Dwayne Haskins can be an excellent fantasy football stash
By: Malcolm McMillan
Week 3 is just around the corner and already injuries are playing a massive role in fantasy football. These injury issues are always impactful, especially in redraft fantasy football leagues. Still, even dynasty fantasy football managers feel the impact of a major injury despite the deeper rosters.
If any reminder of that was needed, Thursday night’s game gave fantasy football managers one in a big way. In the third quarter against the Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey went down and never came back. Now he is out for multiple weeks, and dynasty fantasy football managers rostering his backup, Chuba Hubbard, are rejoicing. They now either have a valuable trade asset or someone that can plug a hole in their lineup for a few games (at least).
All the players listed below are worth considering for exactly this reason. Either they could be valuable due to an injury, or they already are valuable due to injury. Either way, there is a good chance they should make it onto their roster.
Dwayne Haskins: QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been dealing with a left pectoral injury all week. He missed the first practice of the week, and even Head Coach Mike Tomlin thinks that the hits are wearing on Roethlisberger. The combination of an existing injury, Roethlisberger’s (relatively) advanced age, and the weakness of the Steelers’ offensive line make Roethlisberger missing time a real possibility. His backup could be a valuable fantasy football asset, especially if they can play their way into becoming Big Ben’s successor.
Which is why you want Dwayne Haskins. The former first-round draft pick signed with the Steelers back in January after being cut by the Washington Football Team. If Roethlisberger were to miss time, Haskins and fellow backup quarterback Mason Rudolph would be duking it out to replace him. Rudolph has already been benched once as Roethlisberger’s backup for poor performance, and Tomlin going back to him by default is not a guarantee. Bet on Haskins instead of Rudolph if you are looking for a cheap fantasy football asset whose value could skyrocket if the player ahead of him goes down.
Jacques Patrick: RB, San Francisco 49ers
We have already seen an undrafted free agent journeyman and a sixth-round draft pick excel as the running back in Kyle Shanahan’s San Francisco 49ers offense. Why not another undrafted running back signed off another team’s practice squad? The 49ers have some serious issues at running back right now. Raheem Mostert is out for the season, JaMycal Hasty is out for multiple weeks, Elijah Mitchell is “very questionable,” and Trey Sermon is recovering from a concussion. Since the 49ers signed Patrick from the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad, he is already on the 53-man active roster and will be suiting up for a Week 3 matchup against the Green Bay Packers. If Sermon were to go down again, that would leave Patrick in line for a lead-back role with Mitchell out.
A word of caution, Patrick is likely not a long-term asset. He is more likely a weekly rental and then a sell-high candidate if he plays well. Mitchell and Sermon are likely the future of this backfield, and unless Patrick can outperform his career backup role and his below-average athletic profile, he will not supplant them. Even if he did turn some heads with his rushing ability this preseason.
Braxton Berrios: WR, New York Jets
Unlike the other two names on this list, Braxton Berrios is already succeeding this season. Despite being rostered in less than half of all dynasty leagues on Sleeper, and barely any redraft leagues, the New York Jets wide receiver is fantasy-relevant. Yes, Corey Davis may be leading the Jets wide receivers in fantasy football points in point-per-reception (PPR) formats, but Berrios is leading the team in targets. That target share is a big reason why Berrios has yet to have a game with less than 10 PPR fantasy football points this season.
While this workload feels doomed to regress, it is not a guarantee that Berrios is not already locking down a role. With a 57.97% snap share, he is definitely behind Elijah Moore and Corey Davis on the wide receiver depth chart in New York. However, everyone assumes that once all the Jets wide receivers are healthy, that Berrios will take a backseat. So far though, Keelan Cole failed to supplant him in Week 2, and Jamison Crowder struggles to even make it onto the field. At 25, Berrios is still young enough to have room to grow as a player, and the new regime in New York has no reason to be loyal to any players that cannot perform. Berrios is worth a stash as long as his connection with rookie quarterback Zach Wilson is intact.