1 of 5 | Atlanta Falcons pass catcher Drake London (C) is my No. 20 fantasy football wide receiver for Week 1. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Drake London is among my three must-start wide receivers for Week 1 of the fantasy football season.
The NFL season started Thursday, with many fantasy lineup decisions being made up until kickoff between the Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions. Those decisions will continue until Monday night's Week 1 finale between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.
My Week 1 rankings for quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends remain available for your preparation. These rankings were updated after Thursday's games and will continue to be altered for other developments, including injuries.
You need to figure out the correct Week 1 lineup to maximize point production. Consider difficulty or ease of matchup, injury status and expected game script when deciding between options at each position.
All of my must-start wide receivers rank inside the Top 24 of my Top 50 positional rankings, which are available below.
New Orleans Saints
star Chris Olave (R) is the No. 9 player in my Week 1 wide receiver rankings. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI
Olave showed off his playmaking ability, totaling 1,042 yards and four scores on 72 catches last season, despite a rookie learning curve and inconsistency from New Orleans Saints quarterbacks.
The Saints went out and acquired Derek Carr this off-season. I expect Carr to improve the Saints offense, which should lean on the passing game a bit more at the start of the year because of running back Alvin Kamara's suspension.
They will start the season against the Tennessee Titans, who allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers in 2022.
Look for Olave to snag at least eight catches for 100 yards and a score in Week 1. He is my No. 9 play.
London is my No. 20 option for Week 1, when the Atlanta Falcons face the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers allowed the fourth-most receiving yards and fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers last season.
The Falcons will likely be a run-centric offense yet again in 2023, but look for London to see most of the receiving targets. London totaled nine catches for 69 yards and a score in two games last season against the Panthers. I expect him to eclipse those numbers Sunday in Atlanta.
London can be trusted as a low-end WR2 or high-end WR3.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans
is the No. 22 player in my Week 1 rankings. File Photo by Steve Nesius/UPI
Tom Brady is no longer a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and other capable weapons remain on the roster. Baker Mayfield -- the Buccaneers' new quarterback -- and is capable of keeping fantasy football relevance alive for those pass catchers.
Evans scored just six times last season, but remains one of the best red zone targets in the NFL. The 6-foot-5 wide receiver averaged more than 10 touchdowns per year from 2018 through 2021. Look for the veteran to get close to that total again in 2023.
The Buccaneers start the season against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings allowed the most catches and receiving yards to wide receivers in 2022. They also allowed the second-most fantasy points to the position.
The Buccaneers could find themselves playing from behind a lot this season, especially in Week 1, when they play on the road. That should lead to more targets for all of the Buccaneers' pass catchers. Evans' upside in the red zone is the main reason for his placement as the No. 22 player in my wide receiver rankings for Week 1.
He can be plugged in as a WR2 or WR3.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (L) leads my Week 1 rankings. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI
Week 1 fantasy football wide receiver rankings
1. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings vs. TB
2. Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals at CLE
3. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles at NE
4. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys at NYG
5. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers vs. MIA
6. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins at LAC
7. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks vs. LAR
8. Calvin Ridley, Jacksonville Jaguars at IND
9. Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints vs. TEN
10. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills at NYJ
11. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins at LAC
12. Garrett Wilson, New York Jets vs. BUF
13. DeAndre Hopkins, Tennessee Titans at NO
14. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders at DEN
15. D.J. Moore, Chicago Bears vs. GB
16. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals at CLE
17. DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles at NE
18. Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers at PIT
19. Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers at CHI
20. Drake London, Atlanta Falcons vs. CAR
21. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers vs. MIA
22. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MIN
23. Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns vs. CIN
24. Brandin Cooks, Dallas Cowboys at NYG
25. Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings vs. TB
26. Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts vs. JAX
27. Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals at WAS
28. Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers at PIT
29. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints vs. TEN
30. Dionatae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. SF
31. Adam Thielen, Carolina Panthers at ATL
32. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks vs. LAR
33. Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders vs. ARI
34. JuJu Smith-Schuster, New England Patriots vs. PHI
35. Allen Lazard, New York Jets vs. BUF
36. Marvin Mims, Denver Broncos vs. LV
37. George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. SF
38. Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams at SEA
39. Odell Beckham Jr., Baltimore Ravens vs. HOU
40. Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars at IND
41. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MIN
42. Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos vs. LV
43. Jakobi Meyers, Las Vegas Raiders at DEN
44. Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens vs. HOU
45. Jonathan Mingo, Carolina Panthers at ATL
46. Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears vs. GB
47. Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans at NO
48. Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders at DEN
49. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seattle Seahawks vs. LAR
50. Elijah Moore, Cleveland Browns vs. CIN