Like/Dislike: Welcome back, Ben Roethlisberger


What we are talking about:

  • Ben Roethlisberger

    He's baaaaacckkkk! What's not to like?

  • Mike Evans

    He should be fine, even in a bad matchup.

  • The end of RAW

    Did you see it? It was awesome!

Ben is playing!

Those words danced around my Twitter timeline on Wednesday night. It was like a beacon of hope, like the R2 unit I just purchased from the Jawas just started playing an image of a young princess who said, "Save me Big Ben, you're my only hope."

The funny thing is, I don't have Roethlisberger on any of my rosters. Well, not directly anyway. I went all-in on Antonio Brown this season and, well, it hasn't worked out very well.

The first couple of weeks were amazing. By my rough estimate, Brown averaged about 68 points per week in standard leagues the first few games of the season. The first few weeks of Mike Vick were pretty rough.

The actual numbers (if you want to be literal) were bad. With Roethlisberger, Brown averaged close to 10 receptions and 145 yards per game, and scored two touchdowns in three games. He averaged just four receptions for 59 yards in the four games without him. And that was with 124 receiving yards against the Chiefs.

So yes, it was rather awful.

And I had to wear it pretty well, too. Brown (and to some extent Julio Jones) was the guy I touted all summer long. In one league I had had the fourth overall pick and went with Brown over some notable running backs, which included Eddie Lacy and Jamaal Charles. (If memory serves, Le'Veon Bell and Adrian Peterson too ... and geeze, who went third overall? Must have been Marshawn Lynch. Actually, come to think of it, I believe Lynch went first overall.)

Fantasy Perfect Challenge

But I had been the poster boy for Antonio Brown and I know there were some people who followed suit with me, too. And to my surprise, most people have been rather cool about the whole situation. Normally you get some folks who want to cause trouble and that's understandable. But people have been pretty chill for the most part during Ben's injury. Mostly because they know what is about to happen.

I would expect Brown to jump right back into the top of the fantasy WR rankings. I really do expect him to be the elite receiver we all used a very high first-round draft pick on. And that's really all we want in this situation, right? We want a guy who is going to finish strong. Which is exactly what is to be expected.

But be careful if you want to start Roethlisberger. The Steelers are 2-4 in games when Roethlisberger returns from injury with eight touchdown passes and seven interceptions. But hey man, if one of those touchdowns goes to Brown, then we're all cool.

I mean, he kind of owes us that, right?

A big hand to stats maven Careen Falcone for dropping the knowledge.

And without further ado ...

Whenever a matchup looks good for Matt Ryan, that's when it seems like he disappoints the most. I see him with one bomb to Julio, but then a bunch of nothing. Maybe even a few picks.

Seriously, Ryan is that guy who will finish as a Top 10 quarterback, but he never has that stretch of games where he just carries your fantasy team.

The Packers defense is more legit than it's given credit for. But it's not like any of you have Peyton Manning on your roster anyway. Right. RIGHT???

Matthew Stafford should improve a little bit because of a new offensive coordinator. But I'm still going to wait to see a little bit more.

How bummed is Ryan Mallett going to be when he shows up (late) for the game on Sunday, only to find out he's been cut by the team?

Andrew Luck stayed at Stanford to avoid the Panthers. You can never convince me otherwise. Sorry, you just can't.

Somebody needs to tell Kirk Cousins he won one game. But I guess a Washington QB becoming an overnight sensation and trying to cash in has never ended poorly before, so why not?

I can't bring myself to drop Arian Foster. I had to ask like eight people before I made the move. It just doesn't seem right to drop him. Kind of sad. BTW, does anybody find it odd that a bunch of broadcasters will say thoughts and prayers to Foster, even though he doesn't believe in God?

I'm interested to see just how grounded the Raiders become in this matchup with the Jets. Latavius Murray is the guy I would be the most concerned about.

I saw C.J. Anderson on the wire this week, and I just couldn't find a use for him. It's a pretty nice idea to pick up a first-round pick off the wire. But I just can't settle into it. I'd much rather take a risk on Ameer Abdullah because of the new offensive coordinator. Who knows, maybe Jim Bob Cooter will find a way to make Abdullah great.

Ronnie Hillman has gone over 100 yards in two of his last three, but I expect the Packers to find a way to stop him this week.

ImageThe World Series game was delayed on Tuesday night because the video went down and they wouldn't have been able to handle replay requests. If that isn't the sign to shut it all down, then I don't know what is. Well, that and Joe Buck. He was at his bucking best on Tuesday night.

I would leave Randall Cobb on the bench this week, too. Most of the scenarios people have given me on Twitter has led me to bench him. Plus, he hasn't been great. I know, it's weird how Cobb was so much better when Jordy Nelson was out there and drew coverage away from him.

T.Y. Hilton is another big name I would bench this week. Or at least avoid him in your daily fantasy leagues. This matchup is too much for him.

Amari Cooper has a tough matchup. He's going up against Darrelle Revis. So I play somebody a little safer. But I'd take him over the previous two guys I mentioned.

Does anybody find it funny that most 80s hair metal bands spend their days now opening grocery stores and playing free shows at county fairs? But the NFL's version of AC/DC (Amari Cooper and Derek Carr) will be playing some remote location known as Revis Island? All right, I'll show myself the door.

We need to stop blaming Brandin Cooks for being something that he's not. We wanted him to be a No. 1 receiver, but he's just not that guy. We can't fault him for that.

Image I'm just about ready to punt on the current WWE Divas division. If this is what was going to happen with all of these talented performers, why not just leave the women on NXT where they could put on killer matches? The fact they didn't have an NXT "invasion" angle is probably the biggest crime of all of it. They could have just aped the nWo to make a women's version and it would have been dope.

What's the story with Kyle Rudolph? He does absolutely nothing, but all of a sudden he has touchdowns in back-to-back games. That's just perfect.

Coby Fleener is another dude who I always think will be a great option, but then does absolutely nothing. But I don't like the Colts matchup this week.

Image It was heart breaking to watch fans in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland go through these town hall meetings with the league. Well, maybe not you, St. Louis. I found it kind of weird that all of these folks got up to speak, without irony, about how wrong it would be to lose their team. 20 years after St. Louis took the club from Anaheim, Calif. If you ask me, St. Louis has proven the least and is probably the one fan base that could do without an NFL team. You had a Super Bowl winner and you still don't support the club. You can talk about how the team has been down this year, but it's the same situation the Los Angeles Rams were in back in 1994.

Image I'm just happy they didn't have meetings like this in Orange County way back when. Who knows what I would have said. Actually, I have some idea of what I would have said and let's just say I probably wouldn't be working here today. (Bummer for some of you.)

For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 300K followers. Me? Just 14. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook (if you're RG3). And if you follow me on Sundays, I'll quote "The Wolf" from "Pulp Fiction" and then it's game on! Although, it's tough to catch me on Facebook. Twitter is your go-to." Plus seriously people, I'm not taking your tweets after Midnight. I'm into the #HashtagWars via @Midnight. I've started to mute people who ask me questions at that time.