The List: Ranking Each Position for Week 1

Erik Smith releases his PPR rankings for Week 1 of the NFL season.



  • For season-long purposes, I have Patrick Mahomes just ahead of Lamar Jackson as the QB1. Mahomes is safe with huge upside, a deadly combo. For weekly purposes, however? I’ve got Jackson ranked number one overall in Week 1. I’m riding Lamar until regression shows its head or opposing defenses begin to figure him out. In a division game against the Browns to open the year, with a disjointed offseason, it would make sense for Baltimore to give Jackson all of the work he can handle on the ground to regain their momentum from 2019. Mahomes finishes just a hair behind Jackson, as Mahomes gets a projected shootout against the Texans right off the bat. Only Jackson’s unfair rushing ability separates them here.
  • Drew Brees and the Saints should be ready to go from the jump, with as much stability as any team in the league. You’ve got to think a Week 1 matchup against Tampa Bay will get their full attention, as they look to put Tom Brady and the revamped Buccaneers offense behind the eight ball from the start. Tampa Bay has a stout run defense that will funnel attempts through the air, so look for Brees to lean on Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Alvin Kamara, and the rest of the passing game in an important opener in New Orleans.
  • While we should expect the 49ers defense to regress to the pack just a bit in 2020, this is a scary opening matchup for Kyler Murray and your fantasy football teams. The 49ers allowed the least passing yards and passing yards per attempt last year while registering the third-highest sack rate in the league per FantasyData. I’ve been fairly vocal about Murray being ranked just a little too high for my tastes this year, so I’m being cautious with him in tough matchups until I see the growth that we are all hoping for.
  • I’m being a little cautious to start the year with Carson Wentz until I see how healthy his passing-game options are. Jalen Reagor is already hurt, Miles Sanders has been week-to-week, Alshon Jefferey is hurt… Washington may feature a solid pass rush as well, so QB10 feels about right as we wait and see where this Eagles offense is at.
  • Cam Newton gets Miami Week 1 in what could be a blowup spot. I held him down at QB13 for a couple of factors; the first game in a new offense, how much will Newton run from the start, how is his chemistry with his receivers? But I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Newton ran for a touchdown or two in a rout.
  • After QB14 the rankings are relatively interchangeable, so I wouldn’t run out and make a big roster move to move up just a couple spots in the ranks. That Chargers versus Raiders matchup looks like an excellent opportunity to stream a quarterback, so if some reason you need to Week 1, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr are there for you in most leagues. Both defenses figure to struggle, and both offenses are loaded with interesting weapons.
Week 1 QB Rankings (PPR)


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