Fantasy Football Week 1: Top 5 wide receivers to start
By William Schneiderhan
Your fantasy football road to glory or a slow trip to misery begins in Week 1. Let’s see who makes the list in the Week 1 installment of the top 5 wide receivers to start in your fantasy league.
While running backs seem to be the cream of the crop when it comes to fantasy football, wide receivers can truly make or break your team. This is because receivers have the ability to put up a lot of points due to the current state of the NFL.
Meaning, the current game is highly dependent upon quarterback play and winning games through the air. We have seen many wideouts emerge and become fantasy football beasts over the past few seasons. Let’s take a look at the top five receivers you will want locked into your starting lineup in Week 1.
5. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
When it comes to ESPN’s weekly PPR wide receiver rankings, Keenan Allen is ranked six for Week 1 of the NFL season. Well, he finds himself number five on this list.
Why? Because the Los Angeles Chargers may have a big day when they host the rebuilding Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Allen is poised to expose a subpar Chiefs secondary that may be without Eric Berry.
Allen is easily the Chargers number one receiver and he is coming off the best season of his career in 2017. He went for 1,393 receiving yards and caught six touchdowns.
Philip Rivers will be looking for his big receiver all day, especially because the Chiefs don’t really have any corners who can match up with Allen on the outside. Lock Allen into your fantasy lineup as a WR1 and do so with no worries.
Next: 4. A.J. Green
4. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
Has there been a more consistent fantasy football wide receiver other than A.J. Green since he came into the NFL in 2011? He has only had one season where he hasn’t reeled in 1,000+ receiving yards, which came in 2016 when he racked up 964 yards in only 10 games.
Green has been an easy top-five fantasy receiver year in and year out since 2011. Well, he will look to get out to a fast start when the Cincinnati Bengals visit the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
There is no reason to believe that Green won’t light up the Colts secondary, especially in an offense that depends on the passing game a lot. The Bengals may have a sneaky good offense this season.
Need another reason? Green has been targeted 949 times in seven seasons. That’s an average of just about 135 targets a year. Like Rivers with Allen, Andy Dalton will rely on his big workhorse receiver in Week 1.
Next: 3. DeAndre Hopkins
3. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
DeAndre Hopkins is the only receiver on this list that will have square off against a decent secondary when the Texans travel to the northeast to play the New England Patriots. He will more than likely be matched up against Pats corner Stephon Gilmore.
However, don’t let that persuade you against starting Hopkins. Deshaun Watson is back and healthy, which means Hopkins will look to build off his 2017 season.
Hopkins has done it against some of the league’s best. Also, the Texans will look to air it out and break the Pats defense for big plays, which means Hopkins will get a ton of looks.
We may be hearing “Watson to Hopkins” a lot on Sunday. Hopkins makes a lot of his money due to his red zone success, which should put a smile on your face as a fantasy owner.
Next: 2. Michael Thomas
2. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets: Why the team should target cornerback Shaquill Griffin
- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
- NY Jets: Jonnu Smith would be a smart free-agent target
The New Orleans Saints have one of the most favorable matchups on the Week 1 calendar. The team will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home, which means almost every aspect of the game leans towards Drew Brees and company.
This game may be one that features some huge fantasy performances, and one of the biggest days may come from third-year wideout Michael Thomas. Many people thought the Saints may have had some issues at receiver after they traded Brandin Cooks prior to last year, but Thomas has put that idea to bed.
Thomas has gone for over 1,100+ receiving yards in each of his first two NFL seasons and last year he hauled in 104 catches. He is a big play waiting to happen, which is why he may thrive on Sunday.
The Saints will go up against the Bucs’ defense that isn’t too good, therefore they will feature a lot of run and pass. Thomas will be a nightmare on downfield looks, specifically when it comes to play action plays.
Next: 1. Antonio Brown
1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
This is all I have to say: Antonio Brown. Leading the list at spot number one is one of the most polarizing and dominant wide receivers the NFL has ever seen.
Brown blows everyone else on this list out of the water. He is an unstoppable force, and no one on the Cleveland Browns will be able to prevent him from doing his thing when the Steelers travel to Cleveland this weekend.
Another huge factor here is the probable absence of superstar running back Le’Veon Bell. Brown will be featured that much more without Bell taking the ball out of the backfield.
The best part about Brown is the fact that his yards-per-game averages since 2013 would alone translate into a decent fantasy day. The Steelers are fired up because of the Bell situation, which could mean Brown is going to absolutely torch that Browns secondary.