Week 1 WR Rankings & Projections (PPR): Keenan Allen The Must Start Fantasy Sleeper

Week 1 will be taking place with no pre-season, almost no fans, and in the middle of a pandemic. It is hard to gauge how the depth chart will play out and who will be getting fed the ball on a lot of these rosters. However, that is what these rankings are for! There are plenty of good matchups and great situations that you may not be aware of.

RankWide ReceiversTeamOppProj. Pts
1Michael ThomasNOvs. TB19.8
2Julio JonesATLvs. SEA16.6
3Tyreek HillKCvs. HOU16.8
4Davante AdamsGBat MIN16.8
5DeAndre HopkinsARIat SF16.7
6Kenny GolladayDETvs. CHI15.9
7Adam ThielenMINvs. GB15.4
8Keenan AllenLACat CIN15.3
9Cooper KuppLARvs. DAL14.9
10Allen RobinsonCHIat DET14.6
11Chris GodwinTBat NO14.4
12D.J. CharkJACvs. IND14.3
13Tyler LockettSEAat ATL14.2
14D.J. MooreCARvs. LV14.2
15Odell Beckham Jr.CLEat BAL13.9
16JuJu Smith-SchusterPITat NYG13.9
17Mike EvansTBat NO13.4
18A.J. BrownTENat DEN13.4
19Amari CooperDALat LAR13.2
20Terry McLaurinWASvs. PHI13.1
21Calvin RidleyATLvs. SEA12.8
22Courtland SuttonDENvs. TEN12.6
23DeSean JacksonPHIat WAS12.4
24Marquise BrownBALvs. CLE12.3
25T.Y. HiltonINDat JAC12.2
26Will FullerHOUat KC12.2
27Brandin CooksHOUat KC12.1
28A.J. GreenCINvs. LAC12
29Diontae JohnsonPITat NYG12
30Robert WoodsLARvs. DAL11.9
31DeVante ParkerMIAat NE11.9
32D.K. MetcalfSEAat ATL11.9
33Breshad PerrimanNYJat BUF11.7
34Stefon DiggsBUFvs. NYJ11.7
35Julian EdelmanNEvs. MIA11.7
36Tyler BoydCINvs. LAC11.6
37John BrownBUFvs. NYJ11.4
38Michael GallupDALat LAR11.4
39Emmanuel SandersNOvs. TB11.3
40CeeDee LambDALat LAR11.3
41Jerry JeudyDENvs. TEN11.2
42Kendrick BourneSFvs. ARI11.2
43Sammy WatkinsKCvs. HOU10.9
44Preston WilliamsMIAat NE10.8
45Henry Ruggs IIILVat CAR10.8
46Darius SlaytonNYGvs. PIT10.7
47Olabisi JohnsonMINvs. GB10.7
48Marvin JonesDETvs. CHI10.6
49Anthony MillerCHIat DET10.4
50Jarvis LandryCLEat BAL10.4

The Top Options

Michael Thomas

Clearly the WR #1 going into the season due to his sheer volume and high-quality targets from Drew Brees, Michael Thomas is a must-play every week. He should shred up the Tampa Bay defense. With Tom Brady at the helm, many expect this Bucc’s offense to be extremely good. For MT owners you should hope that is the case and hopefully, this game can turn into a shootout with massive point potential.

 

 

Deandre Hopkins

Due to being on a new team there are safer plays listed above him; however, I love Hopkins this year and the 49ers matchup does not scare me. I still think that the 49ers pass defense relies too heavily on getting loads of pressure from their front four, and with the mobile Kyler Murray passing the ball the Cardinals may be able to slow that down. Hopkins, for my money, is the best WR in the league and he is now in an Air Raid offense with a great QB. He could easily finish WR #1 any given week and this week is no different.

 

Biggest Sleepers

Keenan Allen

With Mike Williams going down Keenan is going to be soaking up a ton of targets from Tyrod Taylor or Justin Herbert. They will be going against one of the worst defenses from last year who are now missing top cornerback Trae Waynes, who was signed from the Vikings. I do not think that the Bengals possess a player on the roster who can cover Keenan Allen.

Keenan Allen is an extremely safe play this week with an insanely high floor in PPR as I expect 10+ targets for him. He is also a great ceiling play depending on the quality of targets he receives from Justin Herbert or Tyrod Taylor. As mentioned I do not think that the Bengals can cover him, it is completely up to the Chargers QB to get him the ball in stride and space to let him make plays. A big completion + touchdown could lead to a week winning performance from Allen.

Desean Jackson

Alshon Jeffery is not healthy, Jalen Regor is now out, and the rest of the WR core besides Jackson in Philly is horrible. Desean Jackson is a must-play against this mediocre at best passing defense. Carson Wentz will be looking to go deep with Jackson early and often and may very well be his #1 read behind Zach Ertz. The trio of Zach Ertz, Miles Sanders, and Desean Jackson are all great plays this week, but Jackson gives you the upside of 150+ yards and multiple TDs.

Jackson is not the prototypical PPR player as he is not going to catch a ton of balls. However, not only do I think that there is a chance of that happening with the limited options the Eagles have, but Jackson’s targets are so valuable you need to overlook the fact that he may only catch a few balls in your PPR league. Those catches are one-point. Jackson has the potential to catch multiple 11 point balls (50 yards TDs) this game and can win you the week from the flex spot.

Diontae Johnson

Diontae Johnson will be the starting outside receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Meaning he is inheriting the Antonio Brown role. By no means is Johnson as good as Brown, but he should be getting a ton of targets from Big Ben and those targets often come with huge value. On top of that, he gets the luxury of facing the 5th worst passing defense from last year. I do think that the New York Giants improved their run defense a bit during the offseason, but that just gives Pittsburgh more license to air it out on this atrocious secondary.

I would still start Juju Smith-Schuster over Johnson, but you can draft Johnson often in the 9th or 10th round. He basically is a free pick that can be inserted right into your lineup to give you big points Week 1. He can easily win you a week and should be getting tons of targets.

WRs to Stay Away From

CeeDee Lamb

I love his talent but there are two great WRs ahead of Lamb on the depth chart. Not to mention Zeke Elliot in the backfield and Blake Jarwin at TE. Lamb will get his, but against a pretty decent LA Rams secondary, and going into the first week of the season with no pre-season I would not be touching this rookie. We do not know if the targets will be there, we do not know if he is prepared for the NFL speed and game yet, and we do not know how often McCarthy wants to pass the ball with his new offense.

Jamison Crowder

I see many experts putting him extremely high in PPR rankings due to his target load and injuries to other WRs. However, Perriman should be just fine and Chris Hogan is often getting snaps in front of Crowder in practice. Not to mention Chris Herndon is one of the only Jets getting rave reviews in camp and could possibly be the #1 target this week.

Buffalo’s defense is no joke, and I honestly do not know if the target volume will be there for Crowder. That is an extreme worry as Crowder completely relies on volume. He has been awful as a WR and will not produce touchdowns or yards for your fantasy team. If you play him, you play him as a high floor, no ceiling play which can not even be promised going into Week 1. Stay away.

Matthew has been playing fantasy football for over ten years now. He is experienced in playing and writing about both daily and season-long fantasy. He is both commissioner and former champion of several different types of high stakes money leagues.

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