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

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

The one-off quarterback and tight end positions have intriguing, ascending talents. A pair of exciting young signal-callers are priority targets in fantasy football drafts and largely unimpacted by the luck of the draw for the draft order. A burgeoning star tight end is a relative value compared to another youngster at the position. Finally, a veteran tight end is a rebound candidate at an affordable cost.

Must-Have Quarterbacks

Anthony Richardson (IND – QB): 55.5 Underdog Fantasy ADP/QB5

Sadly, Anthony Richardson had his rookie season cut short by an AC joint injury in his right shoulder that required surgery. The Colts aren’t rushing Richardson back, but he’s already throwing and reportedly ahead of schedule in his recovery.

While the athletically gifted signal-caller had over a 95% snap share only twice and two more partial contests before getting injured in his rookie season, it was a dynamic small sample. He was the QB4 in Week 1 (21.9), QB19 in Week 2 (17.7) and QB2 in Week 4 (29.6).

The dual-threat quarterback was also impressive on a more granular level, posting an eye-popping rate of fantasy points per dropback. The following table has Richardson’s fantasy points/dropback relative to the QB1s in total points since 2019. The dropbacks are via Pro Football Focus (PFF).


Richardson also had some encouraging underlying data. According to PFF, he had an average time to throw of 3.18 seconds and a 3.3% turnover-worthy-play (TWP) rate in his final college season at Florida. Richardson shaved his time to throw to 2.86 seconds, and his 3.7 TWP% wasn't an explosion from his rate in 2022 with the Gators. In addition, after taking four sacks in Week 1 on 45 dropbacks, he took just three on his final 53. Richardson's sack aversion, was present in his collegiate career, even without getting rid of the ball quickly.


Richardson isn't a finished product, making his elite fantasy production as a rookie all the more impressive. His ceiling is cathedral-high. Gamers in 10-team- or 12-team leagues where most teams don't select a backup quarterback should confidently swing for the fences by picking Richardson, recognizing there will be viable streaming options. Yet, it makes sense to mitigate some risk in leagues of the same size where leaguemates choose a backup by popping someone like the upcoming quarterback, Jared Goff or Matthew Stafford, as a safety net if Richardson busts.

Jordan Love (GB - QB): 84.4 Underdog Fantasy ADP/QB10

Jordan Love was the QB5 in total fantasy points (330.1) and fantasy points per game (19.4) among signal-callers who played more than five games last season. Full stop. What are gamers doing allowing him to slide into fringe QB1 territory?

Green Bay's young quarterback didn't hit the ground running. Instead, Love started to hit his stride in the back half of the season. From Week 9 through Week 18, he had 20.2 fantasy points per game. Moreover, Love was PFF's second-highest-graded passer, fifth in big-time-throw rate (7.0 BTT%) and had the 14th-lowest turnover-worthy-play rate (2.4 TWP%) among 38 quarterbacks who dropped back at least 100 times in that period.

Love has a few paths to building on his impressive first year as a starting quarterback. First, he can eliminate the early-season hiccups and pick up where he left off last year. Second, Love's young pass-catchers can improve. All of Love's best pass-catching weapons were rookies or second-year players in 2023. Third, Christian Watson can stay healthier and revert to his hyper-efficient rookie production.

Additionally, Watson flashed brilliance even in a less efficient, injury-marred sophomore season. For instance, the speedster had seven receptions for 71 receiving yards and two touchdowns on nine targets against Kansas City's seemingly impenetrable secondary and also had 3-91-0 in Week 5 against the Raiders and 5-94-1 against the Lions on Thanksgiving. Love's cupboards are full, and any advancements from his young pass-catching teammates can help him kick his production to another level in 2024. Love is a relative steal compared to other pocket-passers who can sprinkle in rushing value, such as C.J. Stroud (57.1 Underdog Fantasy ADP), Joe Burrow (71.5) and Dak Prescott (76.2).

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Must-Have Tight Ends

Trey McBride (ARI - TE): 50.0 Underdog Fantasy ADP/TE3

Trey McBride smashed any memories of his lousy rookie season to smithereens by thrusting himself into the upper tier of tight ends in his sophomore campaign. McBride was first in yards per route run (2.03 Y/RR) among 45 tight ends targeted at least 30 times in 2023. He was also in rare company with Travis Kelce against single and two-high defenses last season.

Furthermore, he was superb when Kyler Murray returned. From Week 10 through Week 18, he was the TE5 in half-PRR points per game (11.5) and had 66 targets, a 25.2% target share, 53 receptions (6.6 per game), 538 receiving yards (67.3 per game), 2.08 Y/RR, 5.6 yards after the catch per reception, seven broken tackles, seven red-zone targets and two receiving touchdowns.

Gamers might view the probable addition of Marvin Harrison, Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze as a negative for McBride's outlook. However, an improved offense would enhance McBride's touchdown potential, and more sustained drives would improve his outlook for receptions and receiving yards, even if he cedes some target share to an incoming stud rookie wide receiver, saying nothing of Murray potentially playing better in his second season in Drew Petzing's offense and further removed from reconstructive knee surgery. The gap between McBride's ADP and Sam LaPorta's (30.2) is too steep, and McBride should arguably be ahead of Kelce (42.6), given where they are respectively in their career arcs.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

Dallas Goedert (PHI - TE): 111.5 Underdog Fantasy ADP/TE13

Among tight ends who played at least eight games, Dallas Goedert was the TE9 in half-PPR points per game (8.5) in 2020, the TE9 (9.1) in 2021, the TE5 (9.5) in 2022 and the TE13 (7.6) in 2023. Thus, Goedert is essentially being drafted at his floor.

Last year was unquestionably a down year by Goedert's standard. Yet, he celebrated only his 29th birthday in January. So, Goedert is still in his prime years. New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore could help him bounce back. Tight ends have played well in Moore's offenses in recent seasons. The following table has Goedert's numbers and the stats for tight ends who ran over 100 routes in Moore's offenses since 2021.

Goedert won't leapfrog A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith in Philadelphia's pass-catcher pecking order. Yet, if Moore can get Jalen Hurts and Philadelphia's offense back on track, Goedert can return to his 2022 form. Goedert is a safe pick, with a low-end starting tight end floor. Finally, if Brown or Smith were to miss any games in 2024, Goedert could enjoy a 2023 T.J. Hockenson or 2023 Evan Engram-like production surge when Justin Jefferson and Christian Kirk were out for their respective clubs.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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