Fantasy Football Game Movie Review: Time to Go Deeper with Ben Roethlisberger? More Notes on the Week 2 Preseason

The biggest offseason storyline in Pittsburgh revolved around reestablishing their running game. Once Najee Harris was drafted, the spotlight turned to the offensive line. How would a unit that ultimately gave up four departing veterans come together to protect Ben Roethlisberger?

We have an answer. Kind of. Of the 10 passing attempts Roethlisberger had, I plotted nine plays where the O-line did an acceptable job of keeping it clean enough to make a good pitch. Remember, this was against a mix of Lions first and second team defenders – a group that had pretty good speed, but really a preseason test that’s as sweet as you can imagine in the game. NFL. The Bills’ pre-seven will be a much more difficult test in Week 1.

The best thing to take away from this small sample size is that Roethlisberger was as sharp as ever. His two red zone touchdowns against rookie Pat Freiermuth involved the precision, speed and clever ingenuity that Roethlisberger relied on for years. He also gave a decent reading on a deep lob to Diontae Johnson, who passed sophomore cornerback Jeff Okudah for a 43-yard gain.

He even had a beauty of a throw while on the run, abandoned by Eric Ebron.

Anyway, Roethlisberger didn’t look like a 39-year-old statue with a dilapidated arm. Its good.

The Steelers offense was a lot like last year – lots of short passes and quick throws. But at least this year there should be more pre-engagement moves and play passes to keep defenses unbalanced. It will be like that most of the time until the O line can protect like it did against the Lions against everyone.

Roethlisberger should be on Fantasy Radars as an end-of-round insurance policy for those who pick a quarterback with an earlier pick that has a few drawbacks – namely Jalen Hurts, Joe Burrow, and Trevor Lawrence. He’s also a Fantasy No.2 priority quarterback in Superflex and two QB formats. And even if you go with a stud courier and you have no reason to take Roethlisberger, at least you know he has the goods to help his receivers and running backs put numbers.

Laying the Laurent

There’s no way anyone could be impressed with the Jaguars rookie after he came out in New Orleans. He completed 61% of his throws, with none of his accomplishments going 20 yards. Much of that was because three starting offensive linemen got injured and the Saints increased the pressure. This will be standard operating procedure for every defense until Lawrence consistently defeats the blitz.

It doesn’t help that Lawrence held the ball too long over several games and only really developed chemistry with Marvin Jones. Losing Travis Etienne to a long injury would also be bad as Etienne believed he was a close range target capable of building up the distance after capture.

Is it still safe to take Lawrence as the Week 1 limit starter? Probably not. What about as a draft-and-stash pick like Trey Lance and Justin Fields? It’s up for debate. Lawrence is too talented a quarterback to just throw the hangout, but the long-term advantage for other rookie passers has overtaken Lawrence’s. Fields looks definitely ready to play; Lance might not be quite as ready (you’ll read below), but he has a ridiculous stat advantage thanks to his legs. At this point, I’m more ready to draft and wait for those quarterbacks than draft and wait for Lawrence to reverse his game. The only exception is if I needed a Week 1 starter – Lawrence should have this. role while others do not.

Round 2: Lance against Fields

Darling of the past week, Justin Fields has had another solid week looking like a three-year veteran. He wasn’t as precise, but he looked silky smooth and knew when to drop out of a pocket and when to throw a ball when the pressure was too great. His last line of stats – 9 of 19 for 80 yards – would have been considerably better if three reserve receivers (two who likely won’t make the final roster) hadn’t given up on passing passes. The Bears won’t start Fields against the Rams in Week 1 (at least they’re saying it now), but the writing is on the wall: It’ll start for them soon. When he does, he’ll be a staple at the limit. That’s why it’s worth it right now.

Trey Lance had a roller coaster game against the Chargers which perhaps proved he wasn’t quite ready to start Week 1. Although he did make another great deep throw at Trent Sherfield and led the 49ers on two touchdowns, he was also off-target early on (resulting in an interception) and was finicky in terms of reading defenses and holding the ball too long. Frequently, he stuck to his first read, although that’s been an integral part of Kyle Shanahan’s offense (and it’s not what he did on his second touchdown).

Across two games, it feels like Fields is more ready than Lance. He looks quieter in the pocket and more precise overall, and he looks quite comfortable running around to pick up footage; Lance will get there if he’s not already, but we haven’t seen him other than a postponement against the Chargers.

What is more relevant is that both rookies are expected to start their respective seasons on the bench. Bears don’t hesitate to sit down Andy Dalton and Kyle Shanahan have said he will name a Week 1 starter “whenever I feel like it”.

For now, Lance stays ahead of Fields in my fantasy ranks as there’s technically a chance he can start Week 1, and I think his pattern and O-line is better for him than Chicago’s for Fields. . But if you’re sold on Fields, don’t think it’s a mistake to take him as your end-of-round quarterback ahead of Lance. And I’m good at taking both in front of Lawrence.

Win with Winston?

Jameis Winston almost earned the starting role with the Saints after a great second preseason game (and he wasn’t too bad in the first preseason game, either). His deep throws at Marquez Callaway against the Jaguars involved heroic receptions, but his ball placement is to be commended. His mistakes were limited to a few off-target shots, the interception in Baltimore wasn’t entirely his fault, and his long passes were exceptionally impressive.

So, can he earn you huge Fantasy Points? There’s a chance, but keep a few things in mind: First, Sean Payton could give Winston a quick hook if he turns into an interception machine and gives Taysom Hill a few starts. Two, Hill thinks he’s playing a bunch even with Winston initially, just like he did with Drew Brees last year. These are issues to consider, but if we’re just talking about a streaming quarterback option with no guarantees of long-term success, Winston will do. That’s why he’s ranked among my 24 best passer.

Going deep

  • Tua Tagovailoa pretty much passed the test as a reliable starter for the Dolphins. He missed open receivers (Jaylen Waddle at least once in every game), but he did a good job distributing the ball quickly. The Dolphins offense may well mirror the Seahawks (and others) offensives in terms of short, quick throws. It’s one of the end-of-round quarterbacks to consider for your bench if you’re so inclined to speculate, but it’s not a staple in quarterback leagues. He’s a lot safer in two-QB formats than he was before training camp started.
  • A week ago, I thought Drew Lock was the best quarterback option for the Broncos. Now I don’t know what to think – I can only imagine what the Broncos are thinking. Teddy Bridgewater quickly led Denver’s offense to a pair of touchdowns in as many tries, missing just one early pitch against KJ Hamler (his other failure was a fall from Javonte Williams). Lock was hampered by a worse O-line and really had a great throw in the evening. The only thing I think I see with Bridgewater is he has juice with Jerry Jeudy, and I think that matters a bit.

So which sleepers, rashes, and busts should you target and fade out? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Cheat Sheets for every position, all from the model that called Josh Allen’s huge season, and find out.


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