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The Ben Roethlisberger Domino Effect

Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a torn meniscus. In real-life terms, one could qualify that time period as “catching a break” or a short-term injury. However in fantasy terms, it is a nightmare. Not only is it a nightmare for Big Ben owners, but it has the potential to be a nightmare for the rest of relevant fantasy players in that offense.

Darrius Heyward-BeySammie Coates, and Eli Rodgers aren’t fantasy dependent options with or without Roethlisberger and now with Landry Jones filling in, it’s hard to predict any consistent fantasy performances from any of them.

We also can’t predict tight end Jesse James to get a “security blanket” boost with his 6-7 frame, but his size can’t hurt him. However, what we do know from last year’s Roethlisberger injury, is that TE Heath Miller only hauled in 5 receptions over that four-game stretch, so it doesn’t look good.

If you have Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell, you obviously spent a pretty penny in your respective drafts to acquire them — especially Brown. If you drafted Bell, he was stashed on your bench for three weeks, patiently waiting to for his suspension to be over. Luckily for you Le’Veon owners, the things we saw from our small sample size last year without Big Ben, leans in your favor.

Le’Veon Bell

In the four games last season that Bell played without Ben Roethlisberger, he went for over 100 yards three-out-of-four games and a respectable 88-yards in the other. Le’Veon will continue to get touches and his workload on the ground should increase without Pittsburgh’s star QB. Unfortunately, Bell only averaged 3.75 receptions per game in those four games — compared to the 6.6 receptions per game he’s averaged this year — so there might be a tiny PPR hit. If last year’s sample size tells us anything, Bell will still be reliable and he shouldn’t slow down much fantasy wise.

Image result for leveon bell gif

Antonio Brown

I wish I could reassure the Antonio Brown owners as much as the Bell owners, but you might not like the numbers from last year without Roethlisberger. Without Big Ben throwing him the ball — in those same four games from last season — Brown had a total of 17 receptions for 235 yards and 0 touchdowns. We’ve seen Brown do more in one game with Ben Roethlisberger! Last year against the Raiders he went for an insane 17 receptions and 284 yards in one week with Ben, compared to that stretch without him.

Image result for landry jones antonio brown

There could be a bright side to all of this. When Brown did play with Landry Jones during the third preseason game, Brown went for 4 receptions (on 4 targets) for 87 yards and a touchdown. We have a very small sample size to determine how this will turn out, but we just have to wait and see how well Landry Jones can distribute the ball to his arsenal of weapons.

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Obviously without Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers’ offense is just not the same. Bell is still a lock to put up numbers, but in Ben’s absence, Antonio Brown dropped from a top-three fantasy WR, to a top-30 WR. Depending on the matchup and your depth at that position, Brown is someone who could be considered benchable if you have a better option with a better matchup. Fortunately, the Steelers have the Patriots (24th vs WRs), a BYE week, are at Baltimore (7th), then home to Dallas (11th), travel to Cleveland (22nd) and then visit Indianapolis (18th) over the next six weeks. Let’s see how they look against the Patriots secondary and then go from there.

Lets just cross our fingers that this injury doesn’t linger and Roethlisberger will be back for the fantasy playoffs.

Author

  • The Intern loves discussing and writing about anything sport related. He loves the Dolphins, and believes Adam Gase was sent by the Dolphin forefathers to lead them back to victory.

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