Sneaky Fantasy Football Players to Start in Week 3

Dan Israeli
Buffalo Bills v New York Giants
Buffalo Bills v New York Giants / Al Bello/Getty Images
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Week 2 of the 2019 NFL season was defined by a pair of quarterback injuries that are sure to change the fantasy landscape going forward, whether it's for multiple weeks or the entire season. Of course, we're talking about Ben Roethlisberger, who is done for the year with an elbow injury, and Drew Brees, who will miss multiple weeks with a thumb injury.

While Roethlisberger's injury leaves the door open for a certain second-year QB (who we will discuss later) to shine, Brees' absence will result in the rare quarterback committee in New Orleans, as coach Sean Payton has discussed using both Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill, at least initially.

Here are three sneaky fantasy plays for Week 3, who are still all available in at least 70 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Football leagues.

1. Mason Rudolph, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (@ San Francisco 49ers)

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

A 2018 third-round draft pick out of Oklahoma State, Mason Rudolph was taken to be the quarterback of Pittsburgh's future. That future has come earlier than expected now that Roethlisberger is out for the year, thrusting the 24-year-old into action with Pittsburgh sitting at 0-2. While the Steelers have sputtered out of the gate, they still possess one of the league's best offensive lines and several talented skill players. Rudolph is the perfect proxy for Big Ben, with size (6'5", 235 pounds) and the ability to throw deep, despite a lack of mobility. He draws a nice matchup in Week 3 against an up-tempo 49ers team, and could look to feature fellow second-year player James Washington, who was Rudolph's favorite target at Oklahoma State. Rudolph is still available in 90 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues and makes for a sneaky pickup for Week 3 and beyond.

2. Frank Gore, RB, Buffalo Bills (vs Cincinnati Bengals)

Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Frank Gore continues to defy conventional wisdom as a starting NFL running back in his age 36 season. Gore was already getting the majority of Buffalo's carries over rookie Devin Singletary through two weeks (30 attempts to 10), and now may get them all with Singletary potentially missing Week 3 with a hamstring injury. If the rookie is out, T.J. Yeldon should assume passing down duties, but Gore would be the favorite for early down and goal-line work. The matchup can't get any better, against a Bengals defense that gave up 259 rushing yards to the 49ers in Week 2. In a game where the Bills are 6-point home favorites, Gore (owned in 29 percent of Yahoo! leagues) has major upside against the Bengals this Sunday, if Singletary is indeed out.

3. Devin Smith, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Will Newton/Getty Images

After being taken in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, Devin Smith only played 14 games for Gang Green in two seasons, as knee injuries derailed his career. He suffered two torn ACLs while with the Jets, before ultimately being cut last year. Now healthy and in a perfect landing spot with the Cowboys, Smith broke out in Week 2 with three catches for 74 yards, which included a 51-yard touchdown. With Michael Gallup sidelined two-to-four weeks due to a meniscus injury, Smith will start on the outside opposite from Amari Cooper and gets a dream matchup in Week 3 against the hapless Dolphins at home. Miami's best player, cornerback Xavien Howard, will likely shadow Cooper, which could lead to a big game for Smith catching passes from a rejuvenated Dak Prescott. Smith is still available in 94 percent of Y! leagues.


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