I've been planning/playing the new Salary Cap mode for a few days now and it's amazing. I love the complex roster decisions that each player has to make to get the best performance for their scheme on the field. Here are a few tips that might not be immediately obvious to the average user:
1. Plan your roster before you buy anything
This is probably the most obvious tip, but it's easy to rush into things and end up having to backtrack. You can use our Team Builder to add and remove players and see where your team falls in terms of its total Salary Cap. Feel free to post lineups in this section to get feedback from me and other knowledgable Mutheads. When you're happy, go buy the players you don't already have in your binder. This should save you a few coins or the trouble of reselling players.
2. Know the lowest Salary Cap value options at every position
You're not going to use every position equally. Some of the required positions or even your flex players might never see the field. Don't waste any more Salary Cap on them than you have to. This is where you can turn to our database. Use the Salary Cap filters or click the "Salary" column to sort by it and then the position filters to narrow down the pool. Here's an example of all the WRs and TEs between 5 and 20 cap value sorted by Salary Cap:
Keep in mind, the cheapest option at a position might not be that natural position. For example, if you don't use WR4 in your offensive scheme, you want to put the cheapest possible player there and it's not going to be a WR. The cheapest WR is Jordan Norwood and others at 11 while the cheapest TE is Jon Condo and others at 8. Since you can use a TE at WR, you just saved yourself 3 Salary Cap points.
3. Know your scheme
This might be another obvious one, but if you run purely 34 on defense, don't spend any Salary Cap points on a second DT. Fatigue has been turned down quite a bit for the new mode so you don't need to worry about backups as much as in standard MUT. If you don't ever run Quarters or a defense that requires a backup SS, don't spend any more Salary Cap points than are necessary at that position. Refer to the previous tip for finding the best options to fill these slots.
4. Formation substitutions can save you valuable Salary Cap points
While Salary Cap lineups have strict roster rules when in the team builder, you can use in-game formation substitutions the same way as in standard MUT. Use RB/R1 to shift players around at the play-call screen for certain formations. Here's an example of this: I run the Patriots defense which has 34 and 43 formations. I mostly stick to 34 so I spent more heavily on my LBs than my DL. When I'm in a rare 43 formation, I formation sub my MLB2 to ROLB, my ROLB to RE, and my RE to DT2. I'm going to take a slight penalty for playing guys out of position, but I'm saving Salary Cap points by not having to spend on an additional DT.
This is just one example. Don't be afraid to shift players around to better fit your scheme. It's insanely helpful given how limited your roster is.
5. Out of Position MLB Antonio Gates
Antonio Gates is the hero of Salary Cap and so good that he is his own tip. You need this player item. MLB Antonio Gates kept his TE ratings and can be formation subbed to TE from the play-call screen. This allows you to get a run block-focused TE1 and put the cheapest possible player at TE2 that most of you will never use. Sub Gates in on offense for obvious passing sets. You won't be disappointed. Here's a sample from a game earlier:
Gates comes in at a 42 cap hit, but really, that's a steal. He's a true two-way player. With the reduced fatigue and his 90 stamina, you can get away with playing him quite a bit. A huge thanks to Zan for recommending Gates to me!
6. Think about who you plan to user, don't overpay for this player
If you're the kind of person that tends to always user the same player on defense like I am, you can get away with a budget beast here. Since you don't need ratings like awareness, play recognition, and coverage attributes, you can target guys that are athletic freaks that normally aren't viable. Believe it or not, I've been usering Nate Askew. He has a Salary Cap value of 7 and you can get him for 25 coins from the Items section of the Store.
Now you might not way to scale it back that much, but keep in mind you don't need a lot of the ratings for a user-controlled player that will boost up a Salary Cap value. Only pay for the ratings you need and be mindful of all of your options.
7. Matchups are more important now than ever before
One of the first things I did when building my lineup was make sure I had a true burner at WR. I found that in Speed Edition Calvin Johnson. He comes in at 46 Salary Cap and is 6'5" with 98 SPD. I'm not looking for him to Moss anyone (although he will sometimes), but he's the guy I use to exploit mismatches. One of the guys I played today had no one in his secondary faster than 92 SPD. I scored a pair of easy TDs just throwing it over the top. All he had to do was make the catch in the open field and leave the defense in the dust. The pre-snap Coach Stick can be really helpful in determining where you have a huge speed mismatch for easy TDs.
Obviously this applies to much more than WR/DB speed mismatches. Take a minute to see what kind of roster your opponent is rolling with. Did he stack his secondary leaving his DL vulnerable? If so, don't be afraid to tweak your gameplan to exploit that possible mismatch. Run the rock up the middle and take every yard you can get. Just being mindful of the personnel on the field at any time can create a lot of opportunities for you.
This isn't a complete list by any means. If you have more to add to it, just leave a reply and I'll update this thread giving you credit. Good luck in MUT Salary Cap!
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Founder/Developer/Community Manager -- www.muthead.com | EA Sports Game Changer | 1-900-Who-Want-It-I-Deliver
UL set players in general are really great. You can choose ones that cater to the need (rookie for a well rounded one, speed version for specific spots and user, strength version for guys along the lines), plus they come with a low cap hit and they'll have all the good traits you get from the full version. Rookie version of Herman Moore is only 32, Rod Woodson only 18, etc.