Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Fantasy Football Week 1: Kickers

Trust your gut, stick with your kicker and don't chase after the matchup play in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season

Start ‘Em, Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams, or Travis Kelce. Instead, I'll look at the players you have the most questions about to help you set the most effective starting lineup possible. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2021 NFL season.

UPDATED: September 10, 2021

Week 1 Start ‘Em: Kickers

Start of the Week

Younghoe Koo kicks a field goal.

Younghoe Koo vs. Eagles (1 p.m. ET, FOX): One of the top kickers in fantasy land, Koo averaged 10.7 points this past season. He's in a good spot to find further success in the opener against the Falcons, who allowed eight or more fantasy points to kickers 10 times last season. This contest should be high-scoring, so Koo is a strong option.

Week 1 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em


MORE: Week 1 Hub: Rankings, Articles & More

Start ‘Em

Matt Gay vs. Bears (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Gay played in just seven games last year, but he averaged a solid 8.6 fantasy points in that time. This week’s matchup against the Bears isn’t expected to be a barnburner, but Gay should see some opportunities if the Chicago defense bends but doesn’t break down in the Rams side of the gridiron.

Robbie Gould at Lions (1 p.m. ET, FOX): This will likely be one of the most lopsided games of the week, as the powerful 49ers face a Lions squad that might not win five times this season. No team allowed more points on their home field than Detroit in 2020, so Gould and the Niners should see more than their share of scoring chances.

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More Starts

  • Matt Prater at Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Mason Crosby at Saints (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)


  • Sam Ficken vs. Cardinals (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Greg Joseph at Bengals (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Week 1 Sit ‘Em: Kickers

Sit of the Week

Las Vegas Raiders Daniel Carlson

Daniel Carlson vs. Ravens (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Carlson was one of the top kickers in fantasy football a season ago, ranking third in fantasy points behind Jason Sanders and Koo. However, he could have a tough start to this season, and the Raiders will host a Ravens defense that allowed the fewest fantasy points to kickers in 2020.

Sit ‘Em

Chris Boswell at Bills (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Boswell is coming off a disappointing year from a fantasy perspective, averaging 7.2 points while ranking tied for 25th in points. He’ll face a difficult matchup this week against the Bills, who allowed just 23 field goals and the sixth-fewest fantasy points to kickers last season. Keep Boswell on the wire.

Jason Sanders at Patriots (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS): Sanders was one of the two top kickers in fantasy football last season, so he'll be tough to bench this week. However, he did struggle against the Patriots in 2020, scoring a combined five fantasy points in two games. New England also allowed fewer than seven points a game to kickers.

More Sits

  • Cairo Santos at Rams (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
  • Ka’imi Fairbairn vs. Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, CBS)


  • Rodrigo Blankenship vs. Seahawks (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Jake Elliott at Falcons (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!