Welcome to our weekly fantasy rankings! Here we review each game for the week, outline possible starters and streamers, and give you the low-down to make your fantasy life easier. Along with our outstanding football minds, we’ve included the projected weather forecast for the game.

With that, let’s dive in!

Thursday Night Football (NBC)

Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Weather forecast: Humid, partly cloudy, could get mildly gross. High of 87° with 11mph wind.

Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice / Getty Images

The 2021 NFL season kicks off on Thursday night with a star-studded affair in Tampa Bay, where there are plenty of names to discuss. 

For Dallas the big news is that OG Zack Martin is likely out (Covid), and OT La’el Collins’ status is in question as well. Tampa Bay ranked No. 1 in the league in virtually every major rush defense category in 2020, and so any injuries/absences up front will further complicate things for RB Ezekiel Elliot on Thursday.

I’m still starting Zeke because this should be a high scoring affair, and he should likely get plenty of opportunities (and you likely drafted him too early to bench in Week 1), but a relatively mediocre 17-carry, 52-yard-type day seems likely. Maybe he can reach the end zone or catch a lot of passes to salvage the day for those rostering him this week.

With QB Dak Prescott reportedly ready to roll, the Cowboys’ passing offense will try to rediscover the incredible pace they were on before Prescott got hurt last season (Prescott was on pace for 6,700 passing yards after Week 4 in 2020).

WRs Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb are obvious starts, and I’m fine with Michael Gallup as a WR3 or Flex start if you need him.

On the other side, start all your Bucs! Dallas ranked 28th in scoring defense and 31st in rushing defense in 2020, and it remains to be seen if the reinforcements the Cowboys brought in will move the needle.

RB Leonard Fournette and RB Ronald Jones shared the workload for much of last season, and that will likely continue, but now with RB Giovanni Bernard in the mix on passing downs. The overall rushing production should be there for the Bucs, but it might be difficult to predict (all season) which of the running backs will score.

I especially love WR Antonio Brown who has dominated in training camp and should see a lot of NB Jourdan Lewis (48.1 PFF grade in 2020) on Thursday night.

A-grade Starts:

  • QB Tom Brady
  • WR Mike Evans
  • WR Chris Godwin
  • WR Antonio Brown
  • QB Dak Prescott
  • WR Amari Cooper
  • WR CeeDee Lamb

B-grade Starts:

  • TE Rob Gronkowski
  • RB Leonard Fournette
  • WR Michael Gallup

C-grade Starts:

  • RB Ronald Jones
  • RB Gio Bernard (PPR)
  • TE Blake Jarwin


  • N/A

Sunday Noon Games

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans (CBS)

Weather forecast: Indoors

The first game of QB Trevor Lawrence’s career will mercifully come against the J.J. Watt-less Houston Texans, who ranked 30th in total defense in 2020.

We don’t yet know how the WR hierarchy will sort itself out in Jacksonville this season, but I think I’d start Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault against that Texans secondary. I think I’d wait and see with D.J. Chark on my bench for the first week after all the time he missed this preseason.

Houston ranked dead last against the run last season, so confidently start RB James Robinson, who should shoulder the bulk of the workload as he did in 2020 with RB Travis Etienne out for the season.

On the other side, I like RB Phillip Lindsay as a sneaky start this game. A lot has been made of Houston’s bizarre hoarding of veteran RBs this past offseason, but after the dust settles, I think it’s going to be Lindsay on early downs with David Johnson handling passing down work.

If you have QB Tyrod Taylor on your team, this might be one of the only weeks you can confidently deploy him against last year’s 31st-ranked defense.

WR Brandin Cooks is a good option as the Texans top pass catcher, and I also think Nico Collins is an intriguing bet to catch a touchdown in this game, although you likely have better starting options.

A-grade Starts:

  • RB James Robinson

B-grade Starts:

  • WR Laviska Shenault
  • WR Marvin Jones
  • RB Phillip Lindsay
  • WR Brandin Cooks

C-grade Starts:

  • QB Trevor Lawrence
  • QB Tyrod Taylor
  • WR Nico Collins


  • WR DJ Chark
  • All TEs this game

Los Angeles Chargers @ Washington Football Team (CBS)

Weather forecast: Clear. High of 85° with 7mph wind.

