While in the NFL the quarterback is the most important player on the field, in fantasy football that is not the case. That is why so many people utilize the streaming quarterback strategy, which means playing the quarterback with the highest upside based on their matchup. Using the NFL fantasy football rankings, these are the top five Week 1 streaming quarterbacks to look for in your first fantasy football matchup of the year.
Week 1 Fantasy Football Streaming Quarterbacks
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Bengals)
Kirk Cousins has been perfectly fine for fantasy football in his time with the Vikings. Their game with Cincinnati has one of the higher totals of the week, set at 48. Both teams have solid offenses and do not have great defenses. Although losing Irv Smith Jr is a big loss, it should have little impact on this matchup.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Eagles)
Losing Julio Jones in the offseason scared many fantasy players away from drafting Matt Ryan. Last season without Jones, Ryan averaged fewer fantasy points. This can be attributed to fewer passing touchdowns per game without Jones and more interceptions per game without Jones. But what this analysis does not account for is the addition of Kyle Pitts. who many are calling Calvin Johnson at the tight end position. If Pitts can fill Jones’ void in the offense, Ryan should be just fine. This matchup against the Eagles also projects to be a high-scoring game, with a 48 expected total, making it another case of solid offenses going against defenses that are not the best.
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (at Texans)
This matchup against the Texans marks the start of Trevor Lawrence’s career. While normally a rookie quarterback in their first game is not a player to target, this matchup is too good to miss. Without Deshaun Watson, the Texans are one of the worst teams in the NFL. This game does not have a super high total, but that is mostly due to the Texans offense. DJ Chark Jr and Marvin Jones Jr are both expected to be healthy for this game, which gives Lawrence a huge boost.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (at Lions)
While Trey Lance has earned the right to start at this point, all signs point to Jimmy Garoppolo being the starter in Week 1 against the Lions. The Lions stand absolutely zero chance against the 49ers offense. Even if Brandon Aiyuk is on the bench with the hamstring injury, it will not matter. George Kittle and Deebo Samuel will do the trick in dismantling a terrible Lions defense. The only worry here is the 49ers could score so many points that Garoppolo is benched for Lance.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (vs. Green Bay)
Jameis Winston is by far the riskiest pick on this list. This is a matchup that will prove to be tough for Winston without his main target in Michael Thomas, especially up against a strong Packers defense. But at the same time, Vegas projects this game to have a 50-point total. Even without a star wide receiver like Thomas, Winston has proven that he can succeed without a true alpha wide receiver. When Mike Evans and Chris Godwin got hurt at the end of the 2019 season, Winston still put up respectable numbers. As such, fantasy players can do far worse than Winston if looking down the waiver wire in Week 1.
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