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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Fantasy Football Week 1: Quarterbacks - Sleepers, Fades, Matchups, DFS Bargains

What could be a big season for Russell Wilson starts with a favorable matchup.

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 Josh Allen, Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp. Instead, I'll look at the players you have questions about who could exceed or fail to meet expectations at each position. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the NFL season.

Fabs Top 10
1. Josh Allen at Rams (TNF)
2. Justin Herbert vs. Raiders
3. Lamar Jackson at Jets
4. Jalen Hurts at Lions
5. Patrick Mahomes at Cardinals
6. Kyler Murray vs. Chiefs
7. Tom Brady at Cowboys
8. Russell Wilson at Seahawks (MNF)
9. Joe Burrow vs. Steelers
10. Aaron Rodgers at Vikings

Complete Week 1 rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | FLEX | K | DST


Week 1 Start ‘Em: Quarterbacks

Start of the Week

Russell Wilson at Seahawks (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Wilson is going to be one of the more popular starts among quarterbacks this weekend, as the revenge game narrative against his old team, the Seahawks, jumps to the forefront. Seattle projects to be one of the weaker teams in the league, and Wilson will be motivated to carve up his old squad in front of a national audience. Let’s watch Russ cook!

SI Sportsbook Player Prop: Lance OVER 207.5 passing yards

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson

Start ‘Em

Trey Lance at Bears (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Lance is one of my favorite sleeper/breakout quarterbacks of the season. The Bears defense will no doubt need time to gel under new head coach and defensive mind Matt Eberflus, and I think this unit will struggle against the versatile Lance in the opener. A dual threat, Lance will find success on the ground in what will be a rain-soaked contest in Chicago.

Aaron Rodgers at Vikings (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Rodgers won’t have superstar Davante Adams and there are questions about his wide receivers, but I still see him as a low-end No. 1 quarterback this week. That’s due to a positive matchup against a Vikings team that he has crushed in recent seasons. In his last two games played in Minnesota, Rodgers has thrown for 749 yards and four touchdowns.

Kirk Cousins vs. Packers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): The Packers should have a solid defense but Cousins has a history of success against them in Minnesota. He has scored a combined 47 fantasy points in his last two home games against the Men of Cheese, and he’s posted 21-plus points in three of his last four when facing this NFC North rival at home. He should be started in superflex leagues, at least.

Jameis Winston at Falcons (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Winston might be tough to trust in most leagues, but I do like him in two-quarterback and superflex formats based on a matchup in Atlanta. While the Falcons do have good cornerbacks, the team has a questionable pass rush and allowed nearly 20 fantasy points per game to  quarterbacks last season. Don’t be surprised if Winston posts a nice stat line.

SI Sportsbook Player Prop: Winston OVER 224.5 passing yards

More Starts

  • Dak Prescott vs. Buccaneers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
  • Matt Ryan at Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Trevor Lawrence at Commanders (1 p.m. ET, Fox)

DFS Bargains

  • Trey Lance at Bears ($6,000)
  • Trevor Lawrence at Commanders ($5,600)
  • Matt Ryan at Texans ($5,500)
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields

Week 1 Sit ‘Em: Quarterbacks

Sit of the Week

Justin Fields vs. 49ers (1 p.m. ET, Fox): I think Fields will pop in some weeks this season, but not against Nick Bosa and the 49ers’ big pass rush. He’ll also have to contend with Fred Warner roaming the middle of the field, which will make it tough for the second-year quarterback to find success. He could post a decent line if he can rush for a touchdown, but Fields’s passing totals will be mediocre at best.

Sit ‘Em

Baker Mayfield vs. Browns (1 p.m. ET, CBS): The revenge game narrative will be huge for Mayfield, as he'll face off against the team that quit on him in favor of a quarterback who has off-field issues. What that said, don't you think the Browns defense (which projects to be pretty damn good) wants to beat up on Mayfield after his recent comments? There's also a chance for ran in the contest.

Tua Tagovailoa vs. Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Tagovailoa has a lot to prove this season, but this weekend’s matchup against the Patriots is anything but favorable. Their defense can be tough on quarterbacks, allowing the second-fewest points to the position a season ago. I know the Dolphins offense will be much better with the likes of Tyreek Hill in the mix, but I’d still be wary of Tua as a No. 1 starter.

Carson Wentz vs. Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Wentz very well might make a big difference in the Commanders offense, but I’d beware of him this week. That’s due in large part to a matchup against his nemesis, the Jaguars, who might be one of the reasons he’s not still in Indianapolis. In his two games against them last year, Wentz threw for an average of 182.5 yards and scored a combined 18.2 points.

Ryan Tannehill vs. Giants (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Tannehill had a mediocre year in 2021, and the return of Derrick Henry coupled with a questionable corps of wide receivers makes him a risk this week. He also faces a Giants defense that actually allowed the third-fewest fantasy points a game to quarterbacks (15 PPG) last year. So unless you’re in a superflex or two-quarterback league, I’d sit Tannehill down.

More Sits

  • Derek Carr at Chargers (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Daniel Jones at Titans (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Mac Jones at Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

DFS Fades

  • Joe Burrow vs. Steelers ($6,400)
  • Derek Carr at Chargers ($5,900)
  • Tua Tagovailoa vs. Patriots ($5,700)

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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 to help you win a fantasy championship!


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