As we gear up to the start of the NFL season, Football Absurdity is going to bring you a comprehensive breakdown of every notable player that will be available in fantasy football drafts. We only look at the past three seasons for a player. Last offseason, there was a major discussion about what Ben Roethlisberger would do in 2019. Turns out “get Tommy John Surgery and miss all but exactly 1.5 games” was the winner. What does 2020 hold for Big Ben Roethlisberger, who sadly shaved his beard so we can’t just punt and put in a bunch of Lord of the Rings dwarf jokes?
Ben Roethlisberger ADP and AAV:
Draft Price: QB18, 126 overall
Average Auction Value: $2
Ben Roethlisberger Statistics:
(aDOT+ is the QB’s average depth of target compared to league average)
Philip Rivers Overview:
Last year was pretty much a wash for Ben Roethlisberger. He went up against what turned out to be a buzz saw in week one (the Patriots) and hurt his elbow fifteen throws into his second game against Seattle. We didn’t see him again until he popped up trying to tell us to “Speak Friend and Enter.” Okay, I had to get at least one LotR reference in there. Since then, however, Roethlisberger posted a hype video with teammates and is expected to be back at 100% following his elbow surgery. What does a 100% Ben Roethlisberger look like?
Last season, I was bearish on a Big Ben 2019 that looked anything like his 2018. Roethlisberger passed 5,000 passing yards for the first time ever and topped 610 pass attempts for the first time ever that year. He was also throwing to JuJu Smith-Schuster, and a couple of unknown factors named James Washington and Diontae Johnson. He also had an extremely known factor in Vance McDonald, who I doubted could help Ben do anything of value.
This year, I feel a bit better about Ben Roethlisberger. JuJu, Johnson, and Washington make for a good top-three receiving unit, and rookie Chase Claypool should do a lot of work. Through desperation, we found out that Jaylen Samuels is a pretty good receiving back, and the Steelers added Eric Ebron. Hopefully, between McDonald and Ebron they can have one hand that can adequately catch footballs. Still, it’s hard to figure a 38-year-old Roethlisberger coming off of surgery continues to throw the ball over six hundred times. He likely settles in around his 530 pass-per-season career average (which is still over 33 attempts per game).
Ben Roethlisberger Draft Strategy:
Philip Rivers and Big Ben felt inexorably linked in their ADP for a long time as cheap back-end QB1s in pretty much every fantasy football draft. As they’ve aged, they’ve slid down together, with Ben Roethlisberger coming off the board as QB18 and Rivers as QB21. I would much rather have Big Ben than Rivers at that spot. But here’s the thing: he’s free. Take him if you believe in the bounce back, or put him on the shortlist of rotational QBs you want to stream through your roster. In a 2QB league, he makes for a wonderful QB2 if you want to shore up other positions before selecting a guy for your second slot.
Best Case Scenario:
His weaponry bounces back and helps carry Big Ben to a top-seven finish. His final stats look like the Mines of Moria in their heyday.
Worst Case Scenario:
His elbow flares back up and/or he remembers that he’s 38. His final stats look like the Mines of Moria when Gandalf the Grey fought the Balrog.
[Header Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/Ben_Roethlisberger_MNF_2008.jpg under CC BY-SA 2.0]
[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com and airyards.com]