It’s been a while since we last saw Mason Rudolph on the field, and it felt even longer with a bye week sandwiched between his last game before being concussed and this weekend’s contest against Miami. As with seemingly every rookie or backup quarterback to get starter duties this season, Rudolph didn’t disappoint during his four-game run — he subbed Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2 and was the starter in Weeks 3 to 5 — finishing all of his games (including the ones he didn’t start or finish) with 10-plus fantasy points. As is the case with other quarterbacks of his profile (Kyle Allen, Daniel Jones, Teddy Bridgewater), Rudolph has tried to keep things quiet, limit errors and take what defenses have offered him. That is why he’s had three games of under 175 yards and under 14 completions each. Rudolph put on a great performance against Cincinnati in Week 4, though, passing for 229 yards and two touchdowns on 24-of-28 completions. If that is not his true talent level but he can put up similar numbers against another mediocre defense in Miami’s, he will make for a great streamer.
Ryan Fitzpatrick put on the Fitzmagic cape last week after getting the starting QB role back, but he ultimately fell short of pulling the upset against a stout Bills defense. It was closer than the 31-21 final result indicates, and it marked the best performance of the year for the veteran. He was able to pass for 282 yards on 23 completions (a great 8.1 yards per attempt), tossed a touchdown, scored another one on the ground and was intercepted just once. Stuck in a putrid situation in Miami, Fitzpatrick doesn’t offer much upside no matter what angle you look at it from. First of all, there is no rhyme or reason for who’s going to be named starter each week. Second, the starter is by no means guaranteed to play four quarters and can be benched at any moment. And third, the Dolphins are tanking wildly and their weapons are limited at best. All of that added to Fitzpatrick's own boom-or-bust profile makes me want to stay away from him.
Fantasy football analysis, Steelers QB Mason Rudolph, Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Another Fitzpatrick, Minkah, was traded to the Steelers back in time for their Week 3 game. Pittsburgh against QBs in Weeks 1 and 2: 320 yards per game surrendered, six touchdowns allowed, no interceptions. In Weeks 3 to 6: 232 yards per game surrendered, four touchdowns allowed, eight interceptions. I’m not saying Fitzpatrick has done all of that by himself, but I’m also not not saying it. The Steelers have turned a bad start into a bunch of great performances and they are better taken seriously and skipped in fantasy football, so rest easy fading Ryan Fitzpatrick.
As far as the Dolphins go, I’m probably not going to give you any information you don’t already know. They have improved a bit lately in completions and yards allowed to opposing quarterbacks, yes, but they keep giving up 26.9 points per game to passers and have yet to finish a game surrendering fewer than two passing touchdowns. Rudolph has had two full weeks of rest and is coming back ready. He is a great streaming option in redraft leagues given the matchup and has the upside to put on a great performance against a very bad Dolphins team.
Mason Rudolph: Start
Ryan Fitzpatrick: Sit