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Fantasy Football

Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em: Week 1 Must-Start, Must-Sit Quarterbacks

Nick Lepri



Looking into Week 1 of the NFL fantasy football season, we will explore all of the matchups. By dissecting each matchup, we will see how it will positively and negatively impact each quarterback. I’ve compiled a list, much like a start ’em sit ’em, that analyzes the rankings to give you some must-start and must-sit quarterbacks for Week 1 of the NFL season.

Fantasy Football Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em: Week 1 Must Start/Sit Quarterbacks

Must Starts:

Jalen Hurts – PHI (at Atlanta Falcons)

One of the true coinflip games of the week is the Philidelphia Eagles facing the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. This game has all the aspects of a high-scoring matchup. Even with a dicey wide receiver corps with DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, and then a myriad of other receivers. The Eagles set up to have a successful game against the Falcons defense. The Falcons also have a solid offense with a bad defense, so we should see tons of passing in this game, making Jalen Hurts a must-start QB. 

Matt Ryan – ATL (vs Philidelphia Eagles)

Everything that was said previously about the game is applicable here. Even without Julio Jones, the Falcons offense is set up for success. Russell Gage should fill the void somewhat for Jones, with Kyle Pitts being the new X factor of the offense. Going up against a subpar Eagles defense, with a pass-heavy offense in Atlanta Matt Ryan is a great option for Week 1. Start ’em.

Tom Brady – TB (vs Dallas Cowboys)

Despite Tom Brady being a bit long in the tooth, he is still a reliable fantasy option. Here against the Cowboys, he has real top-5 potential. The Cowboys defense may be one of the worst units in all of the NFL. Even with that said, the Cowboys; offense is good enough to keep them in the game, which will lead to Brady throwing more. We also received positive news that it appears Chris Godwin will suit up in this Thursday Night Football matchup, giving Brady even higher upside.

Kirk Cousins – MIN (at Cincinnati Bengals)

Kirk Cousins is just about the most average NFL quarterback. With that said, this is a supreme matchup for Cousins to have an amazing game. The Cincinnati Bengals’ defense is bad. That same sentiment can be made about the Vikings’ defense. In games where there are solid offenses and two not-so-hot defenses, you are bound to see fireworks. This is going to be a back-and-forth affair, and look for the Vikings stack to be a very popular play this week in DFS. 

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Sam Darnold – CAR (vs New York Jets)

There is nothing sweeter than a revenge game narrative in the NFL. Sam Darnold gets to go toe to toe with the team that drafted him and did not bring him back. Darnold has all the weapons around him to succeed in a matchup against the Jets defense. This is also a revenge game for Robby Anderson, so we could see a solid performance from him as well. Even without any type of revenge-game narrative, this is a great matchup for Darnold to show what he can really do without Adam Gase. Start ’em.

Must Sits:

Carson Wentz – IND (vs Seattle Seahawks)

Returning from the foot injury that plagued him in the offseason Carson Wentz will likely be far from 100% in this game. He came back quite early in the projected injury timetable, so the expectation is that he will be at least somewhat hampered by the injury. While this is not a tough matchup from Wentz, not being present for much of training camp will likely impact him in this game. He is a quarterback that was already risky going into the 2021 fantasy football season, and with the early return from injury, he is a clear sit ’em this week.

Tua Tagovailoa – MIA (at New England Patriots)

Many clamor for the Tua Tagovailoa breakout season in his sophomore year. For the believers, Week 1 will be a hard pill to swallow. The Patriots’ defense far exceeds what we saw last season. Tons of opt-outs led to subpar defense. Even without Stephon Gillmore, the Patriots will be a tough task for Tagovailoa. Add in Will Fuller being suspended in this matchup with a low point total via Vegas lines, don’t expect Tagovailoa to have an explosive Week 1. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick – WAS (vs Los Angeles Chargers)

While Ryan Fitzpatrick was an interesting late-round fantasy draft selection, this matchup against the Chargers is terrible. This is a game that is likely to be very low-scoring as most sportsbooks have this game at a 44.5 total. Fitzpatrick is also far from a reliable quarterback and in a game against a tough defense, we are likely to not see any Fitzpatrick. 

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Zach Wilson (at Carolina Panthers)

One key piece of advice for whenever a rookie quarterback starts his first NFL game is usually to avoid them in fantasy football. This is especially true with Zach Wilson going up against an underrated Panthers defense. Basically, you just want to wait a week or two before you can fire up Wilson. Sit ’em. 

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