Start Em Sit Em

2021 NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 5: 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

Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings · QB
Detroit Lions
2021 · 0-4-0

I mean, I can’t be mad at Cousins for what happened last week. We knew this was a risk. It’s like when you give your toddler crayons, and they have been playing nicely for an hour. You know at some point those crayons are going to end up being used on the wall. The person you should blame is yourself because you knew it was inevitable, but you were sitting there on your phone when you should have been over there supervising. But whatever. Cousins has scored at least 22 fantasy points in three of four games. The Lions have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. We’re good. 

Mac Jones
New England Patriots · QB
Houston Texans
2021 · 1-3-0

I’m a huge Cam Newton guy. Love him. I feel like he should be the starting quarterback of the Texans (maybe even the Steelers at this point), but Jones has looked pretty good as of late. His passing yards, touchdowns and fantasy points have increased in two consecutive games. And honestly, he should have hit that third touchdown pass to make me look exceptionally smart on Sunday night, though, that’s probably impossible. I’m loving Jones' matchup this week against Houston. 

Sam Darnold
Carolina Panthers · QB
Philadelphia Eagles
2021 · 1-3-0

My guy Sam is a good NFL quarterback. He’s one of two quarterbacks (Justin Herbert) to finish in the top 5 in Weeks 3 and Week 4. Sammy has five rushing touchdowns this season, which leads the NFL. I mean, he’s like Cam Newton out there calling his own number. He’s got another great matchup this week against the Eagles, who have allowed eight touchdown passes in the last two games. I mean it was Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott, so let’s not bury the Eagles defense completely, but it's still a favorable matchup. 

Matt Ryan
Atlanta Falcons · QB
New York Jets
2021 · 1-3-0

Game played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.


Ryan played his best game of the season with nearly 30 points against the Giants, and you’re starting to wonder if maybe Arthur Smith is starting to get this offense singing. Ryan has at least two touchdown passes in three consecutive games. He’s actually the QB15 since Week 2. And he should be able to feast against the Jets this week. Or he goes full Matt Ryan and does nothing in a game in which we are counting on him to do big things. 


Jameis Winston
New Orleans Saints · QB
Washington Football Team
2021 · 2-2-0

Speaking of Ryan and what he was able to do against the Football Team, it might be time to start quarterbacks against the FT. They have allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. The FT has allowed a top-five fantasy quarterback in three consecutive weeks, which is wild because we felt like the Washington defense was going to be fantastic. It’s been just about the opposite of that. 

Daniel Jones
New York Giants · QB
Dallas Cowboys
2021 · 3-1-0

I’m putting this in here because I really hate myself. I wanted to put Danny Dimes on the sit list, but the Cowboys have given up a lot of production to quarterbacks in recent weeks. I know it seems weird because the Cowboys have won their last two games rather convincingly, but Jalen Hurts and Sam Darnold have had really good games against them -- at least fantasy point wise. I saw Sammy run for a pair of touchdowns and I can’t help but think of what Dimes might be able to do running the football. 

Sleepers: Trey Lance at Arizona Cardinals; Trevor Lawrence vs. Tennessee Titans.

Sit 'Em

Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steelers · QB
Denver Broncos
2021 · 3-1-0

The Broncos have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Part of me feels like Roethlisberger is going to rise up like a movie villain you feel is dead, having that one last gasp, but it’s tough watching the Steelers offense right now. Outside of super-flex leagues, there is no reason to even roster Roethlisberger at this point. I know my editor will also reach out to me and say, “Hey, Mike Tomlin said Ben Roethlisberger has a hip injury.” But yes, that’s the dance we go through with Roethlisberger. Like, we know every single injury he has ever had. We know if his kids slept in his bed and kicked him in the kidney (which hurts, mind you). But that’s Roethlisberger. With other quarterbacks, it’s all, “this guy played the entire season with a liquified femur.” Roethlisberger calls a news conference when he gets a bad haircut. Here’s my thing. It’s hard to find quarterbacks to fade this week. Roethlisberger is one of them. 

Taylor Heinicke
Washington Football Team · QB
New Orleans Saints
2021 · 2-2-0

I like No. 4. He was a nice streamer last week against the Falcons. Paid off handsomely. I’m looking at this matchup against the Saints, however, and I don’t like it. The Saints have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Is it my imagination, or does the Saints defense play better when they are outside? Wait, the Saints gave up 26 on the road in Carolina. So nevermind about that. Still, I’m not crazy about this matchup. And if you started Heinicke last week, you might want to move on here and use some of the above options. Like seriously, pick up Trey Lance if he starts Sunday.

Baker Mayfield
Cleveland Browns · QB
Los Angeles Chargers
2021 · 3-1-0

There is a chance the Chargers come out flat in this game. We’ve seen a lot of this stuff in the NFL over the years. A team wins an emotional game, comes out flat the following week. I wouldn’t even say it would be the “same old Chargers” either. I just anticipate this one being low-scoring, with a lot more defense and ball control. I trust Justin Herbert in games like that. I don’t feel that dangerous to go with Baker. I didn’t even mean that pun, but it does play. 

Jared Goff
Detroit Lions · QB
Minnesota Vikings
2021 · 1-3-0

I mean, I saw him throw for nearly 300 yards with a pair of touchdowns against the Bears. It seemed like he was always in the red zone all day, so that part of it was cool. Goff still makes way too many mistakes, however. I would love to say it was the Bears defense and the Vikings aren’t as good. So I’ll say exactly that. I’m also still not starting Goff this week. 

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