Ben Roethlisberger will be a popular pick on Draft Day after averaging 22.0 Fantasy points per game last season, but should he be? While owners aren't as nervous about Roethlisberger's consistency anymore, they're again concerned about him staying healthy - and a depleted receiving corps doesn't help things. Ben missed four games with injuries last season, the first time since 2012 that's happened. He'll also play this season without Martavis Bryant (suspended), Heath Miller (retired) and potentially Ladarius Green (ankle, head). Roethlisberger has Antonio Brown to throw to, which is pretty solid, but who else will step up to help his numbers? The running backs will do their part, but unless someone from Sammie Coates, Markus Wheaton, Eli Rogers and Darrius Heyward-Bey becomes incredibly good, Roethlisberger's numbers will decline - even with a favorable schedule. We'd lean toward taking Roethlisberger with a late pick in standard leagues and a selection in Round 6 or so in two-quarterback leagues.
Roethlisberger plans to play in Friday's preseason game against the Saints, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports. Roethlisberger sat out the Steelers' first two exhibition contests for precautionary purposes, but is expected to get his first taste of the preseason this Friday. Although it's unclear how long the Steelers' starting quarterback will exactly be out there, the matchup against the Saints will give Roethlisberger some useful game action to help prepare for the regular season.
Roethlisberger will not play in Thursday's preseason game against the Eagles, Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. The Steelers will be extra cautious for a second straight week, holding out Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams -- all of whom seem to be healthy. The only major concern for Roethlisberger is the possibility that he'll have a diminished supporting cast early in the season, with Bell (suspension) and TE Ladarius Green (ankle/concussion) both looking very shaky to be available for Week 1.
Roethlisberger (shoulder) is fully healed after suffering a sprained AC joint during Pittsburgh's postseason victory over the Bengals, USA TODAY Sports reports. Roethlisberger had the option to undergo surgery, but opted for rest and rehab under doctor's guidance. The gamble payed off, as an MRI revealed Roethlisberger's right (throwing) shoulder has completely healed, and the muscles around the AC joint appear even bigger and stronger than before. After missing four full games in 2015 due to a sprained MCL and foot, in addition to a bone bruise in his knee, Roethlisberger will enter 2016 with a clean bill of health and ready to captain an offense already without the likes of Martavis Bryant, (suspension) and probably Le'Veon Bell (pending suspension).
Roethlisberger has reportedly lost at least 15 pounds this offseason, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler relays via the quarterback's agent, Ryan Tollner. The weight loss is a product of what the report describes as a "high-cardio plan" with team trainers, an approach designed to "alleviate potential pain" in the quarterback's joints on the heels of a 2015 season in which Roethlisberger endured various aches and pains, including knee, foot and shoulder woes. A full offseason to recover from his assortment of ailments, coupled with improved fitness, offers encouragement as the coming campaign approaches, though some other key variables remain in play when it comes to the prospects of the Steelers' offense in 2016. With that in mind, it will be worth monitoring the health of top running back (and highly capable pass-catcher) Le'Veon Bell, as well as the rapport Roethlisberger develops with new tight end Ladarius Green, who will look to fill the void created by the departure of long-time Steeler Heath Miller.
Roethlisberger will have a new passing target at tight end this season, with the Steelers having signed Ladarius Green in free agency. The move is notable, as the Steelers had a need at the tight end position following the retirement of Heath Miller, who caught 60 passes for the team in 2015. While Miller -- a long-time fixture in the Pittsburgh offense -- may be a tough act to follow, Green is viewed as a player with some untapped potential, after having worked in tandem with the productive Antonio Gates in San Diego for the last four seasons. In any case, the addition of Green and the re-signing of veteran wideout Darrius Heyward-Bey helps ensure that Roethlisberger will have a deep and qualified pass-catching corps (of course headed by WR Antonio BRown) on hand in 2016.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||10/03||Kansas City Chiefs||6||18.00|
|5||10/09||New York Jets||11||18.75|
|7||10/23||New England Patriots||16||19.78|
|13||12/04||New York Giants||31||24.56|
|3 Year Avg||66.2||4384||27||13||52||0||337|