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Fantasy Football Rookies: Ja’Lynn Polk, Marvin Harrison Jr., Roman Wilson, Ladd McConkey

The 2024 NFL Draft class was a bit of a rollercoaster this offseason at the wide receiver position. Some of the top names in pre-NFL Draft rankings took a tumble after landing spots were determine, while other players rose up the rankings with their new teams. Let’s dive into those fantasy football rookies that landed in great spots.

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Fantasy Football Rookies

Here are our top fantasy football rookie wide receiver landing spots following the 2024 NFL Draft.

Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR – ARI)

Before the draft, there were rumors Arizona was open to trading the fourth overall pick. Luckily for fantasy managers, the Cardinals selected Marvin Harrison Jr. — the perfect match for Kyler Murray. The 2023 season was underwhelming for Murray. He didn’t suit up until Week 10 and there was obvious rust to knock off after spending the entire offseason rehabbing versus bonding with his receiving corps. With DeAndre Hopkins in Tennessee and Marquise Brown out with an injury, Trey McBride was Murray’s only consistent pass-catcher. Despite the lack of weapons, Murray still finished in the top 10 for attempts, completions and average fantasy points per game. Harrison steps in as Murray’s immediate WR1. With a healthy offseason together, Harrison has top-10 potential for 2024.

Malik Nabers (WR – NYG)

Some fantasy managers are understandably concerned about Malik Nabers’ landing spot. The Giants have been in the bottom 10 of the league in total passing yards for four straight seasons. Daniel Jones has struggled to produce more than 3,200 passing yards in a single season and there are rumors Drew Lock could take over — the same Drew Lock whose best season was a paltry 2,900 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns and 15 interceptions. It almost sounds like I’m trying to talk you out of drafting Nabers.

I’m not.

But, it’s critical to understand where a team has been to conceptualize where they can go. The Giants have been drowning in a worst-case scenario for years, operating without a true WR1. Nabers’ presence can elevate this Giants offense and he has the talent and versatility to fit any and every need within the passing game. Nabers’ ceiling may be lower than Harrison’s with a potential lack of touchdowns but his floor is strong and he’ll be a target hog in 2023 and beyond.

Ladd McConkey (WR – LAC)

With the exit of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, Ladd McConkey can step into an immediate WR1 role for the Chargers. Josh Palmer is the most experienced and stable option in this offense but has never ascended to a true WR1, while Quentin Johnston has the draft capital but failed miserably last season. Justin Hebert will be looking for his new Keenan Allen, and McConkey can be that guy.

McConkey has versatility, speed, hands and excellent route running — the key to immediate impact for rookies. When I evaluate rookies for Day 1 impact, I’m looking for tacticians — guys who run crisp routes — a characteristic that drove my favoritism towards Tank Dell as a rookie. McConkey can have that level of immediate impact and thrive in Los Angeles.

Ja’Lynn Polk (WR – NE)

Both Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker will have the opportunity to mesh and grow within the Patriots’ offense and offer fantasy value. Between the two rookies, Polk offers the higher potential for immediate impact and consistency in fantasy points. Polk has versatility and can fit into a role that offers strong target opportunities, as opposed to Baker who figures to fit in as a more vertical threat. While playing alongside Rome Odunze, Polk put up strong volume numbers with 69 receptions for 1,159 yards and nine touchdowns. The Patriots’ offense is a work in progress but if Polk earns the favoritism of Drake Maye, rookie fantasy impact is very realistic.

Roman Wilson (WR – PIT)

Roman Wilson’s landing spot is one of my favorites of the entire draft at all positions. Wilson can step into Diontae Johnson‘s role and secure a solid target share with new veteran quarterback Russell Wilson.

Don’t be fooled by Roman Wilson’s modest production in college. Wilson’s lack of production is due to Michigan’s run-heavy offense. Wilson was responsible for 50% of the teams’ passing touchdowns in 2023. Passing touchdowns have been a major issue for the Steelers since the exit of Ben Roethlisberger — most significantly over the past two years of being bottom-three in the league in total passing touchdowns. Wilson will provide a sure-handed target receiver with versatility and a solid red-zone target.

The only downside to the landing spot is the possibility of Justin Fields starting. Fields was fantastic for his WR1 DJ Moore in 2023 but has struggled to produce a fantasy-relevant WR2. But considering the conditional nature of Fields’ contract, Wilson is the likely starter for the majority of the season.

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