QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
HT: 6-5, WT: 241, Born: 3-2-1982, College: Miami (OH), Drafted: Round 1, Pick 11
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: M Evans (111), M Bennett (112), Ben Roethlisberger (113), D McFadden (114),
Position: P Rivers (99-QB15), A Dalton (104-QB16), Ben Roethlisberger (113 - QB17), C Palmer (137-QB18), R Tannehill (145-QB19)
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The Steelers are looking to Ben Roethlisberger to lead them to the playoffs again. Fantasy owners are doing the same thing. It may not seem like it to some, but Roethlisberger was a top-10 fantasy quarterback (8th) in 2013. We could see him improve slightly on those numbers this season. The Steelers have worked to improve the offensive line play in recent years. Getting a player like center Maurkice Pouncey back will greatly upgrade the protection for Roethlisberger. Pouncey was knocked out in Week 1 with an ACL/MCL tear, and the offensive line gave up the 5th-most sacks (42) in 2013. Roethlisberger did a good job in his second year running Todd Haley’s offense, but his production was not consistent. In eight of 16 games last year, Roethlisberger failed to score 20 or more fantasy points. This makes him an unreliable starter even though his season totals look good. The team will have a more consistent ground game this year, and that should help Roethlisberger. Having Le’Veon Bell as the primary back will help keep defenses honest, and this will allow Roethlisberger to set up play-action passing. Last year, Bell missed a portion of the season due to injury and the team struggled to move the ball on the ground without him. The Steelers lost Emmanuel Sanders (Broncos) in free agency, and they will replace him with second-year pro Markus Wheaton. How guys like Wheaton, Lance Moore and Martavis Bryant perform will help determine how productive Roethlisberger is in 2014. Things are looking up for Roethlisberger. The offensive line and ground game are improved for the Steelers, and he’s well-versed in the Haley offense. Roethlisberger may once again finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback this year, but this season he could be more consistent on a week-to-week basis.
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|2||at Baltimore Ravens|
|3||at Carolina Panthers|
|4||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|5||at Jacksonville Jaguars|
|6||at Cleveland Browns|
|10||at New York Jets|
|11||at Tennessee Titans|
|13||New Orleans Saints|
|14||at Cincinnati Bengals|
|15||at Atlanta Falcons|
|16||Kansas City Chiefs|
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Roethlisberger was very inconsistent early on for the Steelers. He made some good throws and looked very comfortable connecting with Antonio Brown, but he repeatedly overthrew Emmanuel Sanders and never really found a rhythm within the offense. His inability to connect with Sanders led to a second quarter interception as Sanders beat Alterraun Verner outside, but Roethlisberger couldn't get the ball to him allowing Verner to undercut it. Roethlisberger and the Steelers' offense as a whole didn't execute to any kind of degree. The Titans essentially shut the offense out, as Roethlisberger's touchdown came within two minutes of the end of the game when it had already been decided.
Week 2 - Roethlisberger connected once down the field with David Paulson early, but much like the Titans game in Week 1, he was consistently overthrowing players deep down the field. That continued during the first half, but in a hurry up situation he was able to connect twice with Emmanuel Sanders before throwing a fade at the goalline to rookie Derek Moye for the Steelers' first touchdown. The Steelers opened the second half in a hurry up type of offense as Roethlisberger appeared to be calling the plays. A questionable flag on Marcus Gilbert prevented a big play down the field that the quarterback created by extending the play though. Roethlisberger was running the offense more in the second half and as a result, he was consistently extending plays. Roethlisberger did very well to keep those plays alive, but was still overthrowing receivers down the field. Ultimately, Roethlisberger kept the game alive with with his orchestration of the offense, but he also killed the game when he threw high and behind Cotchery down the field leading to a fourth quarter interception. The ball was tipped, but it was the errant throw that led to that tip.
Week 3 - Roethlisberger completed his first pass attempt to Heath Miller, but fumbled on his next drop back as he tried to avoid a free rusher. Roethlisberger carried the ball loosely, but the blame has to be put on the team's offensive line for allowing a free rusher. In Week 2 against the Bengals, Roethlisberger repeatedly overthrew his receivers down the field. He overthrew Heath Miller and Emmanuel Sanders with his first two deep throws against the Bears also. Roethlisberger did find Antonio Brown for a huge throw downfield to set the Steelers up for a field goal. He followed that with a terrible interception over the middle that was returned for a touchdown. With the Steelers down early, Roethlisberger let the ball rip down the field to Brown who rose above Tillman in the end zone for a touchdown. It was an accurate, aggressive pass from Brown for a vital score. Roethlisberger was playing better in the second half as he led a field goal drive before three big plays brought him his second touchdown of the game. The Steelers offense is in a bad way and Roethlisberger is probably the only bright spark for them, but his displays haven't been up to his usual standard either this season. A fumble late in the fourth quarter as the pocket collapsed on him highlighted that. Roethlisberger's final interception was a wild deep ball with the game over.
