Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker got off on the right foot with big games on Thursday night. The Denver Broncos wide receivers were on the same page with Peyton Manning, helping a lot of fantasy football owners cruise to an early lead.
There are plenty of big-name wideouts left to take the field, however. So owners having to fight out of an early hole need their top selections at the position to be able to match or exceed the totals put up by the Broncos duo.
With that in mind, let's check out the top 10 wide receivers with games still to play in Week 1. Most of them are big names who were taken early in drafts. Now owners simply have to hope they live up to the intense hype.
Projections for Top 10 Wide Receivers in Week 1
|1||Calvin Johnson||Detroit Lions||22|
|2||Andre Johnson||Houston Texans||20|
|T-3||Dez Bryant||Dallas Cowboys||19|
|T-3||Julio Jones||Atlanta Falcons||19|
|T-3||A.J. Green||Cincinnati Bengals||19|
|6||DeSean Jackson||Philadelphia Eagles||18|
|T-7||Larry Fitzgerald||Arizona Cardinals||17|
|T-7||Brandon Marshall||Chicago Bears||17|
|T-7||Vincent Jackson||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||17|
|10||Reggie Wayne||Indianapolis Colts||16|
Fantasy Week 1
Which WR is the best remaining option for Week 1?
1. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)
Johnson led all wide receivers in fantasy scoring last season, and it certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see him do it again. The Lions superstar is a matchup nightmare for every secondary due to his combination of physical abilities and terrific hands.
His season gets underway with an ideal matchup. He goes up against a suspect Minnesota Vikings defense that he torched last season. In two meetings between the division rivals, he tallied an eye-popping 48 fantasy points.
Even though the Lions offense as a whole appears ready to take a step forward in 2013, Johnson remains the unquestioned top option for Matthew Stafford. That equates to plenty of targets and a monster fantasy game to start the new season.
6. DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles)
Jackson is an interesting fantasy case for several reasons. Most importantly, he fits perfectly into the offense Chip Kelly is putting in place for the Eagles, which will allow the veteran receiver to use his quickness to maximum effect.
The other factor was his preseason ranking. He didn't receive a major boost despite a serious knee injury that led to Jeremy Maclin getting placed on injured reserve. It means Jackson should easily outplay his draft position, if he stays healthy.
It starts in Week 1, where he should be a top-10 receiver. The Redskins ranked 30th in the league in passing yards allowed last season. Jackson is going to take full advantage of a shaky secondary to get off to a strong start.
10. Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts)
Wayne caught 106 passes for over 1,300 yards and five touchdowns last season. He was one of just five wide receivers who crossed the 100-catch plateau, and he showed very few signs of slowing down as he enters the new season at age 34.
Despite those consistently productive numbers, Wayne is receiving very little attention. Perhaps it's because he's always been reliable rather than explosive or dominant, but weekly production is actually more valuable in fantasy than occasional outbursts.
Expect Wayne to maintain that trend throughout 2013, starting against the lowly Oakland Raiders. Andrew Luck showed no signs of an impending sophomore slump during a strong preseason. He'll look Wayne's way early and often in the opener, much to the delight of fantasy owners.