Fantasy WR Rankings Week 1: Who to start, sit at wide receiver in fantasy football

Rank Player 1 Tyreek Hill, KC vs. CLE 2 Davante Adams, GB vs. NO 3 DeAndre Hopkins, ARI @ TEN 4 Calvin Ridley, ATL vs. PHI 5 Justin Jefferson, MIN @ CIN 6 A.J. Brown, TEN vs. ARI 7 Mike Evans, TB vs. DAL. Simply put, the Buccaneers are playing an awful Dallas defense. They gave up the second-most fantasy points to WRs a season ago, despite their opponents only passing 32.1 times a game against them (2nd least). They were often in big deficits, so teams began just running the ball. Evans and co. should eat in Week 1. 8 Chris Godwin, TB vs. DAL. See Mike Evans. 9 Brandon Aiyuk, SF @ DET. The Lions gave up the third-most fantasy points to wideouts last season, and they did very little to improve their standing in that area. If healthy, Aiyuk should torch them as the No. 1 WR in the 49er’s offense. 10 Adam Thielen, MIN @ CIN. Thielen is more valuable in standard leagues, as he’s often highly touchdown-dependent, but he faces off against a bad Bengals secondary. With all eyes on Justin Jefferson, he could make a run at a WR1 spot this week. We ranked him accordingly. 11 DK Metcalf, SEA @ IND. Metcalf is viewed as a top-five wide receiver in standard leagues, but he faces a tough matchup in Week 1. Indianapolis has carried a strong defense over the last few seasons and Metcalf will likely be priority No. 1. He’s still a top-12 play, so you obviously aren’t even thinking about benching him.  12 Stefon Diggs, BUF vs. PIT. Before there’s outrage about Diggs’ Week 1 ranking, remember Pittsburgh possesses a top defense, with few weaknesses at all three levels. Whether the pass-rush makes life hard for Josh Allen, or the stud secondary of Pittsburg is double-teaming Diggs, it makes it tough to rank him inside the top-five this week. He did have a great outing against them a year ago (10-130-1), but it’s fair to assume Mike Tomlin’s unit will be ready to go this time around. Still, he’ll Stefon Diggs after all, so don’t think about benching him.  13 Keenan Allen, LAC @ WAS 14 D.J. Moore, CAR vs. NYJ. Moore finished as the WR17 in standard leagues last season, so a high-end WR2 Week 1 standing would be no surprise. The Jets were a middle-of-the-road team in fantasy points given up to WRs last season, but an improved offense should mean more pass attempts for opponents. While there is target competition in Carolina, Moore is the most talented guy in the WR room and looks to build early chemistry with Sam Darnold. 15 Cooper Kupp, LAR vs. CHI. Chicago’s secondary was solid last year (sixth-best defense in FPPG allowed to WRs), but the Rams look to be one of the top passing games in the NFL with Matthew Stafford taking over the quarterback position. With Cam Akers lost for the season with a torn Achilles’, Sean McVay is chomping at the bit to show the power of his new passing game. Kupp and Woods have a chance to be WR1s and they should get a quick start right out of the gate. 16 Terry McLaurin, WAS vs. LAC 17 Robert Woods, LAR vs. CHI. See Cooper Kupp. 18 CeeDee Lamb, DAL @ TB. The Cowboys’ offense has a lot of fantasy value, but Week 1 is a tough matchup with some mild health concerns from Dak Prescott and La’el Collins. Zack Martin has already been ruled out of the game with COVID-19 protocols. The offense may struggle, but Lamb doesn’t drop too far in the rankings, as he’s bound to have his moments. The same sentiment is true for all Cowboys’ offensive players. 19 Julio Jones, TEN vs. ARI. It’s weird seeing Julio not inside to top ten, but he’ll be an efficient WR with massive weeks. Arizona was middle of the pack against wide receivers last year, but with the sudden retirement of Malcolm Butler, the Cardinals will have to pick their poison between Jones and A.J. Brown. For the first time in his career, he may not be the bona fide No. 1 WR in an offense, but he’ll get his fair share of targets. 