Week 4 - On his very first drop back, Roethlisberger shrugged off a defender before finding Heath Miller. A few plays later on the same drive, Roethlisberger evaded a free blitzer with a strong pump fake. He held onto the ball and adjusted well in the pocket to survey the field, but as he has done so often this year, he overthrew a pass to a wide open Markus Wheaton down the sideline. On the next drive, Roethlisberger avoided another sack before throwing the ball away, but on the very next play he threw a perfect deep pass to Emmanuel Sanders for a huge gain. That big play eventually set up a touchdown for LeVeon Bell in the redzone. To star the very next drive however, Roethlisberger was late coming off his first read and nearly threw an interception to Marvin Mitchell underneath. Roethlisberger was brilliant in the pocket avoiding sacks throughout the game, but his deep passing remained an issue. Early in the third quarter, he manipulated the secondary with a pump fake before heaving the ball down to Antonio Brown. The pass may have been overthrown, but Brown was dragged down before we could find out for a pass interference penalty in the endzone. Roethlisberger's ability to avoid rushers and extend plays helped the Steelers stay in the game, but a miscommunication between he and Emmanuel Sanders after the receiver initially finished his crossing route resulted in an interception. Roethlisberger found Cotchery for a touchdown and orchestrated enough offense to put the Steelers in position to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, but he was sacked and lost control of the ball to seal his team's fate. Mike Adams, the Steelers left tackle, deserved much of the blame for Roethlisberger's struggles on the day as he was repeatedly beaten.
Week 6 - Roethlisberger had some erratic ball placement early in the game, but he made many big throws in the first half to help the Steelers sustain drives. He should have had a touchdown pass, but Antonio Brown dropped his perfect backshoulder throw at the pylon. Early in the third quarter, Roethlisberger would get his first touchdown as he found Emmanuel Sanders wide open down the middle of the field for a 55 yard score. It was a play Roethlisberger couldn't miss, even considering how many deep throws he had overthrown all season long. This was Roethlisberger's best game of the season by some distance. He was helped by Todd Haley, who called a perfect game outside of that reverse pass in the endzone. However, for his career, this likely wouldn't even rank in the top 50 of Roethlisberger performances.
Week 7 - Roethlisberger was reckless with the football early on. He floated a pass over the middle of the field that was nowhere near Heath Miller, before throwing a ball high into the air to nobody in particular while under pressure in the pocket. He did throw two strikes to Jericho Cotchery before pitching a shovel pass behind the line of scrimmage to Miller for a touchdown. Roethlisberger played well, he wasn't exceptionally good but he made a few nice plays with his feet and then threw a perfect pass to Derek Moye that he dropped in the end zone. Critically, he didn't turn the ball over and made the key throws on the game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter.
Week 8 - Roethlisberger missed Antonio Brown down the sideline with his first pass, dumped the ball off to a covered Heath Miller from a clean pocket with his pass and missed Miller on an out route with his third pass. It didn't get much better for Roethlisbeger before he forced a pass to Emmanuel Sanders down the right sideline in the third quarter. Sanders was well covered and Roethlisberger's pass gave him no chance. It was intercepted by Mike Jenkins. A turnover from the Raiders near their goal line allowed Roethlisberger to find Sanders for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He had a second interception that was a tipped pass two more passes that should have been intercepted but one was dropped and one was negated for a penalty. Roethlisberger hasn't been good this year. He is getting a pass from most because of the Steelers' struggles as a whole, but there is a legitimate question about whether he is starting his physical decline and how steep that decline will be.
Week 9 - As has been the case all season long, Roethlisberger's deep ball was terrible to start this game. With his first throw of note, the veteran quarterback was intercepted as he threw the ball straight up in the air when trying to find Antonio Brown down the left sideline. Devin McCourty had an easy interception and the receiver never had a chance. Roethlisberger missed an open Emmanuel Sanders in the end zone on the next drive, before he found Brown on a sideline route for his first touchdown pass of the day on the following drive. Roethlisberger's second touchdown pass came when he found Cotchery in the end zone after he ran a seam route. Cotchery adjusted brilliantly to a pass that Roethlisberger put up for him to win while the defender was looking the wrong way. Roethlisberger found Cotchery again for a touchdown on the next drive, but this time he forced the receiver to adjust with a slightly underthrown pass in the red zone. Roethlisberger's third touchdown to Cotchery was a simple throw as the receiver overmatched a linebacker underneath in space. With the game all but decided late in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger threw his final interception on a play where a receiver appeared to run the wrong route. Roethlisberger wasn't the reason the Steelers lost this game. He didn't play poorly, but the hill the offense as a whole needed to climb was too steep.
