Ben Roethlisberger: Fantasy Owners Can No Longer Count on Elite QB in Playoffs

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 12:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers rolls out to pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the game on November 12, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Fantasy owners have now reached the point of no return with Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger in 2012.

Via the NFL's official Twitter account, Big Ben will not suit up for the Steelers' game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday:

Ben Roethlisberger will not play Sunday: #PITvsBAL

— NFL (@nfl) November 30, 2012


Roethlisberger, who has seen his fractured ribs heal but remains sidelined with a shoulder injury, struggled mightily in practice trying to throw the ball, according to ESPN's Ed Werder:

Source says Ben Roethlisberger struggled throwing in one practice period involving him yesterday and only 35 percent chance he plays Ravens

— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) November 30, 2012


So, what does this mean for fantasy owners who have been patiently waiting for Big Ben to get back under center?

It means that you can no longer count on Roethlisberger to return to something that even resembles the elite QB he was playing like up until his injuries in Week 10 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Any injury to a quarterback's throwing arm, especially to his shoulder, is a major source of concern.

With this week serving as the final regular-season game for many fantasy leagues, are you going to rush to get Roethlisberger back into your lineup in the first round of the playoffs knowing that his shoulder isn't in great shape?

Maybe you would, simply because of his name and what he's done thus far in 2012.

Well, consider Pittsburgh's remaining schedule, which features four defenses that are allowing fewer than 16 points per game to quarterbacks, according to ESPN: San Diego (15.9), Dallas (13.5), Cincinnati (12.9 points per game) and Cleveland (15.4).

Between his arm injury and the pass defenses that he'll be facing, you simply cannot count on Big Ben to be a contributor as you make your run toward a championship in your league. Keep rolling with who you've inserted in your lineup to replace him. For they will likely outproduce Roethlisberger after he finally returns to action.