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6 Must-Have Quarterbacks & Tight Ends to Draft (2024 Fantasy Football)

6 Must-Have Quarterbacks & Tight Ends to Draft (2024 Fantasy Football)

While the 2024 fantasy football redraft season is months away, it’s never too early to look ahead. Much will change between now and August, when most redraft fantasy leagues start back up. Despite that, let’s look at three quarterbacks and three tight ends on my early must-have draft list for 2024.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

2024 Must-Have Quarterbacks & Tight Ends

(ADP via Underdog Fantasy)

Quarterbacks

Justin Herbert (LAC): ADP 80.3 | QB10

The 2023 season was one to forget for fantasy players with Herbert on their team. He was the QB8 on a points-per-game basis among quarterbacks with at least nine games, averaging 18 fantasy points per contest. Unfortunately, injuries to his throwing hand cost him the final 4.5 games after forcing him to play several others at less than 100%.

However, the superstar averaged 21 fantasy points per game over the first 11 weeks, totaling 22 or more in 60% of those contests. Hopefully, Herbert can stay healthy in 2024 and have Keenan Allen back on the team. With Jim Harbaugh as his head coach and his weapons healthy, the former Oregon star should bounce back to his fantasy superstar level of play.

Jordan Love (GB): ADP 85.9 | QB11

While his first season as the starter had some ups and downs, Love was outstanding for fantasy players. He finished the year as the QB5 on a points-per-game basis among quarterbacks with at least six games, averaging 18.8 fantasy points per game. The former Utah State star had a higher fantasy points per game average than several superstars, including C.J. Stroud and Patrick Mahomes.

Love finished second in the NFL with 32 passing touchdowns, only four behind Dak Prescott. Yet, he didn’t have a CeeDee Lamb-like superstar at his disposal. The first-year starter was without Christian Watson for half the year and had several other wide receivers in and out of the lineup. Yet, he nearly had twice as many games with two or more passing touchdowns (11) than one or fewer (six). Love should only get better as he and his young receiving core develop.

Jayden Daniels (LSU): ADP 128.7 | QB18

Despite not knowing where in the NFL Draft Daniels will land and who selects him, I want him on my redraft teams next season. The LSU star had a breakout year in his final college season, totaling 3,811 passing yards, 40 touchdowns, and only four interceptions on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. He was one of the top passers in college football in 2023, posting an 8.4% big-time throw rate per PFF.

Furthermore, Daniels gives fantasy players the ultimate cheat code – his elite rushing ability. Last year, the fantasy football community loved Anthony Richardson because of his rushing skills at Florida. Richardson had 654 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in his final college season. By comparison, Daniels had 1,134 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns last year while being a significantly better passer than Richardson. If the rookie starts Week 1, he will be on several of my fantasy teams.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Tight Ends

Trey McBride (ARI): ADP 61.9 | TE4

Most of the hype heading into next year’s redraft season will be on Sam LaPorta after the former Iowa star defied the notion that tight ends can’t be fantasy stars as rookies. However, the young tight end I want on my team is McBride. The second-year player was the TE9 in 2023, averaging 8.3 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. While he had the same yearly points per game average as Jake Ferguson, McBride is already a superstar tight end.

After struggling to get on the field, McBride averaged 2.64 yards per route run and had 20.5 fantasy points in his first career start against an elite Baltimore Ravens defense despite catching passes from Joshua Dobbs. More importantly, the former Colorado State star averaged 2.17 yards per route run, a 29.8 first-read target share, and 0.37 fantasy points per route run with Kyler Murray under center (per Fantasy Points Data). McBride should be in the mix as the first tight end selected in 2024 drafts.

Kyle Pitts (ATL): ADP 97.6 | TE12

Many have given up on Pitts after having back-to-back disappointing seasons. While I understand the frustration, better days are ahead for the talented tight end. Pitts joined Mike Ditka as the only rookie tight end with over 1,000 receiving yards. By comparison, Sam LaPorta had 889 receiving yards on 120 targets as a rookie despite being a focal point in one of the NFL’s best passing offenses. Meanwhile, Pitts has played the past two years hurt. He suffered a knee injury in 2022 that ended his season after 10 games.

Unfortunately, the knee injury limited his this past year. Yet, the former Florida star still finished the season just outside the TE1 range. Arthur Smith is gone, meaning Pitts won’t have a lower red zone target share (15.5% vs. 8.6%) than Jonnu Smith again (per Fantasy Points Data). New offensive coordinator Zac Robinson will know how to utilize the talented tight end. Unless he is still dealing with the knee injury in training camp, fantasy players should jump at the opportunity to draft Pitts as a low-end TE1.

Pat Freiermuth (PIT): ADP 143.5 | TE17

Last year was one to forget for Freiermuth and fantasy players with him on their team. The third-year player was a popular mid-round tight end draft pick. However, he missed five games and struggled when playing. Freiermuth averaged only 5.1 half-point PPR fantasy points per game, a career low. The tight end saw his targets (36.1%) and receiving yards per game (43.9%) significantly drop from 2022 to last season. Pittsburgh’s offense struggled to get the passing game going regardless of who called the plays.

While many hate seeing Arthur Smith get another chance in the NFL, his hiring is excellent news for Freiermuth. Fantasy players have seen the tight end be productive when given the target volume and red zone opportunities. Last year, the Atlanta Falcons tight ends averaged a 31.7% overall target share and a 29.3% red zone target share. Fantasy players just have to hope that Smith doesn’t try to make Darnell Washington a thing and builds the passing attack around Freiermuth.

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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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