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Fantasy Football: Way Too Early 2024 Consensus Rankings: Breakdown & Takeaways

Fantasy Football: Way Too Early 2024 Consensus Rankings: Breakdown & Takeaways

Now that we’ve reached the NFL Divisional Round, fantasy football leagues are winding down. Fantasy managers are in the midst of preparing for a long offseason to strategize and start formulating strategies ahead of 2024 fantasy football drafts.

There are numerous ways to rank fantasy football prospects, but in this article, we’ll analyze and summarize the latest expert consensus rankings using half-PPR as the default scoring format. Whether you prefer to start a draft with a certain position, play the board, or look for the most undervalued talent that consensus rankings are discounting, there’s quite a few ways to assess the performances we saw in 2023 and project their usage and effectiveness on fantasy football rosters ahead of the NFL Draft and free agency.

Let’s breakdown several of the most notable 2024 fantasy football consensus rankings and reveal a few key takeaways entering draft season.

Early Fantasy Football Consensus Rankings: Breakdown & Takeaways (2024)

CeeDee Lamb (WR – Cowboys): WR2

Dallas’ disappointing playoff loss to Green Bay shouldn’t shroud the Cowboys’ alpha wideout, CeeDee Lamb, when it comes to fantasy value in 2024. ECR currently has Lamb valued as the overall WR2, behind only Tyreek Hill (WR – Dolphins), despite both wideouts finishing with 19.8 and 19.7 fantasy points per game in 2023. Lamb’s versatility, mismatch ability, and strong hands in a pass-centric Cowboys offense will remain the focal point of the offense in 2024, especially with Mike McCarthy returning as head coach. Lamb should be a top-three pick at the position and will be taken slightly earlier than he was during 2023 fantasy drafts, when he was still available late in the first-round.

Breece Hall (RB – Jets): RB2

The New York Jets’ 2023 season was a train wreck due to Aaron Rodgers’ (QB – Jets) injury on the opening drive, but second-year running back Breece Hall became a volume-play in fantasy leagues, churning out 4.5 YPC and hauling in 76 receptions on 95 targets. The latter part of Hall’s game, his ability as a receiver out of the backfield, is what elevated him down the stretch in fantasy leagues. The Jets were constantly in a rut with their offense, which wasn’t equipped to chase points, so if Hall has Rodgers under center in 2024, as anticipated, his numbers could result in overall RB1 production. It’s why ECR has Hall pegged as the overall RB2, ranked higher than every other running back in the league not named Christian McCaffery (RB – 49ers).

Josh Allen (QB – Bills): QB1

Josh Allen produced video-game numbers en route to a QB1 finish in points per game this past fantasy football season. Allen led the Bills in rushing touchdowns, scoring 15, while also throwing another 29 touchdowns to average 23.1 fantasy points per game. The emergence of James Cook (RB – Bills) helped balance the offense under interim OC Joe Brady, but Allen’s dual-threat ability will remain a priority within Buffalo’s scheme entering 2024. As a result, Allen should be drafted as the No. 1 quarterback in fantasy football, so ECR has Buffalo’s franchise quarterback ranked correctly once again.

Sam LaPorta (TE – Lions): TE1

The narrative of rookie tight ends underperforming during a transition from college to the professional level was debunked by Sam LaPorta in 2023. LaPorta averaged 11.5 fantasy points per game, finishing alongside Travis Kelce (TE – Chiefs) as the overall TE1 in this metric. LaPorta caught 86 of 120 targets and recorded 10 touchdowns, four more than every other tight end in the league. Due to the nature of Detroit’s run-centric offense, which frequently executes play action passes downfield to LaPorta, as well as in the red zone, he’ll remain a top-three tight end prospect entering 2024 drafts. There may be some mild touchdown regression but his rapport with Jared Goff (QB – Lions) is strong, but investing in LaPorta requires an early third-round pick.

