Week 1 Rankings

Patrick Daugherty
Rotoworld

Updated 9/7 at 11:45 AM. Finally removed Antonio Brown. Moved Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller up. Moved Derek Carr down. Added Hunter Renfrow and Jalen Richard. Moved Odell Beckham down one spot. Moved Stefon Diggs down. Removed Jordan Reed. Moved Vernon Davis up. 

 

Has anyone ever had a better cut-down weekend than Deshaun Watson? The odds-on favorite to lead all non-Patrick Mahomes quarterbacks not only got himself a new big-play receiver, but a legitimate left tackle. He will be introduced to his new teammates in the Coors Field of football (credit Rich Hribar) in a game with a week-leading 53 over/under. It was going to be raining points regardless. With Kenny Stills and Laremy Tunsil joining DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Duke Johnson and (potentially) Keke Coutee, Watson has a special opportunity to kick off what could be a special season on a high note. 

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Week 1 Quarterbacks

RK

Player

Pos

TM

Opp

1

Deshaun Watson

QB

HOU

@NO

2

Patrick Mahomes

QB

KC

@JAC

3

Carson Wentz

QB

PHI

WAS

4

Drew Brees

QB

NO

HOU

5

Russell Wilson

QB

SEA

CIN

6

Baker Mayfield

QB

CLE

TEN

7

Aaron Rodgers

QB

GB

@CHI

8

Kyler Murray

QB

ARI

DET

9

Dak Prescott

QB

DAL

NYG

10

Jameis Winston

QB

TB

SF

11

Lamar Jackson

QB

BAL

@MIA

12

Cam Newton

QB

CAR

LA

13

Ben Roethlisberger

QB

PIT

@NE

14

Jared Goff

QB

LA

@CAR

15

Tom Brady

QB

NE

PIT

16

Philip Rivers

QB

LAC

IND

17

Jimmy Garoppolo

QB

SF

@TB

18

Kirk Cousins

QB

MIN

ATL

19

Matt Ryan

QB

ATL

@MIN

20

Josh Allen

QB

BUF

@NYJ

21

Nick Foles

QB

JAC

KC

22

Mitchell Trubisky

QB

CHI

GB

23

Matthew Stafford

QB

DET

@ARI

24

Sam Darnold

QB

NYJ

BUF

25

Jacoby Brissett

QB

IND

@LAC

26

Marcus Mariota

QB

TEN

@CLE

27

Eli Manning

QB

NYG

@DAL

28

Derek Carr

QB

OAK

DEN

29

Joe Flacco

QB

DEN

@OAK

30

Andy Dalton

QB

CIN

@SEA

31

Ryan Fitzpatrick

QB

MIA

BAL

32

Case Keenum

QB

WAS

@PHI

 

QB Notes: It takes something pretty serious to keep Patrick Mahomes out of the top spot. “@JAX” qualifies. Todd Wash’s defense should be rejuvenated after a “down” year that was still good by any reasonable standard. That doesn’t mean you fully fade Mahomes, whose 2018 season-low for yardage was 243. … Moving on from a 2018 campaign marred by both injury and leadership questions, Carson Wentz has the best supporting cast of his career. By far. He also has a dream Week 1 home matchup against the scarily-undermanned Redskins. If there’s a concern, it’s that the 10-point favorite Eagles will turn out the lights too quickly. … I spent most of the summer fading Drew Brees. That’s not a luxury you or I can afford against this opponent in this stadium. … Russell Wilson’s 2018 was the pinnacle of efficiency > volume. Wilson is a special player, but that same lightning is not going to strike twice. Wilson’s 8.2 touchdown percentage was 2.5 percent higher than his pre-2018 average. He needs to throw more in 2019, and he needs to do so without Doug Baldwin. Only faint dispatches from tea leaves and palm readings suggest this will happen. Wilson’s Week 1 ranking is about an undeniable home matchup against a team that will be in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick.

Baker Mayfield’s offensive line looms as a potential concern. Week 1 opponent Tennessee was also solid against the pass last season. Mayfield still gets the benefit of the doubt as a superstar-in-the-making who has a forward-thinking coach and one of the top weapons in the entire league in Odell Beckham. … The Bears’ defense was historically good last season. The only law when it comes to historically-good defenses is that they will regress the following year. That’s especially true when the brains of the operation (Vic Fangio) is now in Denver. An angry Aaron Rodgers has had all summer to game plan for this one. Last year’s abnormally-low touchdown percentage should begin its positive regression in Chicago. … Any regular reader or Twitter follower will know that I am all the way in on Kyler Murray. Beyond the obvious questions — offensive line, how the air raid might play in the NFL, being a rookie, etc. — Murray has one specific to Week 1 in Lions coach Matt Patricia, who largely succeeded at scrambling young quarterbacks a season ago. 

