jets leader and their best player. In 13 games this season he has allowed just 57% of passes thrown his way to be completed, with one interception, at 8.4 yards per completion. He has also added 72 tackles with only three missed tackles, a four percent miss rate, and has six and a half sacks with two forced fumbles. Add on two touchdowns, too.

Kick Returner: Jamal Agnew, Detroit Lions

SPECIALIST: Agnew is the only NFL player to have both a punt and kickoff return touchdown

Given the Lions’ season it may be surprising to see three of them on the TOTY, but individuals have shone for the Michigan team. Agnew is one of them. He is the only player in the NFL with both a punt return for a touchdown and a kickoff return for a touchdown.

Kicker: Josh Lambo, Jacksonville Jaguars

Josh Lambo has been automatic this year. There are kickers who have made more kicks, just, made more clutch kicks, or been on better teams, but Lambo is atop the NFL in field goal percentage and tied fourth in field goals made. Between extra points and field goals, he has missed just two of 48 kicks.

Punter: Tress Way, Washington Redskins

Fresh off a contract extension, Tress Way is set to receive a TOTY card, too. For a punter to shine, it can help if the team struggles, and Way has benefitted from that. He is fourth in the NFL in Net average yards (43.8) and first in average yards (49.2), he has also landed 29 punts inside the 20 and kicked just three touchbacks.

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Remy Cabache

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