Week 1 Rankings (2017): Top 50 Wide Receivers

by Will Overton

We’ve been waiting for about eight months now but we’re finally here, Week 1 of the NFL is upon us and fantasy football is back! It’s back to agonizing over lineup decisions from Tuesday morning to Sunday kickoff, and I would have it no other way! Hopefully I can help as I breakdown my view of the Top 50 at wide receiver for week one:

  1. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland
  2. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons @ Chicago
  3. A.J. Green – Cincinnati vs. Baltimore
  4. Mike Evans – Tampa Bay @ Miami
  5. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys vs. NY Giants
  6. Odell Beckham Jr – New York Giants @ Dallas
  7. Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee
  8. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle
  9. Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay
  10. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals @ Detroit
  11. Michael Crabtree – Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee
  12. Brandin Cooks – New England Patriots vs. Kansas City
  13. Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota
  14. T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts @ LA Rams
  15. Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos vs. LA Chargers
  16. Deandre Hopkins – Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville
  17. Alshon Jeffrey – Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington
  18. Terelle Pryor – Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia
  19. Stefon Diggs – Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington
  20. Kelvin Benjamin – Carolina Panthers @ San Francisco
  21. Golden Tate – Detroit Lions vs. Arizona
  22. Martavis Bryant – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland
  23. Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs @ New England
  24. Sammy Watkins – Los Angeles Rams vs. Indianapolis
  25. Davante Parker – Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay
  26. Keenan Allen – Los Angeles @ Denver
  27. Jamison Crowder – Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia
  28. Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle
  29. Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay
  30. Allen Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston
  31. Emmanuel Sanders – Denver Broncos vs. LA Chargers
  32. Kenny Britt – Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh
  33. Brandon Marshall – New York Giants @ Dallas
  34. Eric Decker – Tennessee Titans vs. Oakland
  35. Pierre Garcon – San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina
  36. DeSean Jackson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Miami
  37. John Brown – Arizona Cardinals @ Detroit
  38. Jeremy Maclin – Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati
  39. Rishard Matthews – Tennessee Titans vs. Oakland
  40. Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans
  41. Jordan Matthews – Buffalo Bills vs. NY Jets
  42. Marvin Jones – Detroit Lions vs. Arizona
  43. Donte Moncrief – Indianapolis Colts @ LA Rams
  44. Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle
  45. Mike Wallace – Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati
  46. Kevin White – Chicago Bears vs. Atlanta
  47. Chris Hogan – New England Patriots vs. Kansas City
  48. Corey Coleman – Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh
  49. Ted Ginn Jr – New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota
  50. Sterling Shepherd – New York Giants @ Dallas

Thoughts:

  • It’s a new year,but nothing has changed at the top of the list, Antonio Brown is still your number one. There are still several guys who may lay claim to the top spot based on matchups, but there is no one else I trust week to week more than Brown. In the past the Browns were a matchup to worry about with Joe Haden in his prime, but those days are gone and I expect the Steelers and Brown to light up the scoreboard and make a statement in week one.
  • I may be higher on Dez Bryant than most, but I am all in on him this week. The Giants and Cowboys are playing in primetime on Sunday Night and I think Dez is going to be looking to make a statement in the spotlight. The Giants secondary was flawed last season, and I am not convinced those concerns have gotten much better. Look for Dez to exploit the Giants corners and establish himself as a top end WR1 once again.
  • The concern with T.Y. Hilton and the reason he is ranked 14th is strictly based on the fact that Scott Tolzien is going to be throwing him the ball this Sunday. The matchup isn’t great, but with Andrew Luck under center he’d be a Top 10 option for me this week. Hilton should still be a primary target for Tolzien and the guy he leans on, but I just don’t know if he can get him the ball enough to be a WR1.
  • Count me in the camp of people who think Kelvin Benjamin is being slept on a little bit too hard this season. Last year was a disappointment for his owners and the Panthers offense as a whole struggled a bit. That said, Benjamin is still the number one option for Cam Newton, who I feel like is going to rebound. I think Benjamin is in store for double digit TD’s this season, and it should start this week against a defense that is lacking in San Francisco.
  • I want to have Allen Robinson higher than 30th, I really do and trust me I own the guy. However, I just can’t have him any higher. We saw last season what kind of damage inconsistent QB play can have on even a guy with elite talent, like Robinson. I don’t think Blake Bortles is getting much better this season, so it may be a struggle again. I do think there will be a fair amount of weeks where Robinson cracks my Top 20, but not in this matchup with everyone playing.
  • If you are running Rishard Matthews out this week as a WR3 or a flex option I think you should feel alright with that, especially in a PPR league. The Titans have a lot of weapons and that is a concern, but I think at least for the first part of the season Matthews is going to be the go to guy. The Titans first round pick, Corey Davis, has only been practicing for a little over a week at this point and Eric Decker’s TD potential has him ranked higher on this list, but it’s Matthews who has the connection already established with Marcus Mariota and I think the guy he is most likely going to be looking for.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 Rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Week 1 Rankings (2017): Top 15 Kickers
Week 1 Rankings (2017): Top 40 Running Backs

