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Ben Roethlisberger's knee injury has vast fantasy implications

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With Ben Roethlisberger reportedly out at least four weeks with an MCL sprain in his left knee, the star quarterback's absence will hit fantasy players in a variety of ways.

Roethlisberger is the latest big-name quarterback to go on the shelf joining the likes of Tony Romo and Drew Brees. The rash of QB injuries has forced owners to hit the waiver wire for replacements, thinning out the available talent.

One name that will be a popular pickup across fantasy is Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton, who put together another steady performance in Week 3. He threw for 383 yards, three touchdowns and rushed for another score. Dalton now has 866 passing yards, eight touchdowns and one interception on the season. 

Two other options are Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor and Oakland Raiders signal-caller Derek Carr. Taylor's been one of the biggest surprises in the season's first month, leading the Bills to a 2-1 mark as a dual-threat. After Carr threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, Yahoo's Scott Pianowski wrote he "was the fourth quarterback taken in the 2014 draft, but he might turn into the best of the lot."

As for the aftermath with the Steelers, Michael Vick will take over at quarterback.  He clearly isn't the player he once was at 35. The Steelers were conservative once Roethlisberger left the game as they tried to protect a lead on the road against the St. Louis Rams. That will likely be the case until the Steelers feel Vick is ready for more. 

Vick didn't join the team until late August, attempting just 10 preseason passes, so his knowledge of Todd Haley's offense is still likely a work in progress considering he's only been in the system for about a month. Antonio Brown has 29 receptions through three games and will provide a security blanket for Vick.

Fantasy owners who stashed Martavis Bryant hoping for a big impact once he returned from suspension in Week 5 could be in for a disappointment. He has been away from the team while serving his suspension, so chemistry with Vick throwing the passes instead of Roethlisberger could be an issue.

The ground game will likely become the focus of the offense with Vick under center. Le'Veon Bell didn't look rusty in his 2015 debut after being suspended for the first two games of the season, finishing with 62 yards rushing on 19 carries and a touchdown. He also caught seven passes for 70 yards.

The Steelers have to play on Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens, so Vick's first start will come on a short week and provide a glimpse of what's to come until Roethlisberger returns.