All summer long I have viewed Anthony Richardson as the best quarterback value at ADP. He is the greatest athlete to ever test at the NFL Combine as a quarterback and he landed with a coach who guided Justin Herbert his rookie season and Jalen Hurts the past two years. I'm not even sure he has to be an averaged passer to be a Fantasy superstar.
Still, I also told you to draft a second quarterback. And I'm most likely starting that second quarterback over Richardson in Week 1. Because, while the upside is immense, the floor is pretty low for Richardson early in the year as well. Remember how bad Justin Fields was the first month of 2023?
- Week 1 position previews: | |
Two other quarterbacks who I think have big upside this year, but I would rather not start in Week 1, are Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson. They've both been elite Fantasy quarterbacks as recently as 2020, but they were both also terrible in 2022. And neither gave me enough reason to believe in the preseason. Wilson does have the advantage of a fantastic matchup against the Raiders, but he was only good in one of his starts against them last year. And Sean Payton could win this game without much passing at all.
Definitely don't drop Richardson, Watson, or Wilson. If you only want to roster one QB, I would rather start them than drop them. But the best place for them in Week 1 is on the bench, even if that does give me some FOMO.
Let's get to the rest of the preview:
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Week 1 QB Preview
Numbers to know
- 26 -- Patrick Mahomes has scored at least 26 Fantasy points in every Week 1 start he has made.
- 30.1 -- The Saints have averaged almost exactly 30 pass attempts per game the past two seasons. Week 1 against the Titans will be a first glance into how much that may change.
- 11 -- Daniel Jones averaged 11 more pass attempts per game in losses last season. His Giants are 3.5-point underdogs to the Cowboys.
- 10 -- Jalen Hurts averaged 10 rush attempts per game the past two seasons with Shane Steichen. Hopefully, Anthony Richardson sees at least that many.
- 40.8 -- Lamar Jackson averaged 40.8 FPPG in the first three weeks of 2022 before Rashod Bateman got hurt. This will be Jackson's best cast of weapons yet.
- 34 -- Russell Wilson topped 34 Fantasy points in his first matchup with the Raiders last year. Their defense is still one of the worst in the league.
- 158.3 -- Kenny Pickett had a perfect passer rating and led a touchdown on every drive this preseason. He gets a big test against the 49ers in Week 1.
Matchups that matter
Waiver Wire Targets
Howell is the only streamer I would consider starting over Anthony Richardson, and I understand if you can't quite get there. I expect big things from Eric Bienemy's offense in Washington and I don't expect Arizona to provide much resistance. Howell topped 19 Fantasy points in his lone start of his rookie season and rushed for 35 yards. Considering he ran for 828 yards and 11 TDs in his final season at North Carolina, there may be more upside here than his ADP suggested.
LAR L.A. Rams • #9
Age: 35 • Experience: 15 yrs.
Stafford would obviously be ranked higher if we thought Cooper Kupp was playing, but I still see this as a high-volume opportunity for him. Seattle should put up a big number against this rebuilding Rams defense, which should mean 40-plus pass attempts for Stafford. Even on an inefficient day, that should be enough to get Stafford close to 20 Fantasy points.
TEN Tennessee • #17
Age: 35 • Experience: 12 yrs.
Tannehill is a very intriguing option to me in both Week 1 and the rest of the season. With DeAndre Hopkins, Treylon Burks, and Chigoziem Okonkwo he has legitimate good options in the passing game. If Tennessee moves to a more neutral script, Tannehill could have a big-time bounceback season. The Saints secondary and defense could be pretty good, but they aren't fully healthy and they are getting old in key spots. I'm not sure this is a matchup we have to avoid.
Kyler Murray QB
ARI Arizona • #1
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Murray should be rostered in every league that has an IR spot. You don't even have to drop anyone to add him. Go get him, stash him, and then wait and see. There has been some speculation that he will sit out the entire season, but I can't remember a precedent for a 26-year-old QB1 choosing to sit out so his team can tank and we have no reason to believe his ACL recovery will take that long. If Murray shows up Week 8 and is his old self you've got found money.
JAC Jacksonville • #16
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Lawrence is indoors with a decent implied total and I fully expect Doug Pederson to come out and make a statement. We've heard all offseason about the leap this Jacksonville offense is going to make with the addition of Calvin Ridley. It would be disappointing if he and Lawrence didn't put on a show in Week 1. There's no shortage of stacking options between Ridley, Christian Kirk, Evan Engram, Zay Jones, and Travis Etienne. Deon Jackson makes a fantastic discount back as well.
Arizona could have the worst defense in the NFL this season, so it's a soft landing spot for Howell. That being said, I don't think Eric Bienemy will be content to just run the ball and win a 17-10 matchup. Expect him to light up the scoreboard as he sends the message that he's going to do just fine without Andy Reid. Howell is dirt cheap, has rushing upside, and is an exciting stacking partner in Jahan Dotson. Bienemy's offense will be screen heavy so don't shy away from Antonio Gibson, Brian Robinson, and Curtis Samuel in stacks.
My full set of Week 1 Fantasy football projections for every position are now available on SportsLine. Find out which of my favorite plays are projected to score higher than consensus rankings and which don't live up to their draft hype, at least in Week 1. Projected stats for all starting quarterbacks are available, so be sure to check out the full set of projections at SportsLine.