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Fantasy Football Draft Values: Dontayvion Wicks, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Khalil Shakir (2024)

Fantasy Football Draft Values: Dontayvion Wicks, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Khalil Shakir (2024)

Wide receiver is a premium position in most league formats. Managers must start 2-3 WRs each week, especially in PPR leagues. Identifying WR3s with WR1 potential will set up fantasy managers for success next year and in the seasons that follow in dynasty and keeper leagues. Details on three of the top candidates to ascend at WR in 2024 are below, including a review of their performance in 2023 and an outlook for the teams they represent.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

WR3s With WR1 Potential

(Unless otherwise noted, stats referenced courtesy of PFF)

Dontayvion Wicks (WR – GB)

Dontayvion Wicks finished third among Green Bay WRs in targets, receiving yards and touchdowns during his rookie season. The 6-foot-3, 206-pound WR did, however, outgrade his fellow members of the WR room in overall offense and overall receiving, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF).

For Wicks to climb the depth chart, he must expand his target share after trailing Romeo Doubs and Jayden Reed in the category last season. There is room for optimism here considering Wicks’ efficiency. He was second on the team behind Reed in receiving percentage, converting 41 of his 61 targets to receptions, a rate of 67.2%. If Wicks is awarded more targets from Jordan Love, he will fuse the additional catches that follow with his team-leading 14.8 yards per reception that he posted last year.

Wicks was lethal between the numbers in 2023 but needs to show Matt LaFleur he is also productive on the outside in the coming season. He scored all five of his touchdowns and accrued over half of his 605 receiving yards in the middle of the field. If he expands his range for catches, Wicks will find himself in an ideal pass-catching role with the outlook in Green Bay. Jordan Love finished seventh in dropbacks last season behind a line that graded 10th overall in pass blocking. Of those top-seven QBs, Love’s passer rating of 97.1 ranked third behind only Dak Prescott and Jared Goff.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – SEA)

Jaxon Smith-Njigba played in all 17 games for the Seahawks last season. The slot specialist received 91 targets throughout his rookie campaign and alchemized 628 receiving yards along with four touchdowns.

Smith-Njigba showed promise as a playmaker in 2023. He tied DK Metcalf for the team lead in yards after the catch (YAC) with 370 total yards and was second to Metcalf in missed tackles forced after the catch with six. When targeted by Geno Smith, Smith-Njigba was efficient in catching the ball at a rate of 70.0%. This trailed only Jake Bobo in Seattle, who received just 29 targets on the year. This combination of playmaking and efficiency offers Smith-Njigba a much higher ceiling than shown last season.

To reach the said ceiling, Smith-Njigba must improve his drop rate and his ability to make contested catches. Smith-Njigba led the Seahawks with eight total drops and converted just three of his 12 contested catch opportunities. If he reduces the drops and works on routes he’s likely to see contact on, the second-year receiver should earn more opportunities in a Seattle offense now led by OC Brian Grubb. Grubb’s Washington Huskies passing attack graded third overall in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) last season, ripening the Seahawks for an increase in throwing volume. With Seattle now officially retaining Geno Smith for 2024, familiarity at QB and opportunity will be on Smith-Njigba’s side.

Khalil Shakir (WR – BUF)

Change is coming for the WR group in Buffalo. Gabe Davis is now an unrestricted free agent and Stefon Diggs enters his age-30 season this fall after scoring his last touchdown of 2023 back in week 12. Khalil Shakir is on the runway for the Bills at 24 years old heading into his third NFL season.

Much of the upside with Shakir comes from his ability to make plays after the catch. Despite finishing fourth on the Bills in targets, he was second only to Diggs in YAC last season. Furthermore, Shakir crushed his fellow Buffalo WRs efficiency-wise. He converted 49 of his 56 targets to receptions, a rate of 87.5%. That was the best reception rate of any NFL receiver with at least 40 targets last season. To earn the target share of a WR1, Shakir must prove he is an every-down receiver with the ability to play from different alignments. At 6-foot-0, 190 pounds, Shakir has primarily played from the slot in the NFL. His case for an expanded role on the outside includes his 60.0% contested catch rate in 2023 and the likely departure of Gabe Davis this offseason.

Shakir’s opportunity will be secure with Josh Allen finishing third overall in dropbacks last year. The chemistry between Shakir and Allen is empirical; when targeting Shakir in 2023, Allen’s passer rating was a luminous 141.5. The two will look to replicate this connection in 2024 and build a new-look offense in Buffalo.

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