Start Em Sit Em Week 1: Expert Advice for the QB Position

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent ISeptember 4, 2012

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers scrambles with the ball as linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos pursues the play at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Steelers 29-23 in overtime of their AFC Wild Card Playoff game.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Ben Roethlisberger is one of the NFL's premier quarterbacks, but he's a fantasy liability in Week 1.

Picking which quarterbacks to start and sit can be a tricky business, but I've got the inside scoop for a Week 1 game plan. 

Here we go.

Start 'Em

Eli Manning, New York Giants

Manning absolutely torched the Dallas Cowboys last year, passing for 746 yards and five touchdowns in two games. He's going to continue the trend at home, and the Giants will win this anticipated season opener.

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

The Bears will destroy the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, and Cutler will have a lot to do with the outcome. I expect upwards of 280 yards and three touchdowns from him against the porous Colts secondary.

Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

Schaub is going to give you awesome fantasy production most weeks, regardless of which defense he's going up against. This week will be no different, and I expect him to have a huge game against the Miami Dolphins.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Brady is a quarterback that I'd start 15 out of 16 games every year. He can shred even the most potent defenses, and he's going to have a productive afternoon against the Tennessee Titans.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

The Lions play the St. Louis Rams to start the season, and though the Rams have brought in some good pieces with which to build their secondary, those pieces aren't working well together just yet. Stafford is going to have a huge game. 

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Brees is an automatic start for me, regardless of which defense he's facing. The Redskins aren't terrible, but their secondary is still suspect. Brees will chew the Washington secondary up and then spit it out.

Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

If RG3 is your starting quarterback, then you are in for a surprise in Week 1. The Saints secondary is subpar, and the team's pass rush isn't good either. RG3 is going to be highly productive in his first career start, though the Redskins will likely lose.

Mike Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

No Joe Haden for the Cleveland Browns means Vick is going to have plenty of opportunities to hit his receivers downfield for big plays. The Eagles will roll, and Vick will put up big numbers in the process.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Ryan is in a great place with his receivers right now. The Kansas City Chiefs are tough at home, but Ryan's chemistry with Julio Jones and Roddy White will be too much for the Chiefs to handle. 

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Yes, the San Francisco 49ers have one of the league's top defenses. But that won't matter. Rodgers is just that good. He'll earn his fantasy owners enough points to warrant the start, regardless of what the outcome of the game turns out to be. 

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Newton will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1, and I predict that he'll have a monster game through the air and on the ground. The Bucs are struggling to stay healthy up front on defense. They have given up big plays during the preseason, and that won't change against the Panthers.

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

It's Manning's first game in Denver, and the crowd is going to give the Broncos a huge edge over the Steelers. Manning looked uber-sharp against the 49ers in his last preseason game, and he's going to take the Steelers secondary to the woodshed on Sunday night. 

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Flacco has developed quite a bit of chemistry with Torrey Smith, and the two of them are going to destroy the ailing secondary of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

Call me crazy, but I expect the Chargers to put on an aerial show against the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders proved to be stout on defense during the preseason, but Rivers has a healthy Antonio Gates for the first time in a couple of years, and I predict the two of them will turn back the clock on Monday Night Football.

Sit 'Em

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

Romo can put up big numbers with the best of them, but his offensive line is in shambles right now. Until that unit finds cohesion, it's going to be rough going for the Cowboys quarterback. Making matters worse, the Giants have one of the league's best pass-rushing front fours. 

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

As good as Luck is, he's facing the Bears on the road for his first NFL start, and it's not going to be pretty. His offensive line has shown severe limitations in pass protection thus far, and it's only going to get worse in this contest. 

Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars

Gabbert has been impressive thus far in 2012, but he's going to be going up against Jared Allen and the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1—a bad thing for his self-confidence going forward. It's going to be a long game for both teams, and if the Jaguars win it'll be on the back of their running game. 

Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings

Gabbert isn't the only quarterback in this contest you should sit. Ponder doesn't have many weapons to throw to, and the Jaguars defense is highly underrated. It should be downright ugly. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

The Bills face the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium for Week 1. Fitzpatrick will be pressured all game long, and I expect the Jets secondary to pick off at least one of his passes. He will struggle mightily to keep his offense on the field, though Fitzpatrick's not the only quarterback in this contest who will suffer.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

Do I really need to explain this one? 

Sanchez doesn't have any time to throw, and when he does have time he's so skittish that he makes bad decisions. This game won't be any different, as the Bills are going to be in his face all game long.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Let's see: rookie quarterback making his first start against one of the NFL's most feared defenses in the Texans. Not exactly a recipe for success. 

Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

Bill Belichick will have his defense ready to exploit every single weakness in Locker's young game. I expect Locker to have his moments of triumph, but his overall performance will be one he won't want to remember.

Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

The Rams don't do a good job of protecting Bradford, and that's a recipe for disaster against the pass rush of the Lions. It's going to be tough for him to make many plays at all, and I expect he'll throw more interceptions than touchdowns. 

Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns

Weeden versus the likes of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie spells disaster for the Browns. Coupled with the pass-rushing prowess of Jason Babin and Trent Cole, and we're talking about a monumental welcome-to-the-NFL game for the 28-year-old rookie QB. 

Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs

Cassel has shown that he's capable in stretches, but he hasn't looked good at all this preseason and will be facing a formidable defense. The Falcons don't have many weaknesses, and I expect Atlanta to take this game at Arrowhead. 

Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have struggled to protect Smith throughout the preseason, and I'll be surprised to see anything different in Week 1. Smith won't have a terrible game, but I'll be shocked if he ends up putting up big numbers.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Wilson was phenomenal this preseason, but the Arizona Cardinals have a ferocious front seven on defense and will pressure the rookie into making some key mistakes. 

John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals' offensive line is made up of bits of cardboard and some Scotch tape. Enough said.

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Freeman has struggled to pick up new offensive coordinator Mike O'Sullivan's offense this summer, and it shows. His struggles are going to continue against an underrated Panthers defense.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Without a strong O-line or solid rushing attack, Roethlisberger is going to be subject to a pass-rushing feeding frenzy at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday night. Coupled with the fact that he's still working out the kinks in Todd Haley's offense, it could be a long night for Roethlisberger and the Steelers. 

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Dalton hasn't looked good since midway through his rookie campaign last year. His offensive line will have a lot to do with his struggles this year, and the Ravens will get to him early and often Monday night. 

Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders

Palmer is a turnover machine, pure and simple. Furthermore, he isn't a good fit for Greg Knapp's offense, and his struggles will continue against the rival Chargers. 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78


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