Mason Rudolph, Diontae Johnson's Fantasy Outlook with Ben Roethlisberger Out

Erin WalshNovember 14, 2021

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21:  Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field on August 21, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, meaning backup Mason Rudolph is in line to get the start. 

Rudolph hasn't started a game since Week 17 of the 2020 season. However, he might be a solid add for fantasy managers in need of a quarterback entering Sunday's slate of games. 

The 26-year-old has appeared in 15 career games and is 5-4 in nine starts. Rudolph has completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 2,089 yards and 15 touchdowns against 10 interceptions for his career.

The Lions, who are 0-8 on the season, are allowing 244.4 passing yards per game. Detroit's run defense is even worse as they are allowing 134.5 yards on the ground, the fourth-worst mark in the league, per Pro Football Reference

Rudolph is rostered in zero percent of Yahoo Sports fantasy leagues, so he should be available for the taking. However, fantasy managers shouldn't view Rudolph as a long-term solution at QB.

Roethlisberger said earlier this month that he is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccinated NFL players are eligible to return after two negative COVID-19 tests 24 hours apart, meaning Roethlisberger could return as soon as next weekend.  

As for wide receiver Diontae Johnson, his role in the Steelers offense shouldn't change just because Roethlisberger is sidelined. The 25-year-old leads Pittsburgh with 45 catches for 530 yards and three touchdowns on 69 targets this season. 

If anything, Johnson should be targeted just as much, if not more, this weekend against Detroit. Chase Claypool, out with a toe injury, ranks second on the Steelers with 52 targets and 433 yards. He is third on the team with 29 catches but has just one touchdown.