Photo by Harry How / Getty Images

The Chargers enter Opening Week as one of the more glamorous picks to succeed in 2021 with QB Justin Herbert leading the way.

Washington, however, boasted the second-ranked total defense in the league in 2020, and were also ranked No. 2 against the pass. The Football Team added a key piece to that dominant defense in the 2021 NFL Draft by selecting Kentucky LB Jamin Davis in the first round to infuse some desperately needed speed to the second level of that unit. Davis has looked great this preseason.

RB Austin Ekeler might have a tough game. Washington allowed the fourth fewest receiving yards to RBs in 2020 (379 yards) and allowed the second fewest rushing TDs to RBs as well.

Despite all of this, you can’t bench studs like Herbert or WR Keenan Allen, but I would subdue expectations that the Football Team allows the Chargers to explode on offense on Sunday.

For Washington, RB Antonio Gibson is a good start. Los Angeles was middle of the pack last season in terms of rushing yards allowed. RB J.D. McKissic might be a sneaky play as well (especially in PPR formats) with the Chargers ranking seventh-worst in 2020 at allowing RB-receptions.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is tasked with helping the offense catch up to the team’s defense in 2021, but the Chargers pass defense was strong last year as well, ranking ninth-best in passing yards allowed. Stud safety Derwin James is back healthy in 2021. I would probably sit Fitzpatrick unless you are playing Superflex or are thin at QB and don’t have better options.

A-grade Starts:

  • QB Justin Herbert
  • WR Keenan Allen
  • WR Terry McLaurin

B-grade Starts:

  • RB Austin Ekeler
  • RB Antonio Gibson
  • TE Logan Thomas

C-grade Starts:

  • WR Mike Williams
  • TE Jared Cook
  • RB JD McKissic
  • WR Curtis Samuel


  • RB Justin Jackson
  • RB Larry Rountree III
  • QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • WR Dyami Brown

Seattle Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts (FOX)

Weather forecast: Indoors

All eyes will be on QB Carson Wentz as he makes his return from surgery to remove a broken fragment of bone in his foot. Reportedly, the surgery was a success and Wentz is moving around well and is on track to start Sunday. It remains to be seen whether the missed time will affect his play this week. Seattle gave up the ninth-most fantasy points to QBs and were the 31st ranked passing defense in 2020, and so if you need to start Wentz, I think you can do so.

Conversely, the Seahawks had the league’s fifth-stingiest run defense in 2020, but you really can’t sit RB Jonathan Taylor in Week 1 for where you drafted him. RB Nyheim Hines is apparently in the Colts’ plans as well, but I’m fairly confident with Taylor in my lineups this week.

Like Jacksonville, it remains to be seen how the wide receiver targets in Indy shake out over the course of the season, and so I am not against keeping WR Michael Pittman and Paris Campbell on the bench this week if you have better options despite the seemingly cake matchup in terms of Seattle’s 2020 pass defense numbers.

The Colts were a Top 10 defense in 2020, but much better against the run than the pass, and so QB Russell Wilson, WR D.K. Metcalf and WR Tyler Lockett should all be in your lineups without hesitation. RB Chris Carson is probably a starter regardless of matchup for you, but I’d leave TE Gerald Everett on the bench though, as he has to contend with LB Darius Leonard, and Indianapolis allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends last season.

A-grade Starts:

  • QB Russell Wilson
  • WR DK Metcalf
  • WR Tyler Lockett

B-grade Starts:

  • RB Jonathan Taylor
  • QB Carson Wentz
  • RB Chris Carson

C-grade Starts:

  • WR Michael Pittman
  • WR Parris Campbell
  • TE Kylen Granson


  • RB Nyheim Hines
  • TE Gerald Everett

New York Jets @ Carolina Panthers (CBS)

Weather forecast: Clear. High of 86° with 4mph wind.

Photo by Grant Halverson / Getty Images

QB Zack Wilson debuts against a Panthers defense that will look to CB Jaycee Horn to help improve a pass defense that ranked 18th in 2020. Horn has had a great preseason, and while I am definitely not benching WR Corey Davis because of Horn, I am intrigued by the matchup.

Davis is my favorite of the Jets receivers this season, despite the hype surrounding WR Elijah Moore. TE Tyler Kroft might be a clever start for tight end streamers, as Carolina allowed the eighth-most points to tight ends in the league in 2020.

