Fantasy owners will think long and hard about their 2018 quarterback, but is taking Pittsburgh Steelers gun-slinger ,Ben Roethlisberger, a risk?
Last year many Steelers’ fans realized that Ben Roethlisberger was not as sharp throwing the football as he has been in the past. While Roethlisberger was still putting up solid numbers as QB1 for the Steelers, there are quite a few stats that will back up the perception that Roethlisberger may be heading towards the back-end of his career.
This drop in production might have been noticed by the Steelers organization as well because there were some drastic changes by the Steelers. Those changes include trading Martavis Bryant, drafting James Washington and Mason Rudolph, and letting Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley go to Cleveland and promoting former QB coach, Randy Fichtner.
When viewing the statistics provided by Pro Football Reference, it is clear there has been a drop off in both fantasy football value and quarterback ratings over the past few years.
One of the first things that pops out is the decline in completion percentage over the past three years. This is even more notable when you think about the increase in short yardage passes Ben had been throwing over the past few years under Todd Haley. In addition to this drop in efficiency in completing passes, the stats reveal that Roethlisberger’s yards per game is much lower over the past two years compared to the previous two years.
That drop is partially explained by the offense’s dependence on Le’Veon Bell and the running game, but this drop still led to another issue, fewer touchdowns. The drop in touchdowns per game led to lower scoring games than many Steelers fans expected, and it also led to fewer fantasy points than fantasy owners expected.
As I stated in the comparison between Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell’s fantasy value, view Fantasy Points per Game as the strongest indicator of Fantasy Value for a player and there has been a continuous decline in this value over the years. In just three years time, Roethlisberger’s value has dropped nearly two points, which dropped him from a top 10 fantasy quarterback to a backup option in most leagues. But, there is good news despite all of these statistics showing a decline with Roethlisberger.
Despite the declined production in his statistics, Roethlisberger did show once again that he still has the unquestioned ability to lead the offense down the field to win games when the pressure is on, tying for the league lead in game-winning drives and fourth quarter comebacks.
So Steelers’ fans should be able to rest easy, knowing that despite Roethlisberger’s statistical decline, his ability to win games is still there and that will always remain the most important statistic for any Steelers fan.