34 comments

  1. trevor says:

    brees/thomas at minnesota def or carr/crabtree at titans week one

  2. trevor says:

    bills def v. jets or steelers at cleveland week one

  3. Whipple says:

    Good morning Prof!

    So I have a team in a 10-team standard league (no flex) with no kicker because I couldn’t believe Lacy was there in the 15th. After careful consideration (and being projected to lose week 1) I’ve decided to pick one up, but am unsure who to drop. Who should i drop?

    RB: Elliot, Hyde, Lynch, West, Martin, Lacy
    WR: Nelson, Hilton, Robinson, J. Matthews, Coleman

    I’m leaning Lacy, but with 2 RBs on possible suspension I like the depth. Coleman is the next likely candidate, but then I only have Matthews to cover bye weeks.

    Also, which kicker?

    Houska
    McManus
    Santos
    Walsh
    Hopkins

    Also someone dropped Janikowski,but I really don’t want to use a waiver claim on a kicker.

    Thank you as always and good luck this season!

  4. Joy says:

    Good morning! Can you help me decide which 3 WRs to start in week 1? I have M. Thomas (definitely starting), P. Garcon, C. Coleman, S. Shepard, T. Lockett, and Z. Jones. Thanks!

  5. Mean Machine says:

    Hello Professor,
    12 team, full point PPR, need 2 out of the 4 to start and use as a Flex option since the Bucs’s game it’s not being play this weekend
    - Emmanuel Sanders, Shepard, Thielen or Tevin Coleman .

    Thank you in advance

  6. bigL says:

    Hey Prof!
    Looking forward to this season staring!Who you liking between Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette this week?

  7. Fred says:

    Seeing plenty o’ buzz on FA’s Paul Richardson, Kendall Wright and Chris Carson, plus Chris Thompson is a FA in my 12-team 1/2-point PPR league.
    Any worth picking up at expense of Rex Burkhead, James White and Shane Vereen? Should I wait and see how RBs on my roster are used the first week, or pull the trigger? Roster is OK on WRs but RBs are thinner after Ware went down. Thanks for any input, really enjoy the website.

  8. Bobby says:

    Hey Prof!
    I got a super crap situation due to the impending monstrosity that Irma is about to unleash. It leaves me down two clutch spot and having to fill my flex spot with one of the following, not luxurious

    choices:
    Smallwood
    Mack
    John Brown
    Wallace
    Any help?
    Thanks so much. You’re the best.

  9. Chris says:

    Looking for a flex standard league

    M. Bryant or K. Benjamin?

    Thanks Roto

  10. Breaking Badasses says:

    Hey Professor
    I really want to bench TY this week and many weeks to follow when Luck is off the field. My top 2 candidates in my reserves are John Brown and Chris Hogan? Who’s your favorite, if you HAVE to bench TY? I don’t see Tolzien looking much for TY.
    Follow up question-
    Do you use betting odds(example Over/Under) to make tough fantasy decisions? Colts v Rams o/u is 41.5, one of the lowest odds this week. I’m trying to convince myself benching TY is the best thing to do.

  11. Krysta says:

    I have Ty Hilton, Jamison Crowder and Terrell Williams as WR 1/2 and flex. I have Eric Decker and Tyler Lockett (Russel Wilson is my QB, that’s the only reason really) on my bench. Wondering for injury or just for safe keeping should I get rid of Lockett for Robby Anderson?

    (14 team 1 pt PPR)

  12. GB says:

    12 team full ppr
    Keenan Allen or Thielan?
    Fitz at wr1 and THill in flex, starting Thielan now.
    Why are you so low on him? Cupcake matchup IMO.
    Thanks!

  13. Matt says:

    Gin or ty Hilton ppr ? Nervous about ty Hilton, what you think I should do. Thanks

  14. Tom says:

    Who should I start at Flex? Mike Wallace, Rishard Matthews, Ted Ginn, Eddie lacy? Standard scoring, WRs get a PPR and normal scoring.

  15. Brian says:

    Hey Prof-

    Need 2 WR in 1 pt PPR- Keenan Allen, Watkins, or Crowder? Have Jordy in other WR slot…

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