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WR3s With WR1 Potential (2024 Fantasy Football)

WR3s With WR1 Potential (2024 Fantasy Football)

Snagging a mid-round wide receiver that significantly outperforms his ADP can carry your fantasy team to victory, but identifying that player is not an easy task. Receivers being drafted in the WR3 range of fantasy football are often players that have potential but are in poor offenses with shaky quarterback situations or crowded receiving corps.

After being drafted outside the top 24 at the position in 2023, Michael Pittman Jr. emerged as a borderline WR1  even with questions surrounding the Colts’ quarterback situation. Who is this year’s Pittman? Let’s look at a few candidates.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

WR3s With WR1 Potential

George Pickens (WR – PIT)

While it’s possible the Steelers could take a wide receiver in Round 1 of the draft, it’s unlikely given their history. The Steelers haven’t drafted a Round 1 receiver since Santonio Holmes in 2014. They have a clear need at wide receiver with the departure of Diontae Johnson, but they still likely won’t invest in one of the top prospects of this class.

Johnson’s departure should increase target share for Pickens. The Steelers will likely be led by Russell Wilson with Justin Fields competing for the QB job as well. Wilson’s best years are behind him, but he’s a clear upgrade from Kenny Pickett, and Fields’ helped DJ Moore to a career season in 2023.

Either quarterback would boost Pickens’ upside. Arthur Smith’s head coaching career was a nightmare for fantasy managers, but, as an offensive coordinator, he’s managed successful offenses. All signs point to Pickens having a potential breakout year in 2024.

Diontae Johnson (WR – CAR)

Pickens isn’t the only receiver that stands to benefit from Johnson’s departure out of Pittsburgh. Johnson himself now has WR1 upside as well. The Panthers’ will likely add an additional receiver via the draft, but their first pick isn’t until the second round. While this draft class is deep and an early second-round receiver could have strong potential, Johnson is in line to be the target leader for the Panthers in 2024.

Johnson’s past two seasons have been highly disappointing. After Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, Johnson has seen a dramatic dip in his statistics across the board with the combination of Pickett, Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph at the helm.

Bryce Young‘s 2023 season was abysmal, but Dave Canales has a strong track record of rehabilitating wayward quarterbacks. If Young makes a leap in his second year, Johnson would be the primary beneficiary with WR1 upside.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Tank Dell (WR – HOU)

Prior to the Texans’ trade for Stefon Diggs, Dell and Nico Collins were potential top-20 picks at the position. Post-trade, Dell falls into WR3 territory with lack of clarity around the target distribution for the team. It’s easy to assume the smallest receiver would move to the slot, but Dell’s skillset and explosive play fits well on the outside, and he should remain a deep threat target for CJ Stroud.

Of all three receivers, Dell had the largest average depth of target at 14.4. His versatility allows him to play across the field and ensures he’ll remain a focus with the Texans offense. Dell may fall victim to inconsistency that often plagues “big play” receivers, but his overall skillset will offer WR1 potential.

Marquise Brown (WR – KC)

I hate to point out the obvious, but Brown could be Patrick Mahomes‘ WR1 and the Chiefs leading target recipient in 2024. Rashee Rice‘s status for 2024 is unknown. Travis Kelce had his lowest target total since 2016 and just five touchdowns.

This is not the first time I’ve touted Brown as a WR3 with WR1 potential. He’s proven that he can provide top-five upside in short spurts, but he’s failed to put together a complete season.

Last season was Brown’s worst of his entire career, and he only had two full games with Kyler Murray. Mahomes could unlock Brown’s true upside. The sixth-year pro might finally turn in a full season of WR1 output, particularly if Rice misses extended time.

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