I’m waiting (at least) a week to start Wilson. His preseason was encouraging, but you likely have a safer option ahead of him.

The same goes for the Jets backfield where I think RB Ty Johnson is the back I want to own for this season, but more than likely, this backfield will be a headache for fantasy managers all season. Keep RB Michael Carter and Tevin Coleman on the bench until we know more on how the opportunities will be split.

On the Panthers side of things, the Jets offer a relatively juicy matchup as QB Sam Darnold will look to make his former team regret moving on from him. I loved Darnold coming out of USC, so I’m holding out hope that a change of scenery will benefit him. There are worse starting QBs this week.

WRs Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore are definitely deployable, and the continued lack of a serious threat at tight end opens up possible targets for rookie WR Terrace Marshall.

A-grade Starts:

  • RB Christian McCaffrey

B-grade Starts:

  • QB Sam Darnold
  • WR DJ Moore
  • WR Robby Anderson
  • WR Corey Davis

C-grade Starts:

  • QB Zach Wilson
  • RB Ty Johnson
  • WR Elijah Moore
  • TE Tyler Kroft
  • WR Terrace Marshall


  • RB Tevin Coleman
  • RB Michael Carter

Minnesota Vikings @ Cincinnati Bengals (FOX)

Weather forecast: Partly cloudy. High of 88° with 8mph wind.

The Vikings really shored up their interior defensive line this offseason, adding DT Dalvin Tomlinson and DT Sheldon Richardson, as well as getting DT Michael Pierce back this season (Covid opt-out in 2020). That stockpile of beef along with All-Pro LB Erik Kendricks should make the Vikings a pretty sturdy run defense like HC Mike Zimmer loves. RB Joe Mixon is probably too early of a draft pick to sit in Week 1, but he’s definitely someone I could leave on the bench if I had a better alternative.

The Vikings allowed the seventh-most passing yards in the league last season, and they lost starting CB Jeff Gladney. Minnesota added CB Patrick Peterson, but it remains to be seen if Peterson is still the same player he was in Arizona.

WR Tee Higgins and WR Jamar Chase are decent plays, but I think WR Tyler Boyd out of the slot will have a big day as QB Joe Burrow looks to get rid of the ball quickly against that Vikings’ pass rush.

I love both Vikings receivers in this matchup as CB Trae Waynes is out for the Bengals, and Eli Apple — who struggled in 2020 — is poised to start in his place alongside CB Chidobe Awuzie, who also struggled last year. With TE Kyle Rudolph gone and TE Irv Smith injured, QB Kirk Cousins is going to rely on WR Adam Thielen in the redzone more than ever.

A-grade Starts:

  • RB Dalvin Cook
  • WR Adam Thielen
  • WR Justin Jefferson
  • WR Tyler Boyd

B-grade Starts:

  • QB Kirk Cousins
  • QB Joe Burrow
  • WR Tee Higgins
  • WR Ja’Marr Chase

C-grade Starts:

  • RB Joe Mixon


  • RB Alexander Mattison
  • TE Chris Herndon
  • TE CJ Uzomah

Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans (CBS)

Weather forecast: Clear. High of 88° with 5mph wind.

Photo by Wesley Hitt / Getty Images

The Titans ranked 28th in total defense and had the 29th ranked pass defense in 2020. Tennessee did allow the eighth-fewest rushing yards to QBs last season, but still, QB Kyler Murray is a premier play this week.

Only four teams gave up more fantasy points to wide receivers last year, and first round pick CB Caleb Farley is still a work in progress as a prospect. WR DeAndre Hopkins is an obvious A-grade, usually regardless of matchup, and I’d even consider starting WR A.J. Green if I had him. Keep WR Rondale Moore on the bench until we see what his exact role will be, although he has looked exciting in preseason.

Zero-RB drafters likely need to start RB James Conner or RB Chase Edmonds, but while the matchup is nice, I would prefer to keep them on the bench for a week to see how the Cardinals divvy up the workload between the two (or three if RB Eno Benjamin is a thing).

On the Tennessee side of things, all your relevant Titans are in your lineups this week, except for TE Anthony Firkser. The Cardinals allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends in the league in 2020.

