Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 2: Star QBs with Tough Matchups to Avoid

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2012

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 09: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions warms up prior to the start of the season opener against the St. Louis Rams at Ford Field on September 9, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

There is one hard and fast rule when it comes to your starting quarterback in fantasy football: If you have Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Tom Brady, you don't sit them. Ever.

The rest of the NFL's signal-callers are a bit more expendable from week to week.

In Week 2, I found three excellent quarterbacks that you'll want to avoid unless you simply have no other appealing options on your bench. The temptation will be to start each—ignore it.


Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

Vick threw four interceptions and 27 incompletions against the Browns, was hit far too many times than Eagles fans would like to see and somehow still managed to finish with a decent 15 fantasy points. 

If that was his afternoon against the Cleveland Browns defense, what do you think will happen when he faces the Baltimore Ravens?

If you drafted Vick to be your QB1, I'm hoping you drafted another solid quarterback as a QB2 in the event of a likely Vick injury. If you did, this would probably be the week to start that player. The Ravens have a good enough defense without a player like Vick handing them the ball on a silver platter.

Until Vick proves Week 1 was just an aberration, you have to play matches with him. This week, he has a matchup you should avoid.


Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Let's stick with this Eagles versus Ravens tilt for a moment. 

Yes, Flacco was really good against the Cincinnati Bengals and now we're all talking about him and we have to pretend like he's an elite quarterback all of the sudden and oh no, I've gone cross-eyed.

Here's the thing, though—the Philadelphia Eagles rush the quarterback well, with Jason Babin and Trent Cole headaches for tackles everywhere. The secondary looked transformed against the Browns, with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha suddenly looking like an elite cornerback pairing.

And generally speaking, the best way to beat the Eagles is to run the ball. It just so happens the Ravens have Ray Rice, and I think they would be crazy to stray too far from the running game in this contest.

Will Flacco have his best year in 2012? It seems that way. Will he repeat his Week 1 success against the Eagles?

I'm not seeing it.


Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

I'm worried about Stafford this week against the stout San Francisco 49ers defense. I'm worried because he played pretty poorly against the St. Louis Rams, even if he did lead the Lions to a win in the end.

I'm worried because the 49ers held the Packers to just 22 points, a mark the Packers eclipsed all but once a season ago. Sure, Aaron Rodgers ended up with 22 fantasy points, but he also only threw for one pick and rushed for 27 yards. Last week, Stafford threw three and he doesn't run.

And I'm worried because for most people, owning Stafford pretty much means you have to start him.

However, for those of you with decent backups, you may want to consider going a different route. For example, I have Stafford and Matt Ryan as my quarterbacks. I'll take my chances with Ryan against the Denver Broncos. 

It's hardly an ideal matchup, but I think it will be more fruitful than Stafford facing the Niners. That San Fran defense is the real deal.


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