Lamar Jackson is one of the keys to the entire 2019 fantasy season. Despite his clear-and-obvious passing issues — both the box score and eye test confirmed — he was a top-eight fantasy quarterback after his insertion under center. He’s either going to be a lifehack or an anchor. One way or another, Week 1 against the Dolphins’ talent-less defense isn’t going to tell the story. … Dak Prescott was the QB4 following Amari Cooper’s arrival last season. The Giants are a doormat of a home opener. … “Cam Newton, iron man” is starting to seem like a long time ago. Newton is over last year’s debilitating shoulder injury but still only two weeks removed from a foot issue that necessitated his removal from a preseason game. For what it’s worth, he is not on the Week 1 injury report. On paper, Newton has his strongest supporting cast in years, with playmakers all over the field. … Jared Goff was barely passable on the road last season (10:9 TD:INT ratio). @CAR is also a daunting trip for west coast teams, though less so in Week 1. Goff’s weapons and coach keep him in the QB1 mix.  

How many more times are we going to let Jameis Winston fool us? This is his last chance. If Winston flops Bruce Arians with Mike Evans, O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin, he will be a backup in 2020. Dee Ford, Nick Bosa and Kwon Alexander are serious reinforcements, but the 49ers got absolutely throttled by the pass a season ago. I’m still going to make Winston be an actually good player before installing him as a mid-range QB1. … Ben Roethlisberger attempted the fourth most passes in NFL history last season. Without Antonio Brown, a repeat will not be in store. It still seems rather silly to have Ben as a QB2 for a game with a 50 over/under. This rank is more about liking the players ahead of Roethlisberger more than not liking Roethlisberger for Week 1. … Every time I look up Tom Brady’s 2018 numbers, I expect them to be worse. There are still many reasons to believe the Patriots will resemble the run-heavier team they were down the stretch in 2018. Josh Gordon’s conditioning is an early-season question mark for Brady’s receiver corps.

Although he was literally without an ADP for much of the summer, Jimmy Garoppolo is a QB2 who could have plenty of QB1 weeks. The Bucs’ talent-deficient defense will be an excellent Week 1 measuring stick. … Mike Zimmer’s run-first edict is a real concern for Kirk Cousins, who has lived off volume in fantasy. Cousins averaged just 29 attempts across four December starts. He still has things working in his favor, including his elite receiver duo and offensive “advisor” Gary Kubiak’s quarterback-friendly system. … Opposing Cousins will be Matt Ryan, who should be a top-eight quarterback by the end of the season. Ryan’s problem for Week 1 is the Vikings’ elite pass defense. The Vikes permitted a league-low 15 passing scores in 2018. … Josh Allen and Sam Darnold are two highly-intriguing 2019 streamers whose defenses figure to cannibalize each other in a game with the second-lowest over/under (41) of Week 1. … Nick Foles might have been an excellent streamer against the Chiefs in, say, Week 8. For Week 1, we don’t even know how his targets might be distributed in an offense being remade on the fly. … Mitchell Trubisky exceeded 250 yards only four times last season. That includes zero times after Thanksgiving. … Jacoby Brissett has a bad rap after his forgettable 2017, but there is a major difference between Chuck Pagano and Frank Reich. Brissett could be a Konami Code QB1 streamer before too long.

