With the Pittsburgh Steelers resting veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the season finale against the Cleveland Browns, third-year pro Mason Rudolph will take his place under center. If Rudolph’s extended run as the starting signal-caller in 2019 serves as any indication, the Steelers offense will look significantly different in Big Ben’s absence.
Fantasy Football analysis: Steelers QB Mason Rudolph
Rudolph has only attempted four passes in 2020, but he started eight games the previous year while Roethlisberger recovered from a season-ending elbow injury. That stretch did not go well for Rudolph, tossed almost as many interceptions (nine) as he did touchdowns (13) while grinding the traditionally prolific Steelers passing game to a halt. The offense finished next to last in the NFL by Football Outsiders’ DVOA, trailing only the dreadful New York Jets. Rudolph’s deficiencies as a runner also opened the door for undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges to seize the job late in the season.
While Rudolph might have learned from his mistakes a year ago, he will face a talented Browns defense that has given little to quarterbacks this season. The unit averages less than two passing touchdowns and 257 passing yards to the position while forcing an interception in two-thirds of Cleveland’s games. As though Rudolph didn’t have enough on his plate, the game will also reunite him with Myles Garrett, the defensive end who swung a helmet into the quarterback’s head in a now infamous brawl in 2019.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation