At the beginning of this week we thought Seattle would be without Jaxon Smith-Njigba in Week 1 due to the fact he had wrist surgery last month. On Wednesday we learned that’s not true, which means the ranking of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett for Week 1 is going to be closer to their draft ranking than we suspected.
Smith-Njigba was a surprise selection for Seattle because they already had one of the best receiver duos in the league. But make no mistake about it, he’s a truly elite wide receiver who could snatch the No. 1 WR role in Seattle as soon as this season. For Week 1, we’re being more cautious, ranking the rookie as a No. 4 wide receiver. Even the best rookie receivers often get off to slow starts.
- Week 1 position previews: | |
A slow start for one Seahawk could mean more volume for Metcalf and Lockett early in the year. That’s why you’ll see them both ranked inside my top 24 at the position this week even though they weren’t top-24 options for me in draft season. Lockett seems like the most likely to take a step back, as he’s on the wrong side of 30, but it’s hard to be too down on him considering he’s exceeded expectations for half a decade. Statistically, there’s been very little separation for the Seahawks top-two wide receivers since Metcalf joined the team.
So start Lockett and Metcalf this week, but watch Smith-Njigba too. If he gets off to a good start we may be starting all three by next week. If he struggles early, he’ll be one of our buy-low targets.
Here is the rest of the Week 1 WR Preview:
Week 1 WR Preview
The following players are not being projected to play Week 1 at this time. Here’s what it means:
Numbers to Know
- 24.8 — Cooper Kupp averaged nearly 25 FPPG last season. He could miss a month and still deliver Round 2 value if he returns and posts those numbers.
- 17 — Michael Thomas averaged 17 FPPG last year. As long as he stays healthy he’s a starter.
- 1,606 — Jaxon Smith-Njigba led Ohio State with 1,606 receiving yards in 2021. Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave were both on that team. The rookie could supplant DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett by midseason.
- 281.5 — Calvin Ridley finished as WR5 with 281.5 PPR Fantasy points in his last full season, which was 2020.
- 184 — The Packers have 184 wide receiver targets to replace from last year. There’s plenty of room for both Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs to hit.
- 726 — Tom Brady averaged 726 pass attempts the past two seasons. There is no way Tampa lets Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask air it out like that. It’s hard to imagine Mike Evans or Chris Godwin can be more efficient either.
89.1 — Jaylen Waddle averaged 89.1 yards per game with Tua Tagovailoa, but just 57.4 without him.
21.6 — DeAndre Hopkins scored 21.6 FPPG in four games with Kyler Murray last year. He may fall off a cliff because of his age, but he didn’t show signs of it last year.
Matchups that matter
Waiver Wire Targets
My full set of Week 1 Fantasy football projections for every position are now available on SportsLine. Find out which of my favorite plays are projected to score higher than consensus rankings and which don’t live up to their draft hype, at least in Week 1. Projected stats for all starting wide receivers are available, so be sure to check out the full set of projections at SportsLine.