I love Madden Ultimate, lots of people love Madden Ultimate Team, and that can likely be accredited to a number of reasons. Perhaps the most prominent reason is the fact that you get to build what is in your mind the best or football team possible, or if nothing else your favorite team. If you are going for the best team possible, which players should you choose?
In this article I will break down the top 10 running backs the game has to offer in the Gold (70-84 Overall) and Elite (85+ Overall) tiers. I will only be using players that can be bought from the Auction House and the ranking is initially based on their Overall Rating and in cases of ties decided by my preference.
10. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans – 83 Overall
This ‘Base Set Edition’ of Lamar Miller is a pretty good all-round back. He has 88 Speed (SPD), 64 Strength (STR), 91 Agility (AGI), 89 Acceleration (ACC), 84 Stamina (STA) and 88 Jumping (JMP) so is a big play waiting to happen. He then has 73 Trucking (TRK), 89 Elusiveness (ELU), 91 Ball Carrier Vision (BCV), 78 Stiff Arm (SFA), 86 Spin Move (SPM), 89 Juke Move (JKM) and 86 Carrying (CAR), making him brilliant in the open field. He isn’t a great receiver, though he is serviceable and is good in pass protection. He has 67 Catching (CTH) and 68 Route Running (RTE) but 70 Pass Blocking (PBK) so is a good 3rd Down back. He’ll only cost you around 1700 Coins.
9. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins – 83 Overall
This ‘Thanksgiving: 2012’ version of Morris, celebrating his Thanksgiving Day performance in 2012, is one of the best Gold power backs available. He has 87 SPD, 84 STR, 83 AGI, 87 ACC, 89 STA and 86 JMP so physically he ticks all of the boxes. He then has 90 TRK, 77 ELU, 88 BCV, 90 SFA, 89 SPM, 79 JKM and 93 CAR. As you can see he’ll be excellent in short yardage and goal-line situation. He isn’t a very good receiver though, so you’ll likely need a receiving back to go with him. He has 64 CTH, 58 RTE and 63 PBK. He’s going to coast around 6000 Coins.
8. Isiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns – 83 Overall
This ‘Football Outsiders edition’ of Isiah Crowell kind of combines the previous two players. He has 86 SPD, 77 STR, 90 AGI, 91 ACC, 83 AWR, 88 JMP and 84 STA so though he may be the slowest, he gets there very quickly so can till create big plays. As far has his skills, he has 89 TRK, 76 ELU, 90 BCV, 84 SFA, 87 SPM, 87 JKM and 87 CAR so he can make people miss or go through them. He is the worst receiver/3rd down back of the three so far. He has just 61 CTH, 65 RTE and 52 PBK. He’ll cost around 2300 Coins.
7. DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers – 84 Overall
This ‘BCA Offense Edition’ of DeAngelo Williams is the king of making people miss. He has 87 SPD, 68 STR, 89 AGI, 89 ACC, 87 STA, 75 JMP, 67 TRK, 90 ELU, 92 BCV, 72 SFA, 90 SPM, 91 JKM, 90 CAR, 70 RTE and 76 PBK. So while he isn’t the fastest or most powerful, he is a very reliable ball carrier who can get big plays thanks to his ability to make people miss. Furthermore, he is a very good 3rd down back. He will only cost you around 1600 Coins.
6. Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears – 84 Overall
This ‘Football Outsiders Edition’ of Jordan Howard came after his stellar Week 5 performance that saw him excel around the board, and this card reflects that. He has 87 SPD, 73 STR, 88 AGI, 88 ACC, 86 JMP, 84 STA, 91 TRK, 79 ELU, 88 BCV, 83 SFA, 86 SPM, 86 JKM, 91 CAR, 68 CTH, 66 RTE and 66 PBK. HE can run with power or make people miss and is reliable and durable. You could do with a slightly better 3rd down back though. He’ll cost around 3000 Coins.
5. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals – 84 Overall
Another all-rounder from the ‘Football Outsiders’ Program. This version of Jeremy Hill has 88 SPD, 80 STR, 86 AGI, 90 ACC, 80 JMP and 83 STA, meaning he is physically all there and able to do a lot. His skills are equally as impressive. He has 89 TRK, 83 ELU, 89 BCV, 90 SFA, 86 SPM, 84 JKM, 85 CAR, 68 CTH and 72 PBK. So, like Jordan Howard, can run with power or make people miss. The difference between him and Howard is his pass protection. Hill is a better 3rd down back and will only cost around 2000 Coins.
4. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans – 84 Overall
This ‘TOTW Edition’ Derrick Henry is a physical specimen. Bearing in mind he is 6ft 3in, 247lbs, he has 88 SPD, 85 STR, 85 AGI, 91 ACC, 89 JMP and 88 STA, putting him among the upper-echelon of running backs. His skills are impressive too. He has 92 TRK, 79 ELU, 91 BCV, 90 SFAA, 80 SPM, 85 JKM and 89 CAR. He is very, very hard to tackle. He isn’t a very good 3rd down back though, he has 60 CTH, 63 RTE and 64 PBK. He is also going to cost around 7500 Coins.
3. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons – 84 Overall
This ‘Base Edition’ of Devonta Freeman is the slipperiest of all of these Gold RB’s. He has 89 SPD, 65 STR, 91 AGI, 88 ACC, 86 AWR, 86 JMP, 84 STA, 76 TRK, 90 ELU, 90 BCV, 71 SFA, 88 SPM, 89 JKM and 86 CAR. He will speed and glide through defenses. He is also the best receiving back on this list with 72 CTH and 68 RTE, but his 53 PBK does slightly dampen his effectiveness on 3rd down and other passing downs. He’ll cost you around 2000 Coins.
2. Tony Dorsett, Dallas Cowboys – 84 Overall
This version of Tony Dorsett is one of the ‘Legends Trainer Editions’ for the 93 Overall ‘Legends Edition’ of Tony Dorsett. He has 88 SPD, 62 STR, 91 AGI, 89 ACC, 83 JMP and 93 STA, making him one of the most physically talented Gold running backs. He has 82 TRK, 86 ELU, 94 BCV, 71 SFA, 85 SPM, 86 JKM and 92 CAR. Overall he is very reliable and pretty versatile. But he isn’t a great 3rd down back, he only has 69 CTH, 66 RTE and 58 PBK. He will however cost you around 5600 Coins.
1. LaGarrette Blount, New England Patriots – 84 Overall
This ‘Most Feared Edition’ of LaGarrette Blount is the ultimate Gold power back. He has 85 SPD, 88 STR, 82 AGI, 90 ACC, 93 JMP, 86 STA, 94 TRK, 76 ELU, 91 BCV, 94 SFA, 89 SPM, 82 JKM, 93 CAR, 60 CTH, 59 RTE and 64 PBK. So, though he isn’t the fastest or best 3rd down back, his STR, TRK and SFA make him o difficult to tackle and his is so, so effective at the goal-line and in short yardage situations. That power will cost you around 3400 Coins.
10. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears – 90 Overall
This ‘Flashback Edition’ of Forte harkens back to 2010 season with the Bears, and celebrates his Week 5 game of that season. He has 87 SPD, 77 STR, 89 AGI, 90 ACC, 81 JMP, 94 STA, 83 TRK, 88 ELU, 91 BCV, 85 SFA, 88 SPM, 87 JKM and 92 CAR. He may not be a true burner he is good in every area. What sets him apart is his receiving ability. He has 76 CTH, 84 RTE, 82 Catch in Traffic (CIT) and 79 Spectacular Catch (SPC). His PBK is only 64 though. To get him you’re going to need between 80,000 and 120,000 Coins.
9. Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers – 90 Overall
One of the Offensive Hero’s from the ‘TOTW Program’, this version of Melvin Gordon is incredibly good. He has 91 SPD, 76 STR, 92 AGI, 90 ACC, 87 JMP, 90 STA, 82 TRK, 92 ELU, 91 BCV, 86 SFA, 93 SPM, 93 JKM, 89 CAR, 70 CTH, 64 RTE and 52 PBK. HE can be a power back, a speed back, make people miss and he is a pretty good pass catcher. He is going to cost around 114,000 Coins.
8. Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins – 90 Overall
Another one of MUT’s weekly Programs, the ‘Football Outsiders Program’, produces another great running back. This version of Jay Ajayi has 90 SPD, 75 STR, 89 AGI, 90 ACC, 88 JMP, 88 STA, 83 TRK, 90 ELU, 90 BCV, 91 SFA, 92 SPM, 90 JKM and 90 CAR. What sets him apart from Gordon is his effectiveness on 3rd down. He has 70 CTH, 71 RTE and 74 PBK. He is the first truly complete RB on this list. That’s going to cost you around 117,000 Coins, though.
7. Ricky Williams, New Orleans Saints – 91 Overall
The first real power back in the Elite’s comes from the ‘Legends Program’. This version of Ricky Williams is a beast. He has 90 SPD, 79 STR, 87 AGI, 89 ACC, 85 JMP and 91 STA, making him a homerun threat on every play whilst also being able to be on the field for a lot of plays. To assist that, he has 92 TRK, 90 ELU, 89 BCV, 93 SFA, 91 SPM, 88 JKM and 87 CAR. He’s good as a receiver too he has 73 CTH and 73 RTE. He’s also fairly cheap for what you get, he is 89,000 Coins.
6. Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys – 91 Overall
Another ‘Legends Program’ in Emmitt Smith that mirrors most of the above players by being able to do it all. He has 87 SPD, 84 STR, 89 AGI, 90 ACC, 79 JMP, 89 STA, 91 TRK, 87 ELU, 93 BCV, 91 SFA, 89 SPM, 84 JKM, 91 CAR, 71 CTH, 74 RTE and 70 PBK. Not only is he very versatile, he only costs around 68,000 Coins.
5. Ezekiel Elliot, Dallas Cowboys – 91 Overall
It seemed almost inevitable after the first few weeks of the season that it would be just a matter of weeks until Elliot was one of the better players in the game. This ‘Football Outsiders’ Ezekiel Elliot has 92 SPD, 80 STR, 92 AGI, 91 ACC, 84 JMP, 91 STA, 79 TRK, 90 ELU, 93 BCV, 87 SFA, 87 SPM, 90 JKM, 91 CAR, 71 CTH, 72 RTE, 72 CIT, 70 SPC and 76 PBK. He is good at everything and great at a few things. But he is going to cost around 630,000 Coins.
4. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions – 91 Overall
This ‘Thanksgiving Edition’ of Reggie Bush honours the game he had on Thanksgiving day in 2013 against the Packers, in which he had 182 yards (117 rushing, 65 receiving) and a touchdown on 25 touches. As a result, this card is pretty damaging. He has 92 SPD, 69 STR, 92 AGI, 93 ACC, 91 JMP, 88 STA, 71 TRK, 93 ELU, 88 BCV, 72 SFA, 94 SPM, 92 JKM, 87 CAR, 77 CTH, 85 RTE, 86 CIT, 88 SPC and 50 PBK. I’m lucky enough to have gotten Bush from a Thanksgiving Pack and I have to say that he is incredibly good as a third down back, but I don’t like him as an every down back, he doesn’t have the power that I like to use. But if you need a receiving back, he is pretty much as good as you can ask for. He will lost around 115,000 Coins.
3. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans – 92 Overall
This ‘TOTW Edition’ of DeMarco Murray is one of the few running backs who can play every down very well. He has 90 SPD, 84 STR, 89 AGI, 92 ACC, 87 JMP, 88 STA, 90 TRK, 86 ELU, 87 BCV, 90 SFA, 86 SPM, 86 JKM, 91 CAR, 72 CTH, 78 RTE, 82 CIT, 79 SPC and 66 PBK. I use the 89 Overall ‘Flashbacks Edition’ of DeMarco Murray so if that version of him is as good as it is I can only imagine how effective this version is. He is going to cost you around 395,000 Coins though.
2. Tony Dorsett, Dallas Cowboys – 93 Overall
One of the ‘Trainer’ Versions of this card is in the Gold category and now it is time for the proper version of it. This version of Dorsett is a nightmare in the open-field. He has 91 SPD, 63 STR, 94 AGI, 92 ACC, 85 JMP, 93 STA, 82 TRK, 90 ELU, 94 BCV, 71 SFA, 90 SPM, 92 JKM, 92 CAR, 78 CTH, 81 RTE, 74 CIT, 72 SPC and 64 PBK. He, unlike Reggie Bush, can function as an every down back as well as being a great 3rd down back. He will cost around 170,000 Coins though.
1. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers – 95 Overall
The king of them all. So much so that there is actually a 94 Overall edition of this card (that you need to have to get this version). The 94 Overall version can be bought for around 470,000 Coins or by completing the Man of the Month: November Set. To earn this version of him you will need to add the 94 Overall version and 12 Rushing Milestone Collectibles to a Set, or you can buy him but I’ll reveal the price later.
As far as his ratings are concerned, he has 91 SPD, 77 STR, 94 AGI, 91 ACC, 89 JMP, 95 STA, 86 TRK, 93 ELU, 90 BCV, 88 SFA, 90 SPM, 93 JKM, 94 CAR, 73 CTH, 73 RTE, 76 CIT, 70 SPC and 77 PBK. He is so, so good on every down, even if his ratings in some areas seem a little low. If you want to avoid completing the sets, which takes a lot of time/Coins/money, he is going to cost you around 700,000 Coins. Yes, you read that right, 700,000.
If you’re looking at the Gold running backs, I recommend you target Jeremy Hill. He, in my opinion, the most complete. You don’t need to worry about finding another running back to split carries depending on the situation, he’s as fast as any Gold running back, he can run with power or he will make people miss. Plus, he only costs around 2000 Coins.
For the Elites, it is hard to ignore Le’Veon Bell. He is so good and is tied as the best player in all of MUT 17. But to get him is very hard work. So I would instead recommend going after DeMarco Murray or Ricky Williams (Williams price makes him impossible to ignore). They offer the same versatility for a much lower price.
Who is your favorite running back to use in MUT 17? Let us know in the comments!