Puka Nacua (WR – Rams): WR7

Rookies were balling out from the start this season but none so much as Puka Nacua. A lot of fantasy experts expected Cooper Kupp’s (WR – Rams) return to flatten Nacua’s production, but it only aided the rookie wideout’s ability to convert targets into yards after the catch. Nacua wound up WR7 in fantasy points per game, averaging 14.5 per contest. A whopping 160 targets ranked sixth-most amongst all wide receivers in the league, and other than Tyreek Hill, Nacua averaged the second-highest yards per reception at 14.2 yards. Matthew Stafford (QB – Rams) and Sean McVay will continue to put Nacua into good position to thrive, so unlike this past year, when Nacua was available at the end of drafts and on waiver wires, he’ll command an early second-round pick, which is a bit steep for my liking.

Rashee Rice (WR – Chiefs): WR23

Kansas City’s decision to draft Rashee Rice in the second round has paid dividends, as the 6-2 rookie wideout has evolved into Patrick Mahomes’ (QB – Chiefs) favorite weapon with the Chiefs offense. It took a few weeks to start earning consistent volume, but expect head coach Andy Reid to prioritize Rice in his offense with another offseason to fine-tune his game. Even during his rookie campaign, Rice wound up a WR3 (WR30) in points per game despite playing in a sputtering offense that didn’t have a ton of rhythm throughout the year. Rice is currently valued at WR23, putting his ADP in the mid-fourth round, which is great value to acquire during upcoming fantasy drafts.

Trey McBride (TE – Cardinals): TE4

Arizona’s 2023 season won’t be a memorable one due to their 4-13 record, but second-year tight end Trey McBride will certainly be remembered for his strong performances down the stretch with Kyler Murray (QB – Cardinals) under center. The Cardinals’ TE1 was a target hound in the latter half of the 2023 season, drawing eight to 14 targets in six of his last nine games of the year. McBride only scored three touchdowns in 2023, so if he doubles this number in 2024, which is certainly realistic, drafting him as the TE4 at the start of the sixth round will return value. Taking tight ends in these middle rounds can be very risky though, so it depends on how you prefer to build your fantasy rosters.

Jaylen Waddle (WR – Dolphins): WR19

It was a down year for Jaylen Waddle, who saw Tyreek Hill wind up as the overall WR1 in fantasy football. Waddle’s injuries derailed a lot of potential, but he still managed to log WR2 production, finishing as WR23 in fantasy points per game at 11.6. His 1,000 yard season feels like one of the quietest performances in recent years, but expect the Dolphins to add some more help along the offensive line and in the tight end room to help Tua Tagovailoa (QB – Dolphins) get the ball to his playmakers, which certainly includes Waddle. Due to his shockingly good numbers, despite what felt like a down year, Waddle is currently ranked WR19, putting him at the start of the fourth-round in fantasy drafts. With other wide receiver options like Keenan Allen (WR – Chargers), D.K. Metcalf (WR – Seahawks), Tank Dell (WR – Texans), and Rashee Rice available at the 3/4 turn, Waddle is the least desirable in a sneakily run-centric West Coast Dolphins offense.

Travis Etienne Jr. (RB – Jaguars): RB7

After ripping off multiple touchdowns across a four-game stretch in early 2023, Travis Etienne all but disappeared from a production and consistency standpoint in fantasy football. Jacksonville’s season derailed following their Bye Week, as injuries and an anemic running game prevented the Jaguars from returning to the playoffs. Due to Etienne’s early season production, he still finished RB6 in fantasy points per game (14.9) but he only recorded one game over 20 fantasy points from Week 10 to Week 18. ECR ranks Etienne as the RB7, ahead of Saquon Barkley (RB – Giants), Rachaad White (RB – Buccaneers), De’Von Achane (RB – Dolphins), and Isiah Pacheco (RB – Chiefs). The Jaguars need to revamp their offensive line, and possibly their play-calling, if fantasy managers want to get value out of drafting Etienne in the middle of the second-round. Personally, Etienne is a fade until we see changes made to the offensive personnel.

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Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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