1. What team as a whole has made themselves a better Madden team this offseason?
Dustin: It's hard to argue against the likes of the San Francisco 49ers. With the additions of Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, AJ Jenkins and LaMichael James, this offense will be a force. Frank Gore has already established himself as a Madden runner who doesn't know how to hit the ground, so with four new weapons around him the Niners might find more success. James is my favorite piece here, because his ability in the screen game and the flats will be an online exploit in itself with that offensive line.
TD: The New York Jets. While the jury is still out on his real-life counterpart, Tim Tebow in Madden has always been a force to reckon with. Prepare to see a good amount of online teams employ a two-headed quarterback attack with Mark Sanchez taking snaps on passing downs and Tebow doing his thing in short-yardage/goal-line situations. Rookie WR Stephen Hill could also be the most explosive offensive rookie in Madden 13.
2. Which rookie will most likely be the one everyone trades for (realism set aside)?
TD: RG3 without question. Skillset aside, he's the most flashy and marketable rookie of this class, meaning he'll be heavily sought after by the large contingent of casual gamers.
Dustin: TD is right, this one place will freeze over if RG3 isn't the most popular rookie. But I'll drop another name into the mix: LaMichael James. James already had a huge following prior to the draft, and now that he's in Madden with his speed and flashy foot skills, looks for him to be taking hand offs from the No. 1 overall pick wherever they may be traded to.
Cam Newton has many old stick skills vets wrapped around his finger in a way only Mike Vick could.
3. Who will be used online the most: Redskins, Eagles or Panthers?
TD: Before I make my decision, let's break these down into three categories that I think matters most to online gamers.
1. Panthers (Cam Newton)
2. Eagles (Michael Vick)
3. Redskins (Robert Griffin III)
Panthers win this category because Cam Newton simply has the best arm strength/speed combo. He's also bigger than both Mike Vick and RG3 making him more dangerous in the run game.
1. Eagles (D-Jax, McCoy, DRC)
2. Panthers (Steve Smith, DeAngelo Williams, Jon Beason)
3. Redskins (Santana Moss, Pierre Garcon, DeAngelo Hall)
With speedsters like DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin on the outside and the shifty Shady McCoy in the backfield, the Eagles' assets in skilled positions still reign supreme. Take into account DRC and Nnamdi on the defensive end and they might as well be the most talented Madden team for another year running.
1. Panthers (#TeamCam)
2. Redskins (#RG3Fever)
3. Eagles (One year later, #NotSoDreamy)
This is based on the team that has the most buzz by the time Madden 13 drops. We're still months away, but right now I'll have my money on SuperCam and friends. Cam might not have won the Madden cover tourney, but his CAMpaign certainly endeared him to Madden gamers. #Fact
Overall, the Panthers should be the most used online team in Madden 13, followed by the Birds and the RG3-led Redskins not too far behind.
Dustin: Umm, yeah. I think TD covered all the bases plus some here. But my money is on the Eagles.
4. Which first round pick will have the smallest impact on its Madden roster?
TD: Justin Blackmon. While Blackmon promises to be a great young receiver, he doesn't exactly have blazing speed and at only 6-foot-1, he won't be able to exploit smaller cornerbacks in the game. Couple those gameplay disadvantages with Blaine Gabbert's ineffectiveness at QB and you have yourself a No. 5 overall draft pick who doesn't project a ton of impact for the Jaguars in Madden 13.
Dustin: The obvious choice has to be [insert defensive player here], but from an offensive stand point I would have to say San Francisco's A.J. Jenkins. It's no knock on Jenkins, but with Crabtree, Manningham and even Moss on the depth chart, it'll be hard to move up and see the field.
5. Does Andrew Luck make the Colts better than the Broncos?
Dustin: To be honest, I think both teams will have a lower-end team rating in Madden 13. Obviously the comparisons will run rampant between Denver and Indy, but in the end doesn't Denver get the edge? They have Peyton Manning, the best player on both teams combined, a unappreciated defense (Blame Tebow) and Ryan Clady, one of the best left tackles in the game. Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne and Dwight Freeney can't match up with any of this. Sorry Indy fans, you're going to be staring up at the Titans, possibly even the Jaguars, all season long.
TD: Not sure if Luck makes the Colts better, but he certainly makes them trendier in my mind. Luck is the fresher choice, and given what else the Colts have done this offseason (selecting the two top tight ends and re-signing Reggie Wayne), Luck has a pretty solid supporting cast for gamers to utilize. As they always say, passing tight ends are a rookie quarterback's Madden gamer's best friend.