Fantasy football is finally upon us all as here are the top five quarterbacks that must start heading into Week 1 of the regular season.
Many deciding factors go into deciphering who to start as your fantasy football quarterback. One must consider not only the players’ talent level but also things like the talent around him, health, the opposing defense and sometimes even the weather.
Of course, when it comes to fantasy football, owners can’t make any mistakes when it comes to the most important position on the field. To have a quality QB1 and a reliable QB2 are important to have week in, week out.
But when you have two capable quarterbacks on your fantasy team, it’s a difficult decision to pick the best one with the highest outlook to score the most points. Always go with your gut when considering all the aforementioned factors before making your final decision.
Without further ado, here are the top five quarterbacks to start in fantasy for Week 1 of the regular season.
Next: 5. Tyrod Taylor
5. Tyrod Taylor vs. New York Jets
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is a “boom or bust” pick. Sometimes, winning in fantasy isn’t a matter of having the better player. Sometimes your best bet will be to play the match-ups. That being said, there isn’t a better match-up to play than a quarterback facing the Jets defense.
Last year, the Jets passing defense was atrocious and practically non-existent, allowing an average of 17.1 PPG against opposing quarterbacks. The Jets have made some key additions to their secondary, though they will still have a long ways to come. This makes Taylor the No. 5 fantasy quarterback to start in Week 1.
Taylor brought his A-game last year against the Jets in Week 2. Taylor threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns last year against the Jets. In addition, a lack of speed on the Jets’ defense will lead to issues against a mobile quarterback like Taylor, consequently resulting in fantasy points for him.
Taylor is available in 72 percent of ESPN leagues, meaning he is readily available to start in your lineup this week. He may not be a “must start” in Week 1, but if your starting quarterback has an unfavorable match-up, perhaps you should seriously consider allowing Taylor to be your bridge quarterback at least for this week.
Next: 4. Tom Brady
4. Tom Brady vs. Kansas City Chiefs
This one is a no-brainer. If you were lucky enough to land the GOAT himself in your fantasy draft, of course, you should start him. Tom Brady is one of very few players who can reliably perform each and every week no matter who he is facing. Despite missing four games, Brady still managed to throw for 28 touchdowns last year, averaging over two touchdowns per game.
The addition of Brandin Cooks will be huge for Brady, giving him the best deep threat he’s had to throw to since Randy Moss. While the loss of Julian Edelman will be huge, head coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots have historically shown that the “next man up” will be ready.
Besides, Brady will still have plenty of weapons in guys like Rob Gronkowski, Phillip Dorsett, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell and Dwayne Allen. Brady may not have the most favorable match-up in Week 1, as he will be facing a stout, well-coached Chiefs defense. Although, if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past 15 years, that is to never doubt the Brady-Belichick duo.
Next: 3. Cam Newton
3. Cam Newton vs. San Francisco 49ers
Quarterback Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers enter the 2017 season with everything to prove. The Panthers finished 2016 at 6-10 only one year after being named the NFC Champions in 2015.
The Panthers drafted two dynamic weapons in Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel. These two additions along with a healthy Kelvin Benjamin will give Newton a full chest of toys to play with in 2017. These weapons will easily put Newton back to where he rightfully belongs as a premier quarterback with speedy weapons all around him.
Newton and the Panthers will be facing a 49ers defense who allowed 17.4 PPG against opposing quarterbacks. Coming off an off year, Newton and this re-bolstered offense will enter Week 1 as hungry as can be.
The combination of Newton’s desire to silence the haters along with the matchup against one of the worst defensive units in the league makes Newton a must-start this week. Expect to see a lot of passing touchdowns by Newton and company.
Next: 2. Matt Ryan
2. Matt Ryan vs. Chicago Bears
Quarterback Matt Ryan and the reigning NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons enter this season with one goal: return to the Super Bowl and win. Ryan, the reigning MVP, posted a whopping 347.5 fantasy points last year.
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The dynamic Falcons offense will look the same as the year prior, only one year better. Some key acquisitions on defense will only help Ryan and the Falcons offense in terms of field position.
Heading into Week 1, Ryan faces a favorable match up against the Bears defense, which allowed 17 PPG to opposing quarterbacks last year. In addition to their defensive struggles, instability at the quarterback position, along with a lack of weapons at wide-receiver, will make it difficult for the Bears offense to stay on the field.
This will give Ryan and the Falcons plenty of opportunities to make plays and produce fantasy points. Ryan’s past dominance along with a favorable matchup makes him a must-start this week.
Next: 1. Ben Roethlisberger
1. Ben Roethlisberger vs. Cleveland Browns
Big Ben has proven himself time and time again as a dominant NFL quarterback. This year, Ben Roethlisberger will be surrounded by what could be the most dynamic offense in the league.
The Steelers’ offense features two of the top skill-position players in the league in Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. Now, with the return of Martavis Bryant, in addition to the youngsters Eli Rogers and JuJu Smith-Schuster, Roethlisberger will have a plethora of offensive weapons.
Big Ben and the Steelers will be facing a Cleveland defense who allowed a league-high 19.4 PPG to opposing quarterbacks in 2016. Cleveland made some key defensive additions this offseason, adding players like Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, and Calvin Pryor.
Although, the young defense will still need time to gel. Surrounded by an armory full of weapons, Big Ben against the Browns defense is easily the top quarterback to start in Week 1.