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USATSI

This season gets a classic opener Thursday night with the Super Bowl champion Rams and top challenger Bills. The wide receiver decisions aren't so tough to make for that game, but other Week 1 games aren't so easy.

It will be our objective to find you the wideouts you'll want to move in and out of your lineups based on matchups every week. Playing matchups is key, and we're here to find you the perfect path to a winning 2022. Here are our corresponding Week 1 articles for running back. and quarterback

START 'EM & SIT 'EM
Wide Receivers
Start Wide Receivers
Projections powered by Sportsline
NE New England • #7
Age: 27 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ARI KC -6 O/U 53.5
OPP VS WR
26th
PROJ PTS
12.6
WR RNK
28th
2021 Stats
REC
15
TAR
28
REYDS
129
TD
1
FPTS/G
7
The sliding scale for the Chiefs receivers this week is start Smith-Schuster as a No. 2 Fantasy option in all leagues, Marquez Valdes-Scantling is a boom-bust flex with sleeper appeal and use Skyy Moore and Mecole Hardman as desperation plays in deeper leagues. Smith-Schuster made Fantasy managers nervous by missing practice time with a knee injury, but he's fine now. And he should help Patrick Mahomes exploit this Cardinals secondary while making a big splash in his Kansas City debut.
CLE Cleveland • #10
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ SEA DEN -6.5 O/U 44.5
OPP VS WR
9th
PROJ PTS
14
WR RNK
32nd
2021 Stats
REC
38
TAR
56
REYDS
467
TD
0
FPTS/G
8.5
Courtland Sutton is a must-start Fantasy receiver in all leagues this week against the Seahawks, and Jeudy isn't far behind. You want pieces of the Broncos passing game in your lineup this week for Russell Wilson's return to Seattle, and Jeudy should start his breakout third season with a big outing in Week 1. Wilson is going to provide plenty of fireworks this week, with Sutton and Jeudy leading the way.
JAC Jacksonville • #13
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ LAR BUF -2.5 O/U 52
OPP VS WR
32nd
PROJ PTS
11.3
WR RNK
30th
2021 Stats
REC
35
TAR
63
REYDS
549
TD
6
FPTS/G
7.9
There are five receivers to start in Thursday's game with Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson for the Rams and Stefon Diggs, Davis and Isaiah McKenzie for the Bills. There is going to be plenty of passing in this matchup, and despite both teams having great defenses, it will be hard to stop Josh Allen and Matthew Stafford. For Davis, his breakout third season starts this week, and he already scored a touchdown in his lone preseason game against Denver with two catches for 47 yards on three targets. If you're keeping score at home, that's six touchdowns in his past six times on the field going back to the playoffs. He has the chance to be a monster this week -- and every week moving forward.
CLE Cleveland • #8
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs BAL BAL -7 O/U 44.5
OPP VS WR
24th
PROJ PTS
12
WR RNK
29th
2021 Stats
REC
43
TAR
77
REYDS
538
TD
6
FPTS/G
12.6
I'm disappointed we won't get the chance to see Zach Wilson (knee) in Week 1 against Baltimore, but Joe Flacco starting for the Jets is good news for Moore. Joe Flacco appeared in two games for the Jets last year, and 13 of his 42 pass attempts went to Moore. He caught 10 of them for 149 yards and two touchdowns. This could be a fantastic week for Moore, who could thrive with Flacco while Wilson is out. He's now a must-start Fantasy receiver in all leagues.
JAC Jacksonville • #13
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ WAS WAS -2.5 O/U 44
OPP VS WR
23rd
PROJ PTS
12.7
WR RNK
34th
2021 Stats
REC
77
TAR
103
REYDS
982
TD
5
FPTS/G
12.2
Kirk should see plenty of passes from Trevor Lawrence this week as the Jaguars will attack this Washington secondary. And if the lone preseason appearance for Lawrence and Kirk is any indication, Kirk could be in line for a monster campaign. They played one half against Pittsburgh in the preseason, and Kirk had eight targets for five catches and 54 yards. Let's hope that's a sign of things to come in Week 1 and all season.
