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7 Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Targets (2024)

7 Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Targets (2024)

With less than a month till the draft we have only a few more weeks to take advantage of early best ball contests before they close and the huge contests open as the official best ball season begins. We have more information now than at any point in this early best ball window. We can use that leverage to create better teams than the ones drafted in the opening weeks. Below are seven players to target in your best ball drafts.

Best Ball Players to Target

Curtis Samuel (WR – BUF) | Underdog ADP: 130 Overall

The Bills signed Curtis Samuel after a mixed three-year stint in Washington and reunited him with Brandon Beane (Bills GM), who was a part of the Carolina Panthers front office when they drafted Samuel in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Samuel gives the Bills a dimension they’ve lacked in recent years, being able to win both through the middle of the field and on the outside, as well as bringing quicker acceleration than the Bills have had in recent years. Samuel averaged 9.08 miles per hour (MPH) within the first second of his routes in 2023. His burst (measured by NFL Next Gen Stats) was the third-quickest in the NFL among players with 300+ routes and was markedly quicker than Gabe Davis (8.25 MPH) and Stefon Diggs (7.73 MPH). The move to bring Samuel to Buffalo also reunited him with offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who was the offensive coordinator in Carolina when Samuel saw 97 targets and recorded 851 yards. The Bills look to be building a different type of offense for 2024 and Samuel could be a large part of it.

Joe Mixon (RB – HOU) | Underdog ADP: 65.7 Overall

The Texans’ decision to reward a player about to get cut with a two-year extension was slightly perplexing but it won’t pay off to focus on that fact long term. Instead, with fresh eyes, let’s remember the Texans have committed to Mixon as their main running back. Dameon Pierce completely floundered last year, consigned to special teams only by the end of the season while Devin Singletary saw 19.4 touches per game from Week 10 onwards. Mixon has scored 37 touchdowns in the last three years, making up for some of his inefficiency on the ground. As the sole option in Houston, that kind of return can continue in an ascending offense.

Diontae Johnson (WR – CAR) | Underdog ADP: 77.3 Overall

The Panthers trading for Diontae Johnson was one of their smartest decisions. Bryce Young needs better receivers in 2024 — ones who can get open are a good start. Young has plenty of room to improve, but coming out of college, there was no doubt he could throw with anticipation. However, Carolina’s 2023 wide receivers didn’t get open tons, making it harder for Young to trust his reads. Johnson gets open for fun. In ESPN’s open rating score, which is meant to quantify separation on a per-route basis and not just on targets, Johnson has ranked in the top four in four of the five last years. Johnson also earns targets like few other wide receivers, averaging 127.8 over the last five years. He is coming off career bests in yards per route run (1.9), Pro Football Focus (PFF) receiving grade (79.1), yards per catch (14.1) and yards per target (8.2). The Panthers are unlikely to win the division anytime soon but they can easily make a big step forward on offense in 2024.

Drake London (WR – ATL) | Underdog ADP: 22.3 Overall

Perhaps no player improved their fortunes in free agency quite as much as Drake London with the addition of quarterback Kirk Cousins. Desmond Ridder ranked 66 out of 68 quarterbacks in PFF passing grade in 2023 and averaged 10 fewer catchable passes per game than Cousins. Going from a low-volume inaccurate quarterback to a highly accurate, pass-first offense can do wonders for London. Cousins also knows how to feed his best players, having kept Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs all happy in Minnesota, while also giving thousand-yard seasons to Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in his Washington days. London has averaged a miserable 4.27 receptions per game through 33 NFL games and it’s not outlandish to think that number doubles in 2024. London isn’t cheap, but with an ADP of 22.3, don’t be surprised if he hits the mid-teens by September.

Jalin Hyatt (WR – NYG) | Underdog ADP: 199 Overall

There were doubts about whether Jalin Hyatt’s game would translate to the NFL level and his debut season was nothing to shout home about with 23 catches for 373 scoreless yards. There are reasons for hope, though, heading into year two. For a start, the Giants should have an improvement in quarterback play over Tommy DeVito, with Daniel Jones or potentially a highly-drafted rookie taking over under center. Hyatt has also been talked up as a potential option out of the slot more often in 2024, something that would suit his playing style better, enabling him to face less stress at the line of scrimmage. The Giants would also be buoyed by the addition of a highly-drafted wide receiver, enabling them to prolong drives longer and have more pass attempts. Hyatt isn’t a player to go crazy on but there’s enough reason to be intrigued.

Josh Reynolds (WR – DEN) | Underdog ADP: 238 Overall

Before signing with the Denver Broncos, Josh Reynolds was consistently undrafted. While he’s not a high-ceiling player, he is a reliable set of hands with eight combined top-30 weekly finishes in the last two seasons. Denver lacks pass-catchers outside of Courtland Sutton, who is by no means a lock to be wearing orange in September, despite the Broncos trading Jerry Jeudy already. Sean Payton consistently shows loyalty to players he’s signed or brought with him and it’s hard not to imagine Reynolds having some usable weeks in 2024. At this price, Reynolds can be mixed in as an end-of-roster play to give your wide receiver room depth.

Christian Kirk (WR – JAX) | Underdog ADP: 56.1 Overall

The Jaguars lost Calvin Ridley to division rivals in free agency and failed to make any significant additions, outside of Gabe Davis, who is a reasonable player but won’t command high volume. Instead, Christian Kirk can return to his defacto WR1 status of 2022 when he was the WR13, putting up 1,009 yards and seven touchdowns. He also recorded eight performances of 15+ PPR points. The Jaguars might be set to add another receiver in the draft, and they should do so, but Kirk has a good connection with Trevor Lawrence that’s unlikely to fade away anytime soon.

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