Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Saquon Barkley will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system. For your final starting lineup decisions, check my weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.
Start of the Week
Winston could end up being one of the best bargains in fantasy drafts, and an opening week game against the 49ers makes him an attractive option. Last season, the Niners allowed the most passing touchdowns and the third-most fantasy points to home field generals. Unless you have an elite option at the quarterback position, start Winston.
Prescott was a far better fantasy quarterback last season after the addition of Amari Cooper, and that trend should continue this weekend in an NFC East-matchup against the Giants. The last time he faced Big Blue, Prescott threw for 387 yards and four touchdowns in a 36-35 win. Expect another solid stat line from the veteran.
Jackson is one of my favorite quarterback breakout candidates, and this week's game in Miami bodes well for him to produce a nice stat line. The Dolphins are a mess on both sides of the ball, and their defense allowed the most rushing yards to visiting quarterbacks a season ago. Jackson will shine in the Sunshine State.
Goff should once again be a fairly reliable fantasy option this season, and the return of Cooper Kupp just makes him that much more attractive. The Panthers were tough on visiting quarterbacks a season ago (16.58 PPG), but I'm still on board with Goff and what should remain an explosive Los Angeles offensive attack in 2019.
Cousins fell in a lot of fantasy drafts, but he's still a potential QB1 when the matchup is right. That's the case this week, as he faces an Atlanta defense that gave up more fantasy points to home quarterbacks last season than any other team in the entire league. If you like to stream the position, consider Cousins a worthy option.
Sit of the Week
Roethlisberger gets a tough first matchup of the season, facing a Patriots defense that held visiting quarterbacks to an average of fewer than 15 fantasy points per game a season ago. Big Ben is also without his long-time top target, Antonio Brown, making him an even riskier option. I'd sidelined him outside of super flex/2-QB leagues.
I'm not telling you that Ryan is a must-sit quarterback, but I am telling you to temper expectations. The Vikings' defense allowed just four touchdown passes at home last season, and visiting field generals averaged a mere 10.78 fantasy points against them. If you have a strong alternative this weekend, Ryan is a sit 'em candidate.
Not only did Carr and the Raiders release trouble child wide receiver Antonio Brown, but he also has a brutal matchup on Monday night against the Broncos. He's failed to produce a top-15 finish at his position in nine career games against this AFC West rival. I'd keep Carr in park ... even in a deep 2-QB or super flex league.
I'm all in on Darnold as a sleeper candidate in fantasy land, but I would fade him this week based on a tough matchup against the Bills. Last season, home quarterbacks averaged a mere 198.1 passing yards and averaged 12.61 fantasy points against them. Unless you're in a two-quarterback league, I'd avoid Darnold this weekend.
Stafford has fallen from grace in the world of fantasy football, making him a risk-reward QB2 in super flex leagues at best this week. The Cardinals defensive backfield is banged up heading into the season, but this unit was tough on visiting quarterbacks a season ago. At what is a very deep position, Stafford remains a sit 'em for me.
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. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for all of the latest fantasy football news, notes and in-depth analysis!