Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at the NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system. For your final lineup decisions, be sure to check my weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.
Week 1 Start 'Em: Quarterbacks
Start of the Week
Carson Wentz at Washington
The Eagles will be without Alshon Jeffery and Jalen Reagor, but DeSean Jackson and the duo of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are enough to make Wentz a solid option for fantasy fans this week. He has also played well against the Football Team in recent seasons, scoring 18.9 or more fantasy points against them in five straight meetings. That includes four games with over 19.8 points and two last season with over 21 points.
Josh Allen vs. Jets
Allen wasn’t all that great against the Jets last season, posting just 15.9 fantasy points in his lone full appearance against them. Still, the versatile quarterback will remain a solid option when the Men in Green come for a Week 1 visit. In 2019, New York surrendered nearly 19 points per game to home quarterbacks. With C.J. Mosley opting out and questions in the defensive backfield, Allen should have no problems in the stat sheets.
Matt Ryan vs. Seahawks
The folks at DK Sportsbook have the over/under at 49, so the sharps expect a high scorer. Also, because I do love odd trends, how’s this one: In his last 16 home games in even numbered years (because he’s thrived in those years), Ryan has scored 18-plus fantasy points 12 times (67-percent) with nine games of 24 or more points. Ryan has also averaged over 27 points in his last two home openers in even-numbered years.
Ben Roethlisberger at Giants
Big Ben is back and looked good in training camp (from what we've heard), and he'll open with a great matchup against the Giants. In 2019, their defense surrendered 30 touchdown passes, and the third-most fantasy points to enemy quarterbacks. For those worried about Roethlisberger playing on the road, well, he scored 19-plus points in all but one of his eight roadies in 2018 (his last full season). He’s a worthy option this week.
Cam Newton vs. Dolphins
Newton comes with many question marks this season, from his health to the rapport he has (or doesn't) with his new teammates. However, reports out of camp were positive for the most part, and this week's matchup against Miami has Newton in the Start 'Em portion of this column. While it is a leap of faith, he's got a great matchup versus a Dolphins defense that allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2019.
- Kyler Murray at 49ers
- Drew Brees vs. Buccaneers
- Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Cardinals
- Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Cardinals (DraftKings: $5,800)
- Tyrod Taylor at Bengals: (DraftKings: $5,600)
- Mitchell Trubisky at Lions (DraftKings: $5,400)
Week 1 Sit 'Em: Quarterbacks
Sit of the Week
Aaron Rodgers at Vikings
Rodgers was a disappointment for fantasy fans a season ago, posting 16 or fewer points in 10 of his 16 games. He’ll have a tough task to start the 2020 campaign too, as the Packers face a Vikings defense that added Yannick Ngakoue in the offseason. Rodgers was held to fewer than 15 fantasy points in both of his 2019 starts against the Vikings, so you might be better off going in a different direction this weekend.
Jared Goff vs. Cowboys (SNF)
This could be a "me" problem: I don't trust Goff, and I don't feel safe starting him in the opening week. However, there are some red flags like a tough matchup against a Cowboys defense that allowed just 16.1 fantasy points per game to enemy quarterbacks last season. Goff has also averaged a modest 14.3 points in three career Week 1 starts and threw one or fewer touchdown passes in four of his eight home games last season.
Kirk Cousins vs. Packers
Cousins will be a matchup-based starter this season, and a game against the Packers isn't favorable. Green Bay was tough on enemy quarterbacks a season ago, allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points (13.3 PPG) to the position. What’s more, their defense held Cousins to fewer than nine fantasy points in both of their 2019 matchups. Unless you’re in a two-quarterback league, Cousins should be a fade this weekend.
Baker Mayfield at Ravens
Mayfield didn’t cook up much success against the Ravens a season ago, scoring fewer than 16 fantasy points in both games while being held to a combined three touchdown passes with two interceptions. The Ravens were also super stingy against enemy quarterbacks at home in 2019, allowing just five touchdown passes and the fewest fantasy points (11.2 PPG) to the position. This simply isn’t a week to trust Mayfield in fantasy land.
Daniel Jones vs. Steelers
This one pains me because I expect Jones to become a solid option in fantasy leagues this season. The issue is that this week's matchup versus the Steelers is anything but favorable. Their defense was gangbusters against quarterbacks a year ago, allowing just 13.6 fantasy points per game to the position on the road. Jones will have more than his share of solid stat lines in 2020, but this week he's a Sit 'Em in standard formats.
- Ryan Tannehill at Broncos
- Ryan Fitzpatrick at Patriots
- Joe Burrow vs. Chargers
- Rodgers at Vikings (DraftKings: $6,300)
- Matthew Stafford vs. Bears (DraftKings: $6,200)
- Philip Rivers at Jacksonville ($6,000)
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. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the latest news and analysis!
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