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2017 Fantasy Football: Week 1 Rankings, Sleepers, Starts

Jake Ciely Senior Writer September 6, 2017 12:02AM EST
Thank goodness that the wait is over. Maybe it’s because I work in the business, or maybe my desire ramps up with each season, but the anticipation and wait felt greater than ever this year. Now that Fantasy Football is finally back, you know what that means! Week 1 Rankings and Sleepers. Uhwoohoo!

This won’t be the first or the last time I say it, but don’t get cute in Week 1. Don’t over think it. Don’t overrate matchups. Don’t.bench.your.studs. You waited this long and drafted a great team (I hope), so don’t screw it all up by outsmarting yourself and taking a loss on the chin to start the season.

As a reminder, if you missed this week’s Waiver Wire piece, click over to find help at every position.

Week 1 QB Sleepers

Sam Bradford, MIN – As mentioned in the waiver wire piece, you might actually need Week 1 backup plans at quarterback due to Andrew Luck being out and the Buccaneers-Dolphins game potentially postponed. Bradford faces the Saints, and it doesn’t get much easier than that.

Bradford had two great games against the soft Packers pass defense last year, another good one to close things out against the Bears and a nice road game in Washington. Bradford can turn it on at times, and this matchup is one of those times.

Week 1 RB Sleepers

Kareem Hunt, KC – No. Hunt is not a “sleeper.” But two things here. First, it’s Week 1 people. Sleepers aren’t needed as much, as you should be starting all of your stud players. Don’t ask. If you drafted a player in the first five rounds, START HIM! (See, I told you I’d bring it up more than once.) Second, too many people are panicking over this nonsense report about Hunt sharing touches. Don’t be fooled. This is his backfield, it’s an Andy Reid backfield and Hunt is the new Frank Gore. Giddy up!

Frank Gore, IND – Speaking of Gore, no, he doesn’t give you the warm fuzzies; I get it.

Even without the excitement level, Gore continues to produce every week of every year. Yes, the Colts offense should struggle with Scott Tolzien at quarterback, but if they want any shot at winning, they’ll look to play ball control. That means Gore has the rare chance for 20-plus touches and a Flex-level performance.

Rob Kelley, WSHSamaje Perine may be the back of the future in Washington, but he struggled with pass blocking and ball control in the preseason. Those are the two worst things a rookie could do. Kelley has a firm hold on the backfield for now and should see the majority of touches outside of Chris Thompson in the passing game. Kelley has a decent shot to find the end zone, as his performance was one of the few things the Redskins didn’t leave the preseason worried about.

Week 1 WR Sleepers

Ted Ginn, NO – The Willie Snead suspension puts a real damper on my DFS tournament lineups, which originally had a ton of Ginn. As for cash games and your seasonal leagues, get him in your lineup where possible. Ginn was already stepping into Brandin Cooks’ shoes, and while he wasn’t going to be as good as Cooks, he still had Top 40 potential. With Snead out and no true replacement for him (Brandon Coleman is a big body outside receiver), Ginn, Coby Fleener and Alvin Kamara should see a boost.

Brandon Marshall, NYG – No one likes to predict touchdowns, but Marshall has high potential to score this week. It all hinges on Eli Manning. In the last three years, Manning has three games against the Cowboys with three touchdowns… and three, well, not so great outings.

The Cowboys corners are no match for Odell Beckham Jr. and Marshall, and if Beckham is out, Sterling Shepard also becomes and terrific sleeper play.

Marvin Jones, DET – With Anquan Boldin’s 23 red zone targets out the door, Lions receivers need to step it up a notch. No one receiver is going to absorb all of those targets, but even if Jones, Golden Tate, Eric Ebron and Kenny Golladay divvy up those targets, Jones is still going to see a modest boost. That should lead to more consistency this season, and Golden Tate will likely be dealing with the tougher matchups in Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.

Week 1 TE Sleepers

Jack Doyle, IND – As mentioned with Gore, Tolzien is bad news for the Colts offense, but that doesn’t mean there is no value left. As is often assumed, inexperienced and lesser-talented quarterbacks often rely on their tight ends as safety valves. In Tolzien’s start against the Steelers last year, Dwayne Allen had the second most receptions and yards for the Colts with Doyle adding in two catches for 25 yards. Allen is off in New England and Erik Swoope is out. Doyle is a sneaky play.


Now for the rankings AND projections… which half of you probably scrolled down immediately to see. If you don’t see the projections, which are NEW for the 2017 season, it’s because they are part of the Xclusive Edge package this year! So, sign up to see them and read the Hold/Fold column with FPAD (Fantasy Points Adjusted for Defenses) that comes out Thursday.

I still love you all though, even though you hammer me with your inane questions on Twitter every week.

Soooo… if you want to get the package, JAKEYJAKEY still gets you 10% OFF!

Fantasy Football Week 1 Rankings | Week 1 Flex Rankings

 

 

Fantasy Football Week 1 Projections: QBs

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