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Week 1 Running Backs

RK

Player

Pos

TM

Opp

1

Alvin Kamara

RB

NO

HOU

2

Saquon Barkley

RB

NYG

@DAL

3

Christian McCaffrey

RB

CAR

LA

4

David Johnson

RB

ARI

DET

5

Nick Chubb

RB

CLE

TEN

6

Chris Carson

RB

SEA

CIN

7

Leonard Fournette

RB

JAC

KC

8

James Conner

RB

PIT

@NE

9

Dalvin Cook

RB

MIN

ATL

10

Ezekiel Elliott

RB

DAL

NYG

11

Le'Veon Bell

RB

NYJ

BUF

12

Aaron Jones

RB

GB

@CHI

13

Todd Gurley

RB

LA

@CAR

14

Mark Ingram

RB

BAL

@MIA

15

Kerryon Johnson

RB

DET

@ARI

16

Joe Mixon

RB

CIN

@SEA

17

Devonta Freeman

RB

ATL

@MIN

18

Austin Ekeler

RB

LAC

IND

19

Sony Michel

RB

NE

PIT

20

Derrick Henry

RB

TEN

@CLE

21

Duke Johnson

RB

HOU

@NO

22

Josh Jacobs

RB

OAK

DEN

23

David Montgomery

RB

CHI

GB

24

Marlon Mack

RB

IND

@LAC

25

Damien Williams

RB

KC

@JAC

26

Phillip Lindsay

RB

DEN

@OAK

27

Tevin Coleman

RB

SF

@TB

28

Miles Sanders

RB

PHI

WAS

29

Kenyan Drake

RB

MIA

BAL

30

James White

RB

NE

PIT

31

Derrius Guice

RB

WAS

@PHI

32

Matt Breida

RB

SF

@TB

33

Latavius Murray

RB

NO

HOU

34

Tarik Cohen

RB

CHI

GB

35

Jordan Howard

RB

PHI

WAS

36

Royce Freeman

RB

DEN

@OAK

37

Devin Singletary

RB

BUF

@NYJ

38

Peyton Barber

RB

TB

SF

39

Justin Jackson

RB

LAC

IND

40

Rashaad Penny

RB

SEA

CIN

41

LeSean McCoy

RB

KC

@JAC

42

Tony Pollard

RB

DAL

NYG

43

Dion Lewis

RB

TEN

@CLE

44

Justice Hill

RB

BAL

@MIA

45

Frank Gore

RB

BUF

@NYJ

46

Jaylen Samuels

RB

PIT

@NE

47

Darrell Henderson

RB

LA

@CAR

48

C.J. Anderson

RB

DET

@ARI

49

Kalen Ballage

RB

MIA

BAL

50

Adrian Peterson

RB

WAS

@PHI

51

Jalen Richard

RB

OAK

DEN

52

Alexander Mattison

RB

MIN

ATL

53

Ronald Jones

RB

TB

SF

54

Carlos Hyde

RB

HOU

@NO

55

Ty Montgomery

RB

NYJ

BUF

 

RB Notes: Any of the big three could lay claim to the top spot. I’ll go with Alvin Kamara, who will be playing at home in the week’s premier fantasy contest. … Saquon Barkley will be forever weighed down by his narratives. If you look past them, you’ll find the most talented, explosive running back in the NFL, one tailor made for today’s modern game. Barkley has bad teammates and is going to have bad game flow. Neither problem mattered much in 2018. … If Barkley is the prototype, Christian McCaffrey is the PPR prototype. McCaffrey probably isn’t going to break his own running back receptions record. What he should do is grow in the carries department after last year’s modest 219. … You will typically find Ezekiel Elliott in the top four. Reportedly slated for just 20-25 snaps, we will put him on the RB1/2 borderline for now. That could change with new information. Explosive rookie Tony Pollard is an interesting FLEX and DFS dart throw. … We really don’t know how Kliff Kingsbury might deploy David Johnson. We are still correct to take it as an article of faith that it will be more creative and fantasy profitable than his 2018 usage.

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Even running behind a shaky offensive line, Nick Chubb has almost limitless upside in the Browns’ ascendant offense. Supposed third-down back Dontrell Hilliard made little noise during the preseason. … Last year’s No. 5 rusher, Chris Carson opens the season at home with his team operating as a 9.5-point favorite. Sometimes it’s really that simple. … All the Jags’ Leonard Fournette sound and fury came to naught, as he enters the season without a real backup. Forecasted for a bigger role in the passing game, Fournette is also in the Best Shape Of His Life. The Chiefs were one of only two teams to permit more than five yards per carry in 2018. … I liked James Conner more in the second round than first. That doesn’t matter anymore. There will be touches, including targets, for the taking in a Steelers/Patriots showdown that always threatens to turn into a shootout. I expect Jaylen Samuels to have a real role, but it could be at basically a different position (H-back) than Conner. Don’t be surprised if they find themselves on the field at the same time. … Dalvin Cook checks all the “arrival” boxes. I still can’t help but penalize a player where I feel “believe it when you see it” is the most appropriate course of action.

