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The information below will give you the basics of the SportSims fantasy football simulation game. Knowing these strategies will give you the edge over your competition in league play.
  • SportSims Pro Football 101
  • Team Ratings
  • Player Ratings
  • Quarterback Ratings
  • Running Back Ratings
  • Wide Receiver Ratings
  • Tight End Ratings
  • Offensive Line Ratings
  • Defensive Line Ratings
  • Linebacker Ratings
  • Defensive Back Ratings
  • Kicker Ratings
  • Punter Ratings
  • Kick Returner Ratings
  • Punt Returner Ratings
  • How To Build a Team
  • Offering Trades
  • How To Approach the SimDraft
  • When To Rebuild?
  • How To Maintain a Team
  • Training Camp Strategy
  • The GamePlan - Stripped Down
  • Offense - Running Backs
  • Offense - Intended Receiver
  • Offensive Formations Explained
  • Offensive Formations - Who plays in each?
  • What % To Run the Ball?
  • Offense - Misdirection
  • Offense - Run Play Type
  • Offense - Run Direction
  • Offense - Pass Play Type
  • Offense - QB Dropback Type
  • Offense - Pass Pattern Type
  • Offense - Pass Direction
  • Defense - Defense Key On
  • Defense - Defense Double Team
  • Defensive Formations Explained
  • Defensive Formations - Who plays in each?
  • Defense - What % To Play the Run?
  • Defense - Run Defense
  • Defense - Pass Defense
  • Defense - Alignment
  • Defense - Pursuit
  • Defense - Defensive Strength
  • Defense - Pass Coverage
  • Defense - Zone Coverage Type
  • Defense - Receiver Coverage
  • Most Importantly...



  • SportSims Pro Football 101

      This Strategies section will give you all the information and the tools to successfully build your football dynasty at SportSims.net. And even though it is a game, there are no shortcuts to success. You’re playing against other people, so there is no artificial intelligence to trick when playing the game. Each football player has a rating on a scale of 1 to 100 based on their ability and each of them is based on historical professional football players. The strategy? In a nutshell, select the style of football you want your team to play and consistently build on that framework.

    Insider Tip: The ‘Plays Similar To’ reference shows me who the player is based on.

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    Team Ratings

      Overall how good your Team Ratings are depend on your player's Current Ratings. It is a good judge on how you match-up versus the other teams in your league.

    You can use the Run and Passing ratings to see how you will match-up versus your next opponent (NOTE: Make sure you double check that the rating is not lower than it should be due to an injury as by the time you play the game that player should be replaced.)

    The Overall Rating can be used to see what you can expect out of your team for the seaon. While this can vary from league to league, in general the following holds true:

    < 80 - sub .500 team
    80-85 - .500 team
    86-89 - chance at a Wild Card
    90-94 - Playoff team
    95+ - SimBowl Contender

    Insider Tip: The table above can really be affected by the weighted schedule. If you have 87 team playing a 1st place schedule, you can count on missing the playoffs.
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    Player Ratings

      Current Rating describes a player’s current overall talent on a scale from 1 to 100. In general, a 95 is star-caliber, a 90 is a good starter, an 85 is a solid starter and an 80 is an average starter. Anything below 80 is a quality back-up. Potential Rating is the highest rating the player may achieve on a scale from 1 to 100. For a player to reach his potential, you need to invest Training Camp REPS and playing time. If a player does not have the opportunity to develop, he will retire young. Experience is a numerical representation of how much the player has played, either in games as a starter or back-up, or in practice. Durability is how resilient a player is against injury – higher is better; 75 is average. Leadership is a numerical reflection of the player’s ability to lead his team. A high leadership rating for your starters can help your team to play better than its talent would dictate.

    Insider Tips: Leadership can lower the number of penalties your team commits.

    The Outside numbers (CUR/POT) are his athletic ability and football IQ. This allows him to be IN POSITION to make a play.