A-grade Starts:

  • QB Kyler Murray
  • WR DeAndre Hopkins
  • QB Ryan Tannehill
  • RB Derrick Henry
  • WR AJ Brown
  • WR Julio Jones

B-grade Starts:

  • WR AJ Green

C-grade Starts:

  • WR Rondale Moore
  • RB James Conner
  • RB Chase Edmonds


  • WR Christian Kirk
  • RB Eno Benjamin
  • TE Maxx Williams
  • TE Anthony Firkser
  • WR Josh Reynolds

San Francisco 49ers @ Detroit Lions (FOX)

Weather forecast: Indoors

RB D’Andre Swift should be good to go for this one, and while a lot has been made of RB Jamaal Williams stealing work, I like Swift to be a centerpiece to this Detroit offense along with TE T.J. Hockenson.

San Francisco was top five defense last season, so Swift and Williams might not have a ton of room on the ground this week, but I think Swift and Hockenson are startable options against any opponents because they will be so involved in the passing game.

I think you leave QB Jared Goff on the bench for now, as well as WR Tyrell Johnson and WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. I predict Detroit will throw enough in 2021 to have at least one fantasy-viable receiver to go along with Hockenson, but I think I want to wait at least a week or two to see who establishes themselves as the true No. 1 (if any).

QB Jimmy Garappolo is penciled in as the 49ers’ starting quarterback, but at the very least, early on, I predict we see QB Trey Lance used in spots as well. I would leave both players on the bench until there is more clarity on how they will be used.

The 49ers skill position players, I’m all for starting this week. The Lions were ranked dead-last in scoring defense, total defense, yards per drive allowed and points per drive allowed in 2020.

I expect both RB Raheem Mostert and Trey Sermon to get plenty of work, and WR Deebo Samuel, WR Brandon Aiyuk and TE George Kittle all represent strong plays this week.

A-grade Starts:

  • TE TJ Hockenson
  • WR Brandon Aiyuk
  • WR Curtis Samuel
  • TE George Kittle

B-grade Starts:

  • RB Raheem Mostert
  • RB Trey Sermon

C-grade Starts:

  • RB D’Andre Swift


  • QB Jimmy Garappolo
  • QB Trey Lance
  • QB Jared Goff
  • WR Tyrell Williams
  • WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
  • RB Jamaal Williams

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills (CBS)

Weather forecast: Overcast and could get windy. High 78° with 14mph wind.

Photo by Timothy T Ludwig / Getty Images

The debut of RB Najee Harris for the Steelers will be a primary focus for many fantasy footballers this week. Buffalo was a middle-of-the-pack defense last season, but Pittsburgh’s offensive line looks iffy on paper. If you have Harris, you probably have to start him, but ideally I’d wait one week to see if Pittsburgh is truly committed to overhauling their pass-heavy scheme from a year ago.

The weather should not be a factor, and so QB Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers passing game should be fully operational. The appeal of starting Big Ben in 2020 was that Pittsburgh was so pass-heavy all season without a reliable running game. It appears as though they want to change that in 2021 with the selection of Harris in the first round of the draft, so start Roethlisberger at your own risk. I would anticipate most managers have a better option.

WR Chase Claypool is the best bet to be the Steelers receiver to explode with a huge game due to his big-play ability, while WR Diontae Johnson and WR Juju Smith-Schuster run the shorter ADOT routes and operate closer to the line of scrimmage. All three are startable, but I’d choose Claypool if pressed to choose just one. Keep TE Eric Ebron and TE Pat Freiermuth on the bench until further notice.

The Steelers were a top defensive unit last season, but not good enough to sit QB Josh Allen and WR Stefon Diggs, both of whom were obviously elite last season. WR Emannuel Sanders, WR Gabe Davis, RB Zach Moss and RB Devin Singletary are probably not as strong as starting options this week.

A-grade Starts:

  • QB Josh Allen
  • WR Stefon Diggs

B-grade Starts:

  • RB Najee Harris
  • WR Chase Claypool

C-grade Starts:

  • RB Zack Moss
  • QB Ben Roethlisberger
  • WR Diontae Johnson
  • WR JuJu Smith-Schuster


  • WR Geronimo Davis
  • WR Emmanuel Sanders
  • RB Devin Singletary
  • TE Dawson Knox
  • TE Eric Ebron
  • TE Pat Freiermuth

Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons (FOX)

Weather forecast: Indoors

WR DeVonta Smith and TE Kyle Pitts square off in a battle of two of the most exciting rookies from the 2020 class. I think both belong in lineups this week as both are likely to be high-volume players for their respective offenses.