$52.5 million man Le'Veon Bell will supposedly be eased into the season. Consider this my pre-apology if I let some ridiculous coachspeak go to my head. The Bills do have an excellent run defense. … The reigning yards per carry leader, Aaron Jones will begin what could be a special season against the Bears’ ferocious run defense. I might be betting too much on talent here, but the lure of Jones serving as new coach Matt LaFleur’s Todd Gurley — including increased usage in the passing game — is too much to resist. … Speaking of new Todd Gurleys, Joe Mixon is ticketed for a similar role in Zac Taylor’s offense. It’s just impossible to like his Week 1 setup as a 9.5-point ‘dog in Seattle. The Bengals’ renewed Giovani Bernard infatuation is also bizarre/concerning. … As for the real Todd Gurley, his usage is known only to coach Sean McVay. The knee-related red flags are too numerous to document in a quick-hitting column. If you took the plunge, there is nothing I can say to you that you don’t already know. … I hope I’m not out over my skis on Mark Ingram. We have so many complicated ways to make compelling arguments now. Ingram’s is as simple as it gets. He is the lead back for an offense that wants to be the NFL’s run-heaviest in decades. For Week 1, he gets an embarrassing Dolphins Defense.

If Lions coach Matt Patricia knows what he’s doing — which, — “RB15 Kerryon Johnson” could look quaint in a hurry. … If Devonta Freeman is breaking down, the Falcons did not construct their backfield as such. For the first time in his career, Freeman does not have a legitimate “1B” backup. … As NFL.com’s Graham Barfield points out, Austin Ekeler should be expected to play 60-70 percent of the Chargers’ snaps during Melvin Gordon’s absence. Perhaps you were hoping for 100, but that will be more than enough for Ekeler to have an RB2 day. Justin Jackson has some FLEX juice. … Sony Michel has some of the best touchdown odds of the week. ... Have we lost the plot on Derrick Henry? A player who reaved souls to close out 2018 is the clear-cut foundation stone of the Titans’ offense. … Duke Johnson is a player I hope we can get higher in the ranks as the season wears on. He has deserved an early-down role for ages. He is the lead back for a high-flying offense. Carlos Hyde will get touches, though. … Have we underestimated the threats facing David Montgomery? If we have, the Bears’ coaching staff hasn’t exactly been a responsible influence. Coach Matt Nagy can scarcely conceal his love.

If we’re underestimating Montgomery’s threats, perhaps the same is true of Josh Jacobs’ charms. That being said, a Vic Fangio-led defense is one tough assignment for an NFL debut. … Marlon Mack depended on elite line play and positive game flow last season. We know he will still have one of them. … It really doesn’t matter what we think of Damien Williams. Andy Reid has told us what he thinks time and again with both his words and actions. Williams is a hot potato RB2/FLEX. You really should not be starting LeSean McCoy in Week 1. … Brian Flores on Kenyan Drake: "We look forward to giving him a lot of touches this week."Matt Breida is better than Tevin Coleman, a fact the 49ers’ PR staff agrees with. Tevin Coleman’s touch floor gives him the Week 1 rankings edge, but Breida could erase the gap quickly. … Phillip Lindsay has already beaten out Royce Freeman once, and rather easily at that. Nevertheless, the Broncos’ coaching staff has made it clear he will have to do so again. … The Redskins have Derrius Guice on the fast track. It’s understandable considering how bleak the picture is elsewhere on offense. If you have to play a Washington back this week — which, you don’t — make it Guice. … Devin Singletary is the favorite to lead the Bills’ backfield in touches, but we should not be surprised if Terminator Frank Gore gets the call in sensitive (read: goal line) situations.     