    The Inside numbers (Player Info Ratings) are his football SKILLS and allows him to MAKE THE PLAY.

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    Quarterback Ratings

      The single most important rating for QBs is Accuracy: the QB’s completion percentage and interception rating. Deep Pass is the QB’s ability to throw downfield. Pass Endurance is a rating based on the number of pass attempts per game that the QB can handle. This rating is very important if you plan to throw a lot; if you’re a running team, this rating can be lower. Also very important for 2-minute drives in the 4th quarter, high Pass Endurance coupled with high Leadership yields a QB that will win you games when it counts. Pocket Awareness is a reflection of how many times the QB may get sacked. A high Pocket Awareness will reduce the number of times your QB gets sacked. After all, pass protection starts with the QB.
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    Running Back Ratings

      Running Ability reflects the yards per carry a RB will produce which is the single most important rating for this position. Run Endurance depicts how many carries per game a player can handle. This rating is very important for running teams because if your RB runs out of carries, you will struggle to run in the 4th quarter. Breakaway is how adept the RB is at long runs. Couple this with Run Endurance and you have a playmaker at RB. Blocking is, well, blocking and is very important for FBs in the “I” formation. Fumble Prevention is the RBs ability to hold onto the ball. A higher rating lowers the chance for a fumble.
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    Wide Receiver Ratings

      Catching is the receiver’s ability to catch the ball. A high rating enables the receiver to catch a lot of balls and make the tough receptions. Deep Threat is the receiver’s ability to get downfield. A high Deep Threat is a reflection of the receiver’s ability to make the big play, either by catching the ball downfield or on yards after the catch. Blocking is blocking. Fumble Prevention is the receiver’s ability to hold onto the ball. The higher the rating, the lower the chance of a fumble.
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    Tight End Ratings

      Catching is the TE’s ability to catch the ball. A high rating enables the player to catch a lot of balls and make the tough receptions. Deep Threat is the TE’s ability to get downfield. A high Deep Threat is a reflection of his ability to make the big play, either by catching the ball downfield or on yards after the catch. Blocking is blocking and is very important for a TE on running teams. Fumble Prevention is the player’s ability to hold onto the ball. The higher the rating, the lower the chance of a fumble.
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    Offensive Line Ratings

      Run Blocking is a reflection of how the lineman blocks on running plays. Pass Blocking is a reflection of how the lineman blocks on passing plays.
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    Defensive Line Ratings

      Run Defense is the player’s ability to stop the run. Pass Rush illustrates the player’s ability to sack the QB.
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    Linebacker Ratings

      Run Defense is the player’s ability to stop the run. Pass Coverage is the LB’s ability to cover receivers. Blitzing illustrates the player’s ability to sack the QB.

    Insider Tip: If I want to Blitz, I need LBs that have high Blitz ratings. I play mine at the outside spots.

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    Defensive Back Ratings

      Run Defense is the player’s ability to stop the run. Pass Coverage is the DB’s ability to cover receivers. Interception Rating gives an indication of how many interceptions the player may get. Blitzing illustrates the player’s ability to sack the QB.
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    Kicker Ratings

      Accuracy is the kicker’s ability to convert field goals. Leg Strength is his ability to hit long field goals.
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    Punter Ratings

      Accuracy is the punter’s ability to place punts inside the 20-yd line. Leg Strength is his ability to hit long punts.
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    Kick Returner Ratings

      Kick Return is a reflection of the average of return kickoff yardage. Breakaway is the ability to have long returns, including touchdowns.
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    Punt Returner Ratings

      Punt Return is a reflection of the average of returned punts. Breakaway is the ability to have long returns, including touchdowns.
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    How To Build a Team

      First, determine what type or style of football team you want to build. Many successful real-life coaches use the 8-Star System or the Inside-Out Strategy to build their dynasties. The principle of the 8-Star System is that you choose which 4 offensive and 4 defensive positions are most important to your game plan, then draft star quality talent (95 or better overall rating) in those positions. The rest of your roster is supported by solid talent (75-90 rating). The principle of the Inside-Out Strategy is that you build your team from the middle out – all positions at the center of the line, both offense and defense, are star quality talent. Both styles could be combined, or you can come up with your own variation.

