Fantasy football: Lawrence, Richardson among five start-worthy QBs for Week 1

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the No. 2 option in my Week 1 rankings. File Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI
1 of 5 | Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the No. 2 option in my Week 1 rankings. File Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Trevor Lawrence and Anthony Richardson are among five start-worthy fantasy football quarterbacks for Week 1.

Elite options like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert should never leave your lineup, but some fantasy football team owners might choose to stream the position because of good matchups.


My five must-start options this week should excel based on friendly matchups. Some almost could lead you to victory singlehandedly, while others might produce just enough to keep you in the game.

Herbert and Lawrence lead my Top 20 Week 1 rankings, which are listed below. Each of my start-worthy players either rank inside of my Top 14 or are on the fringe.

My Week 1 rankings for running backs, wide receivers and tight ends remain available for your preparation. These rankings were updated after Thursday's game and will continue to be altered for other developments, including injuries.

Quarterback Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers will face the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif. File Photo by Mike Goulding/UPI

Justin Herbert

Herbert tops my Week 1 rankings. The Los Angeles Chargers star will face the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif. The Dolphins allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks last season. They also surrendered the fifth-most passing yards and seventh-most touchdown passes.

Herbert threw for a season-high 367 yards against the Dolphins last season. I expect this game to be a back-and-forth shootout, with Herbert using his array of weapons to pile up passing statistics and fantasy points.

Herbert is a near-lock for at least 300 passing yards and three scores.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) and the Jacksonville Jaguars will battle the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday in Indianapolis. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI

Trevor Lawrence

Lawrence is the No. 2 player in my Week 1 rankings. The Jacksonville Jaguars playmaker is poised to break out in 2023, armed with a healthy backfield and new top target Calvin Ridley.

The No. 10 quarterback in my season-long rankings should get off to a terrific start against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday in Indianapolis. The Colts allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks last season.

Look for Lawrence to throw for close to 300 yards and find the end zone multiple times.


Anthony Richardson

Richardson is a low-end QB1 this week, but could work his way inside the Top 10 with a great rookie debut. The Colts quarterback showed off his athleticism, including speed and throwing power, at the combine and in the preseason.

That skillset should lead to a lot of fantasy football opportunities for his stock owners, especially as the Colts play without running back Jonathan Taylor through at least the first four games.

Richardson's Week 1 matchup will be against a Jaguars defense that allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2022. The Jaguars also surrendered the third-most rushing yards and sixth-most passing yards to the position last season.

This matchup is set up perfectly for Richardson, who should run for at least 60 yards and throw for 200 yards. He could reach the Top 10 if he totals multiple touchdowns.

Sam Howell

Howell is a lower-end streaming option this week because of the Washington Commanders' great matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.

The addition of offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy should provide a boost to the entire Commanders attack, especially Howell. The Cardinals tied for allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks last season.

The Commanders could lean on their running game in this matchup, but I still expect Howell to spread the ball out and throw a touchdown pass or two against this vulnerable defense, which allowed the second-most points and surrendered the fifth-most passing scores and ninth-most passing yards in 2022.


Derek Carr

Carr went undrafted in many fantasy leagues, but should have value early on this season because of a decent schedule and the New Orleans Saints' playmakers.

The veteran quarterback totaled 24 touchdown passes in 2022, his second highest total since 2016. Now he is throwing to Chris Olave and Michael Thomas. That trio will open the season against the Tennessee Titans, who allowed the most passing yards and fifth-most passing scores last season.

Carr and the Saints could get behind in this matchup, which should lead to more passing attempts. I expect Carr, my No. 15 option, to throw at least two touchdown passes.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is the No. 10 player in my Week 1 rankings. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI

Week 1 fantasy football quarterback rankings

1. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers vs. MIA

2. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars at IND

3. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles at NE

4. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals at CLE

5. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears vs. GB

6. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins at LAC

7. Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets vs. BUF


8. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills at NYJ

9. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens vs. HOU

10. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks vs. LAR

11. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings vs. TB

12. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys at NYG

13. Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts vs. JAX

14. Sam Howell, Washington Commanders vs. ARI

15. Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints vs. TEN

16. Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns vs. CIN

17. Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MIN

18. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos vs. LV

19. Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers vs. PIT

20. Daniel Jones, New York Giants vs. DAL

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