Fantasy Football Week One Quarterback Rankings

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With week three of the preseason complete, fantasy football fans have seen the last of the starting offensive players. With no more preseason performances scheduled, it is the perfect time to release our fantasy football Week One quarterback rankings.

(All statistics from RotoViz and FFToday).

Fantasy Football Week One Quarterback Rankings

Quarterbacks

  1. Tom Brady (New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs):  Excluding the Bernard Pollard game of 2008, Tom Brady is averaging 26.6 fantasy points in home openers. No Spencer Ware and no Jeremy Maclin translates to short fields all nights for New England’s offense.
  2. Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans vs. Oakland Raiders):  The Tennessee Titans have lost two straight home games to the Oakland Raiders. Marcus Mariota will avenge his worst game of 2016 (214 yards, two interceptions) with a home opening win for Tennessee.
  3. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks):  The receiving core of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, and Martellus Bennett gives Aaron Rodgers too many weapons. The Green Bay quarterback will find a way to get three passing touchdowns against a stingy Seattle defense.
  4. Kirk Cousins (Wash vs. Phil):  Don’t be scared off by reports of communication issues between Kirk Cousins and his receivers. Philadelphia’s pass defense will struggle to contain Terrelle Pryor, Jamison Crowder, and the Redskins high volume passing attack.
  5. Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers): The Packers defense was second most generous to fantasy quarterbacks last season (23.3 fantasy points/game). Russell Wilson is completely healthy and has enjoyed a highly efficient (29 for 41, 447 yards, three touchdowns) preseason.
  6. Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears):  Chicago’s pass defense was underrated (11th fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks) in 2016, but Atlanta’s offense is just too strong. Coming off a career best season, Matt Ryan is safe fantasy quarterback play at Chicago.
  7. Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns): Since 2010, Ben Roethlisberger averages 22 yards and one less touchdown in road games. His seven fantasy point differential in road games is significant. However, Cleveland had the third most generous pass defense to fantasy quarterbacks (23.1 fantasy points per game) last season. Roethlisberger will buck road trend in Pittsburgh‘s opener.
  8. Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins): Intrastate battle leans in favor of the Buccaneers explosive offense. Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, and Cameron Brate are too much for a Dolphins defense that was fourth most generous to fantasy quarterbacks in 2016.
  9. Derek Carr (Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans): The Raiders quarterback was consistently productive at home (22.7 fantasy points/game) and on the road (21.5 fantasy points/game) last season. Titans defense was seventh most generous to fantasy quarterbacks in 2016. Carr has averaged 296 yards and two touchdowns in two games at Tennessee.
  10. Eli Manning (New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys): Manning is averaging 24.9 fantasy points/game in his last four seasons at Dallas, yet only 19.3 fpts in all other games. The Cowboys defense will struggle to stop Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard in Giants vertical passing attack.
  11. Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers): San Francisco’s pass defense ranked in the middle of pack against fantasy quarterbacks last season. Newton’s injury and generous San Francisco run defense (most fantasy points allowed to running backs), make for heavy running attack game script. Newton has high floor but low ceiling for week one.
  12. Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings): Over the last four seasons, Drew Brees averages 44 yards, 0.9 touchdowns, and eight fantasy points less in road games. The Vikings allowed the seventh least fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in 2016. Good but not great week one performance for the fantasy quarterback legend.
  13. Jay Cutler (Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Tampa Bay’s defense allowed the tenth most passing yards last season. Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, and Julius Thomas are too much for the Buccaneers to contain. A Solid opening fantasy game for Cutler.
  14. Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals): Stafford averaged 26 less passing yards at home than on road last season. Arizona’s pressure defense will force a pass heavy Lions offense into turnovers. Matthew Stafford is simply middle of fantasy pack for week one.
  15. Carson Palmer (Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions): The Lions defense is hurt by injuries and allowed the fifth most fantasy points to quarterbacks last year. Wide receiver speed merchants (John Brown, JJ Nelson) will burn the carpet in opening contest at Detroit.
  16. Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants): The Cowboys are always explosive in their home opener, but the Giants defense allowed second fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in 2016. Rushing yards salvage average week one fantasy performance for Dak Prescott.
  17. Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos): The Chargers quarterback always finds a way to produce a solid fantasy performance (20.5 fantasy points/game last four years) in Denver. No Wade Phillips as Broncos defensive coordinator allows for a better than average opening performance for Rivers.
  18. Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins): Wentz had a terrible game (9.2 fantasy points) at Washington last season, as the Eagles failed to score an offensive touchdown. Josh Norman will limit Alshon Jeffery. No Jordan Matthews as a security blanket hurts Philadelphia’s sophomore quarterback.
  19. Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens): Inter divisional battle goes to Cincinnati, as Ravens offensive injuries have already started to mount. New uptempo offense and short passing attack gives Andy Dalton a safe fantasy floor in week one.
  20. Brian Hoyer (San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers): Carolina’s pass defense (ninth most fantasy points to quarterbacks) was surprisingly generous in 2016. With Kyle Shanahan calling the plays, Hoyer has decent fantasy performance in home opener.
  21. Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets): Assuming he is healthy, Taylor will need to attack the Jets defense through the air. Taylor had the most rushing yards (580) and rushing touchdowns (six) among all quarterbacks last season. His versatility provides a decent fantasy floor despite limited receiving weaponry.
  22. Sam Bradford (Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints): The most accurate single season passer in NFL history opens against the Saints eighth most generous defense to fantasy quarterbacks in 2016.  Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph, and Dalvin Cook give Bradford a multitude of options.
  23. Jared Goff (Los Angeles Rams vs. Indianapolis Colts): Second year Rams quarterback faces the porous Indianapolis pass defense (tenth most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks) in their home opener. The Wade Phillips led Los Angeles Rams defense will dominate a “Luck-less” offense, giving Jared Goff several scoring chances.
  24. Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals): While his health is a major concern, Joe Flacco isn’t lacking for offensive weapons.  Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin, and (if healthy) Danny Woodhead should be enough to get him into the starting lineup of two QB fantasy leagues.

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