Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system. For your final starting lineup decisions, check my weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.
Byes:Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins
Start of the Week
Murray put up a surprisingly good stat line in last week's loss to the 49ers, and he's a virtual must start when the Cardinals travel to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers. Their defense has allowed 21 total touchdowns and 22.7 fantasy points per game to enemy quarterbacks, so the rookie should put up another solid stat line.
Prescott is having the best fantasy season of his career, and he'll be a tremendous option when the Cowboys host Minnesota on Sunday night. In their last two games against "non-backup" quarterbacks, the Vikings have allowed six touchdowns a pair of top-eight fantasy performances to the duo of Carson Wentz and Matthew Stafford.
Winston has played well lately, scoring 19-plus fantasy points in two straight games, and he's a tremendous option during the bye-pocaylpse when the Buccaneers host the Cardinals. Their defense has allowed an average of nearly 300 passing yards and the most fantasy points to quarterbacks, so Winston could be a top-10 option.
Don't look now, but Tannehill has scored 19-plus fantasy points in every game he's played as the starter in Tennessee. Next up is a great matchup against the Chiefs, who have allowed nearly 20 fantasy points per game to enemy quarterbacks this season. They've also allowed a top-nine quarterback in three of their last four games.
Start 'Em:Drew Brees vs. Atlanta Falcons, Josh Allen at Cleveland Browns
Sleepers:Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Seattle Seahawks, Brian Hoyer vs. Miami Dolphins
Sit of the Week
Mayfield's streak of sit 'em appearance might break a record for this column. He wasn't terrible last week, scoring 17.1 fantasy points in a loss to the Broncos, but he wasn't great, either. I'd keep him on the sidelines again this week, as he'll face a Bills defense that has surrendered just five touchdowns passes all season long.
Note: Ian Rapoport reports Stafford will be inactive against the Bears this week due to hip and back injuries, so make sure he is out of your lineup. This will end his streak of 136 consecutive starts. Jimmy Garoppolo, Ryan Tannehill, Daniel Jones and Brian Hoyer are all viable alternatives who could be on the waiver wire at this point.
Goff put up two nice stat lines before the bye week, but his opponents left much to be desired. This week he faces the Steelers, who have been tough on quarterbacks. In fact, their defense has allowed just 209.8 passing yards and 13.7 fantasy points to quarterbacks at Heinz Field. If possible, Goff should be a fade if you have an alternative.
Fitzpatrick has looked good over his last three games, and with six teams on a bye you might be tempted to start him. Just keep in mind, though, that the Colts haven't allowed an opposing quarterback to score 20-plus fantasy points since Week 3. What's more, the position has averaged just 14.8 points against them at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Allen has struggled to produce in the stat sheets in recent weeks, scoring fewer than 18 fantasy points in five straight games. I'd keep him on the sidelines this week too, as he faces the Packers at Lambeau Field. Visiting field generals have averaged just 239 passing yards and fewer than 14 fantasy points per game in 2019.
Sit 'Em:Ryan Fitzpatrick at Indianapolis Colts, Mason Rudolph vs. Los Angeles Rams
Busts:Sam Darnold vs. New York Giants, Mitchell Trubisky vs. Detroit Lions
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!