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4 Must-Have Wide Receivers to Draft (2024 Fantasy Football)

4 Must-Have Wide Receivers to Draft (2024 Fantasy Football)

The top teams will play in the pinnacle of the NFL season this Sunday in Super Bowl LVIII. The remaining teams will take this time to improve their chances of reaching the Super Bowl next season, including spinning the NFL coaching carousel at high speed.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

Fantasy managers are left with finishing up their fantasy playoff contests with the last taste of fantasy matchups until September. However, the astute fantasy managers are already preparing for next season by analyzing and reviewing this past season’s heroics and failures and next year’s projections.

Here is a look at four wide receivers fantasy managers must have to crush their leagues in 2024.

4 Must-Have Wide Receivers (2024 Fantasy Football)

Mike Evans (WR – UFA)

There should be zero uncertainty surrounding Mike Evans for fantasy managers, except which NFL uniform he will wear in 2024.

Evans will be 31 before the start of the 2024 season but he continues to build upon his Hall of Fame resume. Evans led the NFL with 13 receiving touchdowns and remarkably recorded his 10th consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season. His dominance, combined with his durability, having played 15 or more games in all but one NFL season, has triggered plenty of buzz with Evans entering free agency this offseason.

One player who wants Evans to stay in Tampa Bay is quarterback Baker Mayfield, who is also looking for another contract. This QB-WR duo made magic together in 2023, with Evans finishing as the WR4 on 79 receptions for 1,233 yards.

There will be plenty of teams all over Evans, but regardless of where he lands, he produces WR1 numbers. Fantasy football managers should be all over Evans to be their top wideout in 2024.

Zay Flowers (WR – BAL)

Typically, fantasy managers should shy away from recency bias and look at the bigger picture. However, after witnessing what rookie Zay Flowers emerged into at the tail end of the season and playoffs, he produces optimism for his fantasy projections in 2024. Flowers scored in four of his last five games of the season. His impressive effort in the Ravens’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game leaves fantasy managers salivating at his big-play ability.

Flowers averaged 10.5 fantasy points per game and was 11th in route participation among all wideouts. He finished as the WR29 with 77 receptions for 858 yards and five receiving touchdowns (plus one rushing score). It seems Lamar Jackson has finally found a go-to wide receiver option for years to come. Fantasy managers should view Flowers as a high-end WR2 and a must-have wideout on their fantasy rosters in 2024.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – SEA)

My selection as the top breakout wide receiver next season. Jaxon Smith-Njigba started slow in his rookie season while dealing with a wrist injury but his role and contributions continued to rise throughout the season. The former Buckeye was the first wideout taken in the 2023 NFL Draft but was the Seahawks’ WR3 behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Smith-Njigba was utilized as a part-time player for the majority of the season. He ran 69% of his routes from the slot, which limited his route tree. He also had an average depth of target of 5.8 yards, which was among the lowest in the league. He finished as the WR48 with 63 receptions for 628 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie campaign.

Fantasy managers were hoping more but the opportunities were not there last season. However, his usage should expand this season, with the Seahawks looking to part ways with Lockett to alleviate cap space. The fresh voice with a new coaching staff in Seattle should encourage fantasy managers in 2024, as Smith-Njigba will see less target competition and a more significant role in the offense. The upside and the breakout will happen for the sophomore wideout in 2024.

Garrett Wilson (WR – NYJ)

Garrett Wilson was super hyped coming into last season with Aaron Rodgers geared up to take over the New York Jets offense. Well, everyone knows what happened next. Rodgers tore his Achilles, which ended the Jets’ playoff hopes, demolishing the fantasy value of the former Buckeye wideout.

The gross revolving door at quarterback resulted in the Jets’ offense finishing 31st in yards per game. Still, Wilson finished as the WR31 last season, recording 95 receptions and 1,042 receiving yards on a fantastic 168 targets, and adding three scores. He finished third in air yards share (42.7%), but horrendous quarterback play limited Wilson, including seeing 992 unrealized air yards, which was the fourth-highest among all wideouts.

Wilson has 151 catches for 1,926 yards through his first two NFL seasons – expectations are incredibly high for him to rack up WR1 numbers in 2024. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers will return next season. The combo should smash next season and Wilson should make his fantasy managers smile while wearing No. 5, his former Buckeye number, for the Jets in 2024.

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Dennis Sosic is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Dennis, check out his archive and follow him @CALL_ME_SOS.

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