Folks, it’s finally here! Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season started last night and yes, it feels like it’s been a long time coming. We made it and it’s time to root on your favorite team while simultaneously hoping that your fantasy players go off. This week, I’ll be breaking down who I think the top 3 fantasy performers will be at each position: QB, RB, WR, TE, DEF, K and I’ll throw in some possible FLEX options. This should be useful for those DFS players out there.
Week 1 in fantasy is important because you want to start the season off on the right foot with a win. But if you do take that L, no worries because you have 12 more weeks to get into playoff contention. So lets jump right into this.
*All Projections Based On PPR Formats*
Week 1 Fantasy Predictions: Top 3 Fantasy Performers At Each Position
Top 3 QBs
1.) Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens
Week 1 for Jackson and the Ravens is a Divisional match-up between the Cleveland Browns. In the first meeting last year, the Browns roasted the Ravens for a 15-point win, 40-25. Lamar was responsible for all three of the Ravens touchdowns through the air with 3 to go with 240+ passing yards and 66 rushing yards. The caveat of that performance was 2 interceptions.
Look for this year to be much different. Though his performance won’t be closer to his 2019 Week 1 start vs. the Miami Dolphins, he should be able to put up quality numbers for you in the season opener.
2.) Philip Rivers – Indianapolis Colts
Now this one could be seen as a head-scratcher but here me out. Rivers is playing on a new team for the first time in his career. The Colts gave him a big one year contract in the hopes that he can bring them to the Super Bowl, a feat that hasn’t happened since the Peyton Manning era. He’s well equipped with the targets and talents to light up a Jacksonville Jaguars team that has essentially overhauled their roster this season. Rivers has been a turnover machine in recent years, but if he can avoid ill-advised throws, look for a big first week from Rivers.
3.) Kyler Murray – Arizona Cardinals
Except for 4 or 5 games in 2019, the Cardinals were in every game. The good thing about that is none of those games were against their Week 1 divisional foe, the San Francisco 49ers. In their Week 9 and 11 match-ups, they lost by 3 and 10 respectively. This year should be different and don’t be surprised if the Cardinals split 1-1 with the 49ers because of Murray. In both contests, Murray threw for two scores against no turnovers. Though the 49ers have a stout defense, Kliff Kingsbury and Co. seemed to have figured out how to hang with the NFC West top team from last season. This will be a shoot out in Week 1 led by Murray.
Top 3 RBs
1.) Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers
If there is anything that new head coach Matt Rhule should know about his team it’s that you feed McCaffrey the ball as many times as possible. Don’t run him into the ground, but just know that your team is better when #22 has the ball in his hands. McCaffrey is why every fantasy owner wants the first pick in the draft.
Although the Raiders were in the middle of the pack in terms of rush defense last year, there really isn’t a good way to slow down McCaffrey. Look for Christian to lead his team in hopes of a season opener victory.
2.) Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers
Ekeler was perhaps the only bright spot on a lackluster Chargers team in 2019. While the Chargers look to return to the playoffs, Ekeler should be the play-maker that helps swing the momentum of games. The great thing for Ekeler is he doesn’t have to worry about another RB coming back mid-season to supplant his touches.
In a Week 1 match-up with the Cincinnati Bengals, Ekeler is poised to start the season big. In 2019, the Bengals were the 9th worst rush defense in the league. Add in the fact the Ekeler can also catch the ball out of the backfield and you have a recipe for success in this match-up.
3.) Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders will be looking to start off the season with a win vs the Carolina Panthers. A new coaching regime in Carolina could mean some growing pains through the early parts of the season. This is a good sign for Jacobs who had a stellar rookie campaign as the feature back. The Panthers defense last year was worst in the league in rush defense allowing 2,000+ yards and 27 scores. You’d think that would give Jacobs the top spot for fantasy RBs. Truth be told though, Jacobs isn’t really a pass-catching back. He’s an old-fashioned downhill runner. Regardless, look for him to have a solid start to the season.