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Fantasy football Player Projections: Breaking down Week 1

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Jamaal Charles has an opportunity to show off his talent against the Jaguars in the NFL's opening week.

Week 1 of the NFL season is finally here, which means it's time to set fantasy rosters. Which quarterback will carry his owner to victory? Which running backs will crush through defenses for 100 or more yards? Michael Beller breaks down all of the Week 1 matchups, and presents his projected player rankings by position, to help fantasy owners win this week's matchup.

Click the position labels for the full list of projected player rankings, and click the team logos, paired by matchup, to see projected stats of each game.

For more insight, check out SI.com's NFL preseason roundup, fantasy football roundtable and waiver wire.

Fantasy Player Projections: Week 1

View by Position
View by Matchup

Quarterbacks

    1. 1
    2. Peyton Manning
    3. Peyton
      Manning
      QB
    4. PASS YDS344
    5. PASS TD4
    6. INT0
    7. RUSH YDS0
    8. RUSH TD0

    Just last week I predicted Manning would throw 45 touchdown passes this year. It all starts Week 1, as he'll toss two scores to Demaryius Thomas and one apiece to Eric Decker and Montee Ball.

    1. 2
    2. Drew Brees
    3. Drew
      Brees
      QB
    4. PASS YDS321
    5. PASS TD4
    6. INT0
    7. RUSH YDS0
    8. RUSH TD0

    What more can you say about Drew Brees? The guy is a fantasy monster, and now that he's officially reunited with Sean Payton, we're betting he'll welcome his coach back with a big day.

    1. 3
    2. Tony Romo
    3. Tony
      Romo
      QB
    4. PASS YDS322
    5. PASS TD3
    6. INT0
    7. RUSH YDS15
    8. RUSH TD0

    I'm on record as believing Tony Romo will finish the season as a top-five quarterback. It all starts against the Giants this week.

To see the full list, click here

Running Backs

    1. 1
    2. Jamaal Charles
    3. Jamaal
      Charles
      RB
    4. RUSH YDS144
    5. RUSH TD2
    6. REC YDS51
    7. REC TD1

    I've said time and time again that I believe Charles is the No. 2 player in fantasy football this year. We'll see exactly why Week 1 against the Jags.

    1. 2
    2. Adrian Peterson
    3. Adrian
      Peterson
      RB
    4. RUSH YDS156
    5. RUSH TD2
    6. REC YDS12
    7. REC TD0

    Everything has been said about Peterson's ridiculous 2012 season. He'll need to be every bit as good this year to get the Vikings back to the playoffs.

    1. 3
    2. Matt Forte
    3. Matt
      Forte
      RB
    4. RUSH YDS93
    5. RUSH TD1
    6. REC YDS67
    7. REC TD1

    Forte will be in the MVP discussion this year. You heard it here first. He starts that campaign with a huge game against the Bengals, both on the ground and through the air.

To see the full list, click here

Wide Receivers

    1. 1
    2. Demaryius Thomas
    3. Demaryius
      Thomas
      WR
    4. REC YDS121
    5. REC TD2

    Thomas will kick off the 2013 season in a big way, catching eight balls for 121 yards and two scores. He'll score the first touchdown of the season on a 32-yard strike from Peyton Manning.

    1. 2
    2. Antonio Brown
    3. Antonio
      Brown
      WR
    4. REC YDS94
    5. REC TD2

    Everything is set up for Brown's breakout season in Pittsburgh. As the focal point of the passing game, he'll end the season as a top-12 receiver, and will get it started Week 1 against the Titans.

    1. 3
    2. Pierre Garcon
    3. Pierre
      Garcon
      WR
    4. REC YDS91
    5. REC TD2

    A foot injury limited Garcon, but he was a top-15 receiver when healthy. If Griffin throws more and runs less this year, Garcon will be the primary beneficiary. He has breakout potential in 2013.

To see the full list, click here

Tight Ends

    1. 1
    2. Jimmy Graham
    3. Jimmy
      Graham
      TE
    4. REC YDS99
    5. REC TD1

    It's time for Jimmy Graham to create a tier of one at the tight end position. He'll begin his domination of linebackers and safeties with seven catches, 99 yards and a score this week

    1. 2
    2. Jason Witten
    3. Jason
      Witten
      TE
    4. REC YDS74
    5. REC TD1

    Witten had a monster 2012, and he'll pick right up where he left off. He remains one of the best tight ends in the game.

    1. 3
    2. Greg Olsen
    3. Greg
      Olsen
      TE
    4. REC YDS67
    5. REC TD1

    Olsen has developed a great relationship with Cam Newton, one that could have him among the elite tight ends this year. He'll get that all started on Sunday.

To see the full list, click here

Kickers

    1. 1
    2. Matt Bryant
    3. Matt
      Bryant
      K
    4. PAT3
    5. FG3

    A big day for the Falcons' offense means a big day for Bryant. He'll reward his owners with at least nine points, and perhaps more if your league gives out yardage bonuses.

    1. 2
    2. Steven Hauschka
    3. Steven
      Hauschka
      K
    4. PAT3
    5. FG3

    With an offense driven by Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, Hauschka may finish the year in the top 10 at the position. If the offense shows the necessary juice, consider Hauschka a regular starter.

    1. 3
    2. Dan Bailey
    3. Dan
      Bailey
      K
    4. PAT3
    5. FG3

    Bailey's got a huge leg and is part of what could be a very good offense. He should be considered a weekly starter.

To see the full list, click here

Defenses

    1. 1
    2. New England Patriots
    3. PTS ALLOWED10
    4. SACKS6
    5. INT3
    6. TD1

    With E.J. Manuel at the helm for the Bills, the Patriots defense has a huge day. If they're available in your league, they make a great stream option.

    1. 2
    2. Miami Dolphins
    3. PTS ALLOWED7
    4. SACKS5
    5. INT3
    6. TD1

    Miami's defense was under the radar last season, but that won't be the case in 2013, especially after it gets off to a huge start against Brandon Weeden and the Browns.

    1. 3
    2. Houston Texans
    3. PTS ALLOWED7
    4. SACKS6
    5. INT2
    6. TD1

    Houston has one of the best defenses in the league and a great matchup against the Chargers. They'll be the top performing defense this week.

To see the full list, click here

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