In fantasy football leagues, owners will often take players off of name recognition. When looking down at their cheatsheets, owners will see the name of a player that defeated their team in the past and will immediately want to select that player.
In many scenarios, that player is Larry Fitzgerald. Despite being at a steeper price, owners continue to prefer Fitz to Michael Floyd. I submit that I prefer Michael Floyd to Larry Fitzgerald this season for three reasons: efficiency, age, and price.
When deciding who is a more efficient wide receiver, the first place to start is with their statistics:
While Fitz received 22 more targets, he managed 100 fewer receiving yards. This is his 2nd straight season below 1,000 receiving yards (granted, 2012’s 798 receiving yards is more of a reflection of the Cardinals’ poor quarterback play). Floyd paced Fitz in efficiency, averaging 2.26 more yards per target. Despite scoring five fewer touchdowns, Floyd as averaged more fantasy points per target.
When using RotoViz’s AYA App, you see a similar result:
Despite throwing more interceptions than touchdowns when targeting Floyd, Palmer still has a higher efficiency with him than Fitz. It’s likely the Cardinals figure this out and target Floyd more frequently this season.
Despite scoring double the touchdowns, I don’t consider Fitz to be a much better red-zone target than Floyd. While Fitzgerald is listed at 6’3’, 218 lbs., Floyd is listed at 6’2’, 220 lbs. Although he’s one inch shorter, he’s two pounds heavier. There are articles that have discussed wide receiver weight being more important than height.
While being 31 years old usually isn’t a death sentence for wide receivers – there are concerns when it comes to Fitzgerald. Running the 40 in 4.63 seconds, Fitz was never the fastest wide receiver, but now there’s concern that he’s actually very slow. While the 24-year-old Floyd is at the age to ascend, the 31-year-old Fitzgerald is descending.
If you haven’t already checked them out, the Sim Scores at RotoViz are a very valuable tool for projecting players. In this scenario, the App takes comparable wide receivers at comparable ages and projects what they will do in the following season. For this situation it’s more effective than usual because there have been few major changes to the Cardinals’ offense this offseason. Here’s a look at Fitz vs. Floyd in PPR scoring:
It’s very close but the App would prefer the younger prospect. The App predicts that Floyd has more upside while Fitz has the higher floor. That’s assuming they’re the same price.
According to FantasyFootballCalculator.com’s ADP, Fitzgerald is going with the 7th pick of the 4th round while Floyd is being taken over a round later, with the 10th pick of the 5th round.
If I had my selection, even at an equal price, I’d take Floyd. When you factor in the fact that he’s going a round later, it’s a slam-dunk.
When all else is equal, I’m selecting the more efficient, younger, and cheaper player. If my words aren’t enough to convince you, maybe Cardinals’ Beat Writer Kent Somers can:
Most impressive #azcardinals in 1st OTA was WR Michael Floyd. Caught everything, including handful against Pat P.
— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) May 20, 2014