Fantasy Football Week 1: Top 5 quarterbacks to start
By William Schneiderhan
The long awaited 2018 NFL season is finally upon us and fantasy drafts are wrapping up. Here are the top five signal callers to start on your fantasy team in week one.
The regular season is finally here as that also means fantasy football is in full swing. Fans are swelling up in anticipation and excitement for the new campaign, but at the same time, they are filled with anxiety over what to do with their fantasy football teams.
The quarterback position was one of the toughest positions to draft this year. Mainly because so many big names fell into the late rounds in many drafts. Guys like Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Cam Newton were players taken fairly late, which could make them bargains.
The ripple effect of this draft trend means that there are a lot of value quarterbacks hanging around. So, let’s dive in and evaluate the top five quarterbacks in fantasy football for week one of the NFL season.
5. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers will be one of, if not the biggest surprise on this list as he gets set to play the Kansas City Chiefs at home on Sunday. Why? ESPN has him ranked the 10th overall signal caller for their Week 1 weekly QB rankings for PPR leagues.
Those players ranked 5-9? Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, and Kirk Cousins. Here’s why Rivers will give you more bang for your buck.
Luck and Watson are both coming off injuries, meaning you’d be more inclined to see if they’re healthy before throwing them into your lineup. Wilson has one of the worst offensive lines in the league, Stafford will face a tough secondary against the New York Jets and Cousins will be working with an offense that is somewhat banged up.
So, Rivers is essentially the safest pick. Also, the Kansas City Chiefs have a very iffy defensive situation, especially in the secondary if they are without Eric Berry. Rivers will look to go deep all day and find his big-play receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
Next: 4. Cam Newton
4. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton starts a stretch of former All-Pros to be named to this list. He has a fairly favorable matchup against the Dallas Cowboys down in Carolina on Sunday.
Newton’s ESPN weekly rank has him number three, but he may not be as much of a lock as he seems. Yes, the former Auburn Tiger has Christian McCaffrey, Greg Olsen, and rookie receiver D.J. Moore. However, that is really it.
The Cowboys defense is probably one of the more underrated units in the league. The pass rush is steady, linebacker corps is finally getting healthy and the secondary is full of young talent.
But, Newton and co. still have the upper hand in this matchup. Newton, like Rivers, is a safe start. Regardless, he will still put up points and play a big role in trying to lead you to a win.
Next: 3. Drew Brees
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees snapped a streak of nine straight seasons of throwing 30+ touchdowns when he threw 23 last season. You may be thinking that he may be losing it a bit at age 39.
Wrong. Brees thrived last year because he finally had a strong run game to lean on with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.
Brees and the Saints play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday at home. Take the matchup with a lackluster Bucs team and couple it with the fact the Saints are at home and you should feel every inclination to start Brees on your fantasy team.
The Buccaneers don’t have the greatest defense, but the reason Brees is a must-start is because of how bad the Bucs offense is. Brees and the Saints’ offense will have the ball a lot because the Saints’ stout defense will be running Ryan Fitzpatrick off the field all day.
Next: 2. Tom Brady
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
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Shield your eyes Jet Press readers, because he who shall not be named comes in at number two. In all seriousness, Tom Brady will look to shred the Houston Texans defense apart when the two teams meet up in New England on Sunday afternoon.
It was an absolute shootout when these two teams played each other last year when the Pats came away with a 36-33 win. Brady tossed five touchdowns with 378 passing yards.
Of course, there are some players that played in that game that won’t be at Brady’s side this time around like Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks. But, we have seen Brady do this year in and year out where he makes due with what he has.
Brady is an easy start, even with the Texans adding a player like Tyrann Mathieu. This game may end up like last year’s Texans-Patriots game, a shootout.
Next: 1. Aaron Rodgers
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Two words: he’s back. The best quarterback in the NFL is finally fully healthy and he will suit up for the Green Bay Packers against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on Sunday night.
Oh, yes, Aaron Rodgers is his name. The Packers were without him last season after he went down with an injury.
Like always, Rodgers is the easiest signal caller to start in fantasy football. This week is no different, even with the upstart Bears defense that now has former All-Pro and AP Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack.
Rodgers is simply just that good. Now he has a better defense, which means he may be working with the ball more and in favorable field position.