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Fantasy Football Draft Advice: Best Ball Rookies to Target & Avoid (2024)

Fantasy Football Draft Advice: Best Ball Rookies to Target & Avoid (2024)

While the 2024 NFL Draft is quickly approaching, now is a great time to capitalize in best ball fantasy football drafts. You can gain an edge versus other best ball drafters if you have advanced knowledge of the upcoming draft class. Identifying value at this point in the year can be the difference between cashing or not in fantasy football best ball leagues. Let’s take a look at a few fantasy football rookies to target and avoid in upcoming best ball drafts.

Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice

Players to Target for Best Ball

Jayden Daniels

Unless something goes very awry, Daniels will be a Commander or a Patriot. Washington is the ideal landing spot with a solid receiving corps and an offensive coordinator known to push fantasy-friendly offenses.

While the Patriots’ offense remains a giant question mark with no WR1, Daniels can still thrive from a fantasy perspective with his rushing upside and would be the immediate starter. His skillset can overcome a lack of weapons, and potential spikes in production would be excellent for best ball teams.

Trey Benson and Jonathan Brooks

I’m pairing these rookies together for the same reason: top-of-the-class talent with the potential to land in RB1 situations for best ball. There are several spots open but the Dallas Cowboys’ RB1 position is the most coveted landing spot for Benson and Brooks.

While the Cowboys retained 2023 backup Rico Dowdle, the incoming rookie would have a direct path to RB1. The Cowboys have had top-30 visits with both Benson and Brooks, so at their current ADPs, I’m very willing to draft both backs in hopes one ends up as the lead back in one of the league’s most explosive offenses.

Malachi Corley

Digging much deeper into best ball ADP, Corley is a very intriguing prospect and is making the rounds in top-30 visits with Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas and several other teams.

While Corley does have some developmental needs to make a huge impact at the next level, his versatility and skills after the catch mean he could see the field early in creative, high-impact plays. Gadget players might feel a bit risky, but he’s the perfect late-round target that could truly pay off.

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Players to Avoid for Best Ball

J.J. McCarthy

By no means is this an indictment of McCarthy’s talent. I do believe McCarthy will be a first-round pick and this isn’t shades of the fake Will Levis rumors of the 2023 draft.

The problem with McCarthy is that we know he is the fourth quarterback off the board. The range of outcomes for Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye is far slimmer than McCarthy because the top three picks need a quarterback.

So, a team must trade up aggressively for any of the top three quarterbacks to go into an unknown situation. A team trading multiple firsts to one of the top three quarterbacks means they plan to start him immediately.

But for McCarthy, we genuinely don’t know which team will draft him and if there’s potential for him not to be the immediate starter. In an ideal world for his best ball outlook, the Vikings trade up for McCarthy and he easily beats out Sam Darnold and has one of the league’s best receiving corps.

In a world of chaos, the Vikings can’t get a deal done, and the Giants draft McCarthy and give Daniel Jones a year while McCarthy develops.

Brock Bowers

Bowers is the clear TE1 of this class, and that’s rather unfortunate for his ADP. Bowers is being drafted as a top-10 tight end as early as Round 7, and that’s just far too rich for my taste.

Coming off a year where rookie and second-year tight ends made a dramatic impact in fantasy football, Bowers is feeling the residual effect of their performances inflating his ADP. While last year was fantastic for young tight ends, rookie tight ends typically pose a risk and we have to put their success into context.

Sam LaPorta was drafted to a team with no clear WR2 in an offense that was top-5 in points scored and top-10 in most offensive stats. Dalton Kincaid benefited from Dawson Knox‘s injury. Trey McBride became the first look of his offense.

Bowers’ best ball rookie season is very team-dependent and risky at his current ADP.

Rome Odunze

It pains me to put Odunze on the “Players to Avoid” list for best ball rookies because he’s one of my favorite prospects. But mock drafts have been very consistent with Odunze and when you see commonalities across so many analysts, you have to buy into it.

There’s a strong possibility that Rome Odunze is a Chicago Bear. Odunze’s talent is undeniable.

But as a rookie behind DJ Moore and Keenan Allen, Odunze would likely go the way of Jaxon Smith-Njigba – plenty of talent, limited opportunity. His skill set is very worthy of his ADP, but the landing spot risk is undeniable.

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