Fantasy Impact of Ben Roethlisberger’s Injury
Ben Roethlisberger took a helmet to the knee this past Sunday from Rams’ Safety Mark Barron spraining Ben’s MCL and giving him a bone bruise in his eye. The early prognosis is that Roethlisberger will be out 4-6 weeks and his pain tolerance could determine where he falls within it.
With so many fantasy impactful Steelers from Antonio Brown to Le’Veon Bell, your fantasy team may be relying on new Steelers QB Michael Vick to carry the load and still keep the Steelers offense productive. The following is the likely impact on each of the Steelers offensive weapons:
Michael Vick threw 6 passes in his limited time against the Rams (completing 5 of them). His targets were as follows:
Le’Veon Bell – 3
Antonio Brown – 1 (incomplete)
Markus Wheaton – 1
Le’Veon Bell, RB
Though the gameplan will likely change with Vick at the helm, it was obvious by the 2nd half of the Rams game that Le’Veon Bell will be the focus of the offense. He ran a lot more when Vick was in the game and with half of Vick’s passes targeting Bell, Bell should see plenty of catches and rushes. His value shouldn’t dip much, though teams may load the box more against the Steeler run game. In PPR leagues, Bell’s catches should make up for the missing points.
Antonio Brown, WR:
Antonio Brown is one of, if not the, best WR in the league. Michael Vick will still have to get Brown the ball for him to be productive. Brown should still maintain double digit fantasy scores in PPR leagues but his days of 150+ yards is likely over. Expect more 5-7 catches for 50-75 yards performances with a touchdown sprinkled in rather than his big games going forward.
Martavis Bryant, WR:
Martavis Bryant will be off of suspension in a week but he may be the most hard hit for the 3-5 games he plays with Ben still out. Michael Vick doesn’t exactly have a deep throwing arm and Bryant will need to get acclimated coming back to the Steelers. Expect low usage out of him his first few weeks back.
Heath Miller, TE:
Heath Miller’s role doesn’t appear like it will change much. 3-5 catches a game for minimal yardage and some red zone usage along the way. Miller is no longer a starting fantasy Tight End and should be used sparingly to fill in during bye weeks whether Michael Vick or Ben Roethlisberger are at the helm.