Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger exited Sunday's game with an elbow injury that will reportedly require surgery, ending his 2019 season.
While this is certainly a gut punch for Roethlisberger's fantasy owners, it could also have a big impact on his favorite target, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Through the first two weeks of the season, JuJu has scored 21.7 fantasy points in half-point PPR leagues, good for No. 32 among WRs. While those numbers don't support his WR7 average draft position (ADP) heading into the season, JuJu's situation might be getting even worse.
While there are no real definitive numbers to go off, Mason Rudolph is being thrust into his first real NFL action as a starter. As with most first-time starters, there are usually some growing pains (unless you're Patrick Mahomes).
Rudolph was seemingly drafted to be the heir apparent to Big Ben in Pittsburgh, but the Steelers didn't plan for it to be this soon.
After Rudolph came in to the Week 2 game, he put up 112 passing yards, completing 12 of his 19 attempts with two touchdowns and one interception. Rudolph connected with JuJu for 57 yards on three catches in Sunday's, 28-26, loss to the Seattle Seahawks, highlighted by a 45-yard catch in the third quarter.
While it's encouraging to see Rudolph connect on the deep ball with JuJu, he will have to develop more consistency with the star wideout to ensure we don't see a significant drop in JuJu's production as the season carries on. For now, JuJu is likely a high-end WR2 moving forward, unless he proves otherwise.
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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.