First of all, Antonio Brown has consistently been the best WR in the league, and a top fantasy option. Any team that loses a player like that will suffer in some way, shape, or form. With AB now out of the picture, will the Steelers offense, and in this case, Big Ben, be able to continue their fantasy success?
Last season, Ben performed very well, and had a career year in passing yards with 5,129, as well as throwing 34 TD’s. AB had 1,297 of those yards, and 15 of those TD’s, which is close to half. That’s a lot of production, but I think with the way the Steelers play offense, and the running-and-gunning playstyle that they bring to most games, they’ll find a way to supplement the departure of AB. According to fantasypros.com, over the last four years, Ben has averaged a top-13 QB finish after each season has ended. Obviously that’s not great production, but it could be worse, and each year he’s climbed the charts to eventually land on being the QB-3 for the 2018 season.
Key resignings like Maurkice Pouncey and Ramon Foster will hopefully help keep the O-Line above average. Where it gets juicy is when we look at the possibility of JuJu Smith-Schuster having an even bigger role in the offense, and where other players may be able to step in and make a difference in the offense. JuJu will step into the WR1 role, which he will hopefully transition into well, and I’m assuming James Washington will step into the WR2 role and hopefully become as useful as he can for Big Ben.
The Steelers have been discussing a contract extension for Ben, which shows that they still believe he has what it takes on the field to lead them to a championship. One thing we know is that this offense isn’t afraid to attack a defense, no matter the personnel, and as long as Ben can get a football to his targets, we can expect a top-12 fantasy performance in 2019.
2019 Projection: 4600/32/16