Fantasy Football Week 2 Roundup: Roethlisberger, Brees Injured

Jordan Cohn
September 17, 2019 - 8:22 am

It’s not every year that you see two teams, both of which were likely playoff-bound, see their seasons potentially go down the drain in just Week 2. It’s also not every year that you see not one, not two, but three quarterbacks start off the season with seven touchdowns apiece. And it’s definitely not every year, or any year, where you see a fantasy defense put up 37 points in one week, just two less than the Raiders had in their entire 2018 campaign.

But all that has happened through the first two weeks of the season. Let’s recap another exciting week of fantasy football.

Drew Brees will miss an extended period of time.
Drew Brees will miss an extended period of time. Photo credit (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Images)

Crushing Injuries

Drew Brees

Although Brees tried to reenter the game after heading off the field, he exhibited clear frustration while struggling to even pick up a football. It was later revealed that Brees has a torn ligament in the thumb of his throwing hand, meaning he will likely miss around six weeks. While this may not spell out a death sentence for the Saints, it certainly puts a damper on their early season lookout. Whether it’s Teddy Bridgewater or Taysom Hill that assumes QB duties, several Saints fantasy weapons take a hit, including Michael Thomas (WR1 → WR2), Alvin Kamara (high-end RB1 to low-end RB1), and Jared Cook (TE1 to TE2).

Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben is done for the season. A non-contact elbow injury is never a good sign for a quarterback, and Roethlisberger will need surgery in order to repair his throwing arm. While Mason Rudolph looked surprisingly good after taking over, the Steelers may hit the market for a new quarterback. After surprisingly trading away their 2020 first round pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick, though, the Steelers may be confident in the young Rudolph’s abilities. Even so, JuJu Smith-Schuster takes a hit (WR1 → low-end WR2), as do James Washington and Donte Moncrief (bench options → barely usable). James Conner also get injured in this game, but he appears okay for now.

Everyone On The Philadelphia Eagles

Okay, maybe not everyone. But Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Carson Wentz, Dallas Goedert and to a lesser extent Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz all appeared to suffer some sort of injury during Sunday night’s game. There was always concern about Wentz’s health, but the health of his weapons is just as important in determining the team’s success. There was a point in the game where the Eagles wanted to run a certain set and literally couldn’t do so because of their depleted personnel. Keep tabs on every single one of these guys throughout the next week of practice.

Raheem Mostart had a big Week 2 performance for the 49ers.
Raheem Mostart had a big Week 2 performance for the 49ers. Photo credit (Joseph Maiorana/USA Today Images)

Surprising Performances

49ers Backfield

Tevin Coleman’s injury in Week 1 was supposed to lead to some sort of by-committee approach in the backfield which in turn is supposed to hurt individual players’ fantasy value. But the combination of Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert, and Jeff Wilson Jr. all somehow put up strong performances, albeit against an atrocious Cincinnati Bengals team. Still, double-digit numbers from each member of the trio is something that the 49ers should be proud of and that fantasy players should take note of. Raheem Mostert could become a reliable dual threat running back if the 49ers like short passes out of the backfield: they seemed to rely on him heavily as a receiver throughout the game before turning to him as the feature back in garbage time.

DeMarcus Robinson

Tyreek Hill is out, and the Sammy Watkins show has officially taken over Kansas City. He’s the highest-scoring fantasy receiver throughout the first two weeks, but the majority of that came in Week 1. And while everyone is high on Mecole Hardman’s prospects as the new speed demon in the Chiefs offense, it was DeMarcus Robinson who burned the Raiders defense for a pair of scores and plenty of yards. Going forward, it will be tough to predict which receiver will benefit the most from Hill’s absence, but in this offense, each of Watkins, Hardman, and Robinson can be valuable.

John Ross

He was a big surprise in Week 1, but there are a lot of receivers who can put up big numbers in one week without displaying consistency. Ross has done that throughout his career, as he’s been a touchdown-dependent and very volatile asset in fantasy. I thought it was laughable that FanDuel had him priced more highly than Tyler Boyd, but Ross had another great showing, putting up over 100 yards and scoring another touchdown. While I still find it hard to trust him, especially with the return of AJ Green, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is the year where Ross breaks out and devastates defenders with his NFL-record speed.

Antonio Brown

Putting all of the controversy aside and looking at Antonio Brown from a purely fantasy football standpoint is difficult to do. But, if you’re able to do so, you can see that Brown fit into the Patriots offense right away and made an impact. He’s going to be a strong fantasy asset going forward as long as he remains on the field, so those who drafted him should feel fortunate.

Christian McCaffrey struggled to get going in Week 2.
Christian McCaffrey struggled to get going in Week 2. Photo credit (Jeremy Brevard/USA Today Images)

Biggest Disappointments

Christian McCaffrey

A week after scoring three touchdowns and racking up nearly 200 all-purpose yards, CMC had an even juicier matchup against the shootout prone Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But CMC (and the entire Panthers offense) struggled to do much, and McCaffrey owners were rewarded with just 53 yards total. Don’t fret, though, as he still looks to be one of the top-three players in fantasy.

Joe Mixon

Mixon put up a stinker, and that may happen more often than not given just how bad the Bengals are. The wide receivers are playing well, but Mixon’s usage depends a lot on the flow of the game, and Cincy should find themselves trailing in most cases. That was the case here, and Mixon’s entire fantasy day was a complete disaster. For a second round draft pick in most formats, it’s hard to trust Mixon in games where the Bengals are outmatched.

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are off to an impressive start.
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are off to an impressive start. Photo credit (Mitch Stringer/USA Today Images)

Season Awards So Far

MVP (based on performance and draft value): Lamar Jackson

Biggest Disappointment: James Conner

Fantasy Rookie of the Year: Josh Jacobs

Breakout of the Year: John Ross

Bounceback of the Year: Dalvin Cook