Week 10 - The Steelers focused on running the ball on their first drive before Roethlisberger found Jerricho Cotchery for a big gain. Roethlisberger threw an accurate pass to Cotchery who was running a shallow crossing route before the receiver made a defender miss and turned upfield. A few plays later with his next pass, Roethlisberger was intercepted when he therw a terrible pass down the field. It floated and it was inaccurate, so his wide receiver never had a chance. Roethlisberger threw a few more inaccurate passes before finding a wide open Antonio Brown down the sideline to set up a scoring opportunity. After that, Jerricho Cotchery ran an outstanding route to fool Stephon Gilmore at the goal-line. Cotchery created huge space for Roethlisberger to throw the fade route. Roethlisberger was very erratic with his ball placement and wasn't the primary reason that the Steelers were able to put points on the board. Big plays from Antonio Brown and the running game set up the Steelers offense on the day.
Week 11 - Roethlisberger was getting the ball out quick during his first drive of the game. He made one throw that went 10 yards down the field, to Heath Miller on a curl route, before Antonio Brown's ability with the ball in his hands extended the drive and scored a touchdown. Roethlisberger's second touchdown pass was more impressive. He threw a perfect pass to Brown on a comeback route to set the score up, before climbing the pocket to evade pressure and finding the receiver over the middle of the field for the score. Brown still carried the ball a huge distance for the score though. The Steelers were keeping Roethlisberger's passes short, but he missed LeVeon Bell on a short pass at the goal line for a certain touchdown early in the second quarter. Early on the next drive, Roethlisberger made his best throw of the game to that point as he hit Bell between the numbers with a throw that needed to be timed perfectly for a huge gain. Immediately after that however, he was fortunate not to be intercepted on a tipped pass that he forced to a covered receiver. He should have had a touchdown on the next play, but after moving the safety with his eyes he overthrew his pass to Heath Miller and his tight end couldn't make a difficult catch. Early in the third quarter, Roethlisberger threw the ball into the chest of DeAndre Levy. He was lucky that the ball was dropped. Soon after, Roethlisberger had David Paulson wide open in the end zone on a play from the one yard line. The quarterback badly overthrew him to give his teammate no chance. After taking over at their three yard line in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger made an excellent throw to Antonio Brown from his own end zone on 3rd-and-9. He ended the drive with a perfect pass to Will Johnson for a touchdown, but not until Antonio Brown dropped a similar pass before then. After a Steelers interception, Roethlisberger got another touchdown pass when the Lions bit hard on a fake screen to leave Cotchery wide open. Roethlisberger looked more like his previous self at times during this game, but it was notable that he didn't throw the ball down the field and still had too many bad throws.
Week 12 - The Steelers ran a very conservative offense in the first quarter. Most of Roethlisberger's passes were short, but he did extend one play excellently to find Heath Miller for a first down. Soon after that he missed an open Antonio Brown underneath with poor ball placement, before nearly throwing a pick-six to D'Qwell Jackson at the beginning of the second quarter. The weather may have played a part, but Roethlisberger was lucky to get his deep touchdown to Antonio Brown late in the second quarter. Brown badly beat Joe Haden, but he was forced to adjust to an underthrown ball and make a tougher reception for the touchdown. With his first pass of the third quarter, Roethlisberger heaved the ball down the field for Antonio Brown. Brown was well covered though and the quarterback was again lucky not to be intercepted by Haden. Late in the third quarter, Roethlisberger had his second touchdown after a Jason Campbell fumble gave the Steelers the ball at the goal line. Emmanuel Sanders was wide open on a slant route for an easy score. The Steelers have simplified their offense a lot this season and it has really worked to their benefit. Roethlisberger is no longer extending plays or involved in slow developing plays, instead he gets rid of the ball quickly and allows his receivers to make plays with the ball in their hands.
Week 13 - Roethlisberger threw one perfect deep ball that Antonio Brown failed to run under in the first half, but for the most part the Steelers ran a conservative offense and his accuracy left a lot to be desired. After LeVeon Bell brought the Steelers to the red zone early in the third quarter, Roethlisberger stepped up in the pocket intelligently before finding a wide open Emmanuel Sanders in the end zone for a touchdown. After making a few more impressive throws, Roethlisberger appeared to find Heath Miller down the seam with a perfect throw between two defenders for a crucial touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The play was overturned as Miller's knee was down just short of the end zone, but it was still a perfect throw in a critical situation. Roethlisberger threw a touchdown pass to a wide open Jerricho Cotchery a few plays later.
