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2021 NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 1: Quarterbacks

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'em

Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles PHI · QB

When last I saw Hurts, he was our No. 1 quarterback going into Week 16 against the Cowboys. Yes, I know he got pulled by Doug Pederson in Week 17, but I’m actually trying to forget that. My point was, Hurts was pretty good last year. Though some of you want to pretend that he wasn’t. And don’t get me started on the people who were overreacting to the team bringing in Gardner Minshew. The Eagles view quarterbacks the same way I look at vintage golf polos. I can never have enough. But Hurts now has a great matchup against one of the worst pass defenses from last year, which lost their best player Keanu Neal. I’m back with Hurts.

Matt Ryan
Atlanta Falcons ATL · QB

And let’s not ignore the other quarterback in that game. I got waaaaay too cute in some of my leagues this year in waiting on a quarterback. And ended up with Ryan in a ton of leagues. Mostly because I had either Calvin Ridley or Kyle Pitts and I wanted to go with that stack, yo. Ryan is consistently good, even though you don’t want to believe it. He’s like the Christian of the NFL. Always overlooked. I mean, do you think Kenny Omega was just wrestling a broom on Sunday night. The point is, the Eagles also have some possible deficiencies on defense. Darius Slay is coming off his worst season of his career. And Steven Nelson needs to be great. Which could happen.

Baker Mayfield
Cleveland Browns CLE · QB

The Chiefs defense actually allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks last year. Mostly because the Chiefs are so good, other teams are forced to throw to keep up. From Weeks 11-14 last year, Mayfield was averaging close to 300 yards passing and had 10 touchdowns, including four against the Titans. Vegas has this as one of the top scoring games on the weekend, so don’t be afraid to stream Mayfield if needed. Or if you want a contrarian play in DFS.

Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings MIN · QB

I really like Cousins as a sleeper this season. He had eight games last year with at least three touchdown passes. And I was already to make him a sit this week because the Bengals were decent against the pass last season and this figured to be a huge Dalvin Cook game. But with Trae Waynes ruled out this week, Cousins becomes a delightful streamer against the Bengals. Like I literally had him as a sit, but now I like him as a frisky start against the Bengals. And look, I like making fun of Cousins as much as anybody else. But this is the kind of game he lives for.

Trevor Lawrence
Jacksonville Jaguars JAX · QB

I’m not going to wait to get Lawrence into the lineup. I ended up taking a few shares of him (again waiting on a QB) so I’m ready. I would prefer Lawrence to Mayfield but would likely go with Ryan ahead of him. I mean, we all saw what Justin Herbert did in his first start last year against the Chiefs, so that will always be in my mind. But we have history with Ryan that we don’t have with Lawrence yet. But I’m not scared, I just like Ryan better. It’s like when you’re ordering slices, you can like mushroom pizza, but sometimes you want the Margherita slice instead. Don’t judge me.

New York Jets NYJ · QB

I was really impressed by Zach during the preseason. And it might be wrong to overreact to something great we saw in the preseason, his poise was there. His arm looked great. And I’m not saying that the matchup against the Panthers is perfect. Carolina was right there in the middle in terms of points allowed to quarterbacks last season. I do like the opportunity for him in this one. Las Vegas sees this being low-scoring, but I think both teams could have some sneaky good offense. You have Darnold against his former team. The Jets maybe being in a deficit that allows Zach to fling the rock. I like this one. But I also liked the original Suicide Squad movie, so maybe don’t always ask me.

Sleepers: Jimmy Garoppolo at Detroit Lions; Sam Darnold vs. New York Jets (REVENGE GAME)

Tough matchups I'd never dream of sitting: Josh Allen vs. Pittsburgh Steelers; Justin Herbert at Washington FT

Sit 'em

Andy Dalton
Chicago Bears CHI · QB

This is one last plea to Matt Nagy to let Justin Fields start this game. I feel like this could be a Tom Savage situation where Dalton plays a half and then Fields never comes off the field. And I know, bUt WhAt AbOUt AaRoN dOnAlD? Did you know that Tua Tagovailoa made his NFL debut against the Los Angeles Rams last year and he lit them up? Fine, he didn’t light them up. Throwing for just 93 yards and a touchdown. But the Dolphins beat them by eight. And I have to imagine they were home dogs. But speaking of Tua.

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins MIA · QB

Tua did lead the Dolphins to a win over the visiting Patriots last year and scored a pair of touchdowns in the dub. But for a guy who had two rushing touchdowns in the game, it wasn’t that great of a fantasy performance. Like, not what you would expect. Mostly because he rushed for just 12 yards and passed for 145 with a pick. And this seems like the kind of thing that didn’t set well with Bill Belichick over the past couple of months. I’m going to avoid this one like I’ve avoided watching RAW for all of these months.

Jameis Winston
New Orleans Saints NO · QB

*Game played at Jacksonville's TIAA Bank Field

I’m not going to make Winston jokes because I truly believe he can be a good quarterback this season. I know, but 30 interceptions. Yes, I’m aware of that. I know it’s easier to be a hater than having a good take (I mean, hello!). But dude had 25 combined picks the previous two seasons before his 30 in 2019. So if he regresses to his average, he’s going to be fine. But I’m not starting him against the Packers defense, which is overlooked and I don’t know why. Maybe if Jaire Alexander pouted during the offseason, he’d get more recognition.

Teddy Bridgewater
Denver Broncos DEN · QB

I know, you probably weren’t going to start Bridgewater anyway. But I wanted to use this valuable column space to remind you the Giants low-key have a pretty great secondary. They allowed the fifth-fewest points to quarterbacks last year, behind the Rams, Steelers, Football Team and Packers. See, I wasn’t lying about Green Bay.

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter.

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