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Fantasy Football Preview - Ben Roethlisberger

Plain and simple, I love Ben Roethlisberger as a fantasy option this season.  The golden age of the “run-first, run-second, maybe run third" Steelers is over.  The Steelers saw what the Patriots could do with “second rate” guys like Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth and decided that they had the personnel to compete at that level as well.

When Rashard Mendenhall dropped into their laps in the first round of the draft, they saw a way to diversify their game plan of “give the ball to Willie Parker all day long”.  When Limas Sweed (a guy once considered the best WR in college football) dropped into their laps in the second round, they saw a guy who could be a fantastic WR3 this year and a possible WR1 in a few more.  In Big Ben Roethlisberger, they see a quarterback with “Brady-like” skills that very few QBs in the league possess.

With three quality WRs, a good pass-catching RB, a decent WR4 in Nate Washington and one of the best TEs in fantasy in Heath Miller (566 rec yards and seven TDs last year), the Steelers have weapons-a-plenty.  The Steelers also will need points-a-plenty, with a brutal schedule that includes two games each against the pass-happy Browns and Bengals, as well as games against Dallas, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, the Giants, San Diego and New England.   The Steelers have an excellent defense, but they are going to need to put up some serious points against competition like that.  Roethlisberger will be putting the ball up in the air far more often on 2008 and I expect Roethlisberger to move up to the rank of elite fantasy quarterback this season.