Fantasy Football 2013 Quarterback Rankings: Week 1

Aaron Rodgers faces a tough opening assignment in San Francisco

Week 1 of the 2013 fantasy football season is here and it's only fitting that the quarterback who finished 2012 with the most fantasy points comes in at No. 1 in the first installment of Athlon Sports' weekly Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings. Drew Brees tallied the most fantasy points of any signal-caller last season and the Saints' field general should get off to another strong start with his head coach (Sean Payton) back on the sidelines and a home game against NFC South division rival Atlanta on tap.

Likewise, Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan is a strong play for Week 1 considering the Saints set an NFL record for most yards allowed last season. Tom Brady has a brand-new receiving corps in 2013, but expect little drop-off, especially with Buffalo the opponent in Week 1. The Bills will send our first-round pick EJ Manuel to make his NFL debut. For now, Manuel and fellow rookie Geno Smith of the New York Jets (who is not ranked) are probably wait-and-see options at best.

That is not the case, however, for Aaron Rodgers, who is a must-start every week. Those who are fortunate enough to own Rodgers, however, may want to temper expectations a little bit since the Packers have the tough opening assignment of facing the 49ers on their own turf. Cam Newton is another top fantasy option who could get out of the gate slowly as the Panthers host Seattle. And of course, all eyes will be on the games that will open and close the first week of the regular season as Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco will square off in Denver tonight for the second time in eight months, while Robert Griffin III will mark his return from a serious knee injury suffered in January and Michael Vick will help usher in the Chip Kelly era in Philadelphia when they share the stage on "Monday Night Football."

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

2013 NFL Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks

1Drew BreesNOvs. ATLNo. 1 fantasy QB last season.
2Tom BradyNEat BUFBrady set to break in new weapons.
3Matt RyanATLat NOSaints awful on D last season.
4Peyton ManningDENvs. BAL (Thurs.)Manning gets chance at some payback.
5Aaron RodgersGBat SFTough opening draw for A-Rodg.
6Colin KaepernickSFvs. GBCK feasted on Pack last time.
7Andrew LuckINDvs. OAKLuck should get off to strong start.
8Matthew StaffordDETvs. MIN 
9Tony RomoDALvs. NYGGiants' D already banged up.
10Cam NewtonCARvs. SEASeahawks figure to be tough on Cam.
11Robert Griffin IIIWASvs. PHI (Mon.)Everyone will be watching RG3's knee.
12Russell WilsonSEAat CAR 
13Michael VickPHIat WAS (Mon.)Can he make Kelly's offense hum?
14Eli ManningNYGat DAL 
15Ben RoethlisbergerPITvs. TEN 
16Sam BradfordSTLvs. ARIReady to break out?
17Joe FlaccoBALat DEN (Thurs.)Needs to find new targets.
18Jay CutlerCHIvs. CINCan he and Trestman thrive?
19Matt SchaubHOUat SD (Mon.) 
20Carson PalmerARIat STLIs he the QB Cards have been missing?
21Andy DaltonCINat CHI 
22Alex SmithKCat JACJaguars should ease transition.
23Josh FreemanTBat NYJ 
24Ryan TannehillMIAat CLEIs he ready to take the next step?
25Brandon WeedenCLEvs. MIA 
26Philip RiversSDvs. HOU (Mon.)Can he find his old form?
27EJ ManuelBUFvs. NERookie's time to shine.
28Terrelle PryorOAKat INDRaiders' offense has yet to impress.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 1 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams


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