    Insider Tip: I use the following as my 8 stars: QB, HB, LT, RT, RE, NT, MLB, and SS. Then I try to make the rest of my starters 90s.

    Ask yourself what style of offense you will run and what four key players you will need to run it. Following is a list our five offensive GamePlan templates with suggested star positions and the type of player best suited for that style.

    Ball Control: Requires:
    QB – Accuracy: 95+, Pass Endurance: 100
    HB – Run Endurance: 100
    LT – Run Blocking: 90+
    RT – Run Blocking: 90+

    Run Heavy: Requires:
    HB – Running Ability: 90+, Run Endurance: 95+
    LT – Run Blocking: 90+
    C – Run Blocking: 90+
    RT – Run Blocking: 90+

    Run & Shoot: Requires:
    QB – Accuracy: 100, Pass Endurance: 100
    SE – Catching: 90+, Deep Threat: 70+
    FL – Catching: 90+, Deep Threat: 70+
    LT – Pass Blocking: 90+

    St. Louis: Requires:
    QB – Accuracy: 95+, Pass Endurance: 100, Pocket Awareness: 90+
    HB – Running Ability: 100, Breakaway: 90+
    SE – Catching: 80+, Deep Threat: 80
    LT – Pass Blocking: 90+

    West Coast: Requires:
    QB – Accuracy: 100, Pass Endurance: 100, Pocket Awareness: 90+
    SE – Catching: 90+, Deep Threat: 80+
    TE – Catching: 80+, Deep Threat: 70+
    LT – Pass Blocking: 90+

    Then ask the same question for the style of defense you will run. Following is a list of four defensive GamePlan templates choices with suggested star positions and the type of player best suited for that style.

    3-4: Requires:
    NT – Run Defense: 95+
    WLB – Blitzing: 100
    MLB – Run Defense: 95+
    SLB – Blitzing: 100

    4-3: Requires:
    RE – Run Defense: 95+, Pass Rush: 90+
    NT – Run Defense: 95+, Pass Rush: 90+
    MLB – Run Defense: 95+
    SS – Run Defense: 95+, Pass Coverage: 95+

    4-6: Requires:
    RE – Run Defense: 95+, Pass Rush: 90+
    NT – Run Defense: 95+, Pass Rush: 90+
    WLB – Run Defense: 95+, Blitzing: 80+
    MLB – Run Defense: 95+

    Cover 2: Requires:
    RE – Run Defense: 95+, Pass Rush: 90+
    NT – Run Defense: 95+, Pass Rush: 90+
    WLB – Run Defense: 95+, Blitzing: 90+
    SS – Run Defense: 95+, Pass Coverage: 95+

    Next, take an honest assessment of your team’s roster. Do you have the players to match the style of team you wish to build? If not, consider trading with other team owners for players that do fit your style by trading away those that don’t. Or do you have ‘extra’ players on your roster? Maybe players with excellent potential or inside numbers that won’t be starting for you? Create trades using these players to get the players you need.

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    Offering Trades

      Don’t be timid about making trade offers. Whatever combination of picks and players you can think of, you can do. The best opportunity to get your trade accepted is to use the Trade Value as a guide to make the trade offer fair...especially since you are making trades with other people just like you. It’s not necessary to make an offer exactly equal, but a significant difference in Trade Value will decrease your chance of an accepted trade. The Trade Values of players and picks are displayed on the Make a Trade page so you can easily build a balanced trade. Trade Values are created based on both the age and rating of players and pro football’s formula for draft pick values. Trades can always be Accepted, Declined or a Counteroffer created. (Or you can Withdraw any trade you have offered.)

