The wait is finally over. No more drafts or prognostications. Now it's officially time to find out who will be fantasy football studs and busts.

Week 1 fantasy football is always a difficult terrain to navigate. Teams are different, and there's not much evidence, other than last year's results and how well individuals teams did in free agency and the draft.

Here's my start 'em, sit 'em list for quarterbacks in week 1 fantasy football.


Marcus Mariota vs. Miami Dolphins

Mariota has a sleeper capability this season.

He was injured during the 2017 season, but kept plugging away, hurting his fantasy football draft stock. Now, he's healthy, with more experienced weapons around him and a new coaching staff that will dig out of the dark days of offense left over from Mike Mularkey.

Delanie Walker is still an above-average tight end and Mariota finally has a running back out of the backfield who can do more than just run between the tackles in Dion Lewis. Add in that Corey Davis is a year older and Rishard Matthews provides solid depth and this offense is looking much better than last year's unit.

It also doesn't hurt that this is a nice matchup out of the gate for Mariota, with a Miami team that lost Ndamukong Suh on the defensive line and ranked 20th in yards per passing attempt allowed last season.

Tennessee is a better all-around team and Mariota is a nice QB1 play in week 1.

Andy Dalton vs. Indianapolis Colts

Dalton should get some serious looks as a streaming quarterback in week 1.

Indianapolis was horrendous against the pass last season, giving up 7.7 yards per pass attempt, the worst in the NFL. And Dalton isn't terrible, especially with a healthy skill position group around him.

Tight end Tyler Eifert is finally healthy and John Ross should have bigger expectations this season. A.J. Green is still really good and Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard provide a nice one-two punch out of the backfield.

Dalton has shown with the right matchups, he can put up solid QB1 numbers. He had a bit of a fumble problem last season, but those issues don't always carry over from year-to-year.

If you don't have Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Tom Brady on your roster, consider Dalton as a legitimate fantasy football choice.

Jared Goff vs. Oakland Raiders

I'm not entirely sure what the Raiders are doing with their roster. I believe the Rams will take a step back this season, but this matchup is looking more and more like a runaway win for Los Angeles.

Oakland was already terrible against the pass last season, ranking 28th in yards per pass attempt allowed. Now, they don't have their best edge rusher in Khalil Mack and that defensive roster just doesn't jump off the page in terms of top-tier talent.

And if you're not able to get to Goff, he's going to pick you apart, much like he did last season.

Golf isn't turnover-prone and the matchup is just too hard to ignore. In week 1 of the fantasy football season, those are nice traits to have.


Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Minnesota Vikings

I know teams change from season to season, but it's hard to imagine Minnesota will take much of a step back on defense.

Virtually everyone returns from a dominating unit last year that ate quarterbacks alive. Last season, quarterbacks averaged less than 10 fantasy points per game against Minnesota's defense. That likely won't be much of a difference this season either.

Garoppolo is anticipated to be a major sleeper in fantasy football this season, but this isn't the matchup to exploit. Minnesota still has a major talent edge over the 49ers, and with this being a road matchup in week 1, I don't trust Garoppolo to have a day worthy of being considered a QB1.

Trust your bench or stream a quarterback this week.

Patrick Mahomes vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Mahomes is getting some buzz as a solid sleeper in fantasy football this season, too.

I get it. I'm excited about his potential, too, especially with the amount of weapons surrounding him and that he's in an Andy Reid offense.

However, there's just too many unknowns circulating around him at this point to trust him right out of the gate. We haven't seen him in meaningful action yet and he has a difficult matchup against a Chargers team that ranked fourth in fantasy points allowed last year against quarterbacks.

The Chargers also ranked fourth in yards per pass attempt allowed.

Mahomes has the opportunity to be a regular contributor for fantasy football lineups this season, but this isn't the right spot yet to see him starting in fantasy football.

Matt Ryan vs. Philadelphia Eagles

That Eagles defense is scary. The depth at cornerback is the best in the NFL and the defensive line doesn't have troubles getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

And Ryan isn't a consistent fantasy football contributor. He had one unbelievable season as a fantasy football quarterback, but the remaining years have been very average.

So when he has a tough matchup, like against an Eagles team that was top-10 against the pass in 2017 and returned plenty of those same pieces, I'm avoiding Ryan as a starter.

There's better options available, even on the waiver wire, so pass on Ryan in week 1.

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more fantasy football coverage at Against The Chalk.

Scott Levine can be reached at or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH