Well it’s finally here. Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season has finally arrived and those drafts that you relentlessly prepared for are complete and now its the easy job of setting your first lineup of the season. I’ll be here every week with my D/ST rankings for fantasy football, and will breakdown the key teams you can look to start, top streamers, and my favorite value DFS play for the week ahead.
These rankings are subject to change throughout the week, so check back as any quarterback news drops to see how it’s reflected in my rankings. If you have any specific quarterback rankings or starts and sits questions, drop them in the comments or you can get me @PaddiCooper on Twitter.
Start of the Week
Baltimore Ravens @ Las Vegas Raiders – I’ve ranked the Ravens as my No. 1 defense for 2021 fantasy football and I have them setting the table early with a lopsided Week 1 matchup against the Raiders. Coming off a 2020 season where they finished as the DST5, the Ravens are strong at all three levels of their defense and are equally as comfortable defending the pass and the run.
The off-season addition of Justin Houston adds another top tier pass rusher to their defensive front, and Patrick Queen in his second year I have pegged to make the leap and finish the year as one of the best off-ball linebackers in the NFL. At 78% rostered, they are not likely to be available in many leagues, but if you were clever enough to draft the, or by chance can pick them up on waivers, you have a distinct advantage heading into Week 1.
Top Streamer of the Week
Los Angeles Chargers @ Washington Football Team (11% rostered) – Is this the year the Chargers finally stay healthy and all that defensive promise leads to a top fantasy defense? Well clearly many do not think so as the Chargers have only been rostered in 11% of leagues, despite all that talent.
The Chargers’ Week 1 match up against Washington could be a defensive slugfest, featuring two teams I have ranked in the top-10 for the opening week, and for all the fun that a Ryan Fitzpatrick led offense promises, it also comes with its opportunities as he likes to take more risks than most. Derwin James is the catalyst for the Chargers’ defense, and I am backing him to get back to his previous all-pro form and make the Chargers a definite streaming option in Week 1.
DFS Value Play of the Week
Indianapolis Colts vs Seattle Seahawks ($2,300) – The Colts come with a bargain price considering they were last year’s DST3 in fantasy, and the matchup vs the Seahawks doesn’t faze me heading into Week 1. Led my 99-million-dollar man Darius Leonard, the Colts are super efficient, especially against the run and will make it very difficult for the Seahawks to do what they want to do and run Chris Carson like crazy. If you’re looking for a DST bargain to support your DFS lineup for Week 1, the Colts tick all the boxes to allow you some additional studs across the rest of your roster.
Week 1 D/ST Rankings
(% Rostered via Sleeper)
|1||Baltimore Ravens||@ LV||78%|
|2||San Francisco 49ers||@ DET||77%|
|3||New England Patriots||vs MIA||56%|
|4||Los Angeles Rams||vs CHI||80%|
|5||Indianapolis Colts||vs SEA||48%|
|6||Denver Broncos||@ NYG||63%|
|7||Washington Football Team||vs LAC||78%|
|8||Buffalo Bills||vs PIT||69%|
|9||Pittsburgh Steelers||@ BUF||76%|
|10||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||vs DAL||80%|
|11||Los Angeles Chargers||@ WAS||11%|
|12||Miami Dolphins||@ NE||26%|
|13||Green Bay Packers||@ NO||10%|
|14||Seattle Seahawks||@ IND||7%|
|15||Minnesota Vikings||@ CIN||22%|
|16||Jacksonville Jaguars||@ HOU||4%|
|17||New York Giants||vs DEN||5%|
|18||Kansas City Chiefs||vs CLE||24%|
|19||Carolina Panthers||vs NYJ||26%|
|20||Chicago Bears||@ LAR||8%|
|21||Philadelphia Eagles||@ ATL||2%|
|22||New York Jets||@ CAR||1%|
|23||Cleveland Browns||@ KC||48%|
|24||Arizona Cardinals||@ TEN||5%|
|25||New Orleans Saints||vs GB||11%|
|26||Tennessee Titans||vs ARI||6%|
|27||Atlanta Falcons||vs PHI||0%|
|28||Dallas Cowboys||@ TB||2%|
|29||Cincinnati Bengals||vs MIN||0%|
|30||Detroit Lions||vs SF||0%|
|31||Houston Texans||vs JAC||1%|
|32||Las Vegas Raiders||vs BAL||1%|