Charch's Week 1 Quarterback Rankings

RankPlayer
1
TB @NO

[UPDATE: THE BUCS WILL BE WITHOUT CORNERBACKS BRENT GRIMES AND DE'VANTE HARRIS] Drew Brees frustrated fantasy owners last season with only 23 touchdown passes, his lowest in 13 seasons. He should see some positive regression this season starting with a fantastic matchup against Tampa. They were miserable against the pass last season, ranking second-to-last in pass defense per Football Outsiders and allowing the second-most passing yards. The Bucs tried to beef up their pass rush by acquiring defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry. They'll help to pressure Brees, but they don't play in the secondary, the biggest weakness for the Bucs defense. In two games against the Bucs last season, Brees averaged 254 passing yards and 1.5 touchdown passes, and with Mark Ingram suspended, the Saints may ask Brees to throw more as they approach pay dirt. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 9.75/10

2
HOU @NE

Tom Brady torched the Texans early last season for 378 yards and five touchdowns. Houston and their injury-riddled defense were miserable against the pass a year ago, allowing the third-most touchdown passes. They should be in far better shape with the return of JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus, along with the signing of safety Tyrann Mathieu. With the Julian Edelman suspension, Brady and the Pats are a little thin at wide receiver as Chris Hogan is the only wideout to have ever caught a pass from Brady. The Texans were roasted by tight ends last season allowing the fourth-most touchdown receptions and the sixth-most receiving yards and receptions to the position, so Gronk alone should make Brady an elite start. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 9.75/10

Matthew Stafford is coming off a lousy preseason in which he totaled just six points on his drives. However, help is on the way with the Jets' shabby pass defense that allowed the second-most touchdown passes last season. The Jets added cornerback Trumaine Johnson to help the secondary, but that may not be enough to fix it. The Lions passed the ball 63% of the time last season which was second-most in the league and they retained offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter (not sure if that's a good thing). Last season, Stafford averaged an impressive 2.1 touchdown passes and 283 yards per game at Ford Field. Stafford, with the fifth-most passing air yards last season, should find success downfield to Marvin Jones, who had the most receiving air yards, as the Jets allowed the third-most air yards a season ago. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 9.50/10

4

If the preseason is any indication, the Chiefs rebuilt secondary will be among the worst in the league as their first teamers were ripped apart by Matt Ryan, Chase Daniel, and even Brandon Weeden. They downgraded at cornerback over the offseason, moving from Marcus Peters to Kendall Fuller. And they may not get Eric Berry back from his Achilles injury. Rivers was awful in this matchup last year, throwing only one touchdown pass against six interceptions. But this year's version of the Chiefs defense looks a lot wobblier, and a bounce back is expected. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 9.50/10

5

Aaron Rodgers draws a tough matchup against the Bears, as underrated defensive coordinator Vic Fangio gets new weapons at his disposal in the form of first-round linebacker Roquan Smith and stud pass rusher Khalil Mack. Those additions will help an already stout defense that gave up the fourth-fewest touchdown passes and seventh-fewest passing yards to quarterbacks a season ago. If history is any indication, Rodgers should be safe for touchdowns, as he's thrown for seven in his last two home games against Chicago, but certainly not guaranteed. The loss of a Rodgers' favorite Jordy Nelson, should be offset by tight end Jimmy Graham, who had ten touchdown receptions with the Seahawks last season, second most for any pass catcher, and the most for tight ends. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 9.50/10

6
CIN @IND

Andy Dalton is a great play this week as he starts the new season with a mouth-watering matchup against a brutally bad Colts secondary. Dalton had a solid game against the Colts a season ago throwing for 243 yards and two touchdown passes. And that feels like the basement for Dalton, as the Bengals upgraded their abysmal offensive line by drafting Billy Price in the first round and acquiring Cordy Glenn. Dalton was better on the road last season, averaging two touchdown passes per game. AJ Green alone could propel Dalton to fantasy success. Green scored in this matchup last year and has looked terrific in preseason action with Dalton. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 9.25/10

[UPDATE: DOWNGRADED SLIGHTLY ON THE EXPECTATION THAT WILL FULLER WILL NOT PLAY]. Deshaun Watson will look to pick up where he left off in last season's injury-shortened season, where he averaged a staggering three touchdowns per game. One of those games was in New England where Watson had two touchdown passes, 301 passing yards and 41 rushing yards. Last season, New England gave up the second-most passing yards, but added cornerback Jason McCourty to their secondary and defensive end Adrian Clayborne to their pass rush. The Pats were drubbed by wide receivers last season giving up the third-most yards and fifth-most receptions to the position, and Watson has powerful receiving weapons in DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. He should produce favorable fantasy numbers even if he doesn't run much coming off the torn ACL. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 9.00/10

8
SF @MIN

Kirk Cousins gets a fantastic matchup to start his Vikings' career as he faces a 49ers team that had last year's fourth-worst pass defense per Football Outsiders. San Francisco added cornerback Richard Sherman to help shore up the secondary, but this is his first game coming off a torn Achilles injury. Last year while in Washington, Cousins faced the 49ers and passed for 330 yards with two touchdowns and chipped in a rushing score. The San Francisco defense was particularly bad in the red zone a season ago, allowing the second-most touchdowns per game. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 9.00/10

