Unfamiliar with the SAP Player Comparison Tool? Well it's about time you get acquainted! The tool can be 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
For the first time this season, I sent out the call on Twitter to hear some of your Week 7 conundrums. This week I got a lot of wide receiver positions, so that's what we'll focus on. If I can help just one fantasy owner per week, well then my life is worth living another day.
Man, you guys with the tough questions on Twitter all the time.
Brown finished with a career-high 196 receiving yards on 10 catches and was targeted a team-high 14 times. After the game, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmersaid he leaned on Brown so much because the Steelers were smothering Larry Fitzgerald with double-coverage, leaving "Smokey" plenty of opportunities.
This week, both players have the two most favorable matchups a wide receiver could ask for. Bryant goes up against a Kansas City team that has allowed a league high 34.37 FPPG to opposing wideouts, while the Cardinals face a Ravens defense that is next in line with an average of 31.63 FPPG allowed to the position. That alone makes this an even harder decision.
The Player Comparison Tool likes Brown in this situation, but it's not completely fair since Bryant has only played in one game. Brown is the consistent option with the high floor guarantee, but Bryant has the potential to explode each and every week.
If you're going to twist my arm and make me choose one, I think I'll side with Bryant due to his astronomical upside. The guy has scored 10 touchdowns in 11 career games and has three 100-yard performances in that span. You can't turn your back on that kind of potential.
But if you're able to make another sacrifice somewhere on your roster, I suggest finding a way to get both of these guys into your starting lineup since they are both more than capable of exploiting the upcoming favorable matchups that fantasy owners dream about.
This struggle is definitely a real one. Mike Evans has been a huge disappointment so far this year for fantasy owners who likely drafted him as early as the second round. He has just 174 yards on 13 catches this season, and averages 3.48 fantasy points per game in standard scoring. Evans' early-season struggles can mainly be attributed to the inconsistent play of rookie quarterback Jamies Winston, who recently referred to the second-year receiver as the team's "secret weapon". Let's hope Evans becomes less of a secret and more of a weapon sooner rather than later.
For his grand lack of production so far this year, it's odd that the Player Comparison Tool has Evans ranked higher than Rishard Matthews in the performance category.
Matthews has had an outstanding start for the Dolphins with three touchdowns and 363 yards in five games. He leads Miami in receiving yards and receiving TDs and stands as a top 25 fantasy wideout through five games. With the Miami offense seemingly revitalized by changes to the coaching staff, he could become a solid weekly flex play and has totaled 85 or more receiving yards in three of his last four games. So it makes sense that you might be seriously considering this roster move in Week 7.
On paper, Evans has the better matchup this week against a Washington defense that has allowed six TDs to opposing wideouts over the last four weeks. And don't forget that when the Bucs faced Washington last season, Evans broke out for a career day with an insane 9-209-2 stat line. But Matthews' matchup is favorable too, as he faces a Texans defense that has surrendered the fourth most FPPG to receivers over the last two weeks -- that includes a Matt Hasselback-led Colts offense and a turnover-prone Jaguars squad.
Matthews' TD drought the last few games is definitely concerning though. With Miami's commitment to focus more on the run game, which was apparent in Week 6, there could be less to go around for the Miami receiving corps. That's why I'm going to give Mike Evans one more shot this week in a juicy matchup against Washington while I suggest benching Matthews. Tampa Bay had time during the bye week to figure out ways to get its biggest playmaker more involved, and I have a feeling that this is Evans' big week. So at the end of the day, I agree with the Player Comparison Tool on this ... for once.
Donte Moncrief's output so far is tough to ignore. In all four games that Andrew Luck started this year for the Colts, he's connected with Moncrief in the end zone. That kind of consistency is exactly what you want in a fantasy wideout. His four TDs and 347 yards are enough to rank him as a top 20 fantasy WR to this point and he's clearly Indy's No. 2 wideout with a 75 percent share of offensive snaps through six games, second only to T.Y. Hilton. Week 7 brings a matchup against the Saints who have allowed nearly 21 FPPG to opposing wideouts this season, which is about middle of the pack.
While Amari Cooper isn't far behind Moncrief in terms of total fantasy points, and may have even out-produced him by now if the Raiders didn't have a Week 6 bye, the rookie hasn't been as consistent at getting into the end zone. But Cooper is still the top option in Oakland and although he has four fewer targets than his teammate Michael Crabtree, the big homerun play is always just around the corner. Cooper faces a Chargers defense this week that has allowed the third fewest FPPG to opposing wideouts this season, so the matchup isn't great. And when the matchup wasn't great against Denver in Week 5, Cooper struggled to produce.
I hate to go against Cooper, but all of this is starting to add up.
The safer play here is Moncrief who is likely to again get into the end zone at least once against the Saints. Cooper, who is extremely talented, is still developing at the NFL level and the scoring play isn't as much of a sure thing.
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