Week 1 Fantasy Football WR Report: Best Matchups and the Elite No. 1

Week 1 Fantasy Football WR Report: Best Matchups and the Elite No. 1 article feature image

Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) warms up before playing the New England Patriots at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Action Network ranked fantasy football wide receivers across standard, PPR and half-point PPR leagues for Week 1.
  • We break down three favorable wide receiver matchups, including Larry Fitzgerald against Washington.
  • We also break down why you should fade one NFC team's top WR in Week 1.

Which wide receivers have the most favorable fantasy matchups? Whom should you fade?

Here’s a breakdown of five of the top fantasy football wide receivers, as ranked by Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon and Matthew Freedman in their Week 1 fantasy football rankings.

The No. 1 WR

Antonio Brown

Unsurprisingly, our experts have Brown as the No. 1 WR across standard, PPR and half-point PPR leagues.

Brown led the Steelers last season with 45% of their market share of air yards and 30% of their target share, and he leads all receivers in FantasyLabs floor, median and ceiling projections for his Week 1 matchup against the Browns.

The Most Favorable Matchups

Michael Thomas

Per Pro Football Focus, Thomas’ 2.39 yards per route run ranked fourth among receivers last season (min. 50 targets), and he dominated the Saints’ pass-catchers in target share (28%).

The matchup against the Buccaneers suits him well, considering Tampa Bay allowed a league-high 4,169 passing yards and 7.3 net yards per attempt last year.

Koerner, Freedman and Raybon have Thomas ranked as their No. 6 WR.

>> All odds as of 12 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.

Larry Fitzgerald

The good news is that Fitzgerald ran 62% of his routes from the slot last season, per PFF. The even better news is that slot corner Kendall Fuller, PFF’s No. 3 CB in coverage last season with Washington, is now in Kansas City.

And the best news? The Redskins’ new slot corner, Fabian Moreau, allowed 2.75 yards per snap in coverage in last year, the second-highest mark among corners who played at least 40 snaps.

Cooper Kupp

The Raiders struggled to defend the pass last season, ranking 30th in Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) metric.

Kupp averaged just 6.3 targets per game last season, but he led the Rans with 23 red zone targets, which was also tied for the third-most red zone targets in the league.

The Fades

Doug Baldwin

Baldwin (knee) practiced in full Wednesday, but he admitted his knee won’t be 100% this year. To make matters worse, Baldwin ran 73.1% of his snaps in the slot last season, which makes him likely to see plenty of one of the league’s best slot corners in Chris Harris Jr. 

Per Ian Hartiz, Harris Jr. has ranked first the past three years in snaps per reception allowed while in slot coverage.

Want another edge? Be sure to keep up with the week’s news on FantasyLabs.

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