Week 1 of the fantasy football schedule is finally upon us, and the frenzy over the NFL regular season and its fantasy implications has hardcore and casual owners ready for a fresh start.
Before you set your lineups in Week 1, here are the rankings you will need to optimize your roster. Starting off on the right foot is imperative to success in the faux sport of fantasy football.
Full list of Week 1 QB rankings via Ryan Lester.
Quarterback to Watch: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts and QB Andrew Luck are coming off an explosive offensive season (4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns), but a meeting with the Oakland Raiders has owners doubting he'll put up big numbers.
Oakland has a solid offensive unit that will play better than expected against the Colts' lackluster front seven. Luck will be forced to throw the ball, and fantasy owners will be the biggest beneficiary in Week 1. Do not sleep on Luck out of the gate.
Full list of Week 1 WR rankings via Ryan Lester.
Wide Receiver to Watch: Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
The New Orleans Saints boast one of the worst defensive units in the NFL (31st against the pass, allowing 292.6 yards per game in 2012), and the focus on fellow receiver Julio Jones will leave veteran Roddy White with plenty of room along the sidelines to make spectacular plays for the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1.
Drew Brees and the Saints offense will make this a shootout, and fantasy owners should expect monster numbers from both Falcons receivers. With Jones seeing the No. 1 coverage, expect White to be the biggest points earner of the duo.
Full list of Week 1 RB rankings via Ryan Lester.
Running Back to Watch: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Fantasy owners are unsure of what to expect from Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles under new head coach Andy Reid. While the pass-happy offense will limit his overall rushing attempts, Charles will have a monster game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who ranked 30th in rushing defense in 2012, allowing 141 yards per game.
Considering his pass-catching ability out of the backfield, Charles promises to be a fantasy monster this season in the same way LeSean McCoy and Brian Westbrook were under Reid in Philadelphia.
Full list of Week 1 TE rankings via Ryan Lester.
Tight End to Watch: Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams
In his limited work in the third preseason game, St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook had 50 yards receiving and a touchdown. With quarterback Sam Bradford looking for a reliable target in the end zone and as an emergency option when plays break down, Cook’s reliable hands will catapult him into the upper echelon of TEs starting in Week 1.