Fantasy Football Week 1 Rankings: Examining Lineup Options After Injury Reports

Jake RillSeptember 10, 2022

Fantasy Football Week 1 Rankings: Examining Lineup Options After Injury Reports

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    AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

    There aren't typically a ton of injury situations to monitor at the beginning of the NFL season. Assuming a team got through training camp and the preseason relatively healthy, they're likely heading into Week 1 at close to full strength.

    But there will be some players missing openers because of an injury. Whether they're still recovering from an ailment suffered last year or they got hurt at some point over the past two months, their status for Week 1 may be in doubt.

    For fantasy football managers, it's always important to stay on top of injury situations for notable players. And even though the injury report isn't filled with huge names, there are some that should be causes for slight concern.

    Here's a look at the updated rankings for Week 1, along with some injuries to monitor ahead of the opening games of the season.

Quarterback

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    AP Photo/Ashley Landis

    1. Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert (vs. LV)

    2. Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (at NYJ)

    3. Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (at ARI)

    4. Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson (at SEA)

    5. Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow (vs. PIT)

    6. Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (vs. KC)

    7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady (at DAL)

    8. Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts (at DET)

    9. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (at MIN)

    10. Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (vs. TB)


    Injury Report/Lineup Options

    The only projected starting quarterback who is going to miss Week 1 is the New York Jets' Zach Wilson. He's expected to miss the first three weeks of the season after undergoing knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, so Joe Flacco will lead the Jets' offense for now.

    Even though Wilson may be in store for an improved second season in the NFL, he wasn't going to be fantasy relevant early in the year. So this shouldn't impact fantasy managers. And Flacco shouldn't be started, as he's unlikely to put up big numbers in Wilson's place.

    So no fantasy managers should be scrambling looking for a QB this week. No matter which top quarterback you drafted, he's healthy and ready to go in Week 1.

Running Back

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    AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

    1. Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor (at HOU)

    2. Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry (vs. NYG)

    3. Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (vs. LV)

    4. Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (vs. CLE)

    5. New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara (at ATL)

    6. Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (vs. GB)

    7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette (at DAL)

    8. Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon (vs. PIT)

    9. Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones (at MIN)

    10. Pittsburgh Steelers RB Najee Harris (at CIN)


    Injury Report/Lineup Options

    One backfield situation to keep an eye on this week is in Baltimore. While Gus Edwards (knee) is on the reserve/PUP list and out for the opener, J.K. Dobbins is questionable for Sunday's game against the Jets as he continues to recover from the torn ACL that caused him to miss the entire 2021 season.

    If Dobbins doesn't play, Mike Davis will be a start-worthy RB, as he'd get a lot of work for the Ravens in a favorable matchup. But if Dobbins plays, then Davis likely shouldn't be in lineups.

    It's also worth noting that Seahawks rookie running back Kenneth Walker III is questionable for Seattle's Monday night matchup with Denver after he underwent hernia surgery last month. If Walker doesn't play, Rashaad Penny will likely have an even bigger role out of the Seahawks' backfield.

    Even if Walker is active, Penny is still a safe play, though. He's clearly Seattle's top RB heading into the season, and when he's been healthy in recent years, he's put up some big rushing numbers.

Wide Receiver

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    1. Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson (vs. GB)

    2. Las Vegas Raiders WR Davante Adams (at LAC)

    3. Cincinnati Bengals WR Ja'Marr Chase (vs. PIT)

    4. San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel (at CHI)

    5. Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb (vs. TB)

    6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (at DAL)

    7. Indianapolis Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr. (at HOU)

    8. Philadelphia Eagles WR A.J. Brown (at DET)

    9. Arizona Cardinals WR Marquise Brown (vs. KC)

    10. Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams (vs. LV)


    Injury Report/Lineup Options

    Allen Lazard was expected to be the Packers' No. 1 wide receiver to start the season. However, there's a chance he won't be on the field for Green Bay's opener against the Minnesota Vikings, as he's doubtful for Sunday's game because of an ankle injury. So there will be an opportunity for other Packers receivers to step up.

    That makes Romeo Doubs an intriguing fantasy option. There's been a lot of hype surrounding the rookie this preseason, and he may now get an immediate opportunity to contribute in Lazard's absence.

    Among the notable receivers who are questionable this week are the Atlanta Falcons' Drake London (knee), the New Orleans Saints' Michael Thomas (hamstring) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers playmakers Chris Godwin (knee) and Russell Gage (hamstring). If Godwin and/or Gage miss Sunday night's game against Dallas, Mike Evans may have an even larger role in Tampa Bay's passing attack.

    Cowboys rookie Jalen Tolbert is a wide receiver who merits fantasy consideration this week. He could see a decent number of targets with Michael Gallup (knee) continuing to recover. There's a bit of a risk with playing Tolbert, but he could have a strong NFL debut that makes it worth it.

Tight End

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    AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

    1. Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews (at NYJ)

    2. Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (at ARI)

    3. San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (at CHI)

    4. Las Vegas Raiders TE Darren Waller (at LAC)

    5. Dallas Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz (vs. TB)

    6. Atlanta Falcons TE Kyle Pitts (vs. NO)

    7. Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (at DET)

    8. Chicago Bears TE Cole Kmet (vs. SF)

    9. Arizona Cardinals TE Zach Ertz (vs. KC)

    10. Detroit Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (vs. PHI)


    Injury Report/Lineup Options

    George Kittle is dealing with a groin injury, so the 49ers listed the talented tight end as questionable on their injury report. He should have a strong showing against the Bears on Sunday if he plays, but if he doesn't, then fantasy managers will need to find another starting option, and San Francisco doesn't have anybody on its roster worth considering.

    The Arizona Cardinals' Zach Ertz (calf) and the Washington Commanders' Logan Thomas (knee) are also both questionable to play in Week 1. They're both start-worthy tight ends when healthy, so fantasy managers will also need to monitor their situations this weekend.

    If any of these tight ends are ruled out and leave you in a bind, then the Jacksonville Jaguars' Evan Engram could be a good sleeper to pick up. He's rostered in only 25 percent of Yahoo leagues and 20 percent of ESPN leagues, per FantasyPros, and he could be in store for a solid season while playing for a Jags offense that should be better than it was last year.

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