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Week 1 Fantasy Rankings & Tiers To Make Your First Start/Sit Decisions of the 2021 NFL Season

Week 1 Fantasy Rankings & Tiers To Make Your First Start/Sit Decisions of the 2021 NFL Season article feature image

Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Davante Adams #17 of the Green Bay Packers.

  • Fantasy football drafts are done — now it's time to execute with your first start/sit decisions of 2021.
  • Below you'll find Week 1 rankings from Sean Koerner, the No. 1 in-season ranker in three of the past six seasons.

That's right everyone — Week 1 is here! Our long wait is finally over. Excitement for the new NFL season aside, let's make sure we start our fantasy seasons right. Drafts are done, now it's time to execute.

If you want to contend for your fantasy football championship in 2021, you have to be diligent about in-season management. And a big part of that is making start/sit decisions.

To help you start strategizing for Week 1, I've outlined the early version of my fantasy football rankings into tiers so you can better visualize the drop-off in expected production at each position.

As always, there will be a ton of volatility in how I adjust my rankings up until kickoff, so be sure to check my updated rankings before making final decisions. I'll also publish an updated version of these tiers before Sunday's kickoff, but for now, let's dive into the initial version of my Week 1 tiers!

Fantasy Rankings & Tiers

Jump To
QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DEF


Tier 1

Patrick Mahomes (vs. CLE)
Kyler Murray (@ TEN)
Josh Allen (vs. PIT)

Josh Allen has the toughest matchup of this trio as he faces a Steelers defense that ranked No. 1 in pass DVOA last season. However, he is matchup-proof and is still a "must start"– just temper expectations this week.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyler Murray.

Tier 2

Lamar Jackson (@ LV)

The Ravens wanted to open up the playbook and become less run-heavy in 2021, but we might not see that come to fruition until later in the season. Lamar Jackson missed part of camp due to COVID, Marquise Brown missed most of camp due to a hamstring injury, and first-round pick Rashod Bateman will begin the season on IR. Therefore, we could see Jackson lean on his rushing ability (even more) early in the season, which isn't necessarily a bad thing for fantasy purposes.

Fantasy Football CTA for PRO

Tier 3

Tom Brady (vs. DAL)
Jalen Hurts (@ ATL)
Russell Wilson (@ IND)

New Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees loves to blitz, but that could be a recipe for disaster against a mobile quarterback like Jalen Hurts. It was a small sample size (45 dropbacks), but Hurts ranked in the top 10 in nearly every metric against the blitz last year. So it will not surprise me if Hurts posts the top QB score of Week 1.