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Early 2024 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings, Tiers & Notes

Early 2024 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings, Tiers & Notes

The easiest way to kick off any way-too-early 2024 fantasy football rankings is to take a look back at what happened the year before. What worked, what didn’t work – but most importantly, addressing the “WHY” behind the successes and failures and using that as a driving force to make smart draft decisions next season.

That’s how I’ll start the breakdown of the wide receiver for early 2024 fantasy football rankings as we look ahead to the 2024 best ball season. Because with best ball, it’s never too early to start drafting.

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Early 2024 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings, Tiers & Notes

Strategy & Overview

Let’s open this WR discussion talking about busts. I covered the topic at length last season in my Fantasy Football Bust Guide: Draft Strategy & Advice in 2023.

WRs performing well above their heads one year are prime bust candidates the following season. No better picture of that than at the top between Deebo Samuel and Mike Evans from 2021. Both guys finished top-5 in fantasy points scored over expectation in 2021. Adam Thielen finished seventh in this category as well and was also a bust. Interesting that these 2022 busts came back STRONG in 2023.

In 2022, the future “busts” who performed massively over expectation – Jaylen Waddle, Tee Higgins, Christian Watson and DeVonta Smith. All expensive players with high ADPs in 2023. And they will all likely be discounted after being inappropriately priced during the 2023 draft season for 2024 NFL drafts.

The other attribute to look at when it comes to finding (and, more importantly, avoiding) WR busts is the player’s ability/talent. Specifically, what can this receiver do AFTER THE CATCH?

Because what a WR does with the ball in his hands is completely agnostic of quarterback play. It’s out of the passer’s hands at the point (literally) and now the responsibility of the receiver to post-production. If we consider the worst YAC receivers last season…the results are extremely telling.

Jahan Dotson, Calvin Ridley, Tyler Lockett, Drake London, Stefon Diggs, DeVonta Smith and Garrett Wilson.

The last point to make here comes to age. This one hits close to home for me as I turn the dreaded 30 years old this year.

NINE players finished as top-50 fantasy wide receivers in 2023 above age 30: Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Lockett, DeAndre Hopkins, Adam Thielen, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, Keenan Allen, and Mike Evans.

I’ve tracked this for a while, and this year is a MASSIVE outlier, considering it’s been exactly four 30-year-old WRs to be top 50 guys since 2020.

  • 2023 – 9
  • 2022 -4
  • 2021 – 4
  • 2020 – 4

Note that this inflated number might just be based on the sheer TOTAL of older WRs playing in the NFL. Because even though a bunch of older guys delivered, there were plenty that busted: Odell Beckham Jr., DeVante Parker, Robert Woods, and Michael Thomas.

The following WRs are already 30 years old or will turn 30 during the 2024 season, with some notes on potential outlooks ordered from most concern to least concern. Status quo indicates zero decline in YAC-ability worth flagging.

  • Brandin Cooks – Worst YAC/reception of his career (2.3). Also the worst yards per route run of his career (1.19).
  • Tyler Lockett – Worst YAC/reception of his career (2.8).
  • Adam Thielen – Bad YAC receiver, but it’s been bad for 3 seasons. Volume receiver.
  • Cooper Kupp – Worst YAC/reception of his career (5.3). Not bad overall. Still, career-low yards per route run.
  • Davante Adams – Worst YAC/reception since his second season in the NFL (3.3).
  • DeAndre Hopkins – Already not a great YAC receiver, but it’s been bad for 3 seasons. Volume-dependent receiver.
  • Stefon Diggs – Status quo.
  • Keenan Allen – Status quo.
  • Tyler Boyd – Status quo.
  • Amari Cooper – Status quo.
  • Tyreek Hill – Status quo.
  • Mike Evans – Fountain of Youth? Best YAC/reception EVER in his career in 2023.

If I am putting my money on the 30-plus year-olds that will continue to produce in 2024 and beyond, it’s clear where I am headed and where I am avoiding.

You’ll see that reflected in my early 2024 WR rankings, which are found below with notes on the top 50 or so ranked.

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