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Bank on Ben Roethlisberger


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OK, so maybe he’s fallen out of favor the last few years, and, to some extent, he made his own bed. Partying, girls, motorcycle accidents, allegations. That being said, he is pretty far removed from those days. And, after all, the guy has two Super Bowl rings and three Super Bowl appearances, and we all know he is as tough as the steel the Steel City prides itself on.  

As far as fantasy football goes, Ben Roethlisberger is Mr. Consistent, and this year, I believe he’ll be a steal between Rounds 7-9. Yes, imagine that. Roethlisberger in Round 9! Most “experts” have him rated between the 10th-12th top quarterbacks. No way! No way Andy Dalton has a better fantasy season. And how many seasons are we going to keep hearing that this is Matt Ryan’s year? Or Michael Vick’s year? Although I do like the potential with Vick and Ryan, fantasy football is never won on potential.

As a fantasy football geek, who found myself in two Super Bowls, I’m loading up on running backs and wide receivers, maybe even Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham. Let the others play the name game and go after Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.  

Roethlisberger has been one of the most efficient passers in NFL history. He currently ranks 10th all-time in NFL passer rating (92.9), fifth in yards per attempt (8.06), and 11th in completion percentage (63.24 percent) among quarterbacks with a minimum of 1,500 career attempts. He has the fourth-highest career winning percentage (.710) as a starter in the regular season among quarterbacks with a minimum of 100 starts.

In fantasy land, Roethlisberger rarely lays an egg. Again, Mr. Consistent. I think we all know about the eggs often laid by Vick and Ryan. Sure, there is that potential thing, but I’ll take solid production week-in and week-out from Roethlisberger. Over the last two years, he has averaged 279 yards per game, which translates to around 4,460 yards over 16 games ... that’s right up there with the elite quarterbacks.

And let’s look at who Roethlisberger will be chucking the ball too this season – Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, and Heath Miller — not too shabby. In fact, that’s two 1,000-plus yard receivers in Wallace and Brown. Add to that a new offensive coordinator in Todd Haley, who we all know likes an air-it-out (Arizona in 2007-08 with Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin). Plus, a still-recovering starting running back in Rashard Mendenhall. It looks like the Steelers will continue to air it out, not grind it out.

Oh, did I mention three newly drafted offensive linemen to protect the big guy? Yes, I say it’s safe to “Bank on Roethlisberger.”