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8 Fantasy Football Surprises That Aren’t Sustainable (2024)

8 Fantasy Football Surprises That Aren’t Sustainable (2024)

Sometimes it can be easy to get swept up in the returns of fantasy performances that helped your team get to the playoffs, but as the wheels spin forward into 2024 we need to look at some of these players in the cold light of day to try and decide if it’s sustainable or not.

Surprising 2023 Performances That Are Unsustainable in 2024

Devon Achane (RB – MIA)

There are aspects of De’Von Achane‘s game that will be sustainable, with his speed undoubtedly set to help him create impressive runs over the next few years, particularly given the creativity of the Miami Dolphins’ offensive scheme. However, it seems incredibly unlikely that Achane will continue to rush for 8.0 yards per carry, by far the highest amount of any running back with over 50 rushing attempts. Baltimore Ravens rookie running back Keaton Mitchell was the only other back to average more than 8.0 yards per carry on 30 or more attempts. Achane had an impressive rookie season, but much of it stems from a ludicrous opening to the season including “that” game against the Denver Broncos. Since Week 11, Achane averaged 12.7 points per game and was the RB24 in PPR. Even if Raheem Mostert moves on from the Dolphins this offseason, RB20 could be a more realistic expectation for Achane than his likely steamed-up ADP will result in.

Raheem Mostert (RB – MIA)

Speaking of Mostert, it’s impossible not to acknowledge what an incredible season the 31-year-old running back has just had, becoming just the seventh different running back to finish in the top five in PPR points after turning 30 years old since the year 2000. However, it’s also impossible not to acknowledge that Mostert had combined for 19 touchdowns before this year, which dates back to Mostert coming into the league in 2015. Mostert scored 21 touchdowns this year, with 126 of his 267 PPR points coming from touchdowns alone. Mostert had a fantastic year, but be cautious about what you expect from him in 2024.

Joe Flacco (QB – CLE)

There is only one quarterback in the NFL who has thrown for 300 passing yards and multiple touchdowns in four consecutive games this year, and his name is Joe Flacco. Even the most optimistic of long-term Flacco believers didn’t see this coming. Of course, Flacco looks better in Cleveland behind a competent offensive line than he did in New York or Denver when he was on teams that were, frankly, a mess. But Flacco is playing like a 25-year-old and an impressive one at that. Ultimately though, Flacco will likely be on another team if at all next year, because the last thing the Browns can have is a fun and fantasy-relevant quarterback sitting behind their starter, set to count $64m against the cap in 2024. Wherever Flacco ends up, it might never look as good as it does right now.

Keenan Allen (WR – LAC)

With injuries to Mike Williams and Josh Palmer, combined with ineffectiveness from Austin Ekeler and Quentin Johnston, Allen was the man who stepped up for the Los Angeles Chargers and did his best to keep the offense moving whenever he could. Allen was the WR3 in PPR points per game played, averaging a league-high 11.5 targets per game – which was 1.0 more targets than Tyreek Hill and CeeDee Lamb. Allen hadn’t finished as a top-five receiver since 2017 and had only managed it that one time in his first 10 years in the league, and it would be hard to say anything negative about his output this year, but the Chargers are braced for a soft-rebuild with a new head coach and general manager who need to free up funds somewhere and whether that results in Allen being moved on or the situation around Allen worsening, it’s hard to see 2024 being as fruitful for one of the finest receivers of the last decade.

Michael Pittman (WR – IND)

Only seven wide receivers boasted a team target share of 30% or greater this year. Among them, Michael Pittman had the best-contested catch rate at 53%, in a season that was pleasantly surprising for a player who was ranked as the WR32 in our Expert Consensus Rankings heading into the year. Pittman put up 16.2 PPR points per week and finished as the WR13 in a contract year, driving up his value significantly, while also showing the Colts that they need more answers alongside him in the passing game if they have any chances of improving next year. Whether Pittman makes it to the open market or stays in Indianapolis, it’s hard to see him maintaining such volume and without the volume, he might face an uphill battle to pay off his 2024 draft cost.

Adam Thielen (WR – CAR)

You’re probably not too surprised to see Adam Thielen’s name on this list, after all, he could barely maintain his form for an entire season, significantly dropping off in the second half of the year. Thielen lit the world on fire over the first six weeks, averaging 21.1 points per game, after being drafted as the WR56 in ADP. This was a year after looking miserable in Minnesota but Thielen instead looked rejuvenated concentrating on playing from the slot, instead of out wide where he’d made a name for himself in Minnesota. Ultimately though it fell apart in quite an ugly way and expecting anything from Thielen in 2024 would be a mistake given the new leadership coming into Carolina to try and reinvigorate Bryce Young.

Sam LaPorta (TE – DET)

Before you get the pitchforks out, let’s just be clear: LaPorta can be a very good tight end in 2024, and also continue being a good fantasy football option. However, LaPorta had nine touchdowns and two two-point conversions this year. No other tight end had more than six touchdowns or a single two-point conversion. LaPorta finished the season as the TE1 in total points scored but his target share of 20.8% ranked sixth among tight ends, which shows he ran slightly pure on the looks he saw. LaPorta can take steps forward in Year 2, but also see some regression in how he scores points as teams learn to defend him better.

David Njoku (TE – CLE)

Coinciding with Joe Flacco’s ascendancy into fantasy football stardom, Njoku finished the season strong with 21.8 PPR points per game over his past four games, but this was also part of a wider trend for Njoku over the past two years. In games without Deshaun Watson, Njoku is averaging 13.16 points per game, compared to 9.02 with Watson. The offense looks uglier when Watson is at the controls and Njoku and Watson have rarely shown signs of a great connection, meanwhile, Njoku has flashed at times with Jacoby Brissett, PJ Walker, Dorian Thompson-Robinson and now Flacco. The Browns might finally get things right with Watson, or they might revert to type and stay concentrated on the ground game with Njoku becoming more touchdown-reliant again. Either way, it’s very unlikely we see a Cleveland Browns offense passing at one of the most aggressive rates in the league.

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