Sleepers
Projections powered by Sportsline
SF San Francisco • #11
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CHI SF -7 O/U 41.5
OPP VS WR
13th
PROJ PTS
10.8
WR RNK
36th
2021 Stats
REC
56
TAR
84
REYDS
826
TD
5
FPTS/G
10
All we've heard all preseason is that Aiyuk has a strong connection with Trey Lance, and hopefully that carries over to the games that count, starting this week against Chicago. Last year, Aiyuk started in coach Kyle Shanahan's doghouse, but he worked his way out of it and played great to close the season, scoring at least 13 PPR points in four of his final five games in the regular season. If he can pick up where he left off, as well as Lance maximizing his potential, Aiyuk could be in line for a huge third year.
PHI Philadelphia • #6
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DET PHI -4 O/U 48.5
OPP VS WR
15th
PROJ PTS
12.6
WR RNK
39th
2021 Stats
REC
64
TAR
104
REYDS
916
TD
5
FPTS/G
10.9
I'm excited about the Eagles passing game this season with the addition of A.J. Brown, and he should open up the offense for Smith and tight end Dallas Goedert. Jalen Hurts is poised for a big year, and Smith has the chance to perform like a low-end starter in all leagues. For this week, Smith should be viewed as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver with upside, and the Eagles will hopefully have plenty of volume in the passing game. The Lions secondary should struggle to stop all of Philadelphia's weapons in this matchup.
KC Kansas City • #19
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ TEN TEN -5.5 O/U 43.5
OPP VS WR
29th
PROJ PTS
10.6
WR RNK
37th
2021 Stats
REC
39
TAR
57
REYDS
420
TD
0
FPTS/G
8.2
As long as Toney is healthy, he should have the chance to help Fantasy managers in a big way, and I like him as a high-end No. 3 receiver in this matchup with the Titans. We'll see what happens with Sterling Shepard (Achilles) and how the Giants use rookie Wan'Dale Robinson, but Toney should be the go-to option for Daniel Jones in the passing game. Last year, the Titans were No. 2 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers, so Toney could have a bigger game than expected if Jones gives him enough opportunities to make plays.
PHI Philadelphia • #80
Age: 35 • Experience: 14 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DAL TB -2.5 O/U 51
OPP VS WR
22nd
PROJ PTS
9.7
WR RNK
NR
2021 Stats
REC
31
TAR
48
REYDS
434
TD
1
FPTS/G
8
I'm not sure what's going to happen with Chris Godwin (knee) this week, so look for Tom Brady to lean on Jones and Russell Gage if Godwin is out or limited. Both should be heavily involved anyway, along with Mike Evans, and we'll see if we get an answer on if Jones or Gage will be the preferred Fantasy option moving forward. Most likely, while Jones is healthy, he should have an edge. For this week, consider him a high-end No. 3 Fantasy option, especially if Godwin can't play.
NO New Orleans • #12
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ATL NO -5.5 O/U 42.5
OPP VS WR
21st
PROJ PTS
9.8
WR RNK
NR
2021 Stats
REC
0
TAR
0
REYDS
0
TD
0
FPTS/G
0
With Michael Thomas possibly limited after dealing with a hamstring injury in training camp, Olave could emerge as the top target for Jameis Winston in this matchup with the Falcons. Thomas will likely command plenty of attention anyway if he's on the field, and hopefully we can see Olave in some favorable matchups against a Falcons defense that was No. 6 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers last year. He's worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in deeper leagues.
Sit Wide Receivers
Projections powered by Sportsline
ATL Atlanta • #5
Age: 22 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NO NO -5.5 O/U 42.5
OPP VS WR
14th
PROJ PTS
9.8
WR RNK
43rd
2021 Stats
REC
0
TAR
0
REYDS
0
TD
0
FPTS/G
0
London is ready to go after suffering a knee injury in Atlanta's first preseason game against Detroit. While we hope he makes plenty of plays -- this week and all season -- let's give him at least a week before starting him in the majority of leagues. The Saints defense is tough, and London hasn't proven to have a strong connection with quarterback Marcus Mariota yet. At best, use London as a low-end No. 3 receiver in three-receiver leagues.