    If your trade is declined, don’t be offended. There could be any number of reasons for it. Start a dialogue on SimSpeak at any time during the trade process to determine what your potential trading partner(s) may be most interested in. You can also view another team’s roster to see what players they may need and compare it with what you have to offer them. It takes two to trade, so stick with it!

    Insider Tip: The key is finding what the other guy wants.

    You may also offer selected players league-wide using the Trade Block feature on the Trade Roster. If you are rebuilding your team or you just want to trade away a single player, the most efficient way to propose a trade for your current players is to make them available to the entire league. All teams in the league will receive notification that selected players from your roster are up for trade. You will then receive trade offers from team owners who are interested in your players.

    How do you determine whether you should accept or decline a trade offer presented to you? First and foremost, does it make your team better? Being overly concerned about what it does for the other person takes your focus away from your own team. Don’t worry about how good it makes them, worry about how good it will make you. You can always create a counteroffer if the trade isn’t appealing to you. Replace what you don’t like with something of equal Trade Value or if necessary, even out an unbalanced trade offer.

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    How To Approach the SimDraft

      The initial question to ask when looking toward the SimDraft is “Do I keep my draft picks or trade them away for players or future picks?” Assess your team. Are you in a rebuilding phase where young rookies will start and build experience? In that case, you may choose to keep your draft and draft new talent. Are you contending for a SimBowl where you need to trade for older, more experienced players? Then trade your picks to other teams for players in positions you need to win this season.

    Sometimes during the SimDraft you are confronted with the choice to draft the best player available or draft a player you need. The key is balance; championship teams must have balance. If you have a weak position, that should be your draft priority. Once your team is complete and has balance, you can enhance your team with improvements to any position by drafting the best player available.

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    When To Rebuild?

      To determine when it may be necessary to rebuild your team, ask yourself, “Am I a playoff-caliber team and can I compete against the best teams in my conference?” or “Am I too old?” The age of the players on your team as well as their durability will impact their health and whether they will make it through the season without injury.

    Insider Tip: Typically, a team’s championship window will span 8-12 seasons.

    When rebuilding your team, you can expect it to take 3-5 seasons. Over that period of time, there are several things you will want to do. First trade away your players over a certain age (normally 5 years) that won’t start for you when your rebuild is complete. Also, trade away every player you can for draft picks or a player you need that is 3 years or less. Future draft picks (beyond your current season’s draft) are great because you can stretch your rebuild over two or three drafts. You’ll want to be sure to trade away as much talent as you can at one time so your team is weakened to the point where you’ll secure the top draft slots the following season.

    Once you acquire draft picks and young players, how do you build your team over 3-5 seasons? Focus on getting your eight star players as determined by the style of football you choose to run. Do whatever it takes to get them. Once you have all of your 8 stars, and then focus on drafting the rest of your starters. No matter how tempting, don’t draft a 90+ backup if you haven’t secured your starters.
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    How To Maintain a Team

      Season after season, you will want to make sure that you continue to trade players you don’t need, won’t start for you, or don’t fit your system to other owners who can use them. Replace any players you can improve on, either in the SimDraft or by trading with other owners. When a player gets injured with a Major injury or worse, place that player on IR (Injured Reserve) to help them heal faster (regain Durability and restore their rating). If you have a player retire, revisit whether or not it’s one of your 8-stars and replace accordingly.

    Insider Tip: Place ALL players you can on IR. It is the key to having a long career.
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    Training Camp Strategy

      Each position has a maximum number of "Reps" avalable, no matter how many players you have in the position. So, how do you split them up and get the maximum benefit? First, the more Reps you place on a player, the higher their current ratings and durability ratings will increase. Typically, the rating and durability each increase by 5 at 100 reps. This increase is smaller the closer the player gets to 100. You're trying to find the balance between training your starters, avoiding injury in camp and training-up your rookies. Second, who do you train... your rookies or your veterans? There's no easy answer here. Evaluate your roster - who are your key players? It will depend on what positions are crucial to you based on what game plan you select and which coaching philosophy you choose.

