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5 Dynasty Rookie Draft Sleepers: Wide Receivers (2024 Fantasy Football)

5 Dynasty Rookie Draft Sleepers: Wide Receivers (2024 Fantasy Football)

Dynasty rookie draft season is one of the best times of the year. The anticipation of the NFL Draft, rookie fever, and the hope that only a fist full of rookie picks can provide for a struggling dynasty team are intoxicating. As I dig further and further into this rookie class, some serious gems are emerging from the depths of this wide receiver class, so as I run through a million rookie mocks using our Draft Simulator, I’m immediately starring a handful of these talented receivers to scoop up in the later rounds. Let’s discuss some of them today. 

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Dynasty Rookie Draft Sleepers

Jermaine Burton (Alabama)

Burton has the speed to burn. His acceleration is one of the first standout traits that jump off the film. He can erase cushions and make defensive backs hate life in an instant with double moves. It’s insane and so much fun to watch. He’s not just a field stretcher. Burton has big-time route-running chops. He flashes smooth changes of direction and the ability to cut on a dime. He has some red-zone whip routes that make corners look absolutely silly. He deploys jab steps, pace variations, and leverage manipulation in his routes. He can win at all three levels. Burton has top-shelf deep ball tracking. He secured a big-time throw, illuminating this perfectly against Ole Miss in 2023. He also has consistent late hands as he leaves corners guessing. He needs to improve his boundary awareness, but he displays good body control on back shoulder throws with the ability to sky and secure balls outside of his frame and behind him. Burton has a strong set of hands at the catch point. He sports only a 2.9% drop rate and a 52.6% contested catch rate in college. Burton also flashes some physicality after the catch with a strong enough base to slip tackles.

Malik Washington (Virginia)

Washington is a dynamic player in the open field. He can slip tackles like a running back and has good vision in traffic. Last year, he was fifth in missed tackles forced. His low center of gravity helps with breaking arm tackles and his twitchy change of direction ability. He has an immediate burst with the ball in his hands. Washington’s fluid hips allow him to uncover quickly and transition seamlessly to running after the catch. Washington was utilized in the slot in college (87.9% slot rate in 2023). He’ll likely work inside at the NFL level. Washington has a good feel for finding the soft spots in zone. He was heavily utilized on screens and stop routes. Washington needs to continue to add nuance to his routes (mid-route), but he does display good footwork in his releases and bend in his routes to believe that he can continue to evolve in this area at the next level. His size can show up during this routes as he can get pushed off his line against physical corners, but he plays bigger at the catch point. He flashes good body control, snagging plenty of balls outside of his frame with adjustments to high throws and ankle biters.

Luke McCaffrey (Rice)

A savvy player who could carve out a long career in the NFL, McCaffrey’s background as a quarterback serves him well as a receiver. He has good situational awareness in the red zone, making catches near the boundary and finding soft spots in zone coverage. McCaffrey has a slender build with easy speed and a fluid change of direction. He will be a quarterback’s best friend in the NFL with his strong hands. He had only a 4.1% drop rate last year and came down with plenty of tough catches in traffic while taking huge hits. He has a nice catch radius with the ability to adjust to targets over his head, as well as ankle biters in the red zone. McCaffrey isn’t a burner, but he can be utilized downfield. He has strong ball tracking and displays late hands consistently.

Johnny Wilson (Florida State)

A receiver, Wilson’s height shouldn’t have the fluidity that he does. Quick feet and smooth hips allow him to be a weapon in the short and intermediate areas. He sinks his hips better than you’d expect from a player with his height. Wilson can get open on a comeback or drag route for days. He has the quicks to get open versus corners and the raw strength to punish them after the catch. The sum of his skill parts allows him to produce YAC either from his surprisingly quick footwork or his upper body strength and leg drive. This is not a knock on Wilson’s ability as a perimeter wide receiver, BUT I want to see him converted to tight end in the NFL. He already has the requisite size with the ability to put on 10 lbs or so without losing his speed and quickness. If there’s a smart NFL franchise out there, they will be handsomely rewarded. Wilson can more than hold his own as a “wide receiver,” but as a tight end, he would have ridiculous upside. He has the skills to win versus linebackers and nickels all day. Another reason to believe that Wilson can make the jump to tight end is his blocking. As a run blocker, he is a DAWG. He has the total strength package to drive guys off the mark and anchor them. Over the last three seasons, among all wide receivers with at least 90 run-blocking snaps, he has ranked eighth, 21st, and first in PFF run-blocking grade. Wilson has a huge catch radius. He will adjust for low throws while also reaching high-point throws that few defenders can get to because of his size. He has plenty of catches in traffic on film to prove his strong hands. His 40.9% contested catch rate last year isn’t truly indicative of his talent, as the ball placement on some of his tight-window throws was sketchy at best. We also have to talk about his 12.8% drop rate in college. Wilson has plenty of concentration drops on film, but I think this is something he can get cleaned up in the NFL. There are too many instances of him making special catches on his film (i.e., the one-handed grab versus Oklahoma in 2022)

Jamari Thrash (Louisville)

Smooth operator. Looks like he is gliding on the field. Easy change of direction laterally. His “superpower” and how he wins is with his quick feet, specifically gearing down on intermediate routes. Thrash can drop his hips easily on a comeback and leave a corner spinning. Thrash has some nuance to his routes with jab steps and head fakes. He has a good understanding of leverage and how to set up corners. Thrash has good body control, especially when adjusting to low throws. He is not the strongest at the catch point, though, with only a 32.6% contested catch rate in college. He’s not a burner. He’s a one-speed guy. I question his ability to stretch the field and get on top of corners deep. Could settle in as a possession wide receiver / WR3 for an NFL team.

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