Week 1 Receivers 

RK

Player

Pos

TM

Opp

1

DeAndre Hopkins

WR

HOU

@NO

2

Michael Thomas

WR

NO

HOU

3

Odell Beckham

WR

CLE

TEN

4

Davante Adams

WR

GB

@CHI

5

JuJu Smith-Schuster

WR

PIT

@NE

6

Tyreek Hill

WR

KC

@JAC

7

Julio Jones

WR

ATL

@MIN

8

Mike Evans

WR

TB

SF

9

Amari Cooper

WR

DAL

NYG

10

Keenan Allen

WR

LAC

IND

11

Adam Thielen

WR

MIN

ATL

12

Tyler Lockett

WR

SEA

CIN

13

Julian Edelman

WR

NE

PIT

14

Brandin Cooks

WR

LA

@CAR

15

Chris Godwin

WR

TB

SF

16

Kenny Golladay

WR

DET

@ARI

17

Robert Woods

WR

LA

@CAR

18

Stefon Diggs

WR

MIN

ATL

19

Tyler Boyd

WR

CIN

@SEA

20

D.J. Moore

WR

CAR

LA

21

T.Y. Hilton

WR

IND

@LAC

22

Dede Westbrook

WR

JAC

KC

23

Cooper Kupp

WR

LA

@CAR

24

Allen Robinson

WR

CHI

GB

25

Will Fuller

WR

HOU

@NO

26

Calvin Ridley

WR

ATL

@MIN

27

Mike Williams

WR

LAC

IND

28

Sterling Shepard

WR

NYG

@DAL

29

Alshon Jeffery

WR

PHI

WAS

30

Sammy Watkins

WR

KC

@JAC

31

Robby Anderson

WR

NYJ

BUF

32

Christian Kirk

WR

ARI

DET

33

Josh Gordon

WR

NE

PIT

34

Curtis Samuel

WR

CAR

LA

35

Dante Pettis

WR

SF

@TB

36

Jarvis Landry

WR

CLE

TEN

37

Larry Fitzgerald

WR

ARI

DET

38

Marvin Jones

WR

DET

@ARI

39

Corey Davis

WR

TEN

@CLE

40

Courtland Sutton

WR

DEN

@OAK

41

Tyrell Williams

WR

OAK

DEN

42

Geronimo Allison

WR

GB

@CHI

43

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

WR

GB

@CHI

44

Michael Gallup

WR

DAL

NYG

45

DeSean Jackson

WR

PHI

WAS

46

John Brown

WR

BUF

@NYJ

47

Jamison Crowder

WR

NYJ

BUF

48

Donte Moncrief

WR

PIT

@NE

49

Albert Wilson

WR

MIA

BAL

50

Emmanuel Sanders

WR

DEN

@OAK

51

Deebo Samuel

WR

SF

@TB

52

Anthony Miller

WR

CHI

GB

53

Kenny Stills

WR

HOU

@NO

54

D.K. Metcalf

WR

SEA

CIN

55

James Washington

WR

PIT

@NE

56

Tre'Quan Smith

WR

NO

HOU

57

Rashard Higgins

WR

CLE

TEN

58

Mohamed Sanu

WR

ATL

@MIN

59

Marquise Goodwin

WR

SF

@TB

60

DeVante Parker

WR

MIA

BAL

61

Ted Ginn

WR

NO

HOU

62

Adam Humphries

WR

TEN

@CLE

63

Mecole Hardman

WR

KC

@JAC

64

Danny Amendola

WR

DET

@ARI

65

DaeSean Hamilton

WR

DEN

@OAK

66

Willie Snead

WR

BAL

@MIA

67

Devin Funchess

WR

IND

@LAC

68

Trey Quinn

WR

WAS

@PHI

69

KeeSean Johnson

WR

ARI

DET

70

Hunter Renfrow

WR

OAK

DEN

 

WR Notes: Odell Beckham is averaging the second most yards per game in NFL history (92.8). He did that with Eli Manning. Imagine what he might accomplish with a quarterback who can actually hit him in stride down the field. … Vegas expects the Saints to score about 30 points. Michael Thomas did a ton of his 2018 fantasy damage in just 4-5 games. This could be one of them for 2019. … Even with Antonio Brown around to occupy Stephon Gilmore’s attention, JuJu Smith-Schuster caught just four balls for 40 yards in last year’s meeting with the Patriots. This time, Smith-Schuster is likely to draw Gilmore. Despite the Patriots’ well-known “eliminate the opposing team’s top weapon” strategy, Smith-Schuster gets the benefit of the doubt in a game we hope develops into a shootout. … Julio Jones and Tyreek Hill both face shadow corners for Week 1. Jones will be squaring off with Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes, who has done an excellent job limiting Jones’ damage in past matchups. Hill, meanwhile, gets Jalen Ramsey, who is coming off an up-and-down 2018. Hill spends enough time in the slot that he will be taking plenty of off-shore excursions from Ramsey Island.

Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Start/Sit Tool, Trade Analyzer, Consensus Rankings, Projections and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!

