Gabe’s Faves and Fades: Fantasy Football Rankings 2021 – Week 1

Welcome back to my Fantasy Football Faves and Fades for 2021. The goal as always is to pick the optimal plays of the week to get that money up. I like to focus on numbers and matchups. These plays could serve you well in season long as well. If you followed me last year nothing much has changed in the format.

As promised there will be a week-to-week 2021 fantasy football rankings as the season wears on. Follow us on all social media platforms to know when I drop each week!

As a reminder FAVES obviously means to start or choose the listed players or defense for the respective week. FADES means that player or defense is best to bench or not select for daily fantasy that respective week.

The NFL 2021 season is here and so is Gabe’s Faves and Fades for Week 1 of fantasy football. Let’s get it!!!



Patrick Mahomes (KC) – This is the safest pick on the slate with the highest game total at 53. Mahomes is back with all of his weapons looking to make another run at the championship. Mahomes is averaging 24 points a game vs the Browns as they are favored by 6.

Kyler Murray (ARI) – Murray is also a no-brainer going up against the 24th ranked defense in the Titans. Adding AJ Green to the mix should keep defenses honest against Hopkins. It’s really a toss-up between him and Patrick Mahomes in Week 1.

Sam Darnold (CAR) – Since the other QB’s are obvious choices, Darnold presents the value option. He is facing off against his former team in the New York Jets so the narrative is there to prove them wrong. The only problem with that is Zack Wilson seems primed to have a stellar rookie season according to chatter.


Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – Rumors are ramping up that Ben appears to be over his shoulder issues. However, we never play Big Ben on the road as the splits are damning.

Justin Herbert (LAC) – Herbert surprised most with the stellar year last season but faces a stiff road test against the Washington Football team.



Christian McCaffrey (CAR) & Derrick Henry (TEN) – 1 and 1A. I’d slightly lean towards Derrick Henry due to its high game total but you can’t go wrong with CMC either. It all comes down to price and roster construction.

Mike Davis (ATL) – The Atlanta Falcons is a team I’m most excited about. He will see plenty of opportunities in both the run and pass game with the addition of rookie TE Kyle Pitts. Ridley is set to have a massive year with the departure of Julio Jones. You really have to pick your poison defending the Falcons.


Najee Harris (PIT) – See Ben Roethlisberger. I expect the Steelers to be passing a ton to keep pace with the Bills. It doesn’t mean Harris won’t be busy but there are better options in Week 1.



DeAndre Hopkins (ARI) & Tyreek Hill (KC) – Again, we want to attack the game with the highest totals and these studs fit the bill. Hopkins would be my preferred target slightly due to the Chiefs having multiple weapons that could take away from Hill.

Calvin Ridley (ATL) – Fire him up!! Once again, the Falcons will have a potent offense and he will be most responsible for that. He is definitely one of the top drafted receivers in season-long fantasy for good reason.

Marvin Jones Jr. (JAX) & Tee Higgins (CIN) – These are some value options that should be heavily targeted in their respective matchups.


Terry McLaurin (WAS) & Keenan Allen (LAC) – These two are slated to face each other in a very low-scoring affair with decent defenses on both sides of the ball. I expect the run games of both offenses to be the headliners.



Travis Kelce (KS) & George Kittle (SF) – Once again these are the obvious plays and for good reason. Kelce is an every-week play but sometimes you need to find an edge elsewhere. Kittle should be fully healthy and ready to be Jimmy G’s target hog.

Kyle Pitts (ATL) – Truly touted as the next big thing at 6’6 240lbs. He is basically Julio Jones with a bigger frame and uber-athletic. Expect him to step in and contribute immediately being utilized all over the field.


Dallas Goedert (PHI) & Zach Ertz (PHI) – It appears to be a slight timeshare at the position and that’s definitely something we don’t want at the position. Jalen Hurts is also going to be running a ton so let the situation play out a few weeks.



INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – The Colts have way too much talent on this squad to not make life difficult for Wilson and Co. The Seahawks offensive line is still problematic and relinquishes sacks like no other.


ARIZONA CARDINALS – High-scoring affairs usually mean very little defensive production. The Titans are filthy so expect fireworks.

If you liked Gabe’s Faves and Fades week 1 stay tuned all season long for 2021 fantasy football rankings each week right here at Baseline Times!

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