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18 Must-Have RBs & WRs (2024 Fantasy Football)

Running backs and wide receivers are arguably the most important positions to focus on when building a winning fantasy football roster. With that in mind, we asked some of our featured experts to look at some of the must-have RBs and WRs for the 2024 fantasy football season. Here are the players our experts are targeting in their drafts.

dynasty rookie mock draft simulator must-have rbs and wrs

Fantasy Football Must-Have RBs & WRs

What one RB outside the top 30 in the expert consensus are you hoping to end up with in all your leagues and why?

Chase Brown (RB – CIN)

“Second-year Bengals RB Chase Brown presents an intriguing draft target, especially when compared to his backfield teammate Zack Moss, who sits slightly ahead of him in the RB ECR rankings. Despite Moss having a shot at starting for the Bengals after signing in free agency, Brown is a formidable contender for touches, particularly in the passing game. One notable aspect in Brown’s favor is his explosiveness, evident in his impressive ball carrier speed on a 54-yard touchdown reception, as documented by NFL’s Next Gen Stats. The market may lean towards Moss due to his contract – $4 million per season and just $3 million guaranteed – but Brown’s potential involvement shouldn’t be overlooked, given that Moss is nothing more than a replaceable level RB. Brown showcased his abilities as a rookie, demonstrating his versatility as both a rusher and a receiver alongside Joe Mixon. Even with a hamstring injury sidelining him in October, he proved his worth and earned opportunities on the field. And he was running routes, which we love for RBs in PPR formats. ”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

“While many fantasy managers will target the newly signed Zack Moss in hopes of landing the Bengals RB1, I’ll be looking to add the younger and more electric Chase Brown. Although Moss came out of the gates on fire in 2023 (43 fantasy points over the first two weeks) during the absence of Jonathan Taylor, his efficiency metrics took a hit later in the year once he was thrust into the starting role again. During this stretch, Chase Brown was slowly getting worked into the Bengals’ offense more and more as the coaching staff wanted to add some juice to the backfield. Even though the sample size in snap share % was small, he was consistently getting looks in the passing game, which will make him more appealing to me in PPR formats. If the Bengals backfield becomes more of an even split in 2024, Chase Brown will absolutely outproduce his current ADP as he pushes to be among the tier of players at low-end RB2.”
Brandon Murchison (RotoBaller)

Kendre Miller (RB – NO)

Kendre Miller brings big upside at a small draft price. He got unlucky last year, with multiple injuries getting in the way. But there’s plenty of talent (6.7 yards per carry in college at 215 pounds). The Saints drafted him fourth among RBs last year, ahead of Tyjae Spears and De’Von Achane, among others. And then there’s Alvin Kamara. The vet’s always been at his most effective when sharing the work, so there’s incentive for the Saints to get Miller involved. Plus, our historical aging data at Draft Sharks says the age-29 season holds “cliff” potential for Kamara. Jamaal Williams‘ terrible 2023 should mean a backfield-leading post for Miller if anything happens to Kamara.”
Matt Schauf (Draft Sharks)

Kendre Miller is my most-owned RB in best ball so far. Injuries wrecked his rookie season, but he was an impressive-looking prospect coming into the league and then flashed with a 13-73-1 rushing line in last year’s season finale. Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams were two of the least efficient runners in the NFL last year, so there’s upside for Miller to lead the Saints in carries this season.”
Jared Smola (Draft Sharks)

Isiah Pacheco (RB – KC)

Isiah Pacheco is the clear lead back on a Patrick Mahomes lead offense. Not only did he bring in 44 receptions last season, but he was ELITE in games McKinnon missed. He averaged 21.7 touches per game, gained 99 yards per game, and scored a TD in all 6 weeks! With McKinnon unlikely to return and CEH being a bust, Pacheco is set up to finish as an RB1 in all formats.”
Nick Zylak (Fantasy Football Advice)

Jonathon Brooks (RB – CAR)

Jonathon Brooks is way too low in the consensus rankings. Reportedly, he expects to be ready for training camp after tearing his ACL at Texas. The former Longhorn averaged 6.1 rushing yards per attempt and 113.9 yards per game last season. Brooks had the 11th-most missed tackles forced (63) in 2023 despite missing the final four games with the injury (per PFF). Furthermore, he is also a threat in the receiving game, making him the perfect guy for Dave Canales’ offense. Last year, Canales made Rachaad White an RB1 despite averaging only 3.6 yards per rushing attempt. Brooks can have an even better year if he is ready for training camp.”
Mike Fanelli (FantasyPros)