I love WR Calvin Ridley this week, playing indoors and out from underneath the shadow of Julio Jones. Expect heavy usage. Ridley had 11 weeks (he played in 14 games) where he garnered nine or more targets in 2020, and now Jones is gone.

QB Matt Ryan should be in an environment where he can put up solid numbers even sans Julio, especially if RB Mike Davis struggles against a run defense that ranked in the top ten in yards per carry in 2020.

For the Eagles, QB Jalen Hurts is startable for sure. Atlanta was the 29th-ranked total defense last season, and the Falcons have invested way more on the offensive side of the ball in recent offseason (including this past offseason).

You will probably be starting RB Miles Sanders if you have him as your RB2, but if you have a more intriguing option on your roster, I wouldn’t be afraid to sit Sanders until we see if he is indeed going to be replaced on passing downs.

No team in the entire league allowed more fantasy points to tight ends in 2020. TE Dallas Goedert is a must-start regardless of whether or not Zach Ertz is still on the team. Hell, start Ertz too (just kidding)!

A-grade Starts:

  • TE Dallas Goedert
  • WR Calvin Ridley

B-grade Starts:

  • QB Jalen Hurts
  • WR DeVonta Smith
  • QB Matt Ryan
  • TE Kyle Pitts

C-grade Starts:

  • WR Jalen Reagor
  • RB Miles Sanders
  • RB Mike Davis
  • WR Russell Gage


  • RB Boston Scott
  • RB Kenny Gainwell
  • RB Wayne Gallman

Sunday Late Afternoon Games

Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs (CBS)

Weather forecast: Hot and partly cloudy. 92° with 9mph wind.

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

Last year’s playoff matchup is fresh in everyone’s mind as a possible preview of the AFC Championship will commence on Sunday. 

We will likely see another season of Cleveland’s run-based attack after ranking in the top five in most major rushing categories last year. RB Nick Chubb is an elite start this week against last year’s 21st ranked run defense in the Chiefs. 

QB Baker Mayfield’s fantasy success is usually game-script dependent since the Browns prefer to run the ball as much as they can, so we will see which team can manage to control the tempo of the game. 

WR Odell Beckham and WR Jarvis Landry have both sort of slipped in the fantasy rankings this season, but I think both are capable of bounce-back seasons if they can get enough consistent volume. I would be fine starting both this week as Kansas City is explosive enough to think Cleveland will need to throw to keep up. 

You never bench the Big Three for Kansas City, but it remains to be seen whether or not a fourth Chief can join those three in terms of fantasy success in 2021. 

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire is someone I predict to have a nice season in a bit of a bounce-back season with how much Kansas City invested to fix their offensive line this past offseason. I would start him confidently this week as the Browns focus on stopping Mahomes and the passing game.

A-grade Starts:

  • QB Pat Mahomes
  • RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  • WR Tyreek Hill
  • TE Travis Kelce
  • RB Nick Chubb

B-grade Starts:

  • WR Odell Beckham Jr
  • WR Jarvis Landry

C-grade Starts:

  • WR Byron Pringle
  • QB Baker Mayfield
  • TE Austin Hooper
  • RB Kareem Hunt


  • WR Mecole Hardman
  • WR Demarcus Robinson
  • RB Darrel Williams
  • WR Donovan Peoples-Jones

Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints (in Jacksonville) (FOX)

Weather forecast: Indoors

The post-Drew Brees era begins with QB Jameis Winston taking over the reins against 2020’s ninth-ranked total defense in Green Bay. 

Complicating things further from a fantasy perspective — not to gloss over the devastating real life damage done by the storms all over the country — is the fact that instead of being played on the fast track of the dome in New Orleans, this game will be played in hot, humid and possibly wet conditions in an “away” game for both teams. I’m leaving Winston on the bench this week. 

WR Antonio Callaway has generated plenty of buzz this preseason, but a date with Packers CB Jaire Alexander is a difficult matchup to start with. Take a chance on him as a flex if you need to, but I think I’d try to find a safer option. 

TE Adam Trautman has apparently avoided major injury, but I think I sit him until he proves he is healthy and that he is indeed the tight end to own in New Orleans as opposed to converted-receiver Juwan Johnson. Either way, the Packers allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to tight ends in the league in 2020. 

