Fantasy Football Week 1: Latest Stat Predictions for the Top 50 Players

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Fantasy Football Week 1: Latest Stat Predictions for the Top 50 Players
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Drafting your fantasy football team might be the hard part, but your job is far from over. Now, you have to put the right players in the lineup from week to week.

While a lot of people hate dealing with the byes that come in the middle of the year, Week 1 is truly the most difficult to predict all season. Coaches like to keep their plans close to the vest, which means we have little knowledge of which players will touch the ball in which situations.

As a result, fantasy owners should lean toward the safer options to start the season. This includes a number of less exciting veterans who will be smarter picks than the rookies who were shooting up draft boards.

Here is a look at the projected top 50 scorers for Week 1 of 2014.

Top 50 Fantasy Football Players: Week 1
Rank Pos. Rank Player Team Opp Pass Yards Rush Yards Rec. Yards TDs Fantasy Pts.
1 QB1 Peyton Manning DEN IND 355 0 0 3 26
2 QB2 Drew Brees NO ATL 317 3 0 3 22
3 RB1 LeSean McCoy PHI JAX 0 122 34 1 21
4 QB3 Matthew Stafford DET NYG 347 0 0 2 21
5 QB4 Jay Cutler CHI BUF 253 0 0 3 20
6 QB5 Andrew Luck IND DEN 281 8 0 2 19
7 RB2 Jamaal Charles KC TEN 0 73 62 1 19
8 QB6 Tony Romo DAL SF 306 17 0 2 19
9 QB7 Tom Brady NE MIA 269 0 0 2 18
10 QB8 Philip Rivers SD ARI 255 0 0 2 18
11 RB3 Matt Forte CHI BUF 0 82 43 1 18
12 WR1 Demaryius Thomas DEN IND 0 0 121 1 18
13 QB9 Nick Foles PHI JAX 302 7 0 2 18
14 QB10 Colin Kaepernick SF DAL 186 42 0 1 17
15 WR2 Calvin Johnson DET NYG 0 0 117 1 17
16 QB11 Aaron Rodgers GB SEA 265 14 0 2 17
17 WR3 Brandon Marshall CHI BUF 0 0 111 1 17
18 QB12 Andy Dalton CIN BAL 293 0 0 2 17
19 QB13 Robert Griffin III WAS HOU 231 47 0 1 17
20 RB4 Arian Foster HOU WAS 0 84 21 1 16
21 WR4 Dez Bryant DAL SF 0 0 106 1 16
22 RB5 Adrian Peterson MIN STL 0 95 14 1 16
23 WR5 Alshon Jeffery CHI BUF 0 22 81 1 16
24 QB14 Russell Wilson SEA GB 266 27 0 1 16
25 WR6 Julio Jones ATL NO 0 0 102 1 16
26 RB6 Alfred Morris WAS HOU 0 109 0 1 16
27 WR7 A.J. Green CIN BAL 0 0 98 1 15
28 TE1 Jimmy Graham NO ATL 0 0 97 1 15
29 RB7 Zac Stacy STL MIN 0 92 9 1 15
30 QB15 Cam Newton CAR TB 210 33 0 1 15
31 RB8 Marshawn Lynch SEA GB 0 96 4 1 15
32 RB9 Eddie Lacy GB SEA 0 71 24 1 15
33 WR8 Antonio Brown PIT CLE 0 0 91 1 15
34 WR9 Jordy Nelson GB SEA 0 0 85 1 14
35 RB10 Doug Martin TB CAR 0 57 32 1 14
36 QB16 Eli Manning NYG DET 303 0 0 1 14
37 QB17 Carson Palmer ARI SD 221 0 0 2 14
38 RB11 Ben Tate CLE PIT 0 74 12 1 14
39 TE2 Julius Thomas DEN IND 0 0 82 1 14
40 WR10 Emmanuel Sanders DEN IND 0 0 81 1 14
41 RB12 Frank Gore SF DAL 0 83 6 1 14
42 RB13 Rashad Jennings NYG DET 0 66 11 1 13
43 QB18 Ben Roethlisberger PIT CLE 238 4 0 1 13
44 RB14 Giovani Bernard CIN BAL 0 85 57 0 13
45 WR11 Vincent Jackson TB CAR 0 0 78 1 13
46 RB15 Pierre Thomas NO ATL 0 32 46 1 13
47 TE3 Rob Gronkowski NE MIA 0 0 76 1 13
48 WR12 Jeremy Maclin PHI JAX 0 0 72 1 13
49 RB16 Shane Vereen NE MIA 0 51 83 0 13
50 TE4 Dennis Pitta BAL CIN 0 0 70 1 13

 

Quarterbacks

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

While Peyton Manning might regress a bit from his unbelievable 2013 season, he still has plenty of weapons and an offensive line that will give him time to succeed. Even against a solid defense in Indianapolis, he will post big numbers.

Quarterbacks such as Jay Cutler, Matt Stafford and Colin Kaepernick might also have bigger weeks than normal thanks to favorable matchups.

On the other hand, fans might want to temper expectations for normally solid players such as Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton. Rodgers is still one of the best players in the league at his position, but facing the Seattle Seahawks defense is never easy.

Newton has been dealing with a rib injury, but he is confident he will play this week, via Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer:

Still, considering his various injuries and his lack of receiving targets, it might be smart to stay away from Newton at this point.

 

Running Backs

Matt Rourke/Associated Press

You will see many of the same running backs near the top of lists almost every week, as LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte and Adrian Peterson are among the best in the league. McCoy could have a better-than-average week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Two players higher on this list than in most fantasy drafts are Arian Foster and Zac Stacy, two players who should be solid against questionable competition to start the season. Foster is a health concern, but the first game of the year should not slow him down.

The running backs to be careful about if you have alternatives are Le'Veon Bell, Ryan Mathews and Chris Johnson. Obviously, they were likely high picks in most drafts, but it is hard to predict a breakdown of carries, as LeGarrette Blount, Donald Brown/Danny Woodhead and Chris Ivory can steal touchesand touchdownsin each case.

Also, do not forget to take Ray Rice out of your lineup as he serves his two-game suspension.

 

Wide Receivers

Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The best receivers were high on draft lists for a reason, and there is no reason to doubt them now. Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall and others should be top options every week, regardless of the matchup.

Dez Bryant has an easier opponent than many think, as the San Francisco 49ers have a completely rebuilt secondary that might not be ready for an elite receiver.

One name to watch out for early is Emmanuel Sanders, who fills in for Eric Decker in the Broncos offense. While this goes against the logic of playing people with secure roles, CBS' Jim Nantz thinks big things are ahead for the former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver:

That is the opposite of Decker and DeSean Jackson, who had big years but now go to weaker, less consistent offenses. Fantasy owners should not expect the same results.

Week 1 could also be hard on Green Bay Packers targets Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, but this should only be a one-week problem.

 

Tight Ends

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Jimmy Graham is the best tight end in fantasy football, and it is not even close. Every week, he is a threat for at least one touchdown, and he can rack up the yards to be a strong play regardless.

After that, Julius Thomas and Rob Gronkowski are both top options when healthy.

However, many of the other options require seeing how they are used first. Breakout projects such as Ladarius Green, Zach Ertz or Travis Kelce could be great, but they also could easily be shut out.

Fantasy owners would be smart to roll with a veteran such as Heath Miller, Dennis Pitta or Greg Olsen in the first week.

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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