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13 Early Rookie Predictions & Sleepers (Fantasy Football)

13 Early Rookie Predictions & Sleepers (Fantasy Football)

As we gear up for the upcoming 2024 Fantasy Football season, we turn our attention to one of the most intriguing and unpredictable aspects of the game – the rookie class. Each year, a new wave of talent enters the NFL, brimming with the potential to take the fantasy world by storm. From highly touted prospects who are already making waves to under-the-radar talents poised for a breakout, our featured pundits have you covered. Here are the rookies our featured experts are most interested in drafting as early breakout candidates and sleepers.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide following Round 1 of NFL Draft

Early Rookie Predictions & Sleepers

Which rookie are you most interested in drafting for redraft leagues, and what are your expectations?

Marvin Harrison Jr (WR – ARI) 

“Much like choosing the 1.01 in dynasty, this comes down to Caleb Williams or Marvin Harrison Jr. In redraft, you want players who will perform immediately, and I think Harrison is in the perfect spot. He doesn’t need time to develop, and the Cardinals need a WR1. There are over 160 vacated targets calling his name, and we could see 125-140 heading his way in 2024.”
Ryan Weisse (Club Fantasy FFL)

“It’s an easy, chalky answer, but when it comes to the rookie who could absolutely explode onto the scene, Marvin Harrison Jr. stands alone. Harrison is the most talented player in the class, bar none, and he joins a Cardinals offense that is absent an elite wide receiver. Kyler Murray is finally healthy, and when he has an alpha pass catcher, he is known to pepper them to the tune of 150+ targets. I am expecting 90 receptions, 1250 yards, and 8-10 touchdowns, and so should you.”
Marco Enriquez (FantasyPros)

Xavier Worthy (WR – KC)

Xavier Worthy capped off his college career with over 1,000 yards and 5 touchdowns in his junior year at Texas, securing a 30% career dominator rating (the second highest in his class) with a breakout age at 18. His return abilities/elite speed have drawn comparisons to DeSean Jackson, both from his new HC Head Coach Andy Reid and FantasyPros NFL draft analyst Thor Nystrom, underscoring his potential impact in Year 1. Set to join the Chiefs as the first-round pick whom KC traded up for, Worthy is expected to compete for a significant role, particularly with the possibility of an expanded opportunity if teammate Rashee Rice faces a suspension amid multiple off-the-field concerns. Easily could finish the year as a top-24 WR. ”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

Troy Franklin (WR – DEN)

Troy Franklin was one of my top 5 receivers heading into the draft. Some may be skeptical of him now since he got 4th round draft capital. However, he landed on a team that spent first-round capital on his college QB. Plus, the WR room in Denver has no true alpha. Right now, he is one of my favorite targets because I feel people are dropping him on their boards due to the draft capital received. Franklin did work when the ball was in his hands, with 538 yards after the catch. I believe he will carve a significant role out from day one and possibly have a stat line similar to DeVonta Smith‘s rookie season in Philly. Smith had 64 receptions, 916 yards, and five touchdowns.”
Miguel ‘SC’ Romero (Fantasy Football Universe)

Jayden Daniels (QB – WAS)

Jayden Daniels should be a QB1 in all redraft rankings this year. He averaged 94.5 rushing yards and nearly a touchdown per game in 2023 at LSU. More importantly, Kliff Kingsbury is his offensive coordinator. During Kingsbury’s four years with the Arizona Cardinals, Kyler Murray averaged 20.4 fantasy points per game and had three seasons as a top-seven quarterback on a point-per-game basis. Anthony Richardson averaged 18.2 fantasy points per game in limited action last year because of his legs. Daniels is a better passer and runner than Richardson. He has top-five upside.”
Mike Fanelli (FantasyPros)

Malik Nabers (WR – NYG)

“I am interested in drafting Malik Nabers of the New York Giants. Nabers earned himself elite draft capital and landed with a Giants squad that is starved for a stud wide receiver. Daniel Jones has lacked a reliable receiving weapon for some time, and Nabers should instantly walk in and be the number one target earner from Week 1 of the season.”
Aaron St Denis (Fantasy Football Universe)