Keep an eye on RB Tony Jones for New Orleans. Latavius Murray was released this week, and Jones has apparently locked up the No. 2 role behind Kamara, a role that included nearly 150 carries and another 23 receptions. If Jones performs well, there’s a chance he can be a viable fantasy asset this season. I’m keeping him on my bench this week, though. 

The Saints were a top ten defense themselves in 2020, but you obviously are still starting QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Davante Adams regardless of matchup. 

RB Aaron Jones has a tough matchup on paper as well with New Orleans ranking fourth against the run and allowing the second-fewest rushing scores in 2020. Again though, Jones is probably going to be in your lineup regardless.

A-grade Starts:

  • QB Aaron Rodgers
  • WR Devante Adams
  • RB Alvin Kamara

B-grade Starts:

  • RB Aaron Jones
  • TE Robert Tonyan

C-grade Starts:

  • WR Marques Valdez-Scantling
  • WR Marquez Callaway


  • RB AJ Dillon
  • QB Jameis Winston
  • RB Tony Jones
  • TE Adam Trautman
  • TE Juwan Johnson

Denver Broncos @ New York Giants (FOX)

Weather forecast: Partly cloudy. High of 85° with 10mph wind.

Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images / Getty Images

It’s Teddy Time in Denver! Bridgewater showed in 2020 that he can support multiple fantasy relevant receivers, and he will be called upon by fantasy managers everywhere to do the same for the Broncos. He represents a lukewarm option, not the worst, certainly not the best of the week. 

If you own RB Melvin Gordon, you’re probably not all that thrilled about it. Well, cheer up, this is one of the weeks you’ll be able to use him in your starting lineup before talented RB Javonte Williams eventually takes over, as everyone seems to expect. In all seriousness, I think Denver will try to establish the run to avoid relying too heavily on Bridgewater’s arm. Both Denver backs are startable depending on your options. 

On the other side of the field, what will RB Saquon Barkley’s workload look like in Week 1? The Broncos we’re uncharacteristically poor on defense last season, so Barkley has a chance to get something done if he is afforded the opportunity. 

QB Daniel Jones is a backend starter this week, but WR Kenny Golladay seems destined to be on a pitch-count after missing so much time due to a hamstring injury. 

WR Kadarius Toney might have an opportunity to make an impact right away with all the injuries happening to the Giants’ skill position players. Toney’s ability to start and stop on a dime makes him very dangerous in space, and he might have ample opportunity to bust one this week. If you need him in desperation, I’d say go ahead and roll the dice on Toney.

A-grade Starts:

  • N/A

B-grade Starts:

  • WR Jerry Jeudy
  • TE Noah Fant
  • QB Daniel Jones

C-grade Starts:

  • QB Teddy Bridgewater
  • RB Melvin Gordon
  • RB Javonte Williams
  • WR Courtland Sutton
  • RB Saquon Barkley
  • WR Kadarius Toney


  • TE Evan Engram
  • RB Devontae Booker
  • WR Shepard

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots (CBS)

Weather forecast: Partly cloudy. High of 83° with 9mph wind.

Lots of new faces for both teams, and many fantasy managers are wondering whether or not to take the plunge and start the likes of WR Jaylen Waddle, QB Mac Jones and WR Nelson Agholor. 

Miami has a talented secondary, allowing the second-fewest touchdown passes in 2020, and Mac Jones is a rookie in his first ever game. I like the kid longterm, but I feel like you have to have a more stable option to play instead unless you play in a deep Superflex league. 

WR Jakobi Meyers looks like the receiver to own in New England, but again, a matchup against CB Xavien Howard and Byron Jones is no Sunday picnic. 

It remains to be seen whether or not either TE Jonnu Smith or TE Hunter Henry separates himself as the superior fantasy option, and until that is revealed, I think I’d sit both of them. 

On the Miami side, QB Tua Tagovailoa seems like a weak play against New England, who had the eighth-ranked pass defense in 2020, and all of the receivers make me nervous until we see Tua produce consistently. 

I want to see how the alleged timeshare between RB Myles Gaskin and RB Malcolm Brown ends up working out. Even in a committee I think Gaskin puts up some good total numbers, especially in PPR formats.

