After a season that can only be described as “weird,” NFL football finally returns in full force this week! Along with a loaded slate of games comes the kickoff of 2021 fantasy football leagues everywhere. While it’s hard to advise going against your studs in the first week of a brand new season, several owners might find themselves already facing difficult situations when it comes to the back end of their Week 1 starting lineups. My word of advice: do not be shy about weighing positive matchups over a player’s preseason fantasy football ADP. For those looking to do just that in Week 1, this article is for you!
Read on for three fantasy football wide receiver “streamer” options for the opening week of the NFL season. Despite having mid-to-late round ADPs, these players have a great chance to make hay in favorable Week 1 matchups. In addition, at the end of the article is a list of highly-regarded fantasy football wide receivers who might be worth fading in difficult matchups this week.
Week 1 Fantasy Football WR Streamers
Robby Anderson | Carolina Panthers (vs. NYJ)
With a fantasy football ADP that saw him go early in the seventh round of drafts, Panthers’ wideout Robby Anderson is certainly being respected more than he was a season ago. After not being drafted at all in numerous leagues, Anderson exploded in his first season in Carolina. Now, he is reunited with former New York Jets teammate Sam Darnold. That rapport combined with the brilliant offensive minds of coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady could prove lethal in 2021. While Anderson isn’t the only receiver Darnold will have at his disposal, the fact that they already played together in New York could be huge especially early on in the season.
Quite fittingly, the Panthers open up their season by hosting none other than the New York Jets. In addition to the revenge game angle for both Anderson and Darnold, the Jets’ secondary figures to be a positive fantasy football matchup for wide receivers all season long. The corners are all young and inexperienced. Multiple preseason injuries to the front seven also helped to weaken the Jets’ pass rush. Drafted as a WR3, Anderson should be viewed as a WR2 with upside in Week 1.
D.J. Chark | Jacksonville Jaguars (at HOU)
After being forced to miss the preseason with a broken finger, star Jaguars wideout D.J. Chark has been cleared for the team’s season-opener. Both Chark and coach Urban Meyer have been consistent with saying that he would be ready for Week 1. Reports from camp suggest that the 24-year-old is back to 100%. After missing a slew of games and seeing his production drop last season, there is reason to be excited about Chark’s fantasy football outlook in 2021. Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence should boost both the Jags’ passing attack and Chark’s fantasy value immediately.
In addition to having a shiny new QB passing him the ball, Chark gets an extremely favorable Week 1 matchup against the Houston Texans. A bottom four adjusted pass defense last season, Houston arguably only got worse in the offseason. While there will be growing pains with a rookie quarterback, it’s hard to think of a better Week 1 matchup. A tenth-round fantasy football ADP seems to undermine the talent Chark brings to the table. Despite being drafted well below fellow wideout Laviska Shenault Jr., look for Chark to remain the alpha WR in Duval County until further notice.
Marquise Brown | Baltimore Ravens (at LV)
Recommending a wideout from the NFL’s worst passing offense a year ago as a Week 1 fantasy football streamer takes some guts. Well, we are doing just that with Marquise Brown. The Ravens’ passing attack will remain suspect until further notice so long as Lamar Jackson is the team’s quarterback. That being said, after losing top running back J.K. Dobbins for the season, there could be a little added onus to air it out in the early going. When it comes to pass-catchers, the loss of Dobbins reduces the impact of the RB position tremendously. As such, Brown joins tight end Mark Andrews as Jackson’s clear go-to weapons.
While the Baltimore passing attack is unattractive overall for fantasy football, Week 1 could prove productive. A Monday night matchup against the porous Las Vegas Raiders secondary could be just the ticket for Brown to start the season off on a high note. Look for Brown to outperform his 12th-round fantasy football ADP this week. Consider him safely in the WR3 discussion.
High ADP Wide Receivers Facing Tough Week 1 Matchups
- Keenan Allen | Los Angeles Chargers (at WAS)
- Allen Robinson | Chicago Bears (at LAR)
- Diontae Johnson | Pittsburgh Steelers (at BUF)