Zack Moss (RB – CIN)

Zack Moss is currently RB31 and 92nd overall despite being by all accounts the starting running back for the high-flying Cincinnati Bengals offense. Moss is certainly not the sexiest name, as he is a well-traveled journeyman at this point. When you add in the general level of pessimism around the Bengals’ offense after last season, it ends in a bonafide starting running back being available this late. He finished as RB29 last season despite being the starting running back for Indianapolis only while Jonathan Taylor was out. During his time as the starter, he had five games with more than 15 half-PPR fantasy points, including two over 20 points and one over 35 points. His only competition for touches at this point is Chase Brown, who is more of a complimentary piece than a workhorse.”
Aaron St Denis (Fantasy Football Universe)

Zack Moss is built for this question as the current consensus RB31 in half-point PPR leagues. As the presumed 1A in a Cincinnati backfield that helped an inefficient Joe Mixon to an RB5 finish in 2023, Moss has the chance to finish as an RB1 this season. Although he’ll likely slot in as a mid-range RB2, he’s still an incredible value. Chase Brown struggled in pass protection last season, wasn’t any more efficient than Mixon, and only saw 15 targets all year. While I expect the 2nd-year back to get more run, this is Moss’s job to lose. Add to this the Bengals very friendly schedule and upgraded offensive line, and Moss is the back I want at cost. Grab him in the mid rounds as a weekly contributor with high-end upside.”
Jeremy Shulman (Fantasy Football Universe)

Tyrone Tracy Jr. (RB – NYG)

Tyrone Tracy Jr. at 74 screams value. Yes, the team brought in Devin Singletary too. But Tracy was a former WR before transitioning to running back in 2023. This matters because it is possible he gets 3rd down work. Plus, it is possible if Singletary does not hold his weight that Tracy steps in without looking back. Last season, Singletary had a career-worst 4.16ypc. Tracy can add a new dimension to the Giants offense because of his strength and agile moves to elude any would-be tacklers.”
Miguel ‘SC’ Romero (Fantasy Football Universe)

Jaleel McLaughlin (RB – DEN)

“I want the passing down back for the Denver Broncos. Right now, my money is on Jaleel McLaughlin to earn this role. Sean Payton is a pass-game whisperer for running backs. Since 2014, every Payton offense has finished inside the top four in the NFL in targets to the running back position. Last year Denver led the NFL in targets to running backs. This role will equal fantasy goodness, especially with a talented player like McLaughlin. Last year, he ranked fourth in yards after contact per attempt and yards per route run (per Fantasy Points Data). His ADP likely won’t venture high enough for me to stop drafting him. ”
Derek Brown (FantasyPros)

Blake Corum (RB – LAR)

“It is never a good look when you are hurt. It is an even worse look to be hurt in May. That is the situation Kyren Williams is facing at this moment: he is dealing with a foot issue that is keeping him out of voluntary OTAs for the Rams. What does that mean? It means Blake Corum will get a good look early on. We all know the value that the Rams RB1 brings to fantasy, see Kyren last year, moments from Cam Akers, and Todd Gurley. I am all in on the talent of Corum, and I find it hard to believe that the Rams would draft him in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft to simply not use him. I believe Corum has huge upside for 2024 and will be gunning for him everywhere I can possibly get him.”
Ed Birdsall (Talking Points Sports)

What one WR outside the top 30 in the expert consensus are you hoping to end up with in all your leagues and why?

Chris Godwin (WR – TB)

Chris Godwin did not experience a Mike Evans resurgence under Baker Mayfield at QB in 2023 regarding fantasy points. Godwin led the Buccaneers with 91 catches for 1,1109 receiving yards, but he only caught three TDs…in 19 games played. But Godwin’s target share (23%) was nearly identical to Evans’ (25%). It was the lack of high-value opportunities that nuked Godwin in fantasy football and placed him outside the top 36 WRs in points per game. Works in Godwin’s favor that new OC Liam Coen will be calling the offense in 2024, and he has already suggested putting Godwin back into the slot in a full-time role. Godwin played his lowest slot snap rate (37%) since 2018 last season.”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

Diontae Johnson (WR – CAR)

Diontae Johnson spent the past FIVE years leading Pittsburgh in target share. He’ll now compete with Adam Thielen (34 in August), Jonathan Mingo (poor rookie year) and Xavier Legette (iffy prospect who didn’t break out until college-year 5). QB Bryce Young will now work under a coach (Dave Canales) who played a key role in Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield’s reclamation projects over the past two years. I can get his lead target in WR4 range? A guy who has the 13th-most receptions since he entered the league (in 2019)? On a team that’ll almost certainly remain sub-.500, and thus likely pass more? Sign me up.”
Matt Schauf (Draft Sharks)

