The first few weeks in the NFL season are difficult to predict and shouldn't be used as an indicator of success for the season.
The key to the first month of the season is to not overreact, especially in fantasy football. Far too often, fantasy owners are too quick to make judgments based on a singular performance. It takes time for some players to find their groove, so proceed with caution in the first few weeks.
Here's the fantasy football week 1 start 'em, sit 'em guide for quarterbacks.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I'm more bullish on Garoppolo than most. He's healthy and playing for a head coach who has a proven track record of producing quality offenses.
Garoppolo didn't look great in preseason, but he did bounce back in his final performance. And in week 1, he has an incredibly tasty matchup with Tampa Bay, which had one of the worst secondaries in the NFL in 2018.
Tampa Bay was in the bottom-10 in passing yards allowed. Most importantly, though, they gave up the most yards per pass attempt in the NFL.
Garoppolo has some nice matchups in the early going, so I'm banking on Garoppolo to make a nice impression in week 1.
Jameis Winston vs. San Francisco 49ers
We'll stick with this game.
The 49ers boast a better defense, but I get Winston at home in a new offense led by a head coach with a proven track record with high-octane offenses.
Winston is an interesting fantasy football option this year because of Bruce Arians. Arians has worked magic in other locations with quarterbacks, so it's not out of the question that Winston can finally realize his full potential.
This should be a game where there is plenty of fantasy scoring to go around, so jump on Winston's bandwagon.
Jared Goff vs. Carolina Panthers
For a team that is coming off a Super Bowl appearance, there hasn't been much chatter about Los Angeles. Maybe it's because of how they lost in that Super Bowl that many people are selling their Rams stock, but I'm not completely buying that.
The Rams will take a step back, but Goff will be needed more with Todd Gurley not able to function at his previous level.
The Rams will still have an above-average offense, allowing Goff the opportunity to move the ball against a Carolina defense that ranked in the bottom-half of the league against the pass in 2018.
Kyler Murray vs. Detroit Lions
I'm going to wait and see with Murray. I don't buy him as a starting quarterback as a rookie and the offensive line is atrocious in Arizona.
If you chose to draft Murray, you obviously don't feel the same way that I do. My advice, though, would be to wait and see with him before putting him in your starting lineup right away. There are too many holes on the Cardinals and without a solid offensive line, Murray will have plenty of mountains to climb this year.
And while Detroit doesn't make me too excited for this season, they still ranked in the top-10 in the NFL last year in pass defense. Take some time before pulling the trigger on Murray.
Kirk Cousins vs. Atlanta Falcons
I'm extremely bullish on the Falcons. So I'm not going against them in week 1, even with Cousins at home.
Atlanta had one of the most talented teams in 2018, but injuries derailed their season. With a healthier roster, this is a year where Atlanta should make some noise, especially on the defensive side of the ball. That will prove problematic for Cousins, who has regularly folded against above-average teams.
Cousins has his moments in fantasy and will be beneficial at times. However, this is not the game for Cousins.
Tom Brady vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
I'll be interested to see how Pittsburgh comes out in 2019. With less drama, there hasn't been much said about the Steelers in the offseason.
That could be a good thing, and something I want to avoid in fantasy with Brady.
The Patriots are once again going to be good, but I'm not sure I love Brady's fantasy impact. Without Rob Gronkowski, this offense may look much different. I'm much more bullish on Sony Michel's fantasy prowess than Brady's.
Scott Levine blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him three consecutive Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more sports betting coverage at Against The Chalk.