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 Christian McCaffrey 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
Ryan is on pace to throw the football more than 700 times this season, so it makes sense that he's in the mix as a start of the week as Atlanta travels to Arizona. The Cardinals have surrendered a 116.1 passer rating and an average of more than 23 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, so Ryan should produce another solid line.
Murray, listed as a start 'em last week, scored over 25 fantasy points in a win over the Bengals. He has another great matchup next, as the Falcons have allowed an average of 263.2 passing yards and the second-most fantasy points (23.3 PPG) to quarterbacks. Their defense has also allowed two rushing touchdowns to the position.
Yes folks, it's come to this ... Rodgers is no longer a must-start in fantasy leagues. (Sounds weird, right?) The good news is that he faces a Lions defense this week that's allowed more than 18 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. He's also been a top-eight fantasy field general in four of his last five home games against the Lions.
Prescott is coming off a strong fantasy line against the Packers, and I'd keep him active this week when the Cowboys face off against the Jets. Their defense has allowed an average of 272 passing yards and 25.3 points per game this season, so Prescott should keep his hot start to the season (at least in fantasy terms) going in this game.
Minshew has scored 17-plus fantasy points in two of his last three games, and he's thrown for multiple touchdowns in all but one of his first five contests. He's a nice option during the bye week, as the Saints have given up an average of over 23 fantasy points per game to signal-callers. Minshew is a free agent in most leagues.
Sit of the Week
Stafford has had a solid start to the season, scoring 23-plus points in tow of his first four starts while throwing for multiple touchdowns three times. Still, I'd keep him on the sidelines in what is a tough matchup in Green Bay on Monday Night Football. Their defense has given up an average of just 13 fantasy points per game to enemy quarterbacks.
Mayfield has been an enormous bust this season, scoring fewer than 10 points three times including a minus-2 point stinker last week. He isn't even worth a roster spot in shallow fantasy leagues, and I'd bench him (again) ahead of a matchup against the Seahawks. Their defense has given up just 15.3 fantasy points per game to home quarterbacks.
Listed as a sit 'em last week, Rivers put up a massive stinker in a loss to the Broncos. I'd keep him on the sidelines this week too, as a bad matchup against the Steelers is next on the schedule. Their tough pass defense has surrendered an average of just 250 passing yards and fewer than 15 fantasy points to field generals after five weeks.
Winston has produced 17-plus fantasy points in three straight games, but I'd temper expectations against the Panthers. Their defense has allowed an average of fewer than 15 fantasy points per game to enemy quarterbacks this season, and Winston has finished as the QB14 or worse in all but one of his eight career starts vs. Carolina.
Listed as a sit 'em last week, Mariota scored just 8.6 fantasy points in a loss to the Bills. I'd keep him on the sidelines this week too, as the Titans face a road matchup in Denver. Their defense has been tough on quarterbacks, allowing just four touchdown passes, 207.6 passing yards and the third-fewest fantasy points per game to the position.
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!