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Fantasy Football: Week 1 wide receiver rankings

By Alex Butler
Fantasy Football: Week 1 wide receiver rankings
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) eludes tackle of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) on November 12 at the LA Coliseum in Los Angeles. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 6 (UPI) -- It doesn't matter if you are in a wide receiver heavy league or you only need to start two players at the position, it is very important to have a reliable pass catcher in your lineup to start the 2018 fantasy football season.

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins tops my Week 1 rankings at the position. Los Angeles Chargers star Keenan Allen, Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown, New Orleans Saints target Michael Thomas and Green Bay Packers star Devante Adams round out my top five at the position this week.

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If you started your draft running back heavy, you probably don't have any of those players as an option in your lineup. But fear not, there are many great options to open the 2018 season.

Here are my Top 50 options at the position this week.

RELATED Fantasy Football: Week 1 quarterback rankings

TOP 50 WEEK 1 RANKINGS BELOW

TOP SHELF

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen is a great start this week and is my No. 2 player at the position for Week 1. Allen finished the 2017 season as the third-best wide receiver in fantasy football. He also made his first Pro Bowl after bringing in 102 receptions for 1,393 yards and six scores. I expect another strong year from the five-year veteran. Allen opens the season with a matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in 2017.

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New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) takes a Drew Brees pass 13 yards against the Carolina Panthers in the second quarter of a Wild Card playoff game on January 7 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI

New Orleans Saints star Michael Thomas is my No. 4 option at wide receiver for Week 1. Thomas is also coming off of a huge 2017 campaign, but didn't reach the end zone as much as he should have. That should improve this season and I expect him to rebound early with a big day against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in 2017 and Thomas should be targeted regularly, especially in the red zone.

SNEAKY PLAYS

If you need help from a deeper target, don't shy away from starting Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson. I have Robinson ranked as my No. 24 option at the position, or as a low-end WR2 in deeper leagues. I expect plenty of targets from the former Jacksonville Jaguars playmaker. I also like that he is facing the Green Bay Packers, a team that allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in 2017. I also expect the Bears to be playing from behind here, which should improve Robinson's target number.

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Will Fuller is always a home run threat and I expect Houston Texans gunslinger Deshaun Watson to look for him with regularity against the New England Patriots. Last season, the Patriots allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. With the Patriots focussing on Pro Bowl pass catcher DeAndre Hopkins, I expect Fuller to use his speed to burn defenders on a few deep routes. Fuller is my No, 35 option this week, making him a WR3 in deeper leagues.

LONGSHOTS

Allen Hurns is another former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver that could be worth a shot in Week 1. The Dallas Cowboys pass catcher is one of the few veteran pass catchers available for Dak Prescott to open the season. He is also facing the Carolina Panthers, a team that allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers last season. Hurns is my No. 41 option and a fringe WR3 at best.

RANKNAMETEAMOPPONENT
1DeAndre HopkinsHouston Texansat NE
2Keenan AllenLos Angeles Chargersvs. KC
3Antonio BrownPittsburgh Steelersat CLE
4Michael ThomasNew Orleans Saintsvs. TB
5Davante AdamsGreen Bay Packersvs. CHI
6A.J. GreenCincinnati Bengalsat IND
7Julio JonesAtlanta Falconsat PHI
8Adam ThielenMinnesota Vikingsvs. SF
9Larry FitzgeraldArizona Cardinalsvs. WAS
10Stefon DiggsMinnesota Vikingsvs. SF
11Mike EvansTampa Bay Buccaneersat NO
12T.Y. HiltonIndianapolis Coltsvs. CIN
13Tyreek HillKansas City Chiefsat LAC
14Josh GordonCleveland Brownsvs. PIT
15Odell Beckham Jr.New York Giantsvs. JAC
16Chris HoganNew England Patriotsvs. HOU
17Amari CooperOakland Raidersvs. LAR
18Eric EbronIndianapolis Coltsvs. CIN
19Doug BaldwinSeattle Seahawksat DEN
20Emmanuel SandersDenver Broncosvs. SEA
21JuJu Smith-SchusterPittsburgh Steelersat CLE
22Michael CrabtreeBaltimore Ravensvs. BUF
23Golden TateDetroit Lionsvs. NYJ
24Allen RobinsonChicago Bearsat GB
25Jarvis LandryCleveland Brownsvs. PIT
26Jamison CrowderWashington Redskinsat ARI
27Robby AndersonNew York Jetsat DET
28Demaryius ThomasDenver Broncosvs. SEA
29Marvin JonesDetroit Lionsvs. NYJ
30Brandin CooksLos Angeles Ramsat OAK
31Corey DavisTennessee Titansat MIA
32Marquise GoodwinSan Francisco 49ersat MIN
33Sammy WatkinsKansas City Chiefsat LAC
34Cooper KuppLos Angeles Ramsat OAK
35Will FullerHouston Texansat NE
36Kenny StillsMiami Dolphinsvs. TEN
37Keelan ColeJacksonville Jaguarsat NYG
38Robert WoodsLos Angeles Ramsat OAK
39Nelson AgholorPhiladelphia Eaglesvs. ATL
40Randall CobbGreen Bay Packersvs. CHI
41Allen HurnsDallas Cowboysat CAR
42Kenny GolladayDetroit Lionsvs. NYJ
43Jordy NelsonOakland Raidersvs. LAR
44Rishard MatthewsTennessee Titansat MIA
45John RossCincinnati Bengalsat IND
46Pierre GarconSan Francisco 49ersat MIN
47Devin FunchessCarolina Panthersvs. DAL
48Mike WilliamsLos Angeles Chargersvs. KC
49Kelvin BenjaminBuffalo Billsat BAL
50Josh DoctsonWashington Redskinsat ARI

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay is another dart throw for me in Week 1. I have him ranked just behind Hurns at No. 42. If you have to start Golladay, just know that the matchup is on your side. He is facing the New York Jets, a team that allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers in 2017. I also expect the Lions and Jets to have a bit of a shootout, opening the door for Golladay to make some big plays.

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