While fantasy football is not everybody’s cup of tea, those who do dabble in it generally understand the difference between winning on the field and winning with fantasy points. In looking at the fantasy rankings going into the 2021 NFL season, it does give an indication of what players are projected to do well statistically over the course of the season.
Although I only do fantasy football recreationally at a very minimal level, I find myself looking at which members of the Pittsburgh Steelers I can land on my team for the upcoming year. Whether it be the illustrious Steelers defense, one of the many young wide receivers on the team, the Steelers rookie running back, or the veteran future Hall of Fame quarterback, I’m always looking to add members of the Steelers on my fantasy squad.
Recently Pro Football Focus released their fantasy football tiers for quarterbacks for the 2021 season.
@PFF_NateJahnke's Tier 1 QBs— PFF (@PFF) June 10, 2021
1. Patrick Mahomes
2. Josh Allen
3. Kyler Murray
4. Dak Prescott
5. Lamar Jackson
His full list of 2021 Fantasy QB Rankings & Tiers ⬇️
So how do these tiers work? They include at least four players per tier based on where they felt they should be drafted and appropriate cutoff points. The first tier only had five players and consisted of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott, and Lamar Jackson. The second tier rounded out the top 10 quarterbacks according to PFF. While consisting of some regulars such as Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady, it also included some second-year players such as Justin Herbert and, surprisingly, Jalen Hurts.
Moving down the tiers, it wasn’t until tier 5 in the 26th overall position where I was able to find Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger shared this tier with six other players including Derek Carr and rookie Zach Wilson who are both ranked ahead of Roethlisberger. Moving down the list, Jared Goff, Sam Darnold, Jameis Winston, Cam Newton rounded out the tier.
In essence, Pro Football Focus felt Ben Roethlisberger should not be drafted in most fantasy football leagues in 2021.
To me, seeing Roethlisberger ranked this low would set off major alarms as a fantasy football owner. The value which could be achieved by drafting Roethlisberger late in standard drafts, or for a low price auction drafts, would be through the roof. If I could get Ben Roethlisberger as my quarterback and can focus my higher assets of other positions, it would be a tremendous steal.
In 2020, Roethlisberger was one of only 10 quarterbacks who threw for 30 or more touchdowns on the season. Additionally, he only had 10 interceptions holding him back. If looking at the standard fantasy scoring done by Pro Football Reference, Roethlisberger was the 12th best quarterback in 2020 of anyone who started at least six games.
Exactly why Pro Football Focus has Ben Roethlisberger expected to fall off a major cliff is a bit of a mystery. Even if Roethlisberger does not put up the same statistics he did in 2020, he would still be a viable reserve option from a fantasy football standpoint. If I were to place a wager, I would say Roethlisberger will over achieve his fantasy rankings for the 2021 season. More important than fantasy points would be Roethlisberger’s actual statistics and play on the field producing wins for the Pittsburgh Steelers being higher than expected.
You can listen to the most recent podcast of Let’s Ride about a Ben Roethlisberger renaissance in 2021 in the player below.