The Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves in an unusual spot entering their Week 3 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.

Obviously, I’m referring to Ben Roethlisberger’s season-ending injury, which puts the quarterback pressure on Mason Rudolph as he makes his first career NFL start.

Roethlisberger’s injury certainly has a huge Fantasy Football impact when it comes to the stock of some of the other playmakers on the roster.

Let’s take a look at the fantasy football stock for several Steelers players entering Week 3

Mason Rudolph

Rudolph completed 12 of his 19 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. He did throw one interception, but for the most part, played fairly well. Considering that he had zero fantasy stock a week ago, it’s clear that he’s on the rise. How he performs in the game against the Niners will tell us exactly how much confidence fantasy owners can have in him moving forward.

Stock: Rising

James Conner

James Conner, Steelers

It seems that Conner’s knee injury isn’t a huge concern at this point, as he returned to full practice on Thursday. Not having Roethlisberger may limit what the Steelers are able to do in certain areas of the passing game and could result in some negative game scripts where rushing attempts are minimal. However, Conner should still rack up a lot of targets out of the backfield, so I’m not as concerned with his fantasy production as others may be.

Stock: No Change

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Smith-Schuster has an excellent matchup against the 49ers, so his short-term stock appears to be fine. But the problem is that we don’t know what type of chemistry there will be right off the bat with Rudolph. We knew that Antonio Brown’s exit was going to turn the opposing secondary’s attention to Smith-Schuster and that it was probably going to limit his upside at times, even with more targets available. Now, without Roethlisberger on the field, there are understandable concerns about Smith-Schuster’s potential as a true WR1 this season.

Stock: Falling

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James Washington

We entered the season expecting it to be a potential breakout campaign for Washington. Through two weeks, that hasn’t happened yet since he has just four receptions on nine targets for only 74 yards. The positive? He’s one player who should benefit from Rudolph being on the field since the duo built excellent chemistry as teammates as Oklahoma State.

Stock: Rising

Diontae Johnson

Johnson is reportedly set to be a regular starter now in the offense, which undoubtedly increases his fantasy potential. Considering Donte Moncrief’s struggles to start the season, it’s not surprising for the rookie from Toledo to be tasked with a larger workload.

Stock: Rising

Vance McDonald

Vance McDonald, Steelers
ClutchPoints

Rudolph has two touchdown passes in his NFL career, and McDonald was the recipient of both in the Week 2 loss to the Seahawks. While the Steelers have talked about essentially limiting McDonald’s role in the offense this season, with a backup quarterback under center, he’s going to be one of the primary receiving options. That should help his fantasy stock.

Stock: Rising

Steelers DST

The Steelers have struggled on defense through two weeks, and there’s going to be even more pressure on the unit to produce with Roethlisberger sidelined. Pittsburgh’s stock on defense will likely correlate with Rudolph’s performance, and how things unfold against the Niners should give us a better idea of whether to consider the Steelers a viable defensive option in fantasy football for the rest of the season. Still, with upcoming matchups against the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins, fantasy owners should be patient despite the early struggles.

Stock: No Change