    Insider Tip: Give 100 reps to every key player you can.
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    The GamePlan - Stripped Down

      Now that you’ve set up your roster, next you’ll tackle your GamePlan. It’s crucial that your GamePlan matches the talent on your team. If you’re new to SportSims.net, we recommend starting with a GamePlan template. Once you have some experience with the game, we encourage you to adjust and customize your GamePlan. To help you recognize what players are best suited for each style of play, see the player information sections above. For additional tips while creating your GamePlan, click on the speech bubble question marks located in each headline on the GamePlan page.
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    Offense - Running Backs

      The Ball Carrier (HB, FB, or QB) is the player designated to carry the ball. A critical player rating is Run Endurance because it dictates how many carries the ball carrier can handle per game. As a coach, determine how much you plan on running the ball, then check the chart on the Ball Carrier GamePlan Hints speech bubble to set how many carries your backs can handle. Figure the percentages, up to 75%, for each of your ball carriers. For example: if you want to run 30 times per game, 75% of 30 is 23 so you need a RB with at least a 90 endurance. Click here to see the Running Back Carries chart.


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    Offense - Intended Receiver

      Catching ability is one of the most important ratings for your receivers. In addition to having better overall hands, receivers with a 100 catch rating have a far better chance to make a clutch catch in the 4th quarter than a player with a 50 catch rating, mainly because of the fatigue factor. Overall, a player with a high Catching ability will be able to catch more passes, so your WR must have a high Catching rating if you choose to pass a lot.

    Customizing your passing percentages for passes to your receivers is determined by how you choose to run your offense. Your SE and FL run the outside routes and complete the big plays. If you want to concentrate on big plays/big yardage but lower completion percentages, split your intended receiver percentages primarily on your SE and FL. If you choose to center on easier completions, short yardage passes that yield higher completion percentages, put your intended receiver percentages primarily on the remaining receivers/backs.

    Insider Tip: I get a bit of both worlds by having SEs and FLs with a high Catching rating. Or I can maximize my big plays by having SEs and FLs with high Deep Threat.

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    Offensive Formations Explained

      The Pro Formation (aka Split Backs) is a formation that has the FB and HB split evenly behind the QB which is very balanced between rushing and passing. The “I” Formation sets the RBs in a line behind the QB and is the formation to choose if you’re a run-oriented team. If using the “I”, be sure to find a blocking FB with a 100+ blocking rating to support your HB. The Run-and-Shoot is a basic four-receiver formation is great for passing teams. The 1-Back (aka Ace) Formation is a power formation with two TEs on the line and one RB in the backfield is balanced between passing and rushing. If you have a better second TE than second RB use this formation; otherwise, if your second RB is better, use the Pro Formation. The 3-Wide Receiver set is a passing formation that gives the QB more options to throw to and more receivers for the defense to cover. Your talent should dictate which passing offense you choose – 3-WR or Run-and-Shoot. If your TE is better than your WR4, use the 3-WR formation; conversely if your WR4 is better than your TE, choose the Run-and-Shoot.
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    Offensive Formations - Who plays in each?

      I Form - QB1, HB1, FB1, SE, FL, TE1, LT, LG, C, RG, RT

    Pro Set - QB1, HB1, FB1, SE, FL, TE1, LT, LG, C, RG, RT

    Run & Shoot - QB1, HB1, SE, FL, WR3, WR4, LT, LG, C, RG, RT

    One Back - QB1, HB1, SE, FL, TE1, TE2, LT, LG, C, RG, RT

    3 Wide - QB1, HB1, SE, FL, WR3, TE1, LT, LG, C, RG, RT

    Short Yardage - QB1, HB1, FB1, SE, TE1, TE2, LT, LG, C, RG, RT
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    What % To Run the Ball?

