Drew Brees

49ers have No. 1-ranked backup QB situation in NFL with Nick Mullens

49ers have No. 1-ranked backup QB situation in NFL with Nick Mullens

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is done for the season. New Orleans Saints star Drew Brees likely is out for the next two months. Carolina Panthers star Cam Newton is debilitated by a foot injury, and might miss Week 3 or even more.

The New York Jets' starter has mononucleosis, and his backup is out for the year with an ankle injury. Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal-caller Jameis Winston continues to regress, and the Miami Dolphins have scored a grand total of one touchdown over two games.

We're just over two weeks into the NFL regular season, and several teams already have serious QB issues.

The 49ers aren't one of them, however. Jimmy Garoppolo looked much improved in San Francisco's 41-17 beatdown of the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2, in which he threw for 297 yards and tied his career high with three touchdown passes. And behind him, the 49ers have the man The Ringer's Riley McAtee ranked as the best backup in all of football.

That's right, Nick Mullens is the best backup signal-caller in the NFL according to McAtee, who cited Mullens' performance in place of an injured Garoppolo last year to support his claim.

"Mullens’ [adjusted net yards per attempt] of 6.7 was 15th-best in the league among the 33 passers who registered at least 200 attempts," McAtee wrote. "That may not be replicable over a larger sample size or in an offense that isn’t built by Kyle Shanahan, but it was an incredibly promising level of production for the then-rookie. To put that number into perspective, Andrew Luck registered a 5.7 ANY/A in his rookie season.

"Mullens is not the next Luck, of course, but if Garoppolo ever misses time," McAtee continued, "Niners fans should feel confident in their backup."

[RELATED: Why this Jimmy G play from 49ers' win made Shanahan proud]

In closing, McAtee used some colorful language to hammer his point.

"Look at the other 31 names on this list: Outside of teams with rookies on the bench, there is no other squad that can put the same faith in their backup. The Niners are the only team that wouldn’t be f----d."

So, relative to the rest of the NFL, the 49ers appear to be in great shape when it comes to their overall quarterback situation. As for the teams who aren't, well, perhaps San Francisco can assist them from a position of strength.

Fantasy football QBs to add after Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees injuries

Fantasy football QBs to add after Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees injuries

Fantasy football is the most infuriating thing on this Earth that, at the end of the day, truly is inconsequential.

But we do it anyway. Each fall, getting together with our friends, drafting our teams and hoping that this year we will secure the glory that long has evaded us. (OK, I'm just talking about myself on that last part. I'm sure some of you actually win your leagues. Must be nice.)

The most frustrating part of torturing ourselves for 16 Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays each fall, is the injuries that inevitably befall your team, taking you from hopeful contender to waiver wire hunter. 

Such was the case Sunday when both Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and New Orleans Saints signal-caller Drew Brees went down with injuries. On Monday, it was revealed both would miss significant time. The Steelers announced Roethlisberger would undergo surgery on his elbow and would be out for the season. As for Brees, he reportedly tore a ligament in his thumb and will be sidelined for at least six weeks.

While these are big blows for both the Steelers and Saints, they also could have huge implications for your fantasy team.

Since you don't want to be headed to the loser's bracket after Week 2, let's look at five quarterbacks to pick up on waivers to replace Roethlisberger or Brees. 

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers (48 percent owned in Yahoo leagues)
Jimmy G was shaky in his first start back from his torn ACL, but he looked a lot sharper in the 49ers' Week 2 demolition over the Bengals.

In two games, Garoppolo has thrown for 463 yards, four touchdowns and only one interception and only will get more comfortable as the season wears on. Couple that with the offensive genius of head coach Kyle Shanahan, star tight end George Kittle and rookie receiver Deebo Samuel, Garoppolo could be primed to put up big numbers. 

Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions (35 percent owned)
Ever the gunslinger, Stafford has been slinging the ball around in two games with new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Through two games, Stafford has completed 65 percent of his passes while amassing 630 yards and five touchdowns.

Now, 385 of those yards and three touchdowns came in Week 1's tie against the Cardinals, so perhaps Stafford is more of the guy that showed up Sunday against the Chargers (245 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions) than the Week 1 version. Beggars can't be choosers. 

Josh Allen, QB, Bills (40 percent owned)
With Allen, you get the added bonus of him also being a running threat. The passing continues to come and go, as he's only thrown for 507 yards and two touchdowns so far this season. But he's also ran for two scores, meaning he has some upside if the kinks in the Bills' passing game gets figured out. 

Gardner Minshew, QB, Jaguars (5 percent owned)
The Mississipi Mustache can sling the rock, he just needs head coach Doug Marrone to let him spin. After starting quarterback Nick Foles went out with a broken collarbone in Week 1, Minshew has stepped in and thrown for 488 yards and three touchdowns while completing 77 percent of his passes. Believe in the legend.

[RELATED: 49ers' Samuel among Week 3 waiver-wire targets]

Mason Rudolph, QB, Steelers (1 percent)
If you still believe the Steelers have a viable offense, then you might as well pick up the guy who's going to be slinging it around for the rest of the season. Rudolph was a dynamic passer in college at Oklahoma State and the Steelers also drafted James Washington, who was Rudolph's favored target during his days in Stillwater, Okla.

NFL rumors: Drew Brees needs thumb surgery, likely back for Saints-49ers

NFL rumors: Drew Brees needs thumb surgery, likely back for Saints-49ers

Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been one of the most durable players in the NFL for many years now. But a thumb injury will keep him sidelined for quite some time. 

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Monday morning that Brees tore a ligament in his right thumb Sunday in the Saints' 27-9 loss to the Rams. The 12-time Pro Bowl QB is expected to miss at least six weeks. 

Brees was injured early in the loss when Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald hit his right hand on a pass attempt. The Saints QB was replaced by Teddy Bridgewater, who completed 17 of his 30 pass attempts for 165 yards but failed to throw a touchdown. 

Losing Brees for an extended period of time will be a big blow to the Saints (1-1). New Orleans entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations and now will be without the future Hall of Famer for at least the next six weeks. Brees, however, is expected to return before the Saints face the 49ers. 

San Francisco travels to New Orleans in Week 14. By that time, Brees should be back in the shotgun of Sean Payton's offense. He could still be rusty, though, and this matchup comes in the middle of a six-week stretch where the 49ers will face playoff hopefuls. 

[RELATED: Why Jimmy G getting into early rhythm was key to 49ers' win]

The last time the 49ers faced the Saints, Brees carved up San Francisco's defense in a 41-23 loss to New Orleans in 2016. Brees completed 28 of his 39 pass attempts in that Week 9 contest while gaining 323 yards in the air and three touchdowns. 

Brees' injury could play a big role in the playoff picture, but he should still be trying to fire on all cylinders when the 49ers come to town.