Pittsburgh Steelers

Byron Leftwich: Updated Fantasy Outlook After Ben Roethlisberger Injury

PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 18:  Byron Leftwich #4 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the preseason game on August 18, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Brandon AlisogluCorrespondent INovember 13, 2012

I'm not entirely sure if this has ever happened before. Ben Roethlisberger got hurt while being sandwiched between two Kansas City Chiefs and didn't come back to the game.

The injury meant that Byron Leftwich took over the controls and will be counted on until Roethlisberger returns.

Is he worth a fantasy spot? Let's take a look.

 

Fantasy Outlook

So long as Big Ben is out, Leftwich is going to be the starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Considering the Steelers are a pass-heavy team, that should seem to give a rather large boost to Leftwich's stock.

However, despite all of Roethlisberger's yards, the Steelers are No. 21 in passing attempts. Considering Pittsburgh is No. 16 in passing yards, that means the offense is very reliant on its quarterback.

Can Leftwich provide the same type of production? Probably not.

Actually, absolutely not.

Leftwich was run out of Jacksonville some years ago and has never been able to catch on as anything more than a backup. There's a reason for that.

He, quite simply, isn't that good. He has a 58.3 percent completion rate and only averages 6.61 yards per attempt. 

Leftwich's ridiculously long throwing motion (have you seen it? It's incredible) leads to terribly inaccurate throws. It's plagued him since he left Marshall.

The Steelers are likely to become the Steelers of old—very run-heavy with a large dose of defense. There will be a mixture of short passes with just a dusting of intermediate routes until Ben comes back.

 

Analysis

We don't know how long Roethlisberger is going to be out at this point, so this entire discussion may be moot.

However, Leftwich should only be used as an emergency replacement. He lacks the accuracy and chemistry with the receivers to put up large numbers or even be reliable.

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