I have been doing a few tests and it seems to me that sliders have no impact at all when simming games at normal or fast. When you sim a game at slow (i.e. you watch it in broadcast view without doing play the moment) then the CPU sliders affect both sides, but the player sliders are not used - presumably because both sides are cpu when watching at slow. But when you sim at normal or fast, these CPU sliders seem to have no effect. Same goes for the penalty sliders.
Also, when simming games the difficulty level seems to make no difference as well. Again, I am presuming this is because when simming it is CPU v CPU, regardless of which side you moved your controller too when setting up the match.
By the way, this was all done outside of cfm, but i am presuming that it would all still hold true for games in CFM