      How much you run the ball on any given down and distance is completely at your discretion based on your personal football philosophy. The only caution here is to be sure that your starters can withstand the number of passing and rushing attempts you place on them. If your starters can’t handle it or on the other hand aren’t being utilized enough, adjust the percentages down or up.

    Insider Tip: First down plays will account for approximately 1/3 of my total plays, so it will have the most impact.

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    Offense - Misdirection

      Misdirection is faking the direction of a run play by adding a false step in the opposite direction of the designated hole. If you have a player with a high breakaway rating, you may want to run more countermoves. The disadvantage to a high countermove percentage is that you will suffer more runs for loss.

    Countermove:
    1. Increases chance for breakaway
    2. Increases chance for run for loss

    No countermove:
    1. Decreases chance for breakaway
    2. Decreases chance for run for loss

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    Offense - Run Play Type

      You can select between five running play types: Draw, Dive and Trap (inside running plays) and Slant and Sweep (outside running plays). The Draw Play is designed to make the defense think that a pass is coming. The Dive Play is designed for the ball carrier to rush through one of the gaps in the center of the line. The Trap Play is a run where a defender on the line of scrimmage is trap blocked by an OL and the ball carrier will run inside the trap block.

    Inside Running Plays:
    1. Decreases chance for breakaway run
    2. Decreases chance for run for loss

    The Slant Play (or Off-Tackle Play) is a play where the RB runs behind or just to the outside of either the LT or the RT. The Sweep Play is designed for the ball carrier to run the ball to the outside.

    Outside running plays:
    1. Increases chance for breakaway run
    2. Increases chance of a run for loss

    Your player’s skills affect the success of the running play you choose. Place your best OL in the positions where you will be running. (View the chart by clicking the speech bubble on the GamePlan Hint.) Match up your Run Play Type with your RBs. For example, give your breakaway RB outside runs and give your power backs inside runs.

    Insider Tip: I don’t rely on one Run Play Type too much because the defense can see and predict what I’m doing.

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    Offense - Run Direction

      Run direction is similar to Run Play Type. Choosing your run direction to the short side or wide side of the field affects breakaway and run for loss.

    Short side:
    1. Decreases the chance for breakaway run
    2. Decreases the chance for run for loss

    Wide side:
    1. Increases the chance for breakaway run
    2. Increases the chance for run for loss

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    Offense - Pass Play Type

      Your choice of passing length (Short, Medium, or Long) is rooted in your personal core football philosophy. Do you want a short, controlled, high percentage passing game or a vertical, big play, deep passing game? The higher your QBs’ Deep Pass rating, the better he will be at throwing medium and long passes. The higher your WRs’ Deep Threat rating, the better he will be at catching medium and long passes.
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    Offense - QB Dropback Type

      When throwing the football, quarterbacks use the Straight, Play Action or Rollout setup techniques.

    Straight:
    1. Normal chance for big plays
    2. Normal chance for sacks

    Play Action:
    1. Increases chance for big plays
    2. Increases chance for sacks

    Rollout:
    1. Decreases chance of sacks
    2. Decreases QB accuracy

    Insider Tip: If I have a QB with a high Pocket Awareness and/or a great offensive line, then I can add more Play Action to create more big plays.

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    Offense - Pass Pattern Type

      The Pass Pattern Type is the number of moves in a passing route in reaction to the defense’s coverage. There can be One-, Two- or Three-Move Pass Patterns.

    One-move:
    1. Decreases chance of sacks
    2. Decreases chance of big plays

    Two-move:
    1. Normal chance of sacks
    2. Normal chance of big plays

    Three-move:
    1. Increases chance of sacks
    2. Increases chance of big plays

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    Offense - Pass Direction

      Pass Direction indicates where the pass play will be executed, depending on the location of the football at the start of the play in relation to the hash marks.

