Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em is the ultimate weekly look at NFL matchups and how they’ll affect your fantasy footballteam. Fantasy superstars such as Todd Gurley and Antonio Brown will not be featured. All player matchups are based on PPR scoring system. NFL researchers Matt Frederick and Michael Florio have contributed to the column. For your final starting lineup decisions, check our weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.
Start of the Week – Patrick Mahomes vs. San Francisco 49ers
Is Mahomes now a must start in all fantasy leagues? If you didn’t draft an elite quarterback ahead of him, well, the answer is yes. He has another great matchup this week, as he’ll face a Niners defense that has given up five touchdown passes and an average of 22.52 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks after two weeks. Fire him up!
Kirk Cousins vs. Buffalo Bills
Cousins has opened the season on absolute fire, throwing for six touchdowns in his first two games. He should continue to shine in the stat sheets against the Bills, who have surrendered six touchdown passes and an average of almost 25 fantasy points per game to signal-callers. Consider Cousins a virtual must-start option.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Garoppolo has had a disappointing start to the season, but don’t lose hope in the handsome field general. In fact, this week’s matchup against the Chiefs makes him a terrific starting option for owners. Their swiss cheese defense has allowed a combined seven touchdowns and 33.97 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Fitzpatrick has been on absolute fire, scoring nine total touchdowns while leading all players in fantasy points after two weeks. While the bubble might burst this week, the matchup against the Steelers is hard to ignore. Only the Chiefs have allowed more fantasy points (31.21 PPG) to opposing field generals this season.
Matthew Stafford vs. New England Patriots
The Patriots made Blake Bortles look like the GOAT last week, allowing 377 yards and four touchdowns in a loss to the Jaguars. While defensive adjustments are certain, I still like Stafford as a No. 1 fantasy quarterback based on the matchup. What’s more, game script projections have Stafford throwing the ball a ton on Sunday night.
Sit of the Week – Philip Rivers vs. Los Angeles Rams
Rivers is a tough quarterback to sit after his hot start in the stat sheets, but he’s faced two of the NFL’s worst pass defenses in Kansas City and Buffalo. This week, the veteran will face a Rams defense that hasn’t allowed a touchdown pass in its first two games. If you decide to start Rivers, temper expectations in this battle of Hollywood.
Dak Prescott vs. Seattle Seahawks
Prescott and the Cowboys pulled out a nice win against the Giants last week, but the quarterback still had a mere 14.9 fantasy points. He’s also failed to score 15 points in nine of his last 10 games. And while the Legion of Boom is now extinct, a road game against the Seahawks is still enough to bench Prescott this weekend.
Derek Carr vs. Miami Dolphins
Carr looked good in last week’s loss to the Broncos, completing 90.6 percent of his passes with a rating of 114.6. Unfortunately, he mustered just 15.52 fantasy points. Next up is a road matchup in Miami. In his last 11 road contests, Carr has just one game with multiple touchdown passes and has scored 16-plus points once.
Case Keenum vs. Baltimore Ravens
Keenum was a major disappointment a week ago, scoring just 14.48 fantasy points despite what looked like a nice matchup on paper against the Raiders. Now he’ll head east to face the Ravens, who have allowed just one quarterback to finish better than 15th in fantasy points over their last nine contests at home. Keep Case benched.
Marcus Mariota vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Mariota missed last week’s game with a bum elbow, and his status for Week 3 remains in question. In the event that he is able to suit up, however, he needs to be far, far from your starting lineup in a matchup against the Jaguars. Their defense has allowed just one top-15 signal-caller performance on their hoome field since 2017.
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!