CLE Cleveland • #2
Age: 29 • Experience: 10 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CAR CAR -1.5 O/U 42
OPP VS WR
5th
PROJ PTS
11.6
WR RNK
38th
2021 Stats
REC
68
TAR
104
REYDS
865
TD
8
FPTS/G
13.5
I'm probably not going to love Cooper much while Jacoby Brissett is filling in for Deshaun Watson, and that's expected to happen for the first 11 games. Cooper will have to prove me wrong before I use him as a starter in the majority of leagues, and I'm not willing to trust him in Week 1 against the Panthers. Carolina was actually solid against opposing receivers last season, ranking No. 6 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to the position, and the Panthers should be able to contain Cooper because of Brissett's limitations.
TB Tampa Bay • #14
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DAL TB -2.5 O/U 51
OPP VS WR
22nd
PROJ PTS
13.8
WR RNK
23rd
2021 Stats
REC
98
TAR
127
REYDS
1103
TD
6
FPTS/G
17.3
Even if Godwin plays against the Cowboys, I'll likely lower expectations for him given some of the things being said from him -- and about him -- this week. He's talking about wanting to be at full strength for the end of the season and not wanting to rush his comeback from last year's knee injury. That could lead to a limited snap count if he's active, or he might not play at all. Tampa Bay has plenty of options at receiver with Evans, Jones and Gage, and while the Buccaneers would love to have a healthy Godwin on the field, they aren't going to risk him suffering a setback. You should plan on finding another Fantasy receiver instead of Godwin this week.
HOU Houston • #2
Age: 32 • Experience: 12 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NYG TEN -5.5 O/U 43.5
OPP VS WR
11th
PROJ PTS
11.4
WR RNK
40th
2021 Stats
REC
45
TAR
69
REYDS
556
TD
5
FPTS/G
15.2
I'm curious to see how Woods does in his first game back from last year's torn ACL, as well as his rapport with new quarterback Ryan Tannehill. I wouldn't be surprised if Woods has a quality stat line given that the Giants secondary will likely struggle. But we don't expect a lot of volume for Woods because of Derrick Henry, and the Titans will likely spread the ball around to Treylon Burks, Kyle Philips and Austin Hooper. At best, consider Woods a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week, with his value slightly higher in PPR.
PHI Philadelphia • #1
Age: 31 • Experience: 10 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ MIA MIA -3.5 O/U 46.5
OPP VS WR
10th
PROJ PTS
10.6
WR RNK
48th
2021 Stats
REC
40
TAR
73
REYDS
515
TD
2
FPTS/G
10.4
We have another revenge game narrative at play here with Parker facing his former team in Miami. But that could also mean a matchup with cornerback Xavien Howard, and Parker will likely struggle in that scenario. Mac Jones has been inconsistent according to reports in training camp, and the only Patriots receiver I would be comfortable using this week is Jakobi Meyers in a deep PPR league. Parker is, at best, a desperation starter in 14-team leagues or larger.
Bust Alert
Projections powered by Sportsline
SEA Seattle • #14
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs DEN DEN -6.5 O/U 44.5
OPP VS WR
7th
PROJ PTS
12.5
WR RNK
27th
2021 Stats
REC
75
TAR
129
REYDS
967
TD
12
FPTS/G
14.4
I want to believe Metcalf can overcome any potential struggles with new quarterback Geno Smith, but I need to see it first. As such, Metcalf is just a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues. He did score three touchdowns in three starts with Smith in 2021, but he also averaged just 3.2 catches, 65.7 yards and six targets per game over that span. The Broncos secondary is formidable, led by cornerback Patrick Surtain II, and Metcalf could struggle with a lack of volume this week. I would also try to sit Tyler Lockett in the majority of leagues as well.