    Wide Side:
    1. Decreases completion percentage
    2. Increases chance for a big play
    3. Increases chance for interception

    Middle:
    1. Increases completion percentage
    2. Increases chance for interception
    3. Normal chance for a big play

    Short Side:
    1. Increases completion percentage
    2. Decreases chance for a big play
    3. Decreases chance for interception

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    Defense - Defense Key On

      As the title suggests, you determine who you anticipate will be the ball carrier and key on that player. You stop your opponent by essentially taking away their best player. Keep in mind that while focusing on one player, you may give up a big play to one of the other players.
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    Defense - Defense Double Team

      Since you’re using two defensive pass coverage players to cover one receiver you’re eliminating one of your opponent’s passing routes and potentially their best player. Keep in mind that while focusing on one player, you may give up a big play to one of the other players.
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    Defensive Formations Explained

      The 3-4 formation features three DL and four LBs and gives the defense an advantage by using the LBs to pursue the ball carrier. It is the best formation to blitz out of and the 3-4 is strong against the outside run, but weak against the inside run.

    The 4-3 formation features four DL and three LBs and puts more pressure on the offense bringing four players on the rush. The most balanced defense, the 4-3 is good against the run.

    The 5-2 formation utilizes five DLs on the line of scrimmage and is very strong against the run and very weak against the pass.

    The Nickel formation brings in an extra DB and is strong against the pass, matching up especially well against the 3-WR formation. The Nickel formation, however, is weak against the run.

    The Dime formation brings in two DBs leaving only one LB. Although it is weak against the run, the Dime formation is strong against the pass and matches up well against the Run-and-Shoot formation.
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    Defensive Formations - Who plays in each?

      3-4 - RE-NT-LE-WLB-MLB-LILB-SLB-WCB-FS-SS-SCB

    4-3 - RE-NT-LDT-LE-WLB-MLB-SLB-WCB-FS-SS-SCB

    5-2 - RE-DL5-NT-LDT-LE-MLB-LILB-WCB-FS-SS-SCB

    Short Yardage - RE-DL5-DL6-NT-LDT-LE-WLB-MLB-SLB-WCB-SS

    Nickel - RE-NT-LE-WLB-MLB-SLB-WCB-FS-SS-5¢-SCB

    Dime - RE-NT-LE-WLB-SLB-WCB-FS-SS-5¢-10¢-SCB
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    Defense - What % To Play the Run?

      Whether you want to play to stop the run or play to stop the pass is completely based on your personal football philosophy. You can establish your defensive strategy and keep it the same throughout the season, or before each game you may scout your opponent and tweak your defensive strategy… it’s up to you.

    Insider Tip: I use the Play-by-Play to scout my opponent’s offense.

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    Defense - Run Defense

      Run Defense allows you to set how much you “sellout” to stop the run when you call a run defense above. Selecting Run will allow you to contain your opponent’s ability to run the ball by attacking their running game. If you choose Neutral run defense, you adopt a “bend but don’t break” philosophy.
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    Defense - Pass Defense

      Pass Defense allows you to set how much you “sellout” to stop the pass when you call a pass defense above. If you think your opponent will pass but you’re not sure, a Neutral Pass Defense is your selection. If you choose Pass, you adopt a “bend but don’t break” scheme. Selecting Blitz allows your defense to attack the pass.
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    Defense - Alignment

      Alignment describes the positioning of the DL in relation to the OL. Tight alignment (1-Gap scheme) is strong against the inside power runs but weak against breakaway outside runs and passing teams. Spread alignment (1-Gap scheme) is strong against breakaway outside runs and passing teams, but weak against power runs. Head Up alignment (2-Gap scheme) is good for tying up the OL allowing the LBs to make plays. There is no real strength or weakness for this alignment; it is a “bend but don’t break” scheme and should be the default for the 3-4 defensive formation.
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    Defense - Pursuit

      There are three options in pursuit, or the speed at which the defense reacts to the direction of the play: Quick, Slow, and Medium.

