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
Ben Roethlisberger vs Andrew Luck
Following Andrew Luck's four turnover Week 2 meltdown, it's fair for fantasy owners to start pondering other options. Ben Roethlisberger, fantasy's QB2 after two weeks, is a very realistic and appealing alternative if you drafted Luck early and scooped up the Steelers quarterback a few rounds later during your draft.
Through two games, Roethlisberger is averaging 24.35 fantasy points per game compared to Luck's 13.06, and that's sans a couple of Pittsburgh's most dangerous offensive weapons in Le'Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant. The Steelers get Bell back this week and it is common knowledge that he poses a huge threat as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Add to it that Antonio Brown has shredded opposing defenses for 328 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games, ranking as the top receiver in all of fantasy thus far, and Big Ben seems like a no-brainer.
In terms of matchup though, Luck has a slight advantage as he faces a Titans defense that has yet to be truly tested, with games against the far from intimidating duo of Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel thus far. Roethlisberger faces a Rams defense that has allowed just 13.63 FPG to opposing signal callers, but got shredded by Washington's running backs in Week 2.
I personally have Ben ranked just ahead of Luck for Week 3, and the Player Comparison Tool agrees with my logic. But if you're a Luck owner would you really be able to live with yourself if you bench him? Didn't think so.
Chris Ivory vs C.J. Anderson
From a performance standpoint, Ivory is the clear leader over Anderson through the first two weeks of the season. Fantasy fans who drafted Anderson with a late first or early second round pick are reeling over the fact that Ronnie Hillman currently has the same amount of fantasy points in standard leagues (7.5). Ivory's yards per carry average is also nearly double that of Anderson (4.4 to 2.3), which is enough to make any Anderson owner jump on the panic button. In fairness though, Denver has faced two top-11 defenses in terms of FPG against opposing runners.
In Week 3, Anderson faces a cake matchup against a Lions defense that has allowed three rushing touchdowns and 24.95 FPG to opposing running backs through two games. Detroit is fresh off a game where Adrian Peterson collected 192 total yards and averaged 4.6 YPC against them. Ivory matches up against an Eagles defense that has been much tougher against running backs, with zero rushing touchdowns against and has allowed 14.85 FPG to the position, granted Philadelphia has faced Atlanta and Dallas -- two teams with subpar backfield committees. So based on matchups, Anderson has the upper hand.
One more thing worth noting in this comparison is the fact that Ivory has been dealing with a groin injury. He was assigned a questionable tag heading into the Jets' Week 2 game on Monday night, but was healthy enough to receive 16 touches. Reports following the game noted that Jets coach Todd Bowels wasn't positive how long Ivory would last. Bilal Powell actually finished the game with 18 touches, two more than Ivory, as he piled up some volume in the fourth quarter when the Jets needed to chew clock. Anderson, although ineffective through two games, is fully healthy and will potentially be fighting to keep the starting role in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football.
While the Player Comparison Tool recommends Ivory here, if I'm a fantasy owner with both backs on my team, and have to choose just one to start, I'm sticking with Anderson for one more week.
Tyler Eifert vs Travis Kelce
Now this is a tough call. Just under five fantasy points separate Tyler Eifert (33.30) from Travis Kelce (28.40) as fantasy's TE2 and TE3 through the first two weeks. Thanks to an additional touchdown, Eifert's FPG average is a tick higher than Kelce's (16.65 to 14.2). Both tight ends have over 150 receiving yards, and arguments could be made for either of them as the No. 2 pass-catching options on their respective teams. So since their performance rating is almost dead-even, let's consider their upcoming matchups.
Eifert and the Bengals face off against a Baltimore Ravens team that has allowed the least fantasy points (1.50) to opposing tight ends in the entire NFL through two weeks. That should jump off the page as a red flag against Eifert, but before you make any decisions, consider who the Ravens have faced: Denver, and Oakland. Because the top tight ends on those squads, Owen Daniels and Mychael Rivera, are far off the fantasy radar it could be argued that Baltimore hasn't been truly tested against a talented tight end yet.
Kelce goes up against the Packers on Monday Night Football. Green Bay's defense let Martellus Bennett get into the end zone against them in Week 1, which bodes well for Kelce's chances of scoring. When you consider that Kansas City has allowed more FPG to opposing wideouts than any other team through two weeks, you would have to think that the Chiefs will need to be running a pass-heavy scheme in Lambeau to keep pace with Aaron Rodgers and his receiving corps.
When it comes down to it, you really can't go wrong with either tight end in Week 3. But even though the Player Comparison Tool has these tight ends locked in a dead heat, I have to go with Kelce here. He has a better matchup and if Chiefs coach Andy Reid knows what's best for his offense, he will feed 'Zeus' early and often on Monday night. It's no knock on the talented Eifert, but he has to compete with an elite wide receiver in A.J. Green for targets, which is a hurdle Kelce doesn't face.