The fantasy football season is finally here, as the first game of the season kicks off on Thursday night. That means you need to get your lineup in order, so every week Fansided will bring you rankings to set your lineups with.
This week, the rankings were established by establishing an average of the rankings of myself and Zachary Thompson. Let’s take a look at the quarterbacks and how they rank for Week 1:
1 – Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Brees will face a less than stellar Atlanta Falcons’ defense in Week 1, which should make for an easy transition back into life with Sean Payton at head coach. Zachary has Brees as the number one player at QB this week, and I have him second, so no matter what format you play in Brees should be in your lineup.
2 – Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Coming in right behind Brees is the man who will be tasked with keeping up with the Saints’ signal caller and his high-powered offense. Matt Ryan will be facing a totally revamped defense, but it doesn’t seem to be revamped in all the right ways. I don’t have him as high as Zachary does, but there’s no doubt that he’s a solid play.
3 – Tom Brady, New England Patriots
The first player in a two-way tie for third place is Tom Brady, who wins the tiebreaker because he received the higher ranking from one of the two rankers (me) who placed him as the number one QB this week. He’s playing the Bills, he has emerging weapons, and he’s playing the Bills (it’s worth repeating). Start him.
3 – Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
The second player in the two-way tie for third is young gun Andrew Luck. Luck will take on the Oakland Raiders this weekend, which means he’s on the good side of one of the best matchups in the league for a quarterback. Add in the lack of a consistent running game for the Colts, and the opportunity is there for big plays.
5 – Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
It seems weird to have Peyton Manning ranked below the Colts’ quarterback on a ranking, doesn’t it? Manning is a fairly good play, but Thursday Night Football isn’t always a great time for fantasy production. Not to mention, Baltimore is going to have a decent defense in 2013, or at the very least better than any of the defenses the top 4 QBs are facing.
6 – Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers slips all the way to sixth, but don’t let that discourage you. He’s only going to play the 49ers once during the fantasy football season, so just stick with him for what may be a slightly disappointing week and he’ll be fine soon. (Oh, and don’t be afraid to trade for Rodgers if his owner wants to bail out after a subpar game against the Niners.)
7 – Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
Operation Patience is complete, and RGIII will be the centerpiece of what should be an incredible offense in 2013. His Week 1 matchup is against the Eagles, which will be favorable despite their somewhat upgraded pass defense.
8 – Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
This is where the disagreement truly begins. I don’t have Kaepernick as a top-10 QB this week, even with what seems like a favorable matchup against a defense he’s proven himself against. I feel like there are better plays, but only a few, and Zach would tell you to play Colin with confidence. You probably don’t have better options in a yearly league, but I would go with any of the QBs above in daily fantasy leagues or salary cap games.
9 – Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
The disagreements continue! I have Tony Romo as the eighth best play at QB this week, whereas Zachary doesn’t have him ranked in the top 10. I think the matchup is favorable for Romo, who might be the most criminally underrated player in fantasy football. Zach would probably tell you to find a better option, but I think Romo is a solid play in any format.
10 – Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions and Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
There’s a tie for 10th, and it’s a decision that fantasy footballers have to make every week. Take the safe play with a decent matchup (Stafford), or go for the upside with some risks (Vick)? I think both of these QBs are good options this week. If you have to choose between them, flip a coin. Zach and I think they’re that close.
Honorable Mention: Terrelle Pryor (Oakland Raiders), Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers)
Wait, Terrelle Pryor?
Remember when Tim Tebow was fantasy relevant despite only completing about 12 passes per game? That’s what Pryor will be in 2013, as he’ll benefit from a strong running game and his own rushing ability to gain yards on the ground. So if your fantasy league has standard scoring for QBs and for rushing yards, and you get more points per yard for rushing yards, Pryor is a great pick this week. He’s facing the Indianapolis Colts, who are far from a defensive juggernaut.
Big Ben is the safer, more traditional option in the honorable mention category. He’s facing the Titans, which is a decent matchup, but he doesn’t have any outstanding weapons on offense to inspire fantasy football confidence this season. If you’ve got no better options, he’s not a bad start, but in a 12-team league you likely have one of the players listed above.