NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 1: Quarterbacks

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is here to help fantasy managers 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 the latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Tua Tagovailoa finished as the QB10 in fantasy PPG last year (17.8), despite his injuries. He was at his best early on, finishing as a top four fantasy QB in four of his first seven complete games. Tagovailoa is now healthy, still has an extremely explosive supporting cast and is on a pass-first offense currently dealing with RB injuries. He should need to let it rip plenty, especially in what figures to be a high-scoring matchup against Justin Herbert and the loaded Chargers offense. Tagovailoa led all QBs with a 54.0 completion percentage on deep passes last season. Expect plenty of fireworks in Week 1.

Geno Smith
Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith was the face of consistency last season. He threw multiple passing touchdowns in a league-high 12 games. He led the league with 13 touchdowns on passes of 20+ air yards and in completion percentage (69.8). The Seahawks went out and added more weapons for Smith and the offense in the offseason. Smith faced the Rams twice last year and had mixed results, but he did go off in the first game against the division rivals. He threw for 367 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. In the second matchup he was limited to 213 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. That said, the Rams' defense lost some key pieces from last season. Smith is a strong starter in Week 1.

This might seem like a risky play to many, but I'm not shying away from Anthony Richardson in Week 1. A big part of the appeal for Richardson is the rushing upside. With Jonathan Taylor out (on the PUP list), Richardson could easily lead the Colts in rushing attempts and yards. That's even more exciting when you consider that the Jags allowed the third-most rushing yards to quarterbacks last season (469). The Colts will also have to keep up with the Jags' high-powered offense, which means more dropbacks. For most QBs that means more passing attempts, but for Richardson it could mean more scrambles. Plus, he has a cannon for an arm, so the potential for a big play or two in the passing game is there. He is not a must-start, but he is certainly in play in Week 1.

Jared Goff
Detroit Lions

Jared Goff found his groove as the season went on last year, scoring the second-most fantasy points among quarterbacks over the last five weeks. He could pick up right where he left off in what projects to be a very high-scoring matchup against the Chiefs. Last season, Kansas City allowed the third-most fantasy PPG to QBs, which included the most passing touchdowns (33). Plus, they could be without star DT Chris Jones, due to an ongoing contract holdout. The Lions will have to put up points to keep up with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. That likely leads to more passing attempts for Goff in an even more explosive Lions offense.

Sit 'Em

Deshaun Watson
Cleveland Browns

Deshaun Watson brings a lot of potential upside this season, but I need to see it to believe it. Last year he struggled mightily and while I believe he can eventually right the ship, this is not a matchup worth testing. Last season, the Bengals allowed the second-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs, just behind the Browns. This has all the makings of a tough, defensive divisional battle. Plus, while the Bengals have lost some players on defense, they've managed to keep DC Lou Anarumo out of the prying hands of another team. We've seen him make life tough for even the elites at the position. I would stay away from Watson here if you have another option.

Daniel Jones
New York Giants

Daniel Jones is perhaps the most underrated rushing QB since I started playing fantasy football many years ago. He brings breakout upside this season, but I don't love him in Week 1 against a very tough Cowboys defense. Last season, Dallas allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs. In two games against Dallas in 2022, Jones threw for 196 and 228 yards, with only one passing touchdown combined. His legs could salvage his fantasy day, but it's a risky proposition. I would try to get away from this matchup.

Aaron Rodgers
New York Jets

Aaron Rodgers is getting a lot of hype this offseason, but here's a quick reminder of what his season was like last year: He scored less than 20 fantasy points in every game. He topped 260 passing yards only once and was also a top 10 fantasy QB only once. Perhaps injuries were to blame. Or perhaps it was finally a sign of decline. Now he starts his Jets career against a Bills defense that allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs in 2022. And Week 1 will be the first time the Bills have their entire secondary healthy and playing together since Thanksgiving of 2021. A tough matchup in a QB's first game on a new team? I know Rodgers is a legend, but I would get away from him here.

Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh Steelers

Kenny Pickett has garnered plenty of hype after a very strong preseason, where he completed 13 of 15 passes for 199 yards, two scores and a perfect 158.3 rating. Still, he faces the 49ers in Week 1 -- a squad that allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs last season. They are arguably the best defense in the league, even if Nick Bosa remains absent amid a contract dispute. Pickett is fine to have on your bench if you think he can break out, but even in two-QB formats, I would be skeptical in this matchup. There is no way you can trust him in a one-QB league.


EDITOR'S UPDATE: Bosa has agreed to a five-year, $170 million extension with the 49ers, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

Related Content