Start Em Sit Em

2021 NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 3: 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 · QB
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys
2021 · 1-1-0

I should know better. I had Jalen as my QB1 headed into Week 16 last year, the fantasy championship round. And while it wasn’t great, I should have started my QB2 that week, Tom Brady. But still, Jalen has been good to start this season. He had a good game against the 49ers, thanks to 82 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. I hope this is the last time I have to answer questions about this. Jalen is a starter. Point. Blank. Period. He should be able to take advantage of this matchup against the Cowboys. Justin Herbert was good against the Cowboys, but not as dominant as most people thought he was going to be, which kind of sounds familiar. Again, though, we are starting Jalen moving forward. It’s settled.

Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings · QB
Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
2021 · 1-1-0

Look, we liked Cousins at the start of the year. Having noted he had eight games last year with at least three touchdown passes. And he’s going to have his good times and his bad times. But dude has scored at least 22 fantasy points in back-to-back games to start the year. And while Vikings fans told me they had the most talent in the league this offseason, they are 0-2. And they need to keep throwing the ball. The matchup is decent enough against the Seahawks. Seeing the way Derrick Henry ran through the Seahawks, this could be a Dalvin Cook game. This is probably a lock for a Cook game because I’ve picked up Cousins in a lot of spots to start him this week over Matt Ryan who I can now admit won’t be very consistent.

Derek Carr
Las Vegas Raiders · QB
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
2021 · 1-1-0

I called Derek a good quarterback on Total Access after the Monday night game in Week 1 (you should check it out, I’m on every week). And some people on Twitter got upset because it’s Twitter and that’s what you all do over there. I will say this, he’s a good quarterback. He’s had at least 24 points in both starts this year. He had 382 passing yards and two touchdowns – including a bomb to Henry Ruggs III that was so Raiders-like. The vertical game! The Dolphins could be a difficult matchup, as I don’t believe they are as bad as they were on Sunday. It is worth noting Carr was on the injury list but is still expected to start this week, according to coach Jon Gruden.


Daniel Jones
New York Giants · QB
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons
2021 · 0-2-0

Is Daniel Jones now Cam Newton? He’s been so good, especially running the football. It would be foolish to ignore his near 30 points against the Football Team on Thursday night. And we love this matchup this week against the Atlanta Falcons who have allowed at least 28 fantasy points in both starts this season. Of course, one of those starts was to Brady. But it's still worth noting the Falcons defense is as bad as we remember it from last year. I’d actually make him my top waiver claim if you lost your quarterback this week. Or if you’re just sick of starting your guy (looking at you, Matt Ryan and Ryan Tannehill).

Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · QB
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams
2021 · 2-0-0

I don’t make it a habit of putting chalk in this column. That’s not going to help anybody. But I do know that a lot of you will have questions about this because the Rams defense has been pretty good this season. But I wouldn’t worry about that. Brady has looked great against the Cowboys and the Falcons. That would be like beating Serpentico and Nick Nemeth and expecting to get a shot at Kenny Omega’s AEW championship. But since Brady is sort of the Bryan Danielson of the NFL (we’re not getting into it), I think he gets to jump the line. BTW, has anybody else noticed how the Bucs never stop throwing? I love it.

Justin Fields
Chicago Bears · QB
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
2021 · 1-1-0

You’re going to ask me, so I might as well tell you right now. If you’re a Bears fan who has been waiting all season to start Justin Fields, I say go for it. I’m not going to talk you out of it. Fields actually graded out pretty well according to former quarterback Dan Orlovsky, just so you don’t think it’s my homer take on the situation. I am obviously very excited to start him, but wouldn’t put him over anybody on this list like Tom Brady. But I do feel in leagues where passing touchdowns are worth only four points, his running ability gives him a pretty safe floor to slot him just outside the QB1 range. At the very least, he should be rostered in your league. 

Sleepers: Mac Jones vs. New Orleans Saints; Baker Mayfield vs. Chicago Bears.

Sit 'Em

Jameis Winston
New Orleans Saints · QB
New England Patriots
New England Patriots
2021 · 1-1-0

A lot of you are wild. Don’t think I didn’t see your tweets saying that you were going to start Jameis over Lamar Jackson last week. I have receipts. Don’t force me to use them. Now that we’ve all settled down and returned to Earth, I’m not a Jameis hater. Not in the least. But we have to be smart when we are going to play him. And it would be smart to leave him on the bench against Bill Belichick this week.

Taylor Heinicke
Washington Football Team · QB
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
2021 · 1-1-0

Big fan of Taylor. Huge, in fact. I can’t start him this week against the Bills who have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. I will say he should be the FT starting quarterback for the rest of the season, too, even if Ryan Fitzpatrick is able to return. Heinicke has earned it at this point. And really, the combo of starting Heinicke and then having Fitzpatrick available to come out of the pen is a good strategy that could work for the FT. Fitzy, remember, is out at least eight weeks.

Zach Wilson
New York Jets · QB
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
2021 · 2-0-0

I don’t know why I keep starting Wilson in one of my leagues. No, I am starting him in a super-flex league. But I’m in a 12-team league where me, being an industry hipster, doesn’t draft a quarterback and everybody else in my league drafts two or three guys and I’m left picking a rookie who plays for the Jets. I also have Jameis. Sometimes I hate my life.

Joe Burrow
Cincinnati Bengals · QB
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
2021 · 1-1-0

This seems mean. Joey was so good protecting the football last year. Went close to 200 attempts without a pick. And then he threw three consecutive interceptions against the Bears. The Steelers might not be the tough matchup we like to make them out to be. But at the same time, this team is going to be better this week than they were in Week 2. Don’t fall for the market over-correction. Which I suppose benching Joe is kind of reactionary considering we liked him coming into this season. But without any bye weeks happening, he’s still a sit for me.

Ryan Tannehill
Tennessee Titans · QB
Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts
2021 · 0-2-0

What do you want from me? He was good against the Seahawks. Threw for a ton of yards. It’s just that Derrick Henry was being supes selfish and scoring all of those touchdowns on his own. That’s all right though. To have Tannehill be just fine in the first couple of weeks while they are grooving with another offensive coordinator, it’s not that big of deal. Well, if you’re 0-2 in your fantasy league, then I guess you would beg to differ. But here’s the thing: Tannehill wasn’t great against the Colts last year (Henry had a three touchdown game against the Colts last year). You might not be in a position to sit Tannehill this week given injuries and other things going on. But I would consider benching him if you get the chance. Of course, this will be the thing that ignites a 38-point game from him. But I’m good with it.

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter.

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