Week Fifteen Analysis: Fantasy owners brave enough to start Ben Roethlisberger in his first game back, last week, were rewarded with a three-touchdown performance as the Steelers battled from a deficit all game. Ben has been an all or nothing quarterback for much of this year. Last week was an "all" game. This week is dangerous, as it looks more like a "nothing". The Dallas secondary isn't a shut down unit, but it's a close. Only three quarterbacks have topped one touchdown against the Cowboys. Only two have thrown for 275 yards. I'm officially nervous for Ben.
Week Fourteen Analysis: Before his injury Ben Roethlisberger had tossed a touchdown pass in ten straight games but had managed to avoid the interception bug that plagued him last season. Through this season's nine starts he had only thrown four picks and was easily a solid fantasy starter, albeit without many explosive outputs. Big Ben is set to return against the Chargers, after a three-week absence due to a sprained right shoulder. San Diego has played well enough against poor quarterbacks, but has been terrible against good ones. Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Josh Freeman and Peyton Manning have all thrown multiple touchdown passes against the Chargers and half of the quarterbacks they've faced have topped 270 yards.
Week Eleven Drop: At the time of this taping, Tuesday morning, we didn't have a full diagnosis of Ben Roethlisberger's shoulder. If it's going to take him more than three weeks to recover, you'll run out of regular season games before he's back. Most of us need regular season wins, and his roster spot can be filled by someone with an easier schedule. If it's going to be four or more weeks, you're into the fantasy playoffs, and then there's even less reason to keep him, especially with fairly difficult matchups in weeks 15 and 16.
Week Ten Analysis: The Chiefs defense is a complete wreck. They just swapped out their defensive coordinator. They just cut their starting cornerback. They're allowing the third-most points, and most importantly to Ben Roethlisberger, the third-most passing touchdowns. Seven out of eight opposing quarterbacks have thrown multiple touchdowns against the Chiefs. Despite playing a lot of dubious secondaries, Ben hasn't been very explosive this year. But he's been efficient, and that's all you need to post a strong box score against the Chiefs.
Week Nine Analysis: After a hot start, Ben Roethlisberger has proven himself to be a matchup quarterback. He was great last week in an easy matchup. He struggled the prior three weeks against better competition. He's got a neutral matchup this week against an improving Giants secondary. New York has forced 10 interceptions over the past four games, against just five touchdowns. With three injured running backs, Ben is going to be throwing a lot in this game, and through sheer repetition should find decent fantasy stats. He's scored in every game this year, and impressively, he's got just three interceptions all season. I don't see big upside or downside for Ben this week.
Week Eight Analysis: In the first three games, Ben Roethlisberger was fantastic, throwing eight touchdowns. Then he went on bye, and it's been nothing but struggles since then, with just two scores (one of which was given only after a mid-week stat correction). But, this is as easy a matchup as he'll get all year as he faces Washington. The Redskins are the league's bottom ranked pass defense by yards, and they're the third from the bottom in passing touchdowns. Every opposing quarterback has thrown for at least 299 yards and thrown a touchdown. Five have thrown multiple touchdowns. Even Mike Wallace can't drop the ball enough times to stop Roethlisberger from breaking his dry spell.
Week Seven Analysis: Ben Roethlisberger finds ways to power his Steeler team to wins against the Bengals. But it's not through any statistical heroics on his part. Over Ben's last seven games with his divisional rival, he's averaging 0.95 touchdowns per game. And his yardage is a pedestrian 219 yards per game over that time frame. I like him to outproduce those numbers this week, though. Ben has posted four strong games against just one lousy game this year. And the Bengals secondary isn't as good as previous years' versions. Brandon Weeden threw multiple touchdowns in both games against Cincinnati this year. Roethlisberger can certainly do that too.
Week Six Analysis: If you were following us here at Fantasy Victory last week, you know that we were worried about Ben Roethlisberger, despite strong performances in every game coming into last Sunday's. He'll get back on track this week because, well, everyone does against the Titans. They've given up multiple touchdowns in every game. No team has allowed more than the 12 passing touchdowns Tennessee has. Remember, Ben is only one game removed from a four-touchdown bonanza, and he'll return as a solid starter on Thursday night.
Week Five Analysis: The battle for Pennsylvanian bragging rights is a tough matchup for Ben Roethlisberger. His receivers, Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown will need to overcome difficult matchups with Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. That's no small order. Fortunately, Ben has been great. He's throw multiple touchdowns in every game, including reasonably tough matchups with the Jets (who had Darrelle Revis at the time) and Denver, with Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter. Rashard Mendenhall returns for the Steelers, but probably isn't ready to dominate the game yet, so I see enough passes from Roethlisberger to make him startable in a tough matchup.
Week Three Analysis: Ben Roethlisberger has surprised me by throwing two touchdowns in both games this year. He managed to throw multiple touchdowns in back-to-back games just once last year, and just once in his prior 19 games. Pittsburgh's injured and mostly ineffective running game has forced the issue, but regardless of the reason, Roethlisberger is more effective of late. The Raiders secondary is a ho-hum unit that allowed Ryan Tannehill to show signs of life last week, and has shed its best cornerback in consecutive years. Roethlisberger could very well end up with a third straight game with multiple touchdowns, something he hasn't done since weeks 4-6 of the 2009 season.