Fantasy Football: Potential Pairings for Ben Roethlisberger

Steelers Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been the bane of many fantasy football owners over his career. Typically he is overdrafted based upon a seasons worth of impressive numbers. As everyone knows fantasy football is a weekly game and not a season long game.

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In home games Big Ben can be the guy that carries you with incredible performances. However when he takes his show on the road he will put up mediocre fantasy production at best. Draft Sharks’ Jared Smola shared some interesting nuggets with me regarding Roethlisberger. In his 6 home starts in 2016 he averaged 319 yards, 3.33 TDs, and .83 INT. For some perspective, that would be 5,104 yards and 53 TDs over 16 games. He would have been the QB1 if he could play all 16 games at home.

However things get vastly different when he heads on the road, where he averaged 16.2 points per game. A major step down from his 28.7 fantasy points per game at home. This pattern is not a fluke either.

That said, this year the opportunity to take Roethlisberger at QB10 in the 8th round per Fantasy Football Calculator and grab another QB to pair with him for the road starts.

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There are a few QBs going in the 10th round or later that make excellent complements. I took the Football Outsiders DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) to rank the match ups for potential replacements. In the chart above the bright green is best opportunity for QBs and the red is the worst. The number at the bottom is the average ranking of defenses. 0 is an average defense, negative presents a tough schedule and positive is a good schedule.

Andy Dalton – QB18

In terms of easiest match ups Andy Dalton is the clear winner. He has a very manageable group defenses to face. Dalton has a lot for fantasy owners to be excited about outside of his schedule. He has both A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert returning from injury. The also added both John Ross and Joe Mixon in the early rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. Both players should provide explosiveness for the Bengals offense as a whole.

The only issue pairing Dalton with Roethlisberger is a Week 6 bye week. Owners will have a tough decision to make. They can add a third quarterback, but that is something that can be hard to do with bye weeks and bench stashes. The other option is dropping Dalton for another QB but you would risk losing Dalton for good. Only you know which option makes more sense in youre league. With so many good options available at QB I would likely risk it.

Matthew Stafford – QB15

Matthew Stafford is another terrific option having the second easiest match ups of the group. There is ton to like with Stafford including his talented pass catchers including Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Eric Ebron and Theo Riddick. Stafford also make things much easier on the Roethlisberger owner. Stafford’s bye week comes when Big Ben is playing at home. Meaning you could draft the two QBs and likely not have to worry about the position for the rest of the season. If you are limited to the number of waiver claims you can make or use FAAB and want to save some money for that this is the way to go.

Carson Palmer – QB20

Carson Palmer is definitely not the sexiest name of the group but that makes him a perfect late, late target. Ideally you can snag him right before you take defense and kicker. Some may forget but Palmer was QB5 in 2015. He was a lot less consistent last year but finished the season strong with three 20 plus points games over his final five. He still has Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson, John Brown, JJ Nelson and others to target in an offense with a ton of potential.

Palmer provides a potential trade chip if he gets off to a hot start. With Detroit in Week 1, Indianapolis in Week 3, and San Francisco win Week 4 there will be a great chance of him doing just that. You could sell Palmer to a QB needy team and grab another guy, Dalton, Bortles, or Tyrod and flourish.

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