Week one fantasy football preview

By Sean Reis
Arts & Entertainment Editor

As the first week of the season approaches, it is safe to say your team has been drafted, so who do you start to get the first win?

Obviously, you expect only the best results from your top draft picks, but what about when you have two solid quarterbacks (QB) and you don’t know who to start? What about your third string starting wide receivers (WR) that may not see as much action? What if your league runs a flex position you have yet to fill? I have the answers.

Quarterbacks

Let’s talk QBs first, excluding Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger: the top five QBs in the league and whom you should start without hesitation. Here are my top picks.

6. Drew Brees (NO vs. OAK)
7. Derek Carr (OAK at NO)
8. Blake Bortles (JAX vs. GB)
9. Carson Palmer (ARI vs. NE)
10. Kirk Cousins (WAS vs. PIT)
11. Matt Ryan (ATL vs. TB)
12. Marcus Mariota (TEN vs. MIN)
13. Eli Manning (NYG at DAL)
14. Andy Dalton (CIN at NYJ)
15. Ryan Fitzpatrick (NYJ vs CIN)

Running backs

Regarding your running backs (RB), the best players to start depend on whether your league uses standard scoring or Points Per Reception (PPR), but PPR can make the decision much more difficult. Below are my top RB picks outside of ESPN’s top 10.

Charles faces San Diego week one. (AP Photo)
Charles faces San Diego week one. (AP Photo)

11. Jamaal Charles (KC vs. SD)
12. Thomas Rawls (SEA vs. MIA)
13. DeAngelo Williams (PIT at WAS)
14. Latavius Murray (OAK at NO)
15. Ryan Matthews (PHI vs. CLE)
16. Carlos Hyde (SF vs. LA)
17. C.J. Anderson (DEN vs. CAR)
18. DeMarco Murray (TEN vs. MIN)
19. Frank Gore (IND vs. DET)
20. Jeremy Langford (CHI at HOU)
21. Jonathan Stewart (CAR at DEN)
22. Matt Forte (NYJ vs. CIN)
23. Melvin Gordon (SD at KC)
24. Ameer Abdullah (DET at IND)
25. Duke Johnson Jr. (CLE at PHI)

Wide recievers

Lastly — and likely the trickiest to choose from week after week — will be wide receivers (WR). Similar to RBs, below are my top WR picks outside of ESPN’s top 25 receivers.

26. Jordan Matthews (PHI vs. CLE)
27. Kelvin Benjamin (CAR at. DEN)
28. Emmanuel Sanders (DEN vs. CAR)
29. Allen Hurns (JAX vs. GB)
30. Michael Crabtree (OAK at NO)
31. Tyler Lockett (SEA vs. MIA)
32. Marvin Jones (DET at IND)
33. DeVante Parker (MIA at SEA)
34. Sterling Shepard (NYG at DAL)
35. Torrey Smith (SF vs. LA)
36. DeSean Jackson (WAS vs. PIT)
37. Markus Wheaton (PIT at WAS)
38. Willie Snead (NO vs. OAK)
39. Kamar Aiken (BAL vs. BUF)
40. Stefon Diggs (MIN at TEN)
41. Vincent Jackson (TB at ATL)
42. Will Fuller (HOU vs. CHI)
43. Kevin White (CHI at HOU)
44. Michael Thomas (NO vs. OAK)
45. Devin Funchess (CAR at DEN)
46. Travis Benjamin (SD at KC)
47. Tyler Boyd (CIN at NYJ)
48. Steve Smith Sr. (BAL vs. BUF)
49. Terrance Williams (DAL vs NYG)
50. Chris Hogan (NE at ARI)

The top WRs for the Arizona Cardinals — Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown — may all be worth the start. However, I warn you to start them at your own risk because no one knows who Palmer will lean on this season.