Week 1 fantasy football rankings: Boston Scott takes over in Philly

Steven Psihogios
·14 min read

Week 1 of the NFL season is always the most interesting one for fantasy football. Analysts and fantasy managers alike spend all offseason spinning narratives and opinions on what they expect will happen.

And then the games start and everything changes.

Here are my Week 1 player rankings for fantasy football based on 0.5-point PPR leagues.

QB

1) Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Houston Texans)

2) Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (at Los Angeles Rams)

3) Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cleveland Browns)

4) Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (at Kansas City Chiefs)

5) Russel Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (at Atlanta Falcons)

6) Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (vs. New York Jets)

7) Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (vs. Dallas Cowboys)

Goff has a great matchup this week against the Cowboys. Dallas’s secondary ranks 22nd entering the season, according to Pro Football Focus. Additionally, the Over/Under total for this game is 51.5 points, the second-highest total for this week.

8) Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (at San Francisco 49ers)

Some people may be shying away from this matchup against the 49ers, but I don’t hate it for Murray. The 49ers’ defensive weakness remains their cornerback depth behind Richard Sherman, and the Cardinals have players at wide receiver to make them pay. Additionally, the loss of DT DeForest Buckner should not be understated. He compiled 19.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

9) Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (at Washington Football Team)

10) Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

11) Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

12) Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at New York Giants)

13) Cam Newton, New England Patriots (vs. Miami Dolphins)

14) Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at New Orleans Saints)

15) Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers (vs. Las Vegas Raiders)

16) Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (vs. Chicago Bears)

With the news that Kenny Golladay (hamstring) is doubtful, I’ve knocked Stafford down a couple of spots. WR Danny Amendola is also battling a hamstring injury and is questionable for the game. Outside of Marvin Jones and T.J. Hockenson, the Lions will be short on options in the passing attack.

17) Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Arizona Cardinals)

The matchup for Garoppolo is solid this week against the Cardinals, who he lit up for 741 passing yards and eight touchdowns in two games last season. With Deebo Samuel (foot) out and first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) questionable, it’s hard to trust Garoppolo as anything more than a mid-range QB2.

18) Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders (at Carolina Panthers)

19) Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

20) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (at Minnesota Vikings)

Not used to seeing Rodgers this low amongst QB rankings, but it’s hard to justify him being any higher. The secondary is the biggest concern for the Vikings’ defense, but the Packers are a team under head coach Matt LaFleur that wants to run the ball. Green Bay is also starting the season largely with the same group of wide receivers which were a problem spot on the team in 2019 outside of Davante Adams.

21) Tyrod Taylor, Los Angeles Chargers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

22) Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears (at Detroit Lions)

23) Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Indianapolis Colts)

24) Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Los Angeles Chargers)

It’s not an ideal matchup for Burrow, who takes on an elite Chargers secondary. The unfortunate injury to S Derwin James helps Burrow’s value a little bit, but I definitely wouldn’t place major expectations onto the rookie in this game. Additionally, history is against Burrow as QBs selected first overall are 0-11-1 in their debut since 2003, according to Gil Brandt.

25) Dwayne Haskins, Washington Football Team (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

26) Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (at Denver Broncos)

27) Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Green Bay Packers)

28) Drew Lock, Denver Broncos (vs. Tennessee Titans)

29) Daniel Jones, New York Giants (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)

30) Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (at Baltimore Ravens)

RB

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 15:  James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field on December 15, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
If healthy, James Conner has big fantasy upside this season. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

1) Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers (vs. Las Vegas Raiders)

2) Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (at Los Angeles Rams)

3) Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)

4) Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders (at Carolina Panthers)

5) Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Green Bay Packers)

6) Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Los Angeles Chargers)

7) Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Houston Texans)

8) Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

9) Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (at Denver Broncos)

10) James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (at New York Giants)

Conner slides into the top-10 of my rankings given the confidence head coach Mike Tomlin has had with naming him as the featured back. When healthy, there are no questions about Conner’s ability to produce. The Giants are not a bad run-stopping team, but I think the game script will be working in his favor.

11) Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Kamara slipping outside the top-10 for Week 1 has to do with the suffocating Buccaneers run defense. Saints head coach Sean Payton stated that a “three-yard run feels like a 50-yard gain” against the unit, per Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football.

12) Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (at Minnesota Vikings)

13) Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks (at Atlanta Falcons)

14) Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals (at San Francisco 49ers) Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles (at Washington Football Team)

15) Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cleveland Browns)

As the 2020 NFL season progresses, I expect the Ravens to rely increasingly more on rookie RB J.K. Dobbins to spell the 30-yer-old Ingram. To start the season, however, I see Ingram receiving the majority of work in this backfield. The Browns didn’t do too much this offseason to upgrade their bottom-5 run defense from 2019 according to DVOA, so this is shaping up to be a nice matchup for Baltimore’s run-heavy attack.

16) Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns (at Baltimore Ravens)

17) David Johnson, Houston Texans (at Kansas City Chiefs) - Ranked 18th entering ‘TNF’

The weakness of the Ravens’ defense last season was on the defensive line and its ability to stop the run, as demonstrated by its 21st-ranked run defense, per DVOA. The team addressed those concerns by adding DE Calais Campbell and DE Derek Wolfe. What also concerns me regarding Chubb is the presence of RB Kareem Hunt. When he returned from suspension last season, Hunt was heavily involved in the offense with Chubb barely out-snapping him 332-309. In a game where the Browns are 7.5-point underdogs, Hunt’s passing-game proficiency may be leaned on a little more.

18) Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Arizona Cardinals)

19) Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

All indications seem to be that the Colts are going to play the hot hand at running back. It seems that Mack will get the first crack at starting, head coach Frank Reich told George Bremer of CNHI Sports. With that being the case, I have Mack ahead of Taylor in my Week 1 ranking.

20) Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles (at Washington Football Team)

After a full week of limited practices due to a hamstring injury, Eagles RB Miles Sanders was announced out per Adam Schefter of ESPN. Scott was solid in limited usage last season in both the rushing and passing game and has a great matchup against Washington, who allowed 22.6 fantasy points per game to RBs in 2019.

21) Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

22) Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at New Orleans Saints)

23) Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets (at Buffalo Bills)

24) Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns (at Baltimore Ravens)

25) Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills (vs. New York Jets)

26) Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos (vs. Tennessee Titans)

27) Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams (vs. Dallas Cowboys)

Darrell Henderson (hamstring) is now expected to play in Week 1. Although I doubt Henderson will play a major role, his availability is enough to drop Akers in my rankings.

28) Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

29) James White, New England Patriots (vs. Miami Dolphins)

30) Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills (vs. New York Jets)

WR

1) Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

2) Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (at Minnesota Vikings)

3) Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Houston Texans)

4) Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

5) Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears (at Detroit Lions)

6) Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at New Orleans Saints)

7) D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers (vs. Las Vegas Raiders)

8) Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Green Bay Packers)

9) JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (at New York Giants)

10) DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals (at San Francisco 49ers)

Hopkins just got paid by the Cardinals, inking a two-year, $54.5 million contract extension. I’m a little low on Hopkins in this matchup as he’ll likely receive a lot of attention from CB Richard Sherman.

11) Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

12) Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (vs. Dallas Cowboys)

13) D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Indianapolis Colts)

14) Will Fuller, Houston Texans (at Kansas City Chiefs) - Ranked 17th entering ‘TNF’

Fuller, the ultimate boom or bust player, has a great spot this Thursday night against the Chiefs. Teammate WR Brandin Cooks is questionable this week with a hamstring injury, which means the team may have to rely even more on Fuller. Kansas City will also be without CB Beshaud Breeland, as he serves a four-game suspension to start the season. In a game with a 54.5 point Over/Under total, both offenses should be firing on all cylinders.

15) A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (at Denver Broncos)

16) D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (at Atlanta Falcons)

17) Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

18) Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills (vs. New York Jets)

I don’t think the move from the Vikings to the Bills will be as detrimental to Diggs’ fantasy football value as some believe. Buffalo has a very narrow passing tree, as WR John Brown is the only other player in this passing attack that should command targets. The matchup this week against the Jets is favorable, as New York graded as the worst secondary in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.

19) Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

20) Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (at Los Angeles Rams)

Cooper has seemingly shaken off a hamstring injury which cost him some practice time earlier in training camp. He has his hands full this week as he battles recently paid CB Jalen Ramsey.

21) Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (at Atlanta Falcons)

22) Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (vs. Dallas Cowboys)

23) Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns (at Baltimore Ravens)

24) Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions (vs. Chicago Bears)

Kenny Golladay’s hamstring injury has him doubtful to play this Sunday. His absence makes Jones the No. 1 wide receiver in the Lions offense. The matchup against the Bears, who lost Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Prince Amukamara from their secondary this offseason, isn’t the worst.

25) DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles (at Washington Football Team)

26) Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cleveland Browns)

27) Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (vs. Miami Dolphins)

28) CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys (at Los Angeles Rams)

29) Jamison Crowder, New York Jets (at Buffalo Bills)

30) Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Los Angeles Chargers)

TE

1) George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Arizona Cardinals)

2) Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Houston Texans)

3) Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cleveland Browns)

4) Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (at Washington Football Team)

5) Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

6) Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders (at Carolina Panthers)

7) Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams (vs. Dallas Cowboys)

8) Evan Engram, New York Giants (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)

9) Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

10) T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (vs. Chicago Bears)

Similarly to Jones, Golladay’s doubtful tag makes Hockenson a more appealing option for this week. Hockenson is one of my top bounce-back candidates after a plethora of injuries derailed his 2019 rookie season.

11) Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (at New England Patriots)

Gesicki was listed as TE2 on the Dolphins’ first official depth chart. That’s not something that should have people concerned as TE Durham Smythe, who was listed ahead of Gesicki, doesn’t profile to be much of a receiving threat. Smythe has caught just 13 passes over two NFL seasons and never accumulated more than 15 catches in a season at Notre Dame. Gesicki figures to be the passing-down TE while doubling as the team’s slot WR, per a report by Cameron Wolfe of ESPN from earlier this offseason.

12) Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans (at Denver Broncos)

13) Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (at Washington Football Team)

Rookie WR Jalen Reagor seems to be rehabbing faster than expected from his shoulder injury. It now seems likely he suits up this weekend after getting in a full practice on Thursday and Friday. His surprising availability hurts Goedert’s fantasy value.

14) Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

15) Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at New Orleans Saints)

16) Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (vs. Tennessee Titans)

17) Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns (at Baltimore Ravens)

Hooper is leaving the pass-friendly Falcons offense to join the Browns, who hired Kevin Stefanski to be their head coach. Stefanski was the offensive coordinator on the Vikings, who ran the ball the fourth-most frequently of any team in the NFL last season. Although Hooper is a talented TE, there’s no question that part of his success was a result of the environment he was in.

18) Chris Herndon IV, New York Jets (at Buffalo Bills)

Last week I wrote about Herndon IV as a nice target for those who are looking to wait at TE. Rookie WR Denzel Mims will be out of the lineup for this week’s contest, while previously banged up WR Breshad Perriman will suit up. While both were out during training camp, Herndon IV and QB Sam Darnold developed a connection, according to Connor Hughes of The Athletic. The extra training time could benefit Herndon IV early in the season.

19) Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys (at Los Angeles Rams)

20) Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers (at New York Giants)

DEF

1) Buffalo Bills (vs. New York Jets)

2) New England Patriots (vs. Miami Dolphins)

3) Pittsburgh Steelers (at New York Giants)

4) Indianapolis Colts (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

5) Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cleveland Browns)

6) Philadelphia Eagles (at Washington Football Team)

7) Chicago Bears (at Detroit Lions)

8) San Francisco 49ers (vs. Arizona Cardinals)

9) Detroit Lions (vs. Chicago Bears)

10) Tennessee Titans (at Denver Broncos)

Tennessee’s matchup against Denver features a 40.5 Over/Under point total, the second-lowest of the week. When streaming a defense, it’s never a bad idea to look at Over/Under totals as a reference. The recent injury to Broncos WR Courtland Sutton will make the secondary’s job a little easier.

11) Los Angeles Chargers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

12) Minnesota Vikings (vs. Green Bay Packers)

13) New Orleans Saints (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

14) Denver Broncos (vs. Tennessee Titans)

Star LB Von Miller suffered a dislocated peroneal tendon at practice and will likely miss three months.

15) Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Houston Texans) - Ranked 14th entering ‘TNF’

16) Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Los Angeles Chargers)

17) Seattle Seahawks (at Atlanta Falcons)

18) Green Bay Packers (at Minnesota Vikings)

19) Atlanta Falcons (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

20) Las Vegas Raiders (at Carolina Panthers)

K

1) Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cleveland Browns)

2) Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Houston Texans)

3) Greg Zuerlein, Dallas Cowboys (at Los Angeles Rams)

The always fascinating kicker revenge game!

4) Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Arizona Cardinals)

5) Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

6) Jason Meyers, Seattle Seahawks (at Atlanta Falcons)

7) Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Washington Football Team)

8) Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers (at New York Giants)

9) Matt Prater, Detroit Lions (vs. Chicago Bears)

10) Michael Badgley, Los Angeles Chargers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

11) Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

12) Dan Bailey, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Green Bay Packers)

13) Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos (vs. Tennessee Titans)

14) Ka’imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans (at Kansas City Chiefs)

15) Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers (at Minnesota Vikings)

16) Joey Slye, Carolina Panthers (vs. Las Vegas Raiders)

17) Rodrigo Blankenship, Indianapolis Colts (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

18) Ryan Succop, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at New Orleans Saints)

19) Zane Gonzalez, Arizona Cardinals (at San Francisco 49ers)

20) Tyler Bass, Buffalo Bills (vs. New York Jets)

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