Roethlisberger notched another quality season for the Steelers in 2017. He finished fifth in the NFL in passing yards with 4,251, and he was tied for fifth (with Jared Goff and Philip Rivers) with 28 TD tosses. Big Ben was rested for the playoffs in the final game of the regular season. Had he played that game -- assuming he produced his 2017 average of 283 yards per game -- he would have finished with 4,534 yards. That would have been good for second in passing, trailing only Tom Brady. Roethlisberger was sacked just 21 times last season -- 27 QBs (including Rodgers playing in only seven games) were sacked more often. In fact, Roethlisberger has been sacked only 58 times in the last three seasons combined. Big Ben leads one of the most dynamic and productive offenses in the NFL. The Steelers finished third last season in total yards and passing yards, and they were eighth in scoring. There is no shortage of weapons in Pittsburgh’s offense -- RB Le’Veon Bell and WR Antonio Brown were already established as the best players at their respective positions. In 2017, JuJu Smith-Schuster joined the team and caught 58 passes for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. In April, Pittsburgh spent its second-rounder on Biletnikoff Award winner James Washington.
Roethlisberger has started all 16 games just three times in his 14 professional seasons. He seems to be getting a bit crotchety as he ages. The retirement talk is starting to wear thin, a la Brett Favre at the end of his Packers career. Big Ben has scored just one rushing TD in the last four years. He has thrown a combined 43 interceptions in the last three seasons. Roethlisberger is three seasons removed from his career-best total of 4,952 passing yards in 2014.
In betting circles, the Steelers remain one of the top five or so favorites to win a title in the 2018 season. Pittsburgh does a pretty good job of protecting its QB, and Roethlisberger is adept at moving in the pocket to stay out of harm’s way. He’s not likely to play in all 16 games of 2018, but a minimum of 25 TDs and 4,000 yards seems like a good bet. Consider Roethlisberger a solid QB1 in larger leagues and a borderline QB1/QB2 in smaller leagues.