With Mason Rudolph at QB, look for Washington to increase his fantasy value
Week 2 was tough for fantasy owners who want to have a starting quarterback on their roster. While injuries are always a part of the game, it seemed that the quarterback position was hit especially hard this past week. Drew Brees is out with a thumb injury that needs surgery, however, he should be back after the Saints' Week 9 bye. Ben Roethlisberger, however, needs elbow surgery and is done for the season. Many fantasy owners are going to be scouring the waiver wire for QB options. These QBs aren't the only names you should pay attention to this week.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers (49 percent owned)
The best fantasy option, if available, is Garoppolo. He's still available in about half of Yahoo! leagues, and should be picked up. His Week 1 numbers weren't great, but in Week 2, he had nearly 300 passing yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. Garoppolo has been finding his receivers and has gotten into a groove. If the 49ers can keep up this offense, Garoppolo will be an asset to fantasy owners.
Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers (2 percent owned)
Rudolph has officially become the Steelers quarterback for the rest of the season. In Week 2, Rudolph had 112 yards, two touchdowns (to Vance McDonald), and an interception. Rudolph increases the value of McDonald as he will likely look for his tight end. However, he also has the arm strength to get the ball to both James Washington and JuJu Smith-Schuster. As a quarterback, Rudolph is a QB2 for the rest of the season.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (2 percent owned)
So the inevitable became official Tuesday morning when Giants head coach Pat Shurmur announced that Jones would replace Eli Manning as the starter. He looked good in the preseason. Now, we get to find out that if that will translate to games that count. First up, a road game in Tampa Bay, a matchup that, at least on paper, could be worse. Jones could be an option for those that aren't completely desperate but perhaps just frustrated with the QB they drafted.
Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers (35 percent owned)
Fantasy owners of James Conner need to own Samuels. He is the clear handcuff and while Conner looks to have avoided serious injury in Week 2 (he left with a knee injury), he's not 100 percent. If Conner does miss any time, Samuels would be a must-own. At this point, fantasy owners in general do not need to rush out and grab Samuels, but he should be owned as a handcuff.
Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons (19 percent owned)
Devonta Freeman is still healthy (as far as we know), but Smith had more rushing yards in Weeks 1 and 2. Smith is basically splitting carries with Freeman, but neither back looks great. With Matt Ryan and the passing attack working well, the running game has faltered a bit. Freeman owners should handcuff him with Smith, but other fantasy owners should just consider him another running back stuck splitting carries.
Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers (17 percent owned)
Mostert will continue to share carries with Matt Breida, and which back gets the touchdowns will vary from week to week. In Week 2, it was Mostert: 83 rushing yards, three receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown. However, fantasy owners beware. This is the kind of situation where fantasy owners will rush to pick up Mostert, start him in Week 3 and Breida will have the big week. Mostert is worth picking up but not blowing your FAAB budget on.
Mecole Hardman (40 percent owned) and Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City Chiefs (7 percent owned)
It's clear: Patrick Mahomes can make anyone look good. With Tyreek Hill out in Week 1, Sammy Watkins stepped up and looked like a superstar. In Week 2, Watkins wasn't as great, but Hardman (4/61/1) and Robinson (6/172/2) looked good. All three wide receivers should be owned, but predicting which one will have the big game while Hill is out is going to be tough. However, in this offense, anything is possible each week.
James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers (29 percent owned)
Donte Moncrief has been abysmal. Washington would be the next man up, and while it would be discouraging that Ben Roethlisberger is now out for the season, this is actually positive news for Washington. Mason Rudolph and Washington connected in the preseason, following up from their college days together. Wide receivers sometimes are hard to find on the waiver wire, but Washington may be worth taking a gamble on this week.
Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles (15 percent owned)
If either Alshon Jeffery and/or DeSean Jackson end up sitting out in Week 3, Agholor would have WR3 value. Both Jeffery and Jackson left Week 2 with soft tissue injuries. Both also have a history of missing time with such injuries. For fantasy owners needing to take a chance on someone, look at Agholor. Grabbing him through waivers to ensure you have him may be beneficial if you are in need of a receiver. However, in many leagues, he'll clear waivers and you'll have a few days to find out the status of the other Eagles wide receivers. JJ Arcega-Whiteside (1 percent owned) will also likely be available and could flirt with WR3 potential if Jeffery/Jackson were out.
Devin Smith, Dallas Cowboys (0 percent owned)
Michael Gallup suffered a knee injury in Week 2 and is expected to miss anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month. In the interim, Smith will step in. He was a second-round draft pick in 2015 by the New York Jets. However, he tore his ACL in 2017 and did not play that season or in '18. The Cowboys face the hapless Dolphins in Week 3, and this may be the week to pick up and start Smith. This is a DFS/desperation play that may pan out for fantasy owners.
Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks (3 percent owned)
In Week 1, Dissly managed one reception for 12 yards. In Week 2 he had five receptions for 50 yards. However, two of those receptions resulted in touchdowns. The TDs vaulted him up the fantasy ladder for Week 2, but that success may not continue. However, those still looking for a decent tight end may want to look at Dissly. This may be his best game of the season, but it does show that Russell Wilson is looking for him in the red zone.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Green Bay Packers (17 percent owned)
The Packers DST has looked good through two games. It's unclear if they are really good, or the Bears and Vikings are just struggling. The Packers recorded five sacks in Week 1. They had one sack in Week 2 but added two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. They also haven't allowed more than 16 points. They host the Broncos in Week 3, and Denver has struggled offensively as well. This should be a good matchup for the Packers.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
(Top photo courtesy of steelers.com)