Unfamiliar with the SAP Player Comparison Tool? Well it's about time you get acquainted! The tool is a great asset for those tough roster decisions, whether you're dealing with start/sit conundrums, trade comparisons, or decisions on which players to pick up on the waiver wire, you can benefit by learning the ins and outs of the customizable tool. This week in what we like to call Fantasy Football Audibles, we take a look at three player comparisons to help you take some of the guesswork out of those mind-boggling roster determinations.
Here's a quick primer in the factors that the SAP Player Comparison Tool takes into consideration when analyzing players:
»Performance:player performance (NFL statistics and Fantasy points) from the current season
»Matchup:opponent-specific fantasy points against (FPA) data and matchup analysis
»Consistency:stability of historical player fantasy point production
»Upside:potential for significant fantasy point performance
»Intangibles:additional factors including injury status, weather, game location, team support and player rest
Who should I start: Alfred Morris or Matt Jones?
If you're one of those fantasy owners who owns both Alfred Morris and Matt Jones, well, sorry for ya. It's going to one heck of a start/bench decision each week. Morris was the better fantasy back in Week 1, we all know that Jones broke out in Week 2, and in Week 3 neither back tallied more than a single fantasy point.
Looking closer at this analysis, The Player Comparison Tool gives Morris the edge here by one point, for no apparent reason. Both players have an even performance rating, they're on the same team so the matchup category is identical, yet Jones has a major advantage in both consistency and upside categories.
But don't panic yet. Fantasy owners that think Morris has no value left are mistaken. Coach Jay Gruden reiterated that he is still their lead back, and Week 3's snap count was the result of game flow as Washington fell behind so early. This backfield is likely to remain in a timeshare going forward, but it's hard to argue against starting Jones due to his big play potential. If I had to pick one for this week, I'm rolling with Jones for the upside. Just watch some of the guy's highlights and you'll understand where I'm coming from.
Who should I start Matt Ryan or Carson Palmer?
From a performance perspective, Palmer has out-produced Ryan so far this season. Palmer has thrown four more touchdown passes and is averaging 21.81 FPP compared to Ryan's 19.38 FPPG while both quarterbacks have two interceptions. You could make the argument that Palmer has benefitted from having more weapons than Ryan in the passing game. The Cardinals pass-catchers include Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and rookie running back David Johnson who all have made big plays this season. The majority of Ryan's targets, 46 to be exact, have gone to Julio Jones. To put it in perspective, Fitzgerald, Brown and Johnson have shared 52 targets through three games. While by no means is it a bad thing for Ryan to have a player as talented as Jones to throw to, when he's the only option it may limit opportunities.
In terms of matchup, the Player Comparison Tool incorrectly favors Palmer who faces a St. Louis Rams defense that has allowed the third-least FPPG (11.42) to opposing quarterbacks through three games. Ryan and the Falcons face the Houston Texans who have allowed the third-most FPPG (21.02) to opposing quarterbacks, so this could be another big game for the Ryan/Jones combination.
Palmer wins the consistency category by a longshot here while it looks like Ryan gets the advantage in terms of upside. And while the Player Comparison tool favors Palmer overall by a rating of 24.4 to 12.1, I like Ryan for Week 4 matchups. He currently ranks second in the NFL in passing yards with 946 and a matchup against the Texans is oozing with fantasy potential. Another whiff for the Player Comparison Tool!
Who should I add: Chris Johnson or Karlos Williams?
While Chris Johnson was the better fantasy back in Week 2, his reign in Arizona's backfield could be coming do an end, or at least is on the decline soon with the imminent return of Andre Ellington. Karlos Williams' role is only growing larger with his strong play through three weeks, and now that LeSean McCoy will likely be sidelined to recover from a hamstring injury, Williams will be the No. 1 back in Buffalo and brings RB1 potential to the fantasy world.
A glance at the Player Comparison Tool analysis of these two running backs shows that the recommended pick up here is Williams, but it also shows that Johnson has been more consistent and has more upside, which simply isn't true. The upside is with the rookie who's earned himself a bigger role in Buffalo with his consistently strong play, not a veteran nearing the end of his career who will soon be supplanted by Ellington. Don't let one good week out of Johnson fool you, and make the right choice to add Williams.