20 Deebo Samuel, SF @ DET. See Brandon Aiyuk. 21 Amari Cooper, DAL @ TB. See Ceedee Lamb. 22 Tyler Lockett, SEA @ IND 23 Odell Beckham Jr., CLE @ KC. A shootout could ensue in Kansas City, meaning more targets for OBJ. We’ve seen what he looks like at this best, and in standard leagues especially, he could be due for a huge bounceback after an ACL tear a season ago. He remains the No. 1 WR in Cleveland and has every opportunity to make a splash this week.  24 Allen Robinson, CHI @ LAR. Allen Robinson is another guy who faces a tough matchup this week (LAR was No.1 in FPPG allowed to WRs last year). He arguably has the toughest matchup among all WRs this week, as Jalen Ramsey awaits him in LA. In his last two games against the Rams, he’s combined for 10 targets, eight catches, 85 yards, and zero touchdowns. For those keeping track, that’s 8.3 fantasy points per game in PPR and 4.3 FPPG in standard. If there was any stud WR to bench in Week 1, he’s a candidate. Still, you’re probably not in a position to do that, so just hope he gets a touchdown. He could be ranked much lower, but it’s tough to justify ranking a player of his caliber much worse. 25 DJ Chark, Jaguars, JAX @ HOU. It’s a crapshoot to project who will be the No. 1 WR in the Jags’ Trevor Lawrence-led offense, but to start off Week 1, Chark gets the nod. We’ve seen Chark produce a solid pro-bowl season in 2019, and Houston’s defense should be absolutely atrocious. Laviska Shenault and Marvin Jones will obviously have something to say about that, but would anyone be surprised if all three had nice outings? 26 Robby Anderson, CAR vs. NYJ. There should be plenty to go around for Carolina against a bad New York Jets defense. We’ll see quickly who Sam Darnold is most comfortable with at WR. After all, Anderson and Darnold played together in New York — the chemistry is already there. 27 Antonio Brown, TB vs. DAL. Brown was one of the best bargains in fantasy drafts this offseason. Late in the season, he began settling more and more into the Tampa Bay offense, and with a full offseason with Tom Brady, he may start to emerge as a stud fantasy wideout once again. He is the third Bucs receiver ranked inside the top 27 for a reason. If hasn’t been said enough — Dallas’ defense stinks. 28 DeVonta Smith, PHI @ ATL. Smith starts off his rookie season with the best matchup possible. A season ago, Atlanta gave up the most FPPG (27.9 in standard leagues) in the entire league to WRs. We’ve seen Smith dominate every time he’s been in Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him do it in the NFL. 29 Tee Higgins, CIN vs MIN. Higgins was seemingly written off as the Bengals’ No. 1 WR when they decided to draft Ja’Marr Chase, but don’t be so quick in your assumptions. Higgins was impressive last year, and Chase hasn’t played in a real football game in over a year and a half. Against a young Vikings secondary, there’s certainly a good chance Higgins has a great week. Burrow may struggle to begin the year, but the targets have to go somewhere, right? 30 Diontae Johnson, PIT @ BUF. Johnson is most attractive in PPR leagues, but we ranked him as the top Steeler WR in Week 1. Chase Claypool will likely be shadowed by Tre’Davious White, and Johnson has seemingly passed up JuJu Smith-Schuster in the Steelers’ pecking order. Johnson will be the easy go-to target if the Steelers’ offense struggles. 