A 49ers defense that bled receiver fantasy points a season ago has improved its front seven but not its secondary. That could be enough to help contain rival wideouts, but it’s hard not to view Sunday as a potential blow-up spot for Mike Evans at home. The same is true for Chris Godwin, whom coach Bruce Arians has predicted will catch 100 balls. Godwin has a mouthwatering matchup in 49ers slot CB K'Waun Williams. … Back on the same page with his quarterback, Amari Cooper will push for WR1 value this season. This week, he will be chased around by Janoris Jenkins, who had a highly-ordinary 2018. … Maybe one day I will learn to love Keenan Allen. Until then, I will dutifully continue to rank him on the WR1/2 borderline. … Adam Thielen was as good as it gets in the first half last season before disappearing completely in the second. He opens 2019 with an unimposing matchup in the Falcons’ secondary. … Antonio Brown was a popular summer fade. It’s understandable considering the number of red flags Brown was running up the flagpole. The reality is, he is one of the greatest receivers in league history playing for a coach who will be desperate to prove his acquisition was smart. Brown’s Week 1 issue is a matchup with a Broncos Defense that took a step back towards fearsome just by hiring coach Vic Fangio. (Welp. Rofl. Waiting for official word on Brown's suspension for ... trying to fight Mike Mayock? before updating.)

You probably knew Tyler Lockett had a big season last year. What you may have forgotten was that it came on 70 targets. Even the Seahawks are going to have a hard time keeping Lockett below 100 in 2019. … Of most recent vintage, Julian Edelman was reeling off three straight monster games in the playoffs. Before that, he turned in a professional 7/90 against the Steelers in Week 15. … The good news: Stefon Diggs is supposed to get more big-play opportunities on the outside this season. The bad news: He’s somehow already dealing with a hamstring issue. His availability cannot be taken for granted. … The way Rotoworld’s Ian Hartitz sees it — welcome aboard, Ian — none of the Rams’ big three of Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods or Cooper Kupp has an imposing matchup in Carolina. Like the Broncos and Packers before them, the Rams had no issue supporting three top-24 receivers before Kupp’s injury last season. … Josh Norris can’t deal with how highly ranked Kenny Golladay has been this summer. I know the feeling. For Week 1, it’s all about facing the Cardinals’ undermanned secondary in a game that could quickly devolve into a shootout. For what it’s worth, re: Danny Amendola’s addition, Golladay was actually far more consistent before the Lions traded away Golden Tate in 2018.

Tyler Boyd is a classic “well someone has got to get these targets, don’t they?” Boyd posted poor 2018 splits without A.J. Green, while the Seahawks are not an ideal Week 1 road matchup. Boyd’s hat is hung on — one, being pretty good — and two, hopefully increased creativity from Sean McVay-knower Zac Taylor. … With Curtis Samuel sucking up all the hype oxygen in Panthers camp, D.J. Moore went overlooked coming off his excellent rookie campaign. A YAC dynamo OC Norv Turner knows how to put in position to make plays, Moore is every bit a WR2 on paper. … As for Samuel, the drumbeat might have been overwhelming to the point of annoyance, but that doesn’t mean you get to ignore it. Worth remembering: Through 22 NFL games, Samuel has had only three 70-yard contests. Also worth remembering: All three of them were last December. Make him show you, but there is real reason for excitement. … We don’t get to put T.Y. Hilton’s subpar Andrew Luck-less 2017 all the way in the wastebasket, but there is genuine reason for optimism this year will be better. It is easy to overrate a coach’s impact, but it’s not easy to overrate the difference between Frank Reich and Chuck Pagano when it comes to offensive football.

Nick Foles loves to target the slot. Dede Westbrook makes big plays out of the slot. Chiefs CB Kendall Fuller allows plays to be made in the slot. … Allen Robinson’s biggest game of 2018-19 (the Wild Card round) didn’t even count for fantasy. Mitchell Trubisky isn’t the best man to be betting on. … Will Fuller draws burnable Eli Apple in the biggest fantasy game of the week. Buckle up. … Calvin Ridley and Mike Williams both figure to see their touchdown rates decrease. Ridley is the more likely candidate for an offsetting increase in volume. … Sterling Shepard was undervalued in summer drafts. Evan Engram isn’t going to draw every Giants target, or maybe even the most of them. Shepard, who missed most of the summer with a finger issue, does have a tough Cowboys secondary to contend with. … I’m admittedly flying blind with Christian Kirk. Loved his rookie season. Was a bit confused by his training camp. The Cardinals went to great lengths to divulge nothing about their offense. … The smoke signals out of New England suggest a Week 1 pitch count for Josh Gordon. … Jarvis Landry must do battle with Logan Ryan in the slot. … I was into Robby Anderson for most of draft season, but he’s already at less than 100 percent (calf) for a tough matchup with Tre'Davious White. … Dante Pettis: Still the 49ers’ No. 1 receiver. … Albert Wilson is free money out of the slot. DeVante Parker is, uhh, even freer money on the outside.       