9
DAL @CAR

The Cowboys were mediocre against the pass last season, and made no significant upgrades to their secondary in the offseason. Newton will look to the air for fantasy success, with a healthy Greg Olsen and dynamic playmaker Christian McCaffrey. Dallas struggled covering running backs last season allowing the fifth-most receptions and sixth-most receiving yardage to the position. Newton is always a threat to run, but note that the Cowboys have allowed only two quarterback rushing touchdowns over the past 32 games. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 9.00/10

[UPDATE 1: RAIN AND STRONG WINDS ARE FORECAST FOR THIS GAME. IT COULD EASILY AFFECT THE PASSING GAME.] It's déjà vu all over again for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, they open the season in Cleveland and Le'Veon Bell's status is, once again, uncertain. Last year, in virtually the same situation Roethlisberger threw for 263 yards and two touchdown passes. The Browns pass defense was not very good last season, but they did try to shore that up by signing cornerbacks EJ Gaines and TJ Carrie, and drafting cornerback Denzel Ward fourth overall. This new secondary will be put to the test right away by the talented Steeler wideouts: Antonio Brown, who has owned the Browns in his career, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and preseason sensation James Washington. With question marks around Bell, the Steelers gameplan should center around the Ben's arm. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 8.75/10

11

Last season's brutal offensive line didn't stop Russell Wilson as he averaged a career and league-high 2.4 touchdowns per game. With the departures of Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson, the Seahawks lost 217 receptions from last year, and Doug Baldwin's injured knee knocked him out of the preseason. Even with that uncertainty and a new offensive coordinator, Wilson performed well in preseason. Last season, the Broncos gave up the fifth-most passing touchdowns, but the third-fewest passing yards and boast shutdown slot corner Chris Harris, who will blanket Baldwin often. I'm also worried that edge rushers Bradley Chubb and Von Miller will wreak havoc on Seattle's limp offensive line. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 8.50/10

12
LAR @OAK

The Raiders just traded their best defensive player, Khalil Mack, and new coach Jon Gruden didn't upgrade last year's third-worst pass defense (per Football Outsiders) in the offseason. Last year, Jared Goff flourished on the road, averaging 2.3 touchdown passes and 231 passing yards. He also faced pass defenses ranked in the bottom third of the league (like Oakland) five times; in those games he averaged three touchdown passes and 313 passing yards per game. Goff should find fantasy success with his new wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who lit up the Raiders last season for 149 receiving yards and a touchdown while in New England. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 8.50/10

13
WAS @ARI
14
DAL @CAR

Dak Prescott was a high-level quarterback last season before Ezekiel Elliot's suspension kicked in. He averaged 2.5 total touchdowns, 227 passing yards and 24 rushing yards per game. Obviously, he'll have Zeke back for this game, and we'd take those stats in a heartbeat, but he likely won't have multiple starters from his offensive line. Be sure to check on the status of Travis Fredrick, Zack Martin, La'el Collins, and Tyron Smith. Carolina drafted cornerbacks Donte Jackson and Rashaan Gaulden to help beef up the secondary, but it's unlikely they'll operate at a high level in their first NFL game. Dak could find fantasy success with new receivers Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup, as Carolina gave up the second-most receptions, fourth-most yards and sixth-most touchdowns to the position a season ago. Carolina hasn't allowed a quarterback rushing touchdown in 31 straight games. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 8.00/10

15
SEA @DEN
16

[UPDATE: SLIGHT UPGRADE WITH THE NEWS THAT CHARGERS DE JOEY BOSA WILL MISS THIS GAME.] Patrick Mahomes is going to be an all-or-nothing fantasy producer, and I'm worried that it's a "nothing" week. He has a brutal matchup against a smothering pass defense that allowed the third-fewest touchdown passes and the fourth-fewest passing yards. They also sport a fearsome pass rush, led by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. They drafted safety Derwin James in the first round to further strengthen their secondary, but then lost cornerback Jason Verrett for the season due to injury. In last season's games against the Chargers, Alex Smith was able to throw for two touchdown passes but only averaged 191 yards passing. The best thing working in Mahomes favor will be volume. I expect the Chargers to be ahead for much of the game, and Mahomes will need to pass regularly. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 8.25/10

17
JAC @NYG

You've got to pick your spots with Blake Bortles, but he's a valid play this week thanks to a favorable matchup with the Giants. New York allowed the most passing touchdowns and third-most passing yards last season. They added slot corner William Gay in an attempt to improve their pass defense, but they're unlikely to reverse a pass defense that allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. The Jaguars always prefer to run the ball with Leonard Fournette, but that may be difficult against Snacks Harrison and a stacked front four. The path of least resistance is definitely through the air. Bortles should find success throwing to new tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins as the Giants were annihilated by tight ends last season, allowing the most touchdown receptions and the most yardage to the position. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 8.25/10