31 Courtland Sutton, DEN @ NYG. Teddy Bridgewater supported three top-25 fantasy WRs last year, and Sutton hopes to benefit from better QB play. While Bridgewater doesn’t make his money deep down the field, we can expect more accurate targets and red-zone targets for Sutton. The Giants were quietly a good defense last year, as they ranked inside the top ten in fantasy points allowed to WRs. For that reason, we see Sutton as a WR3 this week. 32 Ja’Marr Chase, CIN vs. MIN. See Tee Higgins. 33 Chase Claypool, PIT @ BUF. See Diontae Johnson. 34 Marquez Callaway, NO vs GB. Callaway has been thrust into the starting lineup and takes over for Michael Thomas at X-receiver. He looked impressive in the preseason, but he’ll face a daunting matchup with Jaire Alexander in Week 1. Perhaps he can have WR2 weeks in the future, but this one probably won’t be it. 35 Michael Pittman Jr., IND vs. SEA. Pittman looks to take hold of the Colts’ No. 1 WR job in the absence of T.Y. Hilton (neck). He profiles as an outside X-receiver and he has very little adequate target competition. Seattle’s defense can no longer be confused as the Legion of Boom, as they were the 10th-worst defense against WRs last year. The opportunity should be there for Pittman, but it all depends on how Carson Wentz looks coming off injuries and COVID-19 situations. 36 JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT @ BUF See Diontae Johnson. 37 Brandin Cooks, HOU vs JAX. Cooks has put up 1,000 yards receiving with four different NFL teams — a truly underrated accomplishment. Yes, his QBs were Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson, and Jared Goff, but he’s shown he can be productive regardless. While the Texans’ offense should be bad, he will likely dominate the target competition. He faces a Jaguars squad who gave up the 12th most fantasy points to WRs a season ago, despite opposing offenses opting to run the ball more often than not (Jacksonville had the sixth-fewest passing attempts against them.) 38 Laviska Shenault Jr., JAX @ HOU See DJ Chark. 39 Corey Davis, NYJ @ CAR. Davis looked like Zach Wilson’s No. 1 WR in the preseason, and he’ll often be covered by rookie cornerback, Jaycee Horn. Of course, Horn could be a stud right out of the gate, but a matchup with a rookie in their first NFL action always looks juicy. 40 Marvin Jones, JAX @ HOU See DJ Chark. 41 Tyler Boyd, CIN vs. MIN 42 Kenny Golladay, NYG vs. DEN 43 Marquise Brown, BAL @ LV 44 Jalen Reagor, PHI @ ATL 45 Jakobi Meyers, NE vs. MIA 46 DeVante Parker, MIA @ NE 47 Mike Williams, LAC @ WAS 48 Jerry Jeudy, DEN @ NYG 49 Curtis Samuel, WAS vs. LAC 50 Russell Gage, ATL vs. PHI 51 Bryan Edwards, LV vs. BAL 52 Randall Cobb, GB vs. NO 53 Jarvis Landry, CLE @ KC 54 Rondale Moore, ARI @ TEN 55 Tre’Quan Smith, NO vs. GB 56 Jaylen Waddle, MIA @ NE 57 Michael Gallup, DAL @ TB 58 Allen Lazard, GB vs. NO 59 Christian Kirk, ARZ @ TEN 60 Henry Ruggs III, LV vs. BAL 61 Darius Slayton, NYG vs. DEN 62 Gabriel Davis, BUF vs. PIT 63 Tyrell Williams, DET vs. SF 64 Sammy Watkins, BAL @ LV 65 Jamison Crowder, NYJ @ CAR 66 Darnell Mooney, CHI @ LAR 67 Cole Beasley, BUF vs. PIT 68 Denzel Mims, NYJ @ CAR 69 Mecole Hardman, KC vs. CLE 70 A.J. Green, ARI @ TEN 71 Hunter Renfrow, LV vs. BAL 72 Emmanuel Sanders, BUF vs. PIT 73 Nelson Agholor, NE vs MIA 74 Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB vs. NO 75 Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET vs. SF 76 Rashard Higgins, CLE @ KC 77 KJ Hamler, DEN @ NYG 78 Demarcus Robinson, KC vs. CLE 79 Kendrick Bourne, NE vs. MIA 80 Parris Campbell, IND vs. SEA 81 Terrace Marshall Jr., CAR vs. NYJ 82 DeSean Jackson, LAR vs. CHI 83 Kadarius Toney, NYG vs. DEN 84 Van Jefferson, LAR vs. CHI 85 Josh Reynolds, TEN vs. ARI 86 Elijah Moore, NYJ @ CAR 87 Sterling Shepard, NYG vs. DEN 88 Tim Patrick, DEN @ NYG 89 D’Wayne Eskridge, SEA @ IND 90 Josh Palmer, LAC @ WAS

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