Welcome to QB List’s weekly rankings! Each week, I’ll be taking a look at the upcoming matchups and ranking each position, as well as flex positions.
Week 1 Notes:
- First thing’s first, I’m including Ezekiel Elliot in my ranks this week, as he’s eligible to play in Week 1, and it appears that he will be playing. That being said, this is a pretty fluid and somewhat confusing situation, so if he does not play, slot Darren McFadden in as a low-end RB2 (it’ll be updated in my ranks if/when that ruling happens).
- I’m a big fan of Kirk Cousins this week (as I’ve been basically all preseason). The Eagles have an awesome front seven (maybe the best in the NFL?) and they have a godawful secondary. Rodney McLeod misses tackles like it’s part of his job description and the only semi-worthwhile defensive back they’ve got is Patrick Robinson, and even he’s not particularly good. So what does that mean? I think it means that the Redskins will have trouble running (I don’t necessarily think Robert Kelly is someone who can overcome the Eagles’ front seven) and they’ll throw a ton, and they’ll succeed. That means good news not just for Cousins, but for Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder as well. In a slightly more limited way, I’d expect some success from Jordan Reed, but I think he’ll run into some trouble against the Eagles’ linebacking corps.
- In a similar vein, I’m high on Carson Wentz (again, as I was in the preseason) mostly because you can definitely throw on the Redskins. Sure, they’ve got Josh Norman, but he wasn’t as great last year as people expected him to be. Generally speaking, the Redskins defense is bad all around, and I think they might have some success running the ball as well, but I think this will be a fairly high-scoring game, which is good news for Wentz and Alshon Jeffrey.
- I like Kareem Hunt a lot this season, I think there’s some serious RB1 potential there, but I’m down on him a bit this week mostly because the Patriots have a talented front seven, and it’s a Thursday night game, which typically are low-scoring games (though this being the first game of the season, that might not be as much of a factor). Plus, I would expect the Patriots to win this, which means the Chiefs will be down and likely throwing a bit more than they would if it were a closer game. That being said, this is still Andy Reid’s Chiefs, and Hunt will get a good amount of work, so he’s still a borderline RB2 this week.
- Keep an eye on Demariyus Thomas’ injury, he could conceivably miss Week 1, but even if he plays, I’m concerned about his production. Even fully healthy I don’t like him all that much this week. I’m not a Trevor Siemian believer, and the Chargers have a really good secondary, which leads me to believe it’s not going to be a high-end WR2 week for Thomas like we’d normally expect.
- Dallas’ secondary isn’t particularly special, and if Odell Beckham Jr. is gimpy with his injury, look for Brandon Marshall to have a nice game.
- In the world of flex plays, I think Jordan Matthews could be a good play (assuming he’s cleared to play, which as of this writing, he isn’t yet). The Jets secondary is, well, pretty pitiful, and being that it seems like Tyrod Taylor is going to be playing, I think Matthews could be a solid flex option. And if Matthews is out, make it Zay Jones the solid flex option.
- I liked Austin Hooper as a sleeper tight end option in the preseason, and I think he’s got a solid matchup this week against the Chicago Bears’ front seven, which is borderline hot garbage. I mean, yes, Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman will be the focal points of the offense, but I think Hooper could see a good game as the Falcons will likely score a ton on a really bad defense.
Below are the full rankings for Week 1, thanks to this cool widget from FantasyPros (they will be updated as the week goes on and news comes out):