Fantasy football: Chase, Evans top Week 1 wide receiver rankings

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (R) is my No. 1 option for Week 1. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/94f60f4a519fb3795ad2d612f6a22c61/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (R) is my No. 1 option for Week 1. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Ja'Marr Chase, Mike Evans, CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson and Michael Pittman Jr. top my Week 1 fantasy football wide receiver rankings for 2022.

Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel and JuJu Smith-Schuster round out my Top 10 options for Week 1. Michael Thomas also is one of my favorite wide receivers to start this week.


Target players who have a good chance to score a touchdown and get a lot of looks from their respective quarterbacks when considering who to start at wide receiver.

Here are some of my favorite players in this week's rankings:

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is my No. 2 option for Week 1. Evans and the Buccaneers will play against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night in Arlington, Texas.


The Cowboys tied for allowing the ninth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers last season. They also allowed the seventh-most receiving yards to wide receivers.

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Evans did not score in his lone matchup against the Cowboys in 2021, but went on to total 14 touchdowns last season. He also logged his eighth-consecutive 1,000-yard campaign. Look for quarterback Tom Brady to keep looking his way, especially inside the red zone.

Indianapolis Colts playmaker Michael Pittman Jr. lands at No. 5 in my Week 1 rankings and should be an elite play in great matchups throughout the 2022 season.

The Colts will start the season with a game against the Houston Texans. The Texans allowed the sixth-most receiving yards and eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers in 2021.

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Pittman, one of my pre-draft breakout candidates, did not score in his two matchups last season against the Texans, but I expect at least 100 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.


New Kansas City Chiefs weapon JuJu Smith-Schuster is my No. 10 wide receiver for Week 1. Smith-Schuster can be plugged in as a low-end WR1 or a high-end WR2 to open the season.


The Chiefs will face the Arizona Cardinals in their season opener. The Cardinals allowed a league-high 27 receiving touchdowns and the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers last season.

Tyreek Hill is no longer in Kansas City, which will likely lead to more balance in the Chiefs' attack. I like Smith-Schuster out of all the Chiefs targets -- not named Travis Kelce -- in Week 1.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas is set to face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1.

Thomas is my No. 18 option and should be a great WR2 play in leagues with at least 14 teams. He is likely a better option in points-per-reception formats, but I expect enough value to warrant a start in any league.

The Falcons allowed the fifth-most receptions and tied for allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers last season.

I expect this game to be a shootout, with Thomas receiving at least 10 targets.


New York Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney comes in at No. 20 in my Week 1 rankings.

Toney's Giants will meet the Tennessee Titans. The Titans were one of the worst teams at defending wide receivers in 2021, when they allowed the second-most fantasy points and receiving yards to the position.


Toney is worth a start at WR2 or WR3, specially if you are in a league with 14 teams or more.

The Giants wide receiver did not score a touchdown last season, but showed a lot of explosiveness and potential. I expect him to reach the end zone in Week 1.

Week 1 fantasy football wide receiver rankings

1. Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals vs. PIT

2. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at DAL

3. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys vs. TB

4. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings vs. GB

5. Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts at HOU

6. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders at LAC

7. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins vs. NE1

8. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles at DET

9. Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers at CHI

10. Juju Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs at ARI

11. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals vs. PIT

12. Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals vs. KC

13. D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers vs. CLE

14. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers vs. LV

15. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings vs. GB


16. Dionatae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers at CIN

17. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks vs. DEN

18. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints at ATL

19. Julio Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at DAL

20. Kadarius Toney, New York Giants at TEN

21. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers vs. LV

22. Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans vs. IND

23. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions vs. PHI

24. Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars at WAS

25. Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders vs. JAX

26. Robert Woods, Tennessee Titans vs. NYG

27. Drake London, Atlanta Falcons vs. NO

28. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins vs. NE

29. Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers at CHI

30. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks vs. DEN

31. Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders at LAC

32. Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos at SEA

33. Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens at NYJ

34. DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles at DET

35. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at DAL

36. Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns at CAR


37. Devante Parker, New England Patriots at MIA

38. Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints at ATL

39. Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos at SEA

40. Elijah Moore, New York Jets vs BAL

41. Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears vs. SF

42. Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers vs. CLE

43. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals vs. PIT

44. George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers at CIN

45. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kansas City Chiefs at ARI

46. Sammy Watkins, Green Bay Packers at MIN

47. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers at MIN

48. Jalen Tolbert, Dallas Cowboys vs. TB

49. Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers at CIN

50. Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots at MIA

Pittsburgh Steelers defeat Detroit Lions

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky throws in the first quarter against the Detroit Lions during an NFL preseason game at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh on August 28, 2022. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

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