Fantasy WR Rankings Week 1: Who to start, sit at wide receiver in fantasy football

The top-tier at wide receiver will be solidly cemented into your lineups every week regardless of matchups. At a position where you’re playing at least two guys every week, there’s no real reason any of the top 24-odd wideouts would be on your bench. Like all positions, wide receivers are affected by their matchups, trends, and injury concerns. However, as indicated by our Week 1 fantasy WR rankings, it’s the deepest position in all of fantasy football. We have 90 players ranked in our initial weekly list. For all you deep=league players, that even accounts for WR6s and some WR7s. For those kinds of leagues, it’s especially difficult to make a decision on who to start at wide receiver.

Obviously, there are many teams with uncertainty about how their target share will play out, but we’ve produced our rankings with all the latest news and trends we can gather in the preseason. As the year unfolds, there will be guys who plummet down the list, while someone among the WR4s always emerges in the top 20. It’s the nature of fantasy football, especially as pass-catchers go.


As these are our standard rankings, it’s obviously important to identify which wideouts are more valuable across each format (hopefully you did that before you drafted). Splash-play guys like Tyreek Hill (vs. Browns) especially benefit from standard formats. He’s our No. 1 WR in standard while he falls to No. 4 in PPR this week.

Notable risers in Week 1 include Brandon Aiyuk (@ Lions) and Adam Thielen (@ Bengals). All 49ers see boosts this week given their matchups with Detroit (including Jimmy G and 49ers defense). Thielen and Justin Jefferson both sit in the top 10 as they travel to Cincinnati to play what figures to be a poor Bengals defense.

Heading deeper down the list, Antonio Brown (vs. Cowboys) and DeVonta Smith (@ Falcons) might have been borderline WR3s on draft day, but they look like solid starts this week thanks to great matchups. Though two other WRs in Tampa are inside our top 10, there will be plenty of targets to go around. It won’t be totally shocking to see three top-24 WRs out of that offense this week. Smith has dealt with some injury concerns, but he’s the No. 1 WR in an offense facing the Falcons — a team that has been a lot of fun to start your players against in recent years.

You might be confused as to why DK Metcalf (@ Colts) and Stefon Diggs (vs. Steelers) sit at 11 and 12 respectively, but it all has to do with the matchups. While Indianapolis doesn’t possess a premier lockdown corner, their defense is disruptive, and we’ve seen what can happen to Russell Wilson behind a struggling Seahawks offensive line. So, it isn’t that Metcalf will be shut down, but there are other factors in place. Diggs is in a similar spot. The Steelers have a well-known track record of getting to the quarterback — and seemingly doing it with ease. Yes, he had a nice game against them last year, but it is worth noting he’s dealing with a minor knee injury heading in 2021. Still, neither Diggs nor Metcalf is even remotely close to seeing your bench.

Kenny Golladay (vs. Broncos) takes a drastic dive to slot 42 with his hamstring injury concerns. He’s seldom practiced, so he and Daniel Jones will have to build rapport on the fly. Can we expect them to be sharp in Week 1?

Check out our full list and analysis to make the right calls at WR, setting yourself up for 1-0 start in fantasy football.

We’ll be updating these WR rankings as needed throughout the week, so check back for the latest changes and analysis.

Fantasy WR Rankings Week 1: Who to start at wide receiver

Rankings based on standard,  non-PPR scoring

Individual analysis will be added early next week and updated throughout the week to reflect any changes to the rankings.

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