Week 1 QB Rankings & Projections: Derek Carr a Great Streaming Option

Week 1 RankingPlayerWeek 1 OpponentWeek 1 Projection
1Travis KelceHOU18.3
2George KittleARI16.1
3Zach Ertz@WAS14.9
4Hayden HurstSEA14.7
5Darren Waller@CAR14.0
6Hunter Henry@CIN13.9
7Mark AndrewsCLE13.8
8Jonnu Smith@DEN13.4
9Jared CookTB13.0
10Evan EngramPIT12.1
11Tyler HigbeeDAL12.0
12Greg Olsen@ATL11.7
13Noah FantTEN10.8
14Blake Jarwin@LAR10.7
15Rob Gronkowski@NO10.6
16Mike Gisecki@NE10.5
17Eric Ebron@NYG10.2
18Jack Doyle@JAX10.1
19Ian ThomasLV9.5
20Gerald EverettDAL9.4
21Irv Smith Jr.GB9.2
22Dallas GoedertWAS9.1
23Austin Hooper@BAL8.9
24T.J. HockensonCHI8.8
25Tyler EifertIND8.6
26Kyle RudolphGB8.4
27Chris Herndon@BUF8.1
28Jimmy Graham@DET7.8
29O.J. Howard@NO6.9
30C.J. UzomahLAC5.9

Week 1 Studs

Of course, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes are going to be ranked as two of the top quarterbacks every week. Their matchups are very conducive to starting off their 2020 season with a great performance. The Sunday Night Football game between the Cowboys and Rams showcases two of my top five quarterbacks in Dak Prescott and Jared Goff. I’m expecting that game to be one of the highest-scoring of the week. Both the Cowboys’ and Rams’  offenses have some amazing receiving weapons at their disposal and I’m expecting a high-paced contest. The Saints and Buccaneers game is also going to be one of the highest-scoring games and I’m projecting top-12 finishes for both Drew Brees and Tom Brady. Russell Wilson should be able to have a big game against a Falcons’ secondary that looks like one of the worst in the league. Carson Wentz also has a great matchup against Washington – the Football Team allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to QBs last year.

Week 1 Duds

I’m very concerned about Kyler Murray in Week 1 as the Cardinals are integrating new offensive line starters against perhaps the best defensive line in football in San Francisco. The Cardinals’ offense should be much-improved this season, but the 49ers are going to be one of the toughest games for them. Murray still salvaged two very strong fantasy performances against the 49ers last year mostly thanks to his rushing production, but I’m still lower on him this week as compared to other QBs. Matt Ryan is also expected to have a strong season, but the Seattle defense was strong against the pass last year and added Jamal Adams and Quinton Dunbar. I’m expecting him to finish a little outside of the top 12. Finally, Ryan Tannehill could be in for a rough outing in Denver as the Broncos were a top ten defense against QBs last year and should be even better this season. Tannehill’s touchdown rate from last season is likely not sustainable and I’m expecting him to be more of a matchup-based streamer this season. This is not the right matchup to stream him in. Daniel Jones is an intriguing high-upside season-long QB, but he has one of the worst matchups in Week 1 in the Steelers.

Week 1 Streamers

When I’m looking for a streaming quarterback, the first thing I like to look at is the strength of the opposing passing defenses. Last season, the three defenses that gave up the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks were the Cardinals, Dolphins, and Giants. Jimmy Garopollo takes on the Cardinals in Week 1, although I’m a little hesitant to start him given Deebo Samuel is out for the first game. However, Jimmy G is a solid deep-league target. Miami will face Cam Newton, the new Patriots’ quarterback who will be looking to make a strong statement in his Week 1 return. Newton has the added benefit as a streamer of some high-level rushing production. The Giants will play the Steelers in Week 1 and Ben Roethlisberger could come through with a huge comeback performance in primetime.

My favorite streamer for the week is probably Derek Carr, the Raiders’ quarterback who will take on the Panthers in Week 1. Carolina has a completely remade defensive unit with an entire draft class of rookies all competing for starting spots. Both of the defenses in this matchup are on the weaker side and it should produce some strong fantasy performances. Carr has all kinds of new receiving talent at his disposal, including first-round rookie Henry Ruggs, and has the added pressure of Marcus Mariota in danger of stealing his job. All signs point to a strong Week 1 for Carr. Teddy Bridgewater could be a solid deep-league target across from him.

I’m also very excited about Tyrod Taylor this week as the Chargers will face the Bengals’ defense that allowed the most rushing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks. Taylor may not be among the leaders in passing attempts on any week, but his rushing production and overall efficiency are a boon to his fantasy value. Jared Goff should also have a strong week against the Cowboys’ defense that should be middle-of-the-pack in most regards. I’m surprised Goff isn’t being drafted in more leagues. This game will likely provide a positive passing game script and I have Goff as a top-5 guy.

I've been writing about sports for Lineups since the beginning of 2020 and on my own website since 2018. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. I've been playing fantasy football for as long as I can remember and am now in far more leagues than any person should take part in. There are few things that give me as much joy and excitement as fantasy football, and I'm excited to share my input with you in your journey towards a championship.

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