Owners should use Big Ben in draft strategy

Commissioner Roger Goodell has cut Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension from four to six games, so he’ll be eligible to return to action in Week 6 (after the Steelers’ bye) against the Browns.

While missing four games still hurts his value, fantasy leaguers can actually use that to their advantage.

If you’re one of those owners (like me) who waits to draft a quarterback until the middle rounds, you can grab someone like Kevin Kolb, Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan to start for the first five weeks and use Big Ben afterwards. You’ll then have two solid quarterbacks to play the weekly matchups later in the season.

Currently, Roethlisberger isn’t coming off the board until Round 13 (127.86 ADP) on NFL.com. In the NFL Network league, I landed Roethlisberger in Round 9.

Big Ben was a top-10 fantasy quarterback last season, and I don’t see any reason to believe he won’t continue to be productive upon his return in 2010. If you’re in a deeper league, you can even use Dennis Dixon¬†as a viable sleeper in Roethlisberger’s absence.

With Byron Leftwich injured, Dixon could be the interim starter for coach Mike Tomlin. He has some pretty favorable matchups to open the season against the Falcons, Titans and Buccaneers before a tough contest against the Ravens. Keep in mind that Dixon did score 17 fantasy points in one start in Baltimore last season.

– Michael Fabiano

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