Week 1 Tight Ends 

RK

Player

Pos

TM

Opp

1

George Kittle

TE

SF

@TB

2

Travis Kelce

TE

KC

@JAC

3

Zach Ertz

TE

PHI

WAS

4

O.J. Howard

TE

TB

SF

5

Evan Engram

TE

NYG

@DAL

6

Hunter Henry

TE

LAC

IND

7

Vance McDonald

TE

PIT

@NE

8

Jared Cook

TE

NO

HOU

9

David Njoku

TE

CLE

TEN

10

Delanie Walker

TE

TEN

@CLE

11

Austin Hooper

TE

ATL

@MIN

12

Mark Andrews

TE

BAL

@MIA

13

Greg Olsen

TE

CAR

LA

14

Darren Waller

TE

OAK

DEN

15

Eric Ebron

TE

IND

@LAC

16

Tyler Eifert

TE

CIN

@SEA

17

Kyle Rudolph

TE

MIN

ATL

18

Jimmy Graham

TE

GB

@CHI

19

T.J. Hockenson

TE

DET

@ARI

20

Dallas Goedert

TE

PHI

WAS

21

Jason Witten

TE

DAL

NYG

22

Jack Doyle

TE

IND

@LAC

23

Noah Fant

TE

DEN

@OAK

24

Adam Shaheen

TE

CHI

GB

25

Mike Gesicki

TE

MIA

BAL

26

Gerald Everett

TE

LA

@CAR

27

Vernon Davis

TE

WAS

@PHI

28

Geoff Swaim

TE

JAC

KC

 

TE Notes: Fresh off setting the tight end yardage record, 25-year-old George Kittle opens the season in a game with the third-highest over/under of Week 1. It’s a new gang in Tampa, but the Bucs were among the league’s worst teams at locking down the seam in 2018. … It’s tempting to view Travis Kelce’s 2018 as his career year. But what if it’s his new normal? The difference between Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes is that great. … Everyone and their mother knows Zach Ertz is going to regress off his 116/1,163/8 2018. Ertz himself has said so. He’s still the clear-cut No. 3 at his position. His concern for Week 1 is that the moribund Redskins don’t keep the proceedings competitive. … Bruce Arians struggled to produce even TE2s in Arizona, let alone TE1s. It’s tempting to blame scheme, but talent was the bigger issue. Just ask Heath Miller, who had multiple big years under Arians in Pittsburgh. Arians never had a talent like O.J. Howard in Tampa. He’ll know how to use him.

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Evan Engram is a big-play threat trapped in a compiler’s role. The latter, of course, still plays for fantasy purposes. … Two years removed from the regular season gridiron, Hunter Henry played nearly 100 percent of the Chargers’ first-team snaps this summer. The Chargers’ shaky offensive line should mean there will be no shortage of dumpoffs. Henry is capable of turning those into splash plays. … Vance McDonald was 20th in tight end snaps last season but 11th in tight end yards. With Jesse James gone, there will be more snaps. With Antonio Brown gone, there will be more yardage. … The No. 3 option in an offense that’s shed passing game volume, Jared Cook could come back down to earth. It won’t happen Monday in a game Vegas has assigned a 53 over/under on the Superdome’s fast track. … #PeopleForget that David Njoku is only 23 years old. His 6-foot-4 presence will be badly needed in the red zone for a team lacking in large wideouts.