A-grade Starts:

  • N/A

B-grade Starts:

  • WR Jakobi Meyers
  • RB Damien Harris
  • TE Mike Gesicki
  • RB Myles Gaskin

C-grade Starts:

  • RB James White
  • TE Jonnu Smith
  • WR Nelson Agholor


  • QB Mac Jones
  • RB Rhamondre Stevenson
  • WR Kendrick Bourne
  • WR N’Keal Harry
  • TE Hunter Henry
  • QB Tua Tagovailoa
  • WR Jaylen Waddle
  • WR Devante Parker
  • WR Will Fuller

Sunday Night Football

Chicago Bears @ Los Angeles Rams (NBC)

Weather forecast: Hot during the day, may cool down by game-time. 94° with 10mph wind.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

QB Justin Fields will be on the sideline, so this could be your one and only chance to start QB Andy Dalton this year! Only kidding, you should not start Dalton. 

RB David Montgomery will be the primary focus on offense for the Bears, but he faces a Rams defense that was the No. 1 total defense in 2020, led by the great DT Aaron Donald. 

WR Allen Robinson will likely be matched up with CB Jalen Ramsey, so it would not be surprising to see a quiet game from Robinson. Preseason favorite WR Darnell Mooney is a sneaky play this week if Ramsey follows Robinson around all day. 

As for the Rams, all eyes are on QB Matthew Stafford as he makes his debut with L.A., and I think he makes a fine start against a Bears defense that was middle-of-the-pack in most categories last season. I’m very excited to see what a quarterback of Stafford’s caliber can do in Sean McVay’s offense. 

WR Robert Woods and WR Cooper Kupp are both nice plays as well against a relatively inexperienced cornerback group for the Bears. 

If I had to guess who the Rams’ leading rusher by season’s end would be, I’d choose RB Sony Michel, but you probably can’t start him this week so soon after the trade with New England occurred. RB Darrell Henderson is a decent speculative start in the meantime.

A-grade Starts:

  • QB Matt Stafford

B-grade Starts:

  • WR Robert Woods
  • WR Cooper Kupp
  • TE Tyler Higbee
  • WR Darnell Mooney

C-grade Starts:

  • RB Darrell Henderson
  • RB David Montgomery
  • TE Cole Kmet
  • WR Allen Robinson


  • WR Van Jefferson
  • QB Andy Dalton

Monday Night Football

Baltimore Ravens @ Las Vegas Raiders (ESPN)

Weather forecast: Indoors

Whether it’s been wasted draft picks or poor free agency moves, the Raiders defense sputtered to a 25th-ranked finish in 2020 and ranked 30th in scoring defense as well. 

QB Lamar Jackson and the vaunted Baltimore running attack come to Vegas, and Jackson along with RB Gus Edwards make great plays this week, especially with the losses to RB J.K. Dobbins and WR Rashod Bateman. 

TE Mark Andrews is now the highest paid tight end in the league, and he stands to see a good share of what passing volume there is on Monday night. 

On the Vegas side, Baltimore once again boasted a top ten defense, so temper expectations for QB Derek Carr, and really the entire Raiders offense except for TE Darren Waller. 

I’m most interested to see how the Raiders split the workload between RB Josh Jacobs and RB Kenyan Drake. Vegas inexplicably gave Drake a lot of money this offseason, and I am anxious to see what sort of role he is given.

A-grade Starts:

  • QB Lamar Jackson
  • RB Gus Edwards
  • TE Darren Waller

B-grade Starts:

  • TE Mark Andrews

C-grade Starts:

  • WR Sammy Watkins
  • QB Derek Carr
  • WR Bryan Edwards
  • RB Josh Jacobs


  • WR Marquise Brown
  • WR Henry Ruggs
  • WR Hunter Renfrow
  • RB Kenyan Drake
  • WR Willy Snead

Additional Information

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During the season, we release Weekly Player Rankings, suggested Waiver Targets, and more. Be sure to check out all of our In-Season Content weekly!

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2 thoughts on “Week 1 Fantasy Rankings

  • I like the information you provide, but it’d be helpful if your headings had large-font letters instead of being small text tucked into boxes. It’s difficult to scroll the list and find games of interest. Bookmarks would also help readers to jump around the page.

    Also, Russell Wilson and Russell Gage spell their names with two L’s. 😉

    • Thanks for checking us out Russell!


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