With Madden 20 being released in just a few weeks, the football video game empire announced the four members of its highly-exclusive “99 Club,” reserved for the top-tier of elite players that have earned a 99-overall rating. This year, those members include DeAndre Hopkins, Bobby Wagner, Aaron Donald, and Khalil Mack.
Hopkins is the lone offensive member while the three superstar defenders will be terrific anchors to any Madden defense. All four of these NFL superstars are going to be lethal in Madden 20. Of course, this begs the question, which 99 Club member should you start your Madden franchise with?
MLB Bobby Wagner – Seattle Seahawks
While he may not be a big, flashy name like his fellow 99 Club members, Bobby Wagner could be the smartest option of the bunch. He leads all Madden players with a 99 rating for tackling and pursuit as well as a 98 hit power rating. You can expect Wagner to force a ton of fumbles.
He’s not all about bringing the lumber, though. The 29-year-old linebacker has some really strong Superstar X-Factors, including “Tackle Supreme” (less likely to get faked out) and “Enforcer” (guaranteeing a tackle when he lands a hit stick). What makes him so well-rounded is the “Shutdown” X-Factor, meaning he is elite in coverage and forces interceptions. Wagner might be the most complete defender in Madden 20.
DE Aaron Donald – Los Angeles Rams
Then again, maybe you want the scariest defender in the league on your team. Who could blame you? I mean, the guy trains with people trying to stab him. Aaron Donald is a flat-out menace to opposing offenses, leading the NFL with an insane 20.5 sacks last season. He’s earned 99-overall ratings for strength and power moves, a 98 in pursuit, 97 in block shedding, and 96 in finesse moves; all of those are the best (or tied) in the game.
If you want to build your defense around the pass-rush, Donald is the easy answer. The 28-year-old defensive end will shred through offensive linemen and wreck the opposing quarterback with X-Factors such as “Under Pressure” and “Pass Rush Elite.” Finally, he’s a “Fearmonger,” meaning that he can pull down the quarterback even while engaged with a blocker. He’s going to be an absolute bulldozer as expected.
OLB Khalil Mack – Chicago Bears
Speaking of terrifying freaks of nature, Khalil Mack isn’t far behind Donald in terms of sheer dominance. In his first game as a Chicago Bear last season, he put on an absolute clinic against the division-rival Green Bay Packers. He was the only player last season to record at least 10 sacks, one interception, and five forced fumbles and he only played 14 games. His 97 rating in power moves, 95 pursuit, and 94 tackle are going to make him an absolute force.
Mack has a few lethal X-Factors, including “Unstoppable Force,” “Edge Threat,” and “Reach Elite.” These will allow him to break through the line much faster, dominant offensive linemen off the edge, and make tackles while engaged by blockers. Simply put, the 28-year-old star is going to be a nightmare.
WR DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans
Finally, my personal pick to start a Madden franchise with, superstar receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Again, he’s the only offensive player to reach 99-overall status and it’s well deserved. He went off for over 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, flashing his freakish athleticism nearly every play. Hopkins earned 99 ratings for catching, jumping, catch in traffic, spectacular catch, and release; he’s going to be a cheat code in Madden 20.
As if his slew of 99-overall abilities weren’t enough, Hopkins’ X-Factors are going to make him nearly unstoppable. He’ll dominate corner routes with “Corner Specialist,” bully opposing defensive backs in the end zone with “Red Zone Specialist,” and force mismatches in single coverage with “Double Me.” Even if you’re using a punter under center, Hopkins is going to get things done for your offense.