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12 Polarizing Players: Early Fantasy Football Draft Rankings (2024)

12 Polarizing Players: Early Fantasy Football Draft Rankings (2024)

The 2023 regular season ended just a few days ago, but there’s no time for rest. We have championships to defend and disappointments to avenge. It’s time to start prepping for the 2024 fantasy football season.

I have published my initial set of 2024 redraft rankings, as have my FantasyPros colleagues, Derek Brown and Andrew Erickson. You can find our early 2024 fantasy football draft rankings here.

There will be changes big and small to these rankings in the months to come. Free agency and the NFL Draft will radically change the landscape. There will also be injuries, arrests and other jarring events between now and the heart of fantasy draft season. We’ll adjust our rankings accordingly.

What you see here are our first-blush 2024 rankings. And as you’ll notice, the three of us have some serious disagreements. I’m anxious to start doing offseason shows with DBro and Erickson so that we can have friendly arguments and debates.

Meanwhile, let’s look at a dozen players upon whom we have substantial disagreement.

12 Polarizing Players

Patrick Mahomes (QB – KC)

How rare for there to be disagreement on a player many consider to be on the shortlist of the greatest pure passers of all time. But Mahomes was uncharacteristically average as a fantasy asset this year. He finished QB9 in fantasy scoring, producing 20 or more fantasy points in only two of his last 13 starts. I’m still ranking Mahomes QB2 for 2024 because I believe some inevitable upgrades to the Chiefs’ WR group will cure what ailed the star quarterback this year. DBro and Erickson are more reluctant to buy back in, ranking Mahomes QB5 and QB7, respectively.

Justin Herbert (QB – LAC)

A broken right index finger ended Herbert’s season in Week 14. It was a wild ride for Hebert while it lasted. He had five games in which he scored 24 or more fantasy points, and five games in in which he scored fewer than 15 fantasy points (including the game in which he hurt his finger). Erickson still ranks Herbert as a top-10 quarterback, slotting him at QB9. I’ve got Herbert at QB11. DBro has him out of QB1 range at QB14.

De’Von Achane (RB – MIA)

What a wild rookie season it was for this Texas A&M product. Achane averaged an outrageous 7.8 yards per carry and had more than 20 fantasy points (0.5 PPR) in five of his 11 games. He also missed six games, and injuries might be part of the bargain with a running back who measures 5-9, 188 pounds. I’m an Achane stan, but DBro has me outflanked, slotting in Achane at RB5 while I only have him at RB9. Erickson is more wary of a running back who shared snaps and touches throughout his first NFL season, ranking Achane RB13.

Rachaad White (RB – TB)

Here’s an interesting case. White finished RB7 while operating as a true workhorse for basically the entire season. He tied for second in the league with 272 rushing attempts and was fourth among running backs in receptions with 64. But White was inefficient as runner, averaging 3.6 yards per carry. Erickson has White at RB8, and I’m not far behind at RB10. DBro isn’t entirely sold, putting White at RB16.

David Montgomery (RB – DET)

Montgomery ran for 1,015 yards, scored 13 touchdowns and finished RB13 in half-point PPR fantasy scoring this season. But how will Monty’s fantasy value hold up in 2024 now that teammate Jahmyr Gibbs has blossomed into a star? DBro is optimistic that Montgomery will maintain his value and ranks him RB12. Erickson has Montgomery ranked as a midrange RB2, putting him at RB18. I’m more concerned about the Gibbs Effect and have Montgomery slotted at RB25.

Jerome Ford (RB – CLE)

Ford filled in admirably after Nick Chubb sustained a devastating knee injury in the Browns’ second game, rolling up 1,132 yards from scrimmage, scoring nine touchdowns and finishing RB17 (0.5 PPR). Chubb and Ford are both under contract for 2024, but the severity of Chubb’s knee injury makes it unclear when he’ll be full go. Ford’s 2024 value takes some projection. DBro has Ford ranked RB19, I have him at RB33, and Erickson has him at RB42.

Tyreek Hill (WR – MIA)

All of us have Hill ranked as a first-round pick — no surprise there. The question is: How early in the first round should Hill be selected? I have him ranked WR1 and No. 2 overall. My colleagues aren’t quite as bullish. Erickson has Hill at WR4, No. 7 overall. DBro has him at WR5, No. 10 overall.

Davante Adams (WR – LV)

After averaging 112.7 catches, 1,481 receiving yards and 14.3 touchdowns from 2020 to 2022, Adams’ numbers fell off this season: 103-1,144-8. The Raiders’ unsettled QB situation contributed to the drop-off, but will the Raiders find a solution at quarterback for 2024? As talented as Adams is, I’m not ready to fade him and have him at WR9. Erickson is less enthusiastic, putting Adams at WR13. DBro is downright bearish, ranking Adams WR18.

Keenan Allen (WR – LAC)

What are we to make of this noble old warhorse? A heel injury limited Allen to 13 games in 2023, yet he still had a career-high 108 catches for 1,243 yards and seven touchdowns. Allen will be 32 next season, but he’s shown no signs of slowing down, and he’ll once again be paired with QB Justin Herbert. Erickson is enthusiastic about Allen’s 2024 outlook, ranking himWR9. I’ve got Allen at WR19, and DBro has him at WR24.

Zay Flowers (WR – BAL)

Staff opinions are mixed on Flowers after a solid but unspectacular season in which he finished with 77-858-5 receiving. Erickson is the most optimistic, putting Flowers inside WR2 range at WR22. DBro has Flowers at WR29, and I’m less excited, ranking Flowers WR39.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – SEA)

There’s no denying that JSN is a talented young receiver, but the Seahawks still have WRs D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett under contract for 2024, and QB Geno Smith took a step back in 2023 after his superb 2022 season. DBro anticipates a major step forward for Smith-Njigba, ranking him WR24. Erickson and I are proceeding with caution, ranking Smith-Njigba WR37 and WR41, respectively.

Trey McBride (TE – ARI)

With an influx of young talent, the TE position looks like it will be abnormally deep in 2024. McBride is one of the rising stars at the position, establishing himself with an 81-825-3 breakout season. But the Cardinals’ woes at the WR position kept McBride awash in targets. From Week 8 on, the young tight end averaged 8.5 targets a game. I’m anticipating greater contributions from the Arizona wide receivers in 2024, so I have McBride ranked conservatively at TE7. Erickson has him at TE3, and DBro is all in on McBride, ranking him TE1.

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