Week 14 - The Steelers focused their offense on LeVeon Bell early. On the first two drives of the game, Roethlisberger threw one pass to Antonio Brown underneath, one to Heath Miller off of play action and a short touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders. Bell brought the offense down the field with tough running and screen passes. Early in the second quarter, Roethlisberger was stripped from behind as he tried to make a play on third down deep in his own territory. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert was beaten very quickly, but Roethlisberger probably should have protected the ball better. In the third quarter, Roethlisberger missed an open Markus Wheaton down the middle of the field, but he then found Heath Miller down the sideline to set up a slant route to Antonio Brown that the receiver took the the end zone. On the final play of the third quarter, Roethlisberger should have been intercepted as he threw the ball straight to a defensive lineman underneath. However, immediately after the quarter break he threw a perfect touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery. Roethlisberger couldn't come up with a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, as he and his receivers couldn't connect before Roethlisberger was stopped short on a scramble for a turnover on downs. Roethlisberger got another opportunity, but he was sacked twice before they ran a desperation play that led to Antonio Brown stepping out of bounds.
Week 15 - Roethlisberger was completing solely underneath passes before he threw his first touchdown pass. Inexplicably, in the red zone, the Bengals rushed just two and dropped nine defenders into coverage. Roethlisberger took his time and waited for a receiver to come free before finding Antonio Brown in the end zone. Roethlisberger was perfect early in the game. Not only did he not have an incompletion until midway through the second quarter, but he was making very smart decisions before the passing game looked to push more passes down the field. After getting the offense to the goal line, Roethlisberger made his first two mistakes. He underthrew a bubble screen that Emmanuel Sanders did well to catch, before he should have been intercepted as he forced a pass into the end zone between two defenders. In the third quarter, after a fumble gave the Steelers good field position, Roethlisberger horribly underthrew Emmanuel Sanders down the sideline for an interception. It was his first interception in five games and not coincidentally it came when he was pushing the ball down the field outside of the team's regular short-passing game. In a peculiar turn of events, the Steelers came out throwing down the field in the third quarter when they were leading by 20 points. Roethlisberger ade some of his most impressive plays during that drive.
Week 16 - Despite the sticky conditions, Roethlisberger began this game very well. He completed one perfect pass down the field to Antonio Brown to set up the offense in the red zone, before he found Emmanuel Sanders in the end zone for his first touchdown of the day. Because of the offense the Steelers run, Roethlisberger appears to be fresher at this point in the season than he has been for a very long time. After the Steelers ran a special teams fake to set the offense up in the red zone, Roethlisberger showed off his fresh legs. While Roethlisberger is well-known for his ability to escape behind the line of scrimmage, he took advantage of space in front of him to run in a touchdown from more than 10 yards out on this play. It was the kind of acceleration and speed that we hadn't seen from Roethlisberger for at least four seasons. In the third quarter, the Steelers were put in a hole when LeVeon Bell fumbled to set up the Packers on their own goal line. Bell responded with a big run on the next drive, before a personal foul penalty put the Steelers deep in Packers territory. Roethlisberger capped off the drive with an excellent touchdown pass to Matt Spaeth for a touchdown. Roethlisberger had played a flawless game until late in the third quarter, when A.J. Hawk made an incredible one-handed interception on a pass over the middle of the field. Roethlisberger rebounded with some good throws, but he missed the two most crucial ones. On third down when the game was tied late in the fourth quarter, he missed Antonio Brown for what would have been a first down. Later in the same situation, he missed Brown when he was wide open in the end zone.
Week 17 - In tough conditions, a wet field and noticeable rain, Roethlisberger came out with a slew of accurate passes. He connected with Antonio Brown for one big play before he found Jerricho Cotchery three times in the red zone for his first touchdown of the game. While the conditions weren't helping and Roethlisberger made an excellent start to the game, the veteran quarterback couldn't be forgiven for an awful interception early during the second drive. He threw the ball straight to Craig Robertson as he never saw the linebacker. Ultimately, he was trying to fit the ball into a receiver who had three defenders covering him. The Steelers featured LeVeon Bell in the offense immediately after that interception, but Roethlisberger made a number of impressive plays that showed his poise and ability to rebound from a bad mistake. The Steelers' first drive of the second half stalled, but the second saw Roethlisberger and his number one receiver take over. Brown made catch after catch to put the Steelers in field goal range, before Roethlisberger found Cotchery for what should have been his second touchdown of the day. Cotchery couldn't make a tough diving reception however, so the Steelers were forced to settle for a field goal. Before Cotchery dropped that touchdown, Roethlisberger could easily have been intercepted when he heaved a pass to Antonio Brown down the field. Safety Tashaun Gipson didn't read the flight of the ball well on that play, but in the fourth quarter Roethlisberger gave him another chance with a heave that the Browns defender didn't miss. It was a terrible decision and a bad throw from the quarterback.