18
BUF @BAL
19
ATL @PHI

Matt Ryan was a wreck for fantasy owners last year, but he's only a year removed from an MVP season in which he averaged 309 passing yards and 2.4 touchdowns per game. The Eagles added defensive lineman Michael Bennett to their stout front four. We think of the Eagles as an elite pass defense, but they ended up right in the middle of the pack in most metrics, and had four games where they gave up 342, 366, 429, and 500 passing yards respectively. Ryan has faced the Eagles in three straight years and finished with modest numbers, averaging just 258 yards and 1.3 touchdowns. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 8.00/10

20
ATL @PHI

Eagles fans, remember when Nick Foles made y'all jump down Crisco-laced street poles after the Super Bowl win? Well, it's time to start a second run without Carson Wentz. Foles played the Falcons in an artic playoff game last year and managed just 246 scoreless yards. His preseason struggles are a tad worrying as well. The Falcons have an above-average pass defense with playmakers in the secondary including cornerback Desmond Trufant and safety Keanu Neal. With no Alshon Jeffrey in this game, Foles will need to attack the Falcons by passing to his running backs, Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement and Darren Sproles. Atlanta gave up the most receptions and fifth-most receiving yards to running backs a season ago. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 7.75/10

Trubisky must've felt like he jumped in a time machine going from the archaic offense he ran with the Bears a season ago to the forward-thinking Matt Nagy, the Bears new head coach. Trubisky gets an outstanding matchup in his first game against the Packers and their seventh-worst pass defense from last year (according to Football Outsiders). They also gave up the second-most touchdown passes . The Packers attempted to shore up their secondary by signing Kyle Fuller and drafting Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson. And they'll implement a new scheme under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. But that's a lot of moving parts that need to come together in the season's first week. Trubisky showed well this preseason, showing particular chemistry with tight end Trey Burton. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 7.75/10

22

At this time last year, many people pegged Marcus Mariota as a fantasy sleeper, but it didn't go as planned as he had an injury-riddled and inconsistent season. Mariota's lackluster preseason has us a tad nervous, but he has a tantalizing matchup against the Dolphins and their fourth-worst pass defense a season ago (per Football Outsiders). He should find fantasy success with tight end Delanie Walker as Miami gave up the second-most touchdown receptions and receiving yards to the position. The Dolphins added safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in the draft to try to fix this deficiency, but that could be a tall order in his first NFL game. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 7.75/10

23
WAS @ARI

Drew Brees frustrated fantasy owners last season with only 23 touchdown passes, his lowest in 13 seasons. He should see some positive regression this season starting with a fantastic matchup against Tampa. They were miserable against the pass last season, ranking second-to-last in pass defense per Football Outsiders and allowing the second-most passing yards. The Bucs tried to beef up their pass rush by acquiring defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry. They'll help to pressure Brees, but they don't play in the secondary, the biggest weakness for the Bucs defense. In two games against the Bucs last season, Brees averaged 254 passing yards and 1.5 touchdown passes, and with Mark Ingram suspended, the Saints may ask Brees to throw more as they approach pay dirt. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2) Charch's Rating: 7.50/10

24
JAC @NYG
25

Starting the final five games of the season a year ago, Jimmy Garoppolo threw for an average of 308 yards per game. So, Jimmy G would be ranked much higher, except for his brutal matchup against the Vikings and their excellent pass defense. Boasting a shutdown corner in Xavier Rhodes, safety Harrison Smith and a host of others, Garoppolo will need to overcome the secondary that allowed the fewest touchdown passes last year. One thing though, he did face the Jaguars No.1-ranked pass defense at the end of last season, and he managed to throw for 242 yards and two touchdowns. That's a best case scenario here. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 7.50/10

27
CIN @IND

When Andrew Luck suits up on Sunday, it'll be his first meaningful football game in 616 days. And his preseason did nothing to assuage concerns over his shoulder, as he spent August throwing short, gentle, downright adorable passes. This matchup suits him, though. In two career games against the Bengals, he's averaged 335 passing yards and three touchdowns per contest. The Bengals had a middle-of-the-road pass defense a season ago and their secondary remains pretty much the same as a year ago. The Colts upgraded their offensive line by drafting guard Quentin Nelson sixth overall, but the good news seems to end there for Luck. There's a possible scenario where the Colts fall behind badly, and Frank Reich decides to protect Luck by putting in Jacoby Brissett. -Chris Wollmuth (@bigsmoot2)
Charch's Rating: 7.50/10

28
LAR @OAK
29
PIT @CLE

[UPDATE: RAIN AND STRONG WINDS ARE FORECAST FOR THIS GAME. IT COULD EASILY AFFECT THE PASSING GAME. TAYLOR HAS BEEN DOWNGRADED SLIGHTLY.]
Charch's Rating: 7.00/10

30
31
NYJ @DET
32
33
ATL @PHI
34
BUF @BAL
36
37
NYJ @DET
39
BUF @BAL
40
WAS @ARI
41
42
HOU @NE
44
LAR @OAK
48
JAC @NYG
49
NYJ @DET
51
CIN @IND
53
LAR @OAK
54
56
SEA @DEN
57
SEA @DEN
59
64
NYJ @DET
75
PIT @CLE
76
PIT @CLE
77
78
TEN @MIA
79
KC @LAC