Fantasy Football Week 1 Rankings

Source: RedState

The NFL returns on Thursday, and that means fantasy football is back. As of August 2021, over 40 million people in the United States play fantasy football, and that number continues to grow. Each week, we will bring you new rankings. The rankings will be based on matchups and injuries.

Let’s start with the Week 1 Quarterback rankings:

  1. Justin Herbert vs. Las Vegas Raiders
  2. Patrick Mahomes at Arizona Cardinals
  3. Josh Allen at Los Angeles Rams
  4. Lamar Jackson at New York Jets
  5. Jalen Hurts at Detroit Lions
  6. Russell Wilson at Seattle Seahawks
  7. Kyler Murray vs. Kansas City Chiefs
  8. Aaron Rodgers at Minnesota Vikings
  9. Tom Brady at Dallas Cowboys
  10. Joe Burrow vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
  11. Dak Prescott vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  12. Matthew Stafford vs. Buffalo Bills
  13. Trey Lance at Chicago Bears
  14. Jameis Winston at Atlanta Falcons
  15. Kirk Cousins vs. Green Bay Packers
  16. Trevor Lawrence at Washington Commanders
  17. Derek Carr at Los Angeles Chargers
  18. Carson Wentz at Jacksonville Jaguars
  19. Matt Ryan at Houston Texans
  20. Mac Jones at Miami Dolphins

The top three quarterbacks will shuffle throughout the season, but Herbert, Mahomes, and Allen will likely remain the top three options. As for the other quarterbacks listed, it will depend on the matchups. Justin Herbert has chemistry with his wide-receiver corps, the Chargers added tight end Gerald Everett, which is a big upgrade over Jared Cook, and running back Austin Ekeler is fully healthy and will give Herbert a lot of dump-off yards. In Week 18, the last time the Chargers played against the Raiders, Herbert put up 28.4 fantasy points. Patrick Mahomes also has a favorable matchup, but it remains to be seen how he will perform without top wide-receiver Tyreek Hill. Josh Allen will face a tough Rams defense; therefore, he is behind Herbert and Mahomes for Week 1.

Here are the top 20 Running Backs in the points per reception (PPR) format for Week 1:

  1. Jonathan Taylor at Houston Texans
  2. Austin Ekeler vs. Las Vegas Raiders
  3. Christian McCaffrey vs. Cleveland Browns
  4. Derrick Henry vs. New York Giants
  5. Alvin Kamara at Atlanta Falcons
  6. Dalvin Cook vs. Green Bay Packers
  7. Joe Mixon vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
  8. Najee Harris at Cincinnati Bengals
  9. D’Andre Swift vs. Philadelphia Eagles
  10. James Conner vs. Kansas City Chiefs
  11. Leonard Fournette at Dallas Cowboys
  12. Saquon Barkley at Tennessee Titans
  13. Javonte Williams at Seattle Seahawks
  14. Aaron Jones at Minnesota Vikings
  15. Nick Chubb at Carolina Panthers
  16. Ezekiel Elliot vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  17. Josh Jacobs at Los Angeles Chargers
  18. Tony Pollard vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  19. Antonio Gibson vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
  20. Elijah Mitchell at Chicago Bears

The top five running backs listed above will be interchangeable based on matchups. The sleeper running back in Week 1 is Tony Pollard. He will have opportunities as a wide receiver and running back, so he will get a lot of chances to rack up rushing and receiving yards.

Next, we have the top 20 wide-receiver rankings:

  1. Justin Jefferson vs. Green Bay Packers
  2. Cooper Kupp vs. Buffalo Bills
  3. Ja’Marr Chase vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
  4. Davante Adams at Los Angeles Chargers
  5. Stefon Diggs at Los Angeles Rams
  6. Keenan Allen vs. Las Vegas Raiders
  7. Deebo Samuel at Chicago Bears
  8. CeeDee Lamb vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  9. Michael Pittman Jr. at Houston Texans
  10. Tyreek Hill vs. New England Patriots
  11. Diontae Johnson at Cincinnati Bengals
  12. A.J. Brown at Detroit Lions
  13. Tee Higgins vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
  14. Mike Evans at Dallas Cowboys
  15. Terry McLaurin vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
  16. Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. Philadelphia Eagles
  17. Mike Williams vs. Las Vegas Raiders
  18. Courtland Sutton at Seattle Seahawks
  19. Gabe Davis at Los Angeles Rams
  20. JuJu Smith-Schuster at Arizona Cardinals

Any wide receiver on a given day could show out and produce for your fantasy football team; however, I believe the wide receivers listed above will be the most consistent in Week 1 because of the targets they could potentially see, which will lead to fantasy football production.

The last top 20 rankings will be for the tight end position:

  1. Mark Andrews at New York Jets
  2. Travis Kelce at Arizona Cardinals
  3. Dalton Schultz vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  4. Kyle Pitts vs. New Orleans Saints
  5. Darren Waller at Los Anegels Chargers
  6. George Kittle at Chicago Bears
  7. Dallas Goedert at Detroit Lions
  8. T.J. Hockenson vs. Philadelphia Eagles
  9. Pat Freiermuth at Cincinatti Bengals
  10. Dawson Knox at Los Angeles Rams
  11. Zach Ertz vs. Kansas City Chiefs
  12. Cole Kmet vs. San Francsico 49ers
  13. Irv Smith Jr. vs. Green Bay Packers
  14. Mike Gesicki vs. New England Patriots
  15. David Njoku at Carolina Panthers
  16. Austin Hooper vs. New York Giants
  17. Gerald Everett vs. Las Vegas Raiders
  18. Noah Fant vs. Denver Broncos
  19. Albert Okwuegbunam at Seattle Seahawks
  20. Evan Engram at Washington Commanders

Most tight ends — outside of the top-seven — are going to be touchdown or bust on most weeks, which means they either catch a touchdown(s) or they don’t produce many fantasy points.

Here are the top-10 defenses and special teams:

  1. San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears
  2. Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
  3. New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
  4. Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks
  5. Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets
  6. Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions
  7. Tennessee Titans vs. New York Giants
  8. Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders
  9. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
  10. Carolina Panthers vs. Cleveland Browns

Lastly, here are the top-10 kickers for Week 1:

  1. Evan McPherson vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
  2. Justin Tucker at New York Jets
  3. Nick Folk at Miami Dolphins
  4. Matt Gay vs. Buffalo Bills
  5. Brandon McManus at Seattle Seahawks
  6. Harrison Butker at Arizona Cardinals
  7. Daniel Carlson vs. Los Angeles Chargers
  8. Matt Prater vs. Kansas City Chiefs
  9. Tyler Bass at Los Angeles Rams
  10. Greg Joseph vs. Green Bay Packers

This wraps up the Week 1 rankings. As mentioned earlier, we will bring you new rankings based on matchups and injuries each week.

Good luck in Week 1!