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WR3s with WR1 Potential (2024 Fantasy Football)

WR3s with WR1 Potential (2024 Fantasy Football)

Soaking up draft value is a tried and true way to make a championship run in fantasy football leagues. Gamers who can nab a WR3-priced wide receiver who performs like a WR1 can have a sizable edge over their league mates. The two following wide receivers have the potential to finish as top-12 wideouts in half-PPR formats. Furthermore, one is even cheaper than a WR3, carrying an average draft position (ADP) out of the top 40 wide receivers.

WR3s With WR1 Potential

Christian Kirk (JAC – WR ): 74.3 ADP/WR36

Christian Kirk was on the fringe of a WR1 in his first season on the Jaguars in 2022. He was the WR17 in half-PPR points per game (11.8) among wide receivers who played at least 10 games in 2022. Calvin Ridley entered Jacksonville’s mix at wide receiver in 2023, knocking Kirk down to 10.1 half-PPR points per game.

Ridley bolted in free agency, inking a massive contract with the Titans. Gabe Davis will replace Ridley on the Jaguars, but he’s not the target earner Ridley was. Thus, Kirk should return to a more prominent role in Jacksonville’s offense. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Kirk was tied for 29th in yards per route run (1.75 Y/RR) among 71 wideouts targeted at least 50 times in 2022. He was also targeted on a rock-solid 21.2% of his routes that season.

In 2023, Kirk was tied for 18th in yards per route run (2.07 Y/RR) among 71 wide receivers targeted at least 50 times. He was also targeted on 21.1% of his routes. The most substantial difference between 2022 and 2023 was Kirk’s touchdown output. He scored eight touchdowns in 2022 before dipping to three in 2023. If Kirk’s touchdowns can regress to 2022’s output while maintaining his 2023 efficiency, he can be a top-12 wide receiver in 2024.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Christian Watson (GB – WR ): 85.7 ADP/WR41

Sadly, Christian Watson has been plagued by hamstring injuries in his young professional career. This offseason, he’s seeking ways to avoid re-injuring his hamstrings. Watson can be a fantasy asset if he finds an answer to the hamstring issues, and players are injury-prone until they aren’t.

The dynamic young wide receiver has played only 23 regular season games in his career. Furthermore, Watson had at least a 60% snap share in only eight games in 2022 and eight in 2023. The following table has his statistics for the 16-game sample when he’s played at least 60% of Green Bay’s offensive snaps.

In that 16-game sample, Watson had half-PPR weekly finishes of WR2, WR5, WR8, WR6 and WR14 in 2022 and WR24, WR10 and WR8 in 2023. So, he was a WR1 in 37.5% of those games and a WR1 or WR2 in 50% of them. Watson had 192.7 half-PPR points in that sample, and his average of 12.0 half-PPR points per game would have ranked as the WR18 among wideouts who played at least 10 games in 2023.

Watson's rookie season excellence is worth revisiting. He was highly efficient relative to rookie wideouts targeted at least 50 times in their rookie season since 2015.

The table was littered with many hits and few misses. In addition, Watson was also 24th in PFF's receiving grade among 71 wide receivers targeted at least 50 times in 2022.

Watson was also heavily involved in Green Bay's offense when healthy in 2023. In the eight games he played at least 60% of Green Bay's offensive snaps, Watson was second on the team in routes (251), first in targets (49), second in receptions (26), first in receiving yards (397) and tied for first in receiving touchdowns (four).

The Packers have an intriguing collection of young pass-catchers, but Watson was drafted the earliest (34th pick) of the group and has a drool-inducing athletic profile. Jayden Reed and Watson are arguably Green Bay's most irreplaceable weapons, and the latter has demonstrated a high weekly ceiling. Watson's vertical usage and Green Bay's pass-catching depth could result in some bust weeks, but his booms could equate to a WR1 finish in 2024.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

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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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