Delanie Walker is 35 and coming off major injury. He is also the only pass catcher to ever establish a rapport with Marcus Mariota. … Austin Hooper has settled in as a poor man’s Zach Ertz. He’s yet to establish scintillating upside, but his floor is worth starting on a weekly basis. … If Jordan Reed (concussion) can get cleared, he will be the favorite to lead the Redskins in targets. … Mark Andrews offers wild card potential at a position without very much of it. The obvious questions are the Ravens’ passing volume and target competition within Andrews’ own tight end corps. … Eric Ebron’s grim 2019 outlook got even grimmer with Andrew Luck’s retirement. Is there a silver lining? Via Pro Football Focus’ Scott Barrett, Jacoby Brissett really, really likes to target tight ends.Greg Olsen could be a TE1 until his foot gives out, but he is firmly in “consider any contribution a bonus” territory. … The same, of course, is true of Tyler Eifert, whose red zone presence will be badly needed for the Bengals however long he can stay healthy. … Trey Burton should find himself on the TE1/2 borderline most weeks. His “game-time decision” tag means this is not one of those weeks.

Week 1 Kickers 

RK

Player

Pos

TM

Opp

1

Justin Tucker

K

BAL

@MIA

2

Greg Zuerlein

K

LA

@CAR

3

Wil Lutz

K

NO

HOU

4

Stephen Gostkowski

K

NE

PIT

5

Ka'imi Fairbairn

K

HOU

@NO

6

Harrison Butker

K

KC

@JAC

7

Brett Maher

K

DAL

NYG

8

Robbie Gould

K

SF

@TB

9

Jason Myers

K

SEA

CIN

10

Jake Elliott

K

PHI

WAS

11

Matt Bryant

K

ATL

@MIN

12

Mason Crosby

K

GB

@CHI

13

Chris Boswell

K

PIT

@NE

14

Matt Prater

K

DET

@ARI

15

Josh Lambo

K

JAC

KC

16

Dan Bailey

K

MIN

ATL

17

Matt Gay

K

TB

SF

18

Ryan Succop

K

TEN

@CLE

19

Zane Gonzalez

K

ARI

DET

20

Adam Vinatieri

K

IND

@LAC

21

Austin Seibert

K

CLE

TEN

22

Stephen Hauschka

K

BUF

@NYJ

23

Brandon McManus

K

DEN

@OAK

24

Aldrick Rosas

K

NYG

@DAL

25

Joey Slye

K

CAR

LA

26

Daniel Carlson

K

OAK

DEN

27

Ty Long

P

LAC

IND

28

Eddy Pineiro

K

CHI

GB

29

Dustin Hopkins

K

WAS

@PHI

30

Randy Bullock

K

CIN

@SEA

31

Jason Sanders

K

MIA

BAL

32

Kaare Vedvik

K

NYJ

BUF

 

Week 1 Defense/Special Teams 

RK

Player

Pos

TM

Opp

1

Philadelphia Eagles

DST

PHI

WAS

2

Baltimore Ravens

DST

BAL

@MIA

3

Seattle Seahawks

DST

SEA

CIN

4

Dallas Cowboys

DST

DAL

NYG

5

Denver Broncos

DST

DEN

@OAK

6

Cleveland Browns

DST

CLE

TEN

7

Los Angeles Chargers

DST

LAC

IND

8

Buffalo Bills

DST

BUF

@NYJ

9

New York Jets

DST

NYJ

BUF

10

Chicago Bears

DST

CHI

GB

11

Los Angeles Rams

DST

LA

@CAR

12

Miami Dolphins

DST

MIA

BAL

13

Kansas City Chiefs

DST

KC

@JAC

14

Minnesota Vikings

DST

MIN

ATL

15

Green Bay Packers

DST

GB

@CHI

16

New Orleans Saints

DST

NO

HOU

17

New England Patriots

DST

NE

PIT

18

San Francisco 49ers

DST

SF

@TB

19

Detroit Lions

DST

DET

@ARI

20

Tennessee Titans

DST

TEN

@CLE

21

Oakland Raiders

DST

OAK

DEN

22

Jacksonville Jaguars

DST

JAC

KC

23

Arizona Cardinals

DST

ARI

DET

24

Atlanta Falcons

DST

ATL

@MIN

25

Houston Texans

DST

HOU

@NO

26

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DST

TB

SF

27

Pittsburgh Steelers

DST

PIT

@NE

28

Carolina Panthers

DST

CAR

LA

29

New York Giants

DST

NYG

@DAL

30

Indianapolis Colts

DST

IND

@LAC

31

Washington Redskins

DST

WAS

@PHI

32

Cincinnati Bengals

DST

CIN

@SEA

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