    Quick pursuit:
    1. Strong attack against power runners
    2. Weak against breakaway runs

    Slow pursuit:
    1. Strong against breakaway runs
    2. Weak against inside runs

    Medium pursuit:
    1. No strengths or weaknesses – a “bend but don’t break” scheme

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    Defense - Defensive Strength

      Defensive strength, or the mental anticipation of the offensive point of attack, can be set to wide, middle, short or neutral.

    Defensive Strength against the run –

    Wide:
    1. Decreases the chance of a breakaway run against wide side runs
    2. Weak against inside runs
    3. Weak against short side runs.

    Middle:
    1. Increases the chance for zero or negative yards against inside runs
    2. Weak against wide side runs
    3. Weak against short side runs

    Short:
    1. Increases chance for zero or negative yards against short side runs
    2. Weak against inside runs
    3. Weak against wide side runs

    Neutral:
    1. No strength or weakness – it’s a “bend but don’t break” style

    Defensive Strength against the pass –

    Wide:
    1. Decreases completion percentage
    2. Increases interception percentage
    3. Decreases the chance for big plays

    Middle:
    1. Increases the interception percentage against passes over the middle
    2. Decreases the completion percentage when throwing over the middle

    Short:
    1. Decreases the completion percentage
    2. Neutralizes the offense’s advantage when throwing to the short side

    Neutral:
    1. No strength or weakness – it’s a “bend but don’t break” style

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    Defense - Pass Coverage

      There are two defensive options in covering the pass: Zone and Man-to-Man. Zone is a “bend but don’t break” style coverage that keeps everything in front of the Secondary.

    Zone:
    1. Strong against long passes
    2. Strong against medium passes
    3. Weak against the short pass

    Insider Tip: I can get away with less talent in my Secondary with Zone coverage.

    Man-to-Man coverage is an attack style coverage that increases the chance of big plays for both offense and defense.

    Man-to-Man:
    1. Strong against the short pass
    2. Weak against medium pass
    3. Weak against long passes

    While the Blitzer and Double coverage can adjust this, in general the offensive players are covered by following defensive player:

    4-3
    HB - SLB
    SB - WLB
    SE - WCB
    TE - SS
    FL - SCB

    3-4
    HB - RILB
    SB - WLB
    SE - WCB
    TE - SLB
    FL - SCB

    5-2
    HB - LILB
    SB - RILB
    SE - WCB
    TE - SS
    FL - SCB

    NICKLE
    HB - SLB
    SB - WLB
    SE - WCB
    TE - NICKLE
    FL - SCB

    DIME
    HB - SLB
    SB - WLB
    SE - WCB
    TE - NICKLE
    FL - SCB


    Insider Tip: To use Man-to-Man, I’ve got to have talented cornerbacks (WCB & SCB).

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    Defense - Zone Coverage Type

      When employing Zone Coverage, you can focus your depth of coverage Short, Medium, or Long.

    Short: Makes up for the weaknesses of Zone coverage

    Medium: Enhance strength of Zone coverage

    Long: “Bend but don’t break” style that enhances a strength of Zone coverage

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    Defense - Receiver Coverage

      When you call Man-to-Man, you can choose to have your defense cover the intended receiver Tight, Medium, or Loose.

    Tight:
    1. Increases the chance of sacking the QB
    2. Increases the chance of interception
    3. Increases the defense’s chance to give up a big play

    Medium:
    1. “Bend but don’t break” style – no advantage or disadvantage

    Loose:
    1. Decreases the opportunity to get sacks
    2. Decreases the defense’s chance to give up a big play

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    Most Importantly...

      Rome Wasn't Built In a Day and neither are football dynasties. Remember that when you rebuild your team it may take several seasons before you’re ready to contend for a title. That’s okay. Stay focused. Patience is a virtue and the payoff just may be SimBowl titles!

    This detailed Strategy Guide was created to help you build the style of team you choose. The rest is up to you! It's your game... live it.
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