Diontae Johnson is a severely underrated WR. He’s had to deal with Big Ben’s noodle arm and poor play from Trubisky/Pickett for years, but the reality is that he’s one of the best separators in the NFL. None of the Panthers WR’s could get open last season, which led to 33-year-old Adam Thielen getting force-fed the fourth most receptions through Week 11! Diontae is a million times better at getting open than Thielen at this point of their careers, and I could see a world where Diontae leads the league in receptions this season.”
Nick Zylak (Fantasy Football Advice)

Christian Kirk (WR – JAC)

Christian Kirk will be one of my top draft targets this year. The last time he was Trevor Lawrence‘s go-to wide receiver, the veteran ended the 2022 season as the WR11, averaging 11.8 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. Furthermore, Kirk was the WR16, averaging 11.7 fantasy points per game from Week 2 through Week 12, despite Calvin Ridley seeing a 20% target per route run rate during those contests last year (per Fantasy Points Data). With Gabe Davis and Brian Thomas Jr. challenging defenses downfield, expect Kirk to see plenty of easy targets in the middle of the field. I wouldn’t bet against him having a top-15 finish in 2024.”
Mike Fanelli (FantasyPros)

Tee Higgins (WR – CIN)

Tee Higgins is currently going off the board as WR25 and 48th overall despite being a perennial WR2 for fantasy. Many fantasy managers are significantly lower on the Bengals offense this season, and Higgins is no exception. Higgins has significantly more upside than this, especially when you factor in the departure of former WR3 Tyler Boyd. This offense is going to run through Chase and Higgins, and you should take the discount now on the Bengals players before their value rebounds.”
Aaron St Denis (Fantasy Football Universe)

Romeo Doubs (WR – GB)

Romeo Doubs at WR54 says he is being slept on. Last season he was the most targeted wide receiver for Jordan Love with 96 targets. He caught 61.5% of his targets for 674 yards. Plus, he tied the receiving team lead of 8 touchdowns. I fully expect Jayden Reed to continue being the WR1 for the Packers, but Doubs should find himself as the WR2 regardless of who is healthy. Even with the addition of Josh Jacobs, the Packers will still lean on Love’s arm talent to win games. This gives me hope that Doubs continues to progress as a reliable target for Love possibly seeing more targets this season.”
Miguel ‘SC’ Romero (Fantasy Football Universe)

Malachi Corley (WR – NYJ)

“This time last year, one of the players that I was shouting from the rooftops that I would not leave a draft without was Los Angeles Rams WR Puka Nacua. That player, for me, in 2024 is none other than Malachi Corley. The highly productive wideout from Western Kentucky is already turning heads with the Jets’ coaching staff with his yards after catch ability. Once integrated into the offensive scheme, Corley will operate mainly out of the slot as the team will look to design plays specifically to get the ball into his hands early so that he can utilize his ability to create missed tackles. Will Aaron Rodgers also speaking glowingly about him during OTAs, it speaks volumes for the potential Corley can bring to fantasy managers at such a low cost in ADP. I fully expect to see Corley perform as a WR4 consistently in fantasy PPG IN 2024 and a player I will be leaving every draft with on my roster.”
Brandon Murchison (RotoBaller)

Christian Watson (WR – GB)

Christian Watson remains the WR1 for the Packers despite everyone tripping over themselves to hand that crown to Jayden Reed. When Watson was active and playing a full-time role, he led the Packer’s wide receivers in every meaningful metric. In Weeks 5-13, Watson led the team in target share (17.7%), air-yard share (36.7%), YPRR (1.79), end zone targets (14), first-read share (22.3%), and FD/RR (0.081, per Fantasy Points Data). We have seen flashes of brilliance from Watson when he’s been healthy. At a depressed ADP, I’m willing to buy right back in for 2024. The risk is baked in, but now his upside isn’t.”
Derek Brown (FantasyPros)

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – SEA)

“I’m all-in on Jaxon Smith-Njigba in year two. The consensus WR43 had a solid rookie year despite exceeding 70% of snaps just four times in 2023. With new OC Ryan Grubb in town, the Seahawks are likely to use way more 11 personnel than the middle-of-the-pack ranking they posted last year. That should mean more JSN on the field, which will translate to more fantasy points. Sign me up for the slot receiver in a high-powered offense that will no