“I can already tell I’ll be drafting Malik Nabers a ton this year. Maybe I’m just a sucker for punishment going back to the Giants’ well after last season’s implosion of Daniel Jones and Darren Waller, but Nabers has the talent to draw a massive amount of volume in his rookie season. Last year, among FBS wide receivers (minimum 50 targets per PFF), he ranked third in yards per route run, first in PFF receiving grade, and fourth in missed tackles forced. Is the target quality in New York a concern? Sure, but Nabers has the talent to overcome that with raw volume. He’ll be priced as a WR3 in plenty of drafts, which is a steal because he could be a solid WR2 this season.”
Derek Brown (FantasyPros)

Malik Nabers – my expectation is a WR top 30 season with high upside games.”
Alejandro Orellana (Estadio Fantasy)

“Considering his average draft position, it’s probably Malik Nabers. Nabers currently has a consensus ADP of WR24, 46th overall. I have him ranked WR16. Rookie WRs with first-round NFL Draft capital are great fantasy bets, as we’ve seen in recent years with players such as Ja’Marr Chase (rookie ADP: WR26), CeeDee Lamb (WR38), Jaylen Waddle (WR46) and Justin Jefferson (WR49). Nabers is perceived to have landed in a suboptimal situation with the Giants, but the No. 6 overall pick of the draft will immediately become the top target earner in the NYG offense. With that sort of target potential and Nabers’ prodigious route-running and run-after-the-catch ability, a 90-catch, 1,200-yard season is squarely in play for the rookie from LSU. ”
Pat Fitzmaurice (FantasyPros)

Jonathon Brooks (RB – CAR)

Jonathon Brooks is a running back who I’m expecting will take over lead committee duties in Carolina by mid-season. Although he is likely to be drafted in the mid rounds, I’m not afraid of the unknown in the daunting “RB Dead Zone”. Brooks will be recovering from injury and learning a new offense, but the only back selected in the second round of the NFL Draft now also has the least competition to deal with of any RB selected. If you’re turned off by the Panthers offense, I get it. However, the volume will be there for me to be comfortable taking a shot on Brooks as a reliable mid-range RB2 in the season’s second half as I hunt for a ‘ship.”
Jeremy Shulman (Fantasy Football Universe)

Which under-the-radar rookie (i.e., Isiah Pacheco in 2022) is your favorite sleeper this year and why?

Tyrone Tracy Jr (RB – NYG)

“For redraft, keep an eye on Tyrone Tracy Jr. The Giants took him in the fifth round, and he should easily slide into the backup spot behind Devin Singletary. Singletary is also not Saquon Barkley and is unlikely to handle 70% of the team’s carries like his predecessor. Tracy is a converted WR but has decent size at 5-foot-11, 200 lbs. On top of 100 carries, he could take some passing work from Singletary right away, and in PPR formats, targets are far more valuable than carries.”
Ryan Weisse (Club Fantasy FFL)

“Devin Singletary is by far the weakest veteran RB any of these Day 3 rookie RBs are competing for touches/snaps with. Singletary does everything right but doesn’t “wow” coaches on the field. Therefore, Giants 5th-round pick Tyrone Tracy Jr. could be an upside play in the Giants’ backfield should Singletary flounder with the starting gig. Keep in mind that in Tracy’s first year playing RB at Purdue after switching from WR, he led his draft class in yards after contact per attempt. He could be the Giants RB1, or he could be completely nothing given his inexperience at the position.”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

“While Devin Singletary is a solid veteran, Tyrone Tracy Jr. is someone I’m loading up on in dynasty rookie drafts and will target late in redraft leagues this year. Tracy earned the 10th-highest rushing grade in the rookie class from PFF last season (90.5). Furthermore, he ranked first in yards after contact per attempt in the rookie class among running backs with at least 90 attempts in 2023, per PFF (4.44). Tracy is also a threat in the passing game, giving the team a weapon out of the backfield. If Singletary gets hurt or struggles early in the season, Tracy could quickly earn a larger role on offense.”
Mike Fanelli (FantasyPros)

