Fantasy football waiver wire: QBs Mason Rudolph, Daniel Jones assume starting roles

USA Today Sports 2 months ago

For those who subscribe to the strategy of drafting only one quarterback and filling in the bye weeks and poor matchups by streaming QBs off the waiver wire ... how's that working out for you?

With injuries to four starting quarterbacks in Week 2, plus another change based on ineffectiveness, not to mention the bye weeks coming up soon, we're about to witness a massive rush by fantasy owners to add several less-talented backups. Good luck.

Recommended bids based on a free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) of $100 for the season. Feel free to exceed the recommended amount based on need.

QUARTERBACKS

QB Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers ($21). Replacing the injured Ben Roethlisberger, Rudolph completed 12 of 19 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle. He's this week's top QB pickup because of the offensive weapons he has at his disposal and the job security he has with Big Ben officially out for the rest of the season. 

QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants ($18). The Eli Manning Era has come to an unofficial end with the benching of the two-time Super Bowl MVP in favor of the rookie No. 6 overall draft pick. Jones looked decent in the preseason, but will have plenty of learning to do on the fly. He'll make his starting debut against a surprisingly strong Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense, so don't expect immediate results. But talent should ultimately prevail.

QB Teddy Bridgewater, New Orleans Saints ($12). It's almost impossible to fill Drew Brees' shoes, but the 2014 first-rounder will give it a shot. Bridgewater did fine in relief on Sunday, but didn't throw a touchdown pass and had only one of his 30 passes go for more than 20 yards. Taysom Hill is a fallback option if Bridgewater has trouble moving the offense.

QB Kyle Allen, Carolina Panthers ($2). For those in super-deep or two-QB leagues, Allen could be an emergency option if Cam Newton's foot injury prevents him from playing. 

QB Luke Falk, New York Jets ($0). No Sam Darnold and now no Trevor Siemian. Pass. (On second thought, don't pass. Just run Le'Veon Bell every play.)

BEST BETS

WR Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City Chiefs ($22). In a world where Patrick Mahomes can’t be stopped, all his receivers must be on a fantasy roster. Robinson was the Chiefs' latest wideout of the week – catching all six passes thrown his way for 172 yards and two touchdowns. If Mahomes is going to throw for 400 yards every week, there will be plenty of targets to go around.

RB Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers ($16). With Tevin Coleman sidelined by a sprained ankle, three different 49ers running backs had double-digit carries on Sunday. Mostert was the most impressive, rushing for 83 yards and hauling in three receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Matt Breida (132 total yards) is likely rostered in most leagues. In deep formats, Jeff Wilson (two short TD runs) is worth a look. Even when Coleman returns, Mostert and Breida should still have flex value in most formats.

WR Deebo Samuel, 49ers ($14). The Niners are averaging over 400 yards of total offense after the first two games, while trailing only the Ravens and Patriots in scoring. After catching five passes for 87 yards and a touchdown in Week 2, Samuel seems to have taken over as Jimmy Garoppolo's No. 1 wide receiver.

RB Jaylen Samuels, Steelers ($14). Two Samuel(s) for the same price! James Conner's knee injury doesn't appear to be as serious as it could have been, but his workload might need to be limited. Samuels is a solid backup and a good receiver out of the backfield who wouldn't have any trouble handling additional touches. He ran for 142 yards last year vs. New England when Conner was out.

REPLACEMENTS

WR Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles ($9). The Eagles suffered several injuries to their receiving corps, leaving Agholor as the last veteran standing. He pulled down eight of his 11 targets for 107 yards and a TD, but he’ll get many more looks if injuries to DeSean Jackson and/or Alshon Jeffery linger.

WR Devin Smith, Dallas Cowboys ($7). Michael Gallup will miss the next 2-4 weeks with a knee injury, giving Smith an opportunity to make more big plays like the 51-yard TD he had on Sunday. Veteran Randall Cobb should also see an uptick in targets out of the slot, making him the preferred choice in PPR formats.

TE Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks ($6). Dissly had a great start to last season until injuries cut it short. His troublesome knee looked fine on Sunday, and he had five catches for 50 yards and two scores. He also had a 43-yard reception nullified by a penalty.

RB LeSean McCoy, Kansas City Chiefs ($5). Another example of the "start your Chiefs" strategy, McCoy could see more action if Damien Williams' knee isn't 100% recovered from the contusion he suffered on Sunday. Keep an eye on the injury reports since McCoy also tweaked his ankle in the game. Third-stringer Darwin Thompson could also be in play.


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