A.J. HOFFMAN

NFL fantasy football rankings for Week 1

Aaron Rodgers is always a top QB option. Andy Lyons

Week 1 is upon us, and everyone wants to start off the year with a win. Here are the positional rankings for Week 1:

QB

1. Aaron Rodgers vs. CHI

2. Cam Newton vs. DAL

3. Tom Brady vs. HOU

4. Deshaun Watson @ NE

5. Drew Brees vs. TB

6. Kirk Cousins vs. SF

7. Philip Rivers vs. KC

8. Russell Wilson @ DEN

9. Matt Stafford @ NYJ

10. Ben Roethlisberger @ CLE

11. Marcus Mariota @ MIA

12. Andrew Luck vs. CIN

13. Jared Goff @ OAK

14. Matt Ryan @ PHI

15. Andy Dalton @ IND

16. Jimmy Garoppolo @ MIN

17. Patrick Mahomes @ LAC

18. Alex Smith @ ARI

19. Dak Prescott @ CAR

20. Nick Foles vs. ATL

RB (standard scoring) 

1. Todd Gurley @ OAK

2. David Johnson vs. WAS

3. Ezekiel Elliott @ CAR

4. Alvin Kamara vs. TB

5. Leonard Fournette @ NYG

6. Melvin Gordon vs. KC

7. Joe Mixon @ IND

8. Kareem Hunt @ LAC

9. Saquon Barkley vs. JAX

10. Christian McCaffery vs. DAL

11. Devonta Freeman @ PHI

12. Jordan Howard @ GB

13. Dalvin Cook vs. SF

14. Alex Collins vs. BUF

15. Kenyon Drake vs. TEN

16. Derrick Henry @ MIA

17. LeSean McCoy @ BAL

18. Royce Freeman vs. SEA

19. Jay Ajayi vs. ATL

20. Lamar Miller @ NE

21. Peyton Barber @ NO

22. Adrian Peterson vs. WAS

23. Rex Burkhead vs. HOU

24. Jamaal Wiliams vs. CHI

25. Dion Lewis @ MIA

26. Carlos Hyde vs. PIT

27. Marshawn Lynch vs. LAR

28. Chris Carson @ DEN

29. Kerryon Johnson vs. NYJ

30. James Conner @ CLE

31. Alfred Morris @ MIN

32. Jordan Wilkins vs. CIN

33. Isaiah Crowell @ DET

34. Tevin Coleman @ PHI

35. Matt Breida @ MIN

WR (standard scoring)

1. Antonio Brown @ CLE

2. DeAndre Hopkins @ NE

3. AJ Green @ IND

4. Michael Thomas vs. TB

5. Davante Adams vs. CHI

6. Julio Jones @ PHI

7. Keenan Allen vs. KC

8. Chris Hogan vs. HOU

9. Stefon Diggs vs. SF

10. Odell Beckham, Jr. vs. JAX

11. JuJu Smith-Schuster @ CLE

12. Larry Fitzgerald vs. WAS

13. TY Hilton vs. CIN

14. Tyreek Hill @ LAC

15. Adam Thielen vs. SF

16. Mike Evans @ NO

17. Golden Tate vs. NYJ

18. Jarvis Landry vs. PIT

19. Marvin Jones vs. NYJ

20. Demaryius Thomas vs. SEA

21. Corey Davis @ MIA

22. Amari Cooper vs, LAR

23. Emmanuel Sanders vs. SEA

24. Brandin Cooks @ OAK

25. Allen Robinson @ GB

26. Marquise Goodwin @ MIN

27. Doug Baldwin @ DEN 

28. Robby Anderson @ DET

29. Nelson Agholor vs. ATL

30. Cooper Kupp vs. OAK

31. Devin Funchess vs. DAL

32. Robert Woods vs. OAK

33. Michael Crabtree vs. BUF

34. Will Fuller @ NE

35. Kenny Stills vs. TEN

36. Kenny Golladay vs. NYJ

37. Josh Gordon vs. PIT

38. Jamison Crowder @ ARI

39. Pierre Garcon @ MIN

40. Keelan Cole @ NYG

41. Mike Williams vs. KC

42. Sammy Watkins @ LAC

43. John Ross @ IND

44. Sterling Shepard vs. JAX

45. Rishard Matthews @ MIA

TE (standard scoring) 

1. Rob Gronkowski vs. HOU

2. Zach Ertz vs. ATL

3. Travis Kelce @ LAC

4. Jimmy Graham vs. CHI

5. Kyle Rudolph vs. SF

6. Trey Burton @ GB

7. Jordan Reed @ ARI

8. Greg Olsen vs. DAL

9. Delanie Walker @ MIA

10. Evan Engram vs. JAX

11. Jack Doyle vs. CIN

12. David Njoku vs. PIT

13. Tyler Eifert @ IND

14. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins @ NYG

15. George Kittle @ MIN

D/ST

1. Baltimore vs. BUF

2. New Orleans vs. TB

3. Jacksonville @ NYG

4. LA Rams @ OAK

5. Detroit vs. NYJ

6. Denver vs. SEA

7. Minnesota vs. SF

8. Carolina vs. DEN

9. Pittsburgh @ CLE

10. LA Chargers vs. KC

11. Philadelphia vs. ATL

12. Tennessee @ MIA

13. Green Bay vs. CHI

14. NY Giants vs. JAX

15. Atlanta @ PHI

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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