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Fantasy Football Draft Targets: Joshua Palmer, Raheem Mostert, Joe Burrow (2024)

Fantasy Football Draft Targets: Joshua Palmer, Raheem Mostert, Joe Burrow (2024)

With the arrival of April, it’s almost time for Best Ball Season to get well and truly underway when the draft has wrapped up. Until then, we can make do with the early contests that are still open. It’s an excellent time to dive in for your first drafts or check your exposures and see what adjustments you want to make before the contests close. Here are players to target in fantasy football best ball drafts.

Joshua Palmer (WR – LAC) (152.4)

The Chargers are beginning their soft rebuild by removing Justin Herbert‘s offensive weapons and starting fresh, potentially with a highly drafted wide receiver to lead the way. Palmer remains a good bet to be the Chargers’ primary slot receiver, though, after playing 34% of snaps there in 2023, mainly when Keenan Allen wasn’t used there.

Now, with Allen on the Bears, it frees up those important easy-completion routes for another player. Over Palmer’s three-year career, he’s played 43 games, and in the 11 without Allen, his receiving yards jumped by 27 per game, PPR points jumped from 7.28 to 12.55, and his targets leaped from 4.16 to 7.64.

Palmer outworked Quentin Johnston in nearly every stat imaginable, including targets per game (5.7 vs. 3.9), route participation (84% vs. 66%), yards per route (1.8 vs. 0.9), and, most importantly, PPR points per game (10.6 vs. 5.6). This Chargers offense might not be as pass-heavy as we’d want, but Herbert can be efficient and take the chain-moving passes to a player like Palmer, who is too cheap at pick 152.

Raheem Mostert (RB – MIA) (93.4)

Touchdowns are one of the least sticky stats year on year, and betting on consistent touchdown scoring is an easy way to run into trouble in fantasy football. That said, though, Mostert scored 21 touchdowns in 2023, tied with Christian McCaffrey as the only running backs to score more than 15.

Now McCaffrey is a top-five pick without fail, while Mostert languishes in the early eighth round of drafts. Mostert clearly lacks the ceiling outcomes of McCaffrey and, by all means, doesn’t deserve to be a first-round pick, but the distance between the two shouldn’t be as substantial.

Mostert has signed a new contract with Miami reaffirming his position as part of their plans for 2024, and despite being 31 years old, he still runs well.

Devon Achane is being consistently drafted in the second round. While his ceiling is as high, if not higher than any other player at the position on a weekly basis, his weight and small frame caused him to miss time in 2023, playing 40% or more snaps in seven games and managing only ten appearances.

Mostert might not return value to the tune of RB3 overall as he did in 2023, but he deserves to be picked as high as the sixth round.

Joe Burrow (QB – CIN) (73.5)

Absence is supposed to make the heart grow fonder, but it’s had the opposite effect on Burrow’s ADP, seeing him drop from pick 45 in 2023 to 73rd currently. Burrow’s missed time was frustrating, and his lackluster struggles through early season injuries were even more challenging to swallow for fantasy managers.

Still, there seems no reason to think Burrow’s thumb injury will be a negative long-term, and the Bengals thus far have retained Tee Higgins alongside Ja’Marr Chase and improved their tight end position, upgrading from Irv Smith Jr. to Mike Gesicki. The labeling of Burrow as injury-prone is a little ahead of things at this point, and for a player on one of the most potent offenses in the league, we should be looking to gain exposure to him.

Stacking the Bengals’ top trio currently requires picks 4, 44, and 35, which in total works out cheaper than the Houston Texans’ trio of Nico Collins (15), Tank Dell (29), and CJ Stroud (59). Recency bias favors the younger offense we’ve seen perform most recently, but the Bengals are primed for a bounce back against an easy schedule in 2024.

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