Last season, injuries limited Ben Roethlisberger to just two games and the Steelers QB is eager to get back on the field to prove he still has it. The 38-year-old was out with a few of his teammates throwing passes this week.
The beard is trimmed…
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 18, 2020
There’s no official timeline on the QB’s elbow injury that forced him out of action last year, per ESPN. Coach Mike Tomlin previously said Roethlisberger was making progress.
“He’s doing great thus far,” Tomlin said last week. “He’s in great physical condition. Rehabilitation in regards to the injury itself is going well. I hear nothing but positive reports from that standpoint. There have been no bumps in the road.”
Rob Gronkowski is the only player with better odds than Roethlisberger to win the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award, per Bovada.
“I think that the possibility is real that he could be a better football player coming out of this surgery, just as much as he might be a more regressed player,” general manager Kevin Colbert said at the NFL combine. “So, I think we have to give that the nod and, again, I’m encouraged and excited about where he can go.”
Steelers’ Fantasy Values
Big Ben is a great late-round QB to target, Vaughn Dalzell of numberFire argues. Back in 2018, Roethlisberger set a career-high with 5,129 passing yards and the risk of a re-injury is baked into his late-round draft price.
Roethlisberger had James Conner, Ryan Switzer, and Juju Smith-Schuster out there with him catching passes this week. Switzer is a name to keep an eye on as he’s likely to be available on the waiver-wire post-draft in many leagues. Conner and Smith-Schuster burned some people last year, so many owners might be reluctant to trust them with their first few picks, making each one a potential post-hype sleeper.
Diontae Johnson could be a breakout candidate for the team. The 2019 third-rounder had 680 receiving yards and five touchdowns during his rookie season while breaking 18 tackles (2nd most among all rookies).
Johnson did the majority of his damage with back-up quarterbacks but if Ben Roethlisberger can stay healthy, the wideout may improve even more. He should be on fantasy radars, though he will have competition for that second WR spot in Pittsburgh, as the team drafted Notre Dame’s Chase Claypool in the second-round.
Pittsburgh also added Eric Ebron in free agency. Ebron had a ho-hum 2019 catching passes from Jacoby Brissett. However, back in 2018, he had 13 touchdowns with Andrew Luck slinging him passes and he had 16 end-zone targets (lead the league).
Betting on the Steelers in the AFC North
The Ravens ran away with the division in 2019 but the Steelers are likely their biggest threat in 2020 and they shouldn’t be discounted. Fan Duel has an interesting bet, offering the ability to pick what place the team ultimately earns in the division.
Exact Division Finish