Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got off to a slow start this season, with 442 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions over the first two games. But he had his most productive game of the season in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears , going 26-for-41 for 406 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Roethlisberger accounted for four turnovers in the game and was sacked three times, but getting wide receiver Antonio Brown more involved (nine receptions for 196 yards and two touchdowns) clearly made a difference.
Now a very favorable matchup is coming in Week 4 against the Minnesota Vikings, who enter the week in the bottom half of the league against opposing quarterbacks in terms of fantasy points allowed (18.3 per game, ESPN scoring) and 28th in the league against the pass (315.7 yards per game). An already thin Vikings’ secondary will be without cornerback Chris Cook (groin) and safety Jamarca Sanford (hamstring) for Sunday’s game, so even with rookie running back Le’Veon Bell making his regular season debut Roethlisberger should still be throwing the ball plenty in London.
The Steelers’ offensive line has struggled so far this season, and Roethlisberger has been sacked 10 times. But the Vikings only have four sacks through three games, including two from linebacker Erin Henderson, and if offensive coordinator Todd Haley makes it a priority to get the ball out of Roethlisberger’s hands quickly the Vikings’ pass rush may struggle to get home without blitzing and leaving themselves vulnerable on the back end.
Roethlisberger got one of his favorite targets back last week, as tight end Heath Miller made his debut after tearing an ACL late last season and finished with three catches for 35 yards against the Bears. Miller should see more action against the Vikings this week, which can only be good news for the entire Pittsburgh offense and Roethlisberger in particular.
Roethlisberger is at minimum a high-end QB2 for Week 4, and possibly a low-end QB1 depending on how your league scores passing yardage and passing touchdowns. With the Steelers having a bye in Week 5 and a tougher matchup coming in Week 6 against the New York Jets, Roethlisberger could give his fantasy owners an opportunity to trade him at the peak of his value if he has a big game this week.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.