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
Who should I start: Stefon Diggs or Donte Moncrief
This is a great question. Do you ride the unexpected hot streak of a rookie wide receiver in Stefon Diggs, who just had three solid weeks in a row, or go with the safer option in Donte Moncrief? The latter scored five times in seven games, and is back to producing consistently with Andrew Luck under center.
Welp, the Player Comparison Tool offers no help in this situation so we'll have to do some of our own research. A quick glance at the raw numbers shows that in his three games Diggs has produced just 57 fewer yards than Moncrief has in seven games. Diggs' FPPG average is much lower because he has only has a single touchdown compared to Moncrief's five.
In his three starts, Diggs averages 9.3 targets per game and has yet to post fewer than 87 receiving yards -- a low mark which came in his first start against the league's top defense in the Denver Broncos. Moncrief is averaging 7.8 targets per game, and collected over 75 yards in a game just once all season.
And, contrary to the Player Comparison Tool's findings, Diggs has a much more favorable matchup against a Bears secondary that has allowed an average of 26.55 FPPG to wideouts this season which includes 11 touchdowns and 996 receiving yards. Moncrief goes up against the NFL's No. 2 defense against the pass, as Carolina allows just 16.25 FPPG (over 10 more fantasy points per game than Chicago) to opposing wideouts.
Cleary, the only answer here is to go with Diggs over Moncrief.
Who should I start: Travis Benjamin or Anquan Boldin?
While Travis Benjamin and Anquan Boldin have a similar number of targets and receptions on the season, Benjamin has been much more efficient in terms of fantasy production. Benjamin currently ranks 10th in the NFL in receiving yardage with 575 yards (on 35 receptions) through seven games -- that's an average of over 80 yards per game. Boldin's 372 yards on 31 receptions put him at an average of about 53 yards per game. That right there should sway you towards the Browns' WR.
Plus, Benjamin has scored four touchdowns to Boldin's two thus far.
But maybe you're skeptical because Benjamin hasn't scored since way back in Week 3. Josh McCown has been hooking up with tight end Gary Barnidge at an incredible rate since then: The tight end has more yards (345 to 326) and more TDs (four to zero) than Benjamin in Weeks 4-7. Despite the down-tick in overall production, Benjamin still has 43 targets in that same span, so the opportunities remain and he's still collecting good yardage totals.
Although both wideouts face tough matchups, Benjamin has the upper hand against an Arizona unit that allows eight TDs and 1,044 yards in seven games to wideouts (21.69 FPPF) compared to the Rams who have surrendered just three TDs and 888 yards to WRs (17.02 FPPG).
Based on all of the above, Benjamin is the better play this week, and beyond, over Boldin. It really isn't even close.
Who should I start: Dez Bryant or Amari Cooper?
You're right, the matchups are very tough for both of these guys this week.
This one isn't really fair to use in the Player Comparison Tool since Bryant hasn't played since Week 1, but I figured I'd include it just because a lot of fantasy owners may be struggling with a similar decision involving Dez this week ... including myself in my League of Record. Yes, the stakes are high indeed.
There's no doubt that Cooper has been one of the more consistent wideouts in fantasy this season. In his toughest matchup of the year against Denver in Week 5 though, he was held to just 47 yards. He faces another tough matchup this week against a Jets defense that ranks just outside the top 10 in terms of fantasy points allowed to WRs. It's a good bet that Cooper will take a trip to Revis Island which could very much limit his production. According to Pro Football Focus, of the 30 times Revis has been thrown at this season, he's allowed 14 receptions and just a single touchdown. That averages out to less than three catches against him per game.
Obviously, this decision will be made for you if Bryant doesn't end up starting, but he did log his first practice session, although limited, since Sept. 11 this week which is a good sign. Even if he's on a snap count against Seattle I don't see how you can leave him on your bench. I realize that it's a bad matchup, in fact it's impossible to be any worse. Seattle is allowing the fewest FPPG to wideouts. But if the Cowboys find themselves in a red zone situation, you'd have to imagine they would make Dez a priority target. Even though Matt Cassel threw three picks last week against the Giants, he is still an upgrade for the Dallas passing attack over the sadness of Brandon Weeden. Cassel had a few impressively accurate passes including an on-the-money 25-yard TD toss to Devin Street.
So in the end, I guess what I'm getting at is that if Dez plays, you should start him over Cooper. I'll be taking my own advice on this one too, if that makes you feel any better, which it probably doesn't.
Oh, PPR? Player Comparison Tool all the way. My other thought is, are we dealing with a unicycle here, or a bike that should have two wheels but one fell off? It's always better to give additional info like that, where possible so we can better answer your questions. Hope that helps!