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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Quarterbacks for Week 1

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Sleeper alert features an under-the-radar player who could produce good numbers. Owners beware features a regular fantasy starter who could fail to meet expectations based on the strength of his opponent. Obvious fantasy starters like Aaron Rodgers and Arian Foster will not be featured in this column. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Start of the week


Matt Ryan at New Orleans Saints: It's almost always a barnburner when the Falcons and Saints square off in the NFC South. That's good news for Ryan, who has thrown for 370-plus yards in each of this last two road starts in New Orleans. He's also thrown the ball 50-plus times in three of his last four against them overall. He's a terrific option this week. (Maximum value: High-QB1)

Start 'em


Robert Griffin III vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Mon.): He's back! Despite missing all of the preseason, RGIII (knee) will start against the Eagles on Monday night. The talented passer averaged 199 passing yards and scored a combined six touchdowns in two starts against them in 2012, and the Eagles defense has question marks. (Maximum value: High-QB1)

Matthew Stafford vs. Minnesota Vikings: Stafford loves to rack up the yards at Ford Field, averaging just under 350 passing yards in his last nine home games. The Vikings surrendered an average of close to 20 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks on the road last season, which makes Stafford even more attractive this weekend. (Maximum value: Low-QB1)

Tony Romo vs. New York Giants: Romo might not get much respect in terms of real football, but he can be a valuable fantasy asset. He's thrown for 300-plus passing yards in four of his last six games against the Giants, who struggled to stop quarterbacks in 2012. What's more, Romo averaged 365 yards in his last seven home games last season. (Maximum value: Mid-QB1)

Sleeper alert -- Terrelle Pryor at Indianapolis Colts: Pryor isn't the most accurate quarterback in the league (not even close), but he can score fantasy points with his legs (ala Tim Tebow). And in a contest where the Raiders could find themselves behind against the Colts, who have struggled to stop the run, Pryor could see some garbage-time success. (Maximum value: Mid-QB2)

Sit of the week


Andy Dalton at Chicago Bears: Dalton has some definite sleeper appeal heading into this season, but this week's matchup in Chicago is anything but attractive. In fact, the Bears allowed an averaged of fewer than 13 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks at Soldier Field in 2012. You can find much better matchup options in most leagues. (Maximum value: Low-QB2)

Sit 'em


Carson Palmer at St. Louis Rams: Palmer should be considered a nice matchup-based starter in most fantasy leagues during the course of the season, but a road game against an aggressive Rams defense isn't what I like to call an attractive matchup. Outside of wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, there isn't a must-start option on the Cardinals this week. (Maximum value: Low-QB2)

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Jay Cutler vs. Cincinnati Bengals: There's a lot of hype around Cutler with new offensive-minded coach Marc Trestman calling the shots, but I'm not a believer - not against the Bengals. Their defense has tremendous talent, allowing an average of fewer than 14 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks on the road in 2012. (Maximum value: Mid-QB2)

Josh Freeman at New York Jets: Freeman showed flashes of brilliance last season, but he was inconsistent down the stretch and can't be trusted to serve as a fantasy starter when the matchup is tough. That's certainly the case this weekend, as the Jets fielded one of the more stout pass defenses in the entire league last season. (Maximum value: Low-QB2)

Owners beware -- Cam Newton vs. Seattle Seahawks: You shouldn't sit Newton if you don't have a viable and legitimate replacement, but keep this in mind: Last season, he recorded an unimpressive 141 passing yards with no touchdowns during a Week 5 loss at home to the Seahawks. He also rushed for just 42 yards and lost a fumble in the contest. (Maximum value: Low-QB1)


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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