Michael Vick, Antonio Brown's Fantasy Outlook After Ben Roethlisberger Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2015

Aug 29, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Michael Vick (2) looks to pass against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was forced to leave Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams with a knee injury and had to be carted off, per the NFL on ESPN on Twitter. 

The injury looked serious, meaning Michael Vick could be thrust into starting duty for the Steelers for the foreseeable future. That raises two questions for fantasy owners: Is Vick worth owning or starting in any leagues, and how will the potential loss of Big Ben hurt the team's skill position players, namely star wideout Antonio Brown?

The answer to the first question is a resounding no. Vick is a backup for a reason, and the tools that made him such a viable fantasy starter in his past—his speed and otherworldly athleticism—have waned at the age of 35. 

Week 3: Michael Vick Stats
CompletionsAttemptsYardsTDINTFantasy Points
5638001
All fantasy stats via ESPN.

Plus, with Le'Veon Bell in the backfield, the Steelers are likely to rely on their workhorse back in the absence of Big Ben, not put all of the pressure on Vick's left arm. In deeper leagues, he can be rostered if you can afford the bench spot, just to see how he performs, but chances are pretty low that Vick will ever have fantasy relevance. 

As for Brown, the loss of Roethlisberger would represent at least a slight dip in production for him. Obviously, the Steelers are going to game-plan to get the ball to Brown as much as possible, but Vick executing that plan with the same degree of success as Big Ben is highly unlikely. Plus, the Steelers will likely become a run-heavy offense with Big Ben sidelined, limiting the opportunities any of the receivers are likely to see.

Week 3: Antonio Brown Stats
ReceptionsYardsTDTargetsFantasy Points
1110801310
All fantasy stats via ESPN.

Yes, Brown will still be a must-start player. He's too dynamic a talent to suddenly stop producing altogether. But one of the safest players in fantasy and the top option at wide receiver may go from being the safest WR1 in the game to a more streaky WR2 if Roethlisberger's injury is a serious one. 

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