“Let’s put the spotlight on Giants RB Tyrone Tracy Jr. since one of my other favorites, Kimani Vidal, is being picked up on more radars these days. With a consensus ADP of RB64, 212 overall, Tracy is a virtual afterthought in early drafts. A converted former WR, Tracy is an extraordinary athlete who ran a 4.48 at 209 pounds and recorded a 40-inch vertical jump. His 9.84 Relative Athletic Score was second-best among the running backs in this class behind only Isaac Guerendo and 30th best of the 1,765 RBs to have posted a RAS since 1987. The only running back clearly ahead of Tracy on the NYG depth chart is Devin Singletary, a capable but limited veteran. It’s not hard to imagine Tracy starting the season in a supporting role and earning more touches as the season goes on. An ultra-athletic running back with a sparse RB depth chart to ascend is a great way to spend a late-round pick.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (FantasyPros)

Audric Estime (RB – DEN)

Audric Estime-The Broncos’ offense is redesigned heading into 2024, but one thing is for sure. The run game will be critical to their success. Sean Payton made it clear last season that while Javonte Williams will have a role, he won’t be the true workhorse many thought he could be. Enter Estime. Estime should have an early chance to take over goal-line work and high-leverage touches.”
Marco Enriquez (FantasyPros)

Kimani Vidal (RB – LAC)

Kimani Vidal could lead the Chargers backfield in 2024. Greg Roman is the new OC who loves to run. Head coach Jim Harbaugh loves to play physically at the line. Yes, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins are both in LA now, too. But Vidal brings that same juice that Blake Corum had for Harbaugh at Michigan. Vidal is a bowling ball type of back who averaged 23 receptions per collegiate season. He will have to put in the work early to have a shot at making the team, but if he does get the opportunity, the sky is the limit!”
Miguel ‘SC’ Romero (Fantasy Football Universe)

Troy Franklin (WR – DEN)

“I have bought back in on Denver wide receiver Troy Franklin. Franklin was once viewed as the WR4 in this rookie class but fell draft boards as he fell to Day 3 of the NFL Draft. He reunites in Denver with his Oregon teammate, quarterback Bo Nix, and what better safety blanket for a rookie quarterback than his trusty old college receiver? I think Franklin could be a great last-round fantasy draft target.”
Aaron St Denis (Fantasy Football Universe)

Luke McCaffrey (WR – WAS)

“This is an easy opportunity for me for me to continue to spread the good news about Luke McCaffrey. Many were surprised when Washington took McCaffrey in the third round, but I wasn’t. I was a fan of his game the entire draft cycle. Despite still learning the position, he was in the 78th percentile in receiving grade and in the 86th percentile in receiving grade against zone last season (per PFF). After two disappointing seasons for Jahan Dotson and a coaching staff change, don’t be surprised if McCaffrey is starting in two wide receiver sets for Washington in Week 1, and he is second on the team in targets this season.”
Derek Brown (FantasyPros)

Adonai Mitchell (WR – IND)

“In year one, I’m taking a shot on the freaky athletic Adonai Mitchell. Although the jury is still out on Anthony Richardson‘s downfield passing ability, Mitchell is more than a stretch-the-field guy. If head coach Shane Steichen utilizes his entire skill set, Mitchell could become the #2 target on an offense guaranteed to move the football. With no clear target hog outside of Michael Pittman on the roster, a running game that should open up massive opportunities in the passing game, and Mitchell’s nose for the end zone, he has the ability to hit his ceiling as a low-end WR3 and weekly flex option once the season is in full swing.”
Jeremy Shulman (Fantasy Football Universe)

Bucky Irving (RB – TB)

Bucky Irving – I think he could have a medium-volume season and get very good opportunities at the goal line.”
Alejandro Orellana (Estadio Fantasy)

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