Week 1's fantasy football rankings
Plus, a preview of Thursday night's opening game, and the latest news and notes.
I hope your drafts went well, or if you’re still drafting before Week 1’s first kickoff, I wish you the best of luck. You can check out the best of 5th Down’s coverage on who to draft here.
For those preparing your Week 1 lineups, I am happy to deliver the first batch of weekly player rankings below, along with a detailed breakdown of Thursday night’s opening matchup between the Chiefs and Lions, along with the latest player news and notes to be mindful of.
Regarding the poll I sent out a few weeks ago on how premium content should be accessed, 3 out of 4 voted to have a single membership page login on 5thDownFantasy.com. I will be working to make this happen in the coming weeks, but for now, nothing will change in how you access the rankings, etc., via the individual passwords provided in each email.
Thanks again for all of your generous support and here’s to a successful Week 1! I’ll be back in touch this weekend with a full edition of the 5th Down Fantasy Playbook.
Some Week 1 news you can use…
Who is trending up and down heading into Week 1…
🤞 Travis Kelce is believed to have suffered a hyperextended knee, but tests revealed he did not damage his ACL. The Chiefs will test him again on Wednesday. Kelce getting injured is not a good thing, but his intact ACL is a positive sign that there is no long-term issue.
🤷 Jordan Addison, who the Vikings drafted in the first round this year, is listed as a backup to K.J. Osborn and Justin Jefferson on the Vikings’ first unofficial depth chart. It is worth noting that in Jefferson's rookie season, he was listed as a backup to Bisi Johnson and went on to break the rookie receiving yards record.
Terry McLaurin is still dealing with a case of turf toe that he sustained during the preseason, and the team is still taking his recovery day-to-day right now. His status is still uncertain for the team’s season opener against the Cardinals.
🙌 “All signs point” to Joe Burrow (calf) suiting up for Week 1 versus the Cleveland Browns. Burrow’s injury has been a topic of discussion throughout the preseason, but he has recovered quite well and is considered day-to-day heading into Week 1.
George Kittle was running off to the side during the media-open portion of practice on Monday and may miss the season opener due to his groin injury. His situation should remain monitored.
What to expect this Thursday night
Fantasy analysis for Thursday night’s matchup between the Chiefs and Lions, courtesy of 5th Down’s Neil Forbord…
Travis Kelce (KC, TE)
It doesn’t get more locked of a start than this. Since 2016, this guy has finished as either the tight #1 or #2 every year. Including a premier performance last year with the tight end #2 (George Kittle) finishing with 65.8 fewer fantasy points. The only knock you can give him is that he eventually is going to fall off the cliff.
He can’t keep this production going forever, can he? Even at the ripe age of 33, it doesn’t look like he has slowed down one bit in camp. While the Lions improved their defensive squad as a whole this year, they’ll still be no match for Kelce.
Just keep an eye on his status for Thursday’s game with his recent injury at practice on Tuesday.
Projection: 8 catches for 96 yards and 1 touchdown
Patrick Mahomes (KC, QB)
From the #1 ranked tight end to the #1 ranked quarterback. Kansas City has one of the best duos in football with Mahomes and Kelce and we are lucky enough to get to witness them on national television in Week 1 this year.
If they didn’t have Kelce, Kansas City would arguably have one of the most inexperienced and injury-prone receiving corps in the NFL. Fortunately for them, Mahomes has the ability to get the most out of his receivers. Add his scramble ability and the sky is the limit again for this young star. He should have no problem picking apart this Lions’ defense.
Over his last five Week 1 starts, Mahomes has averaged 308.4 yards and 3.6 touchdowns. I have a feeling he’ll be crushing that 308.4 mark this year.
Projection: 375 yards and 3 touchdowns
Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, DET)
With Jameson Williams serving his six-game suspension, St. Brown should come out hot this season as the target hog for Detroit. Outside of his injury-riddled Weeks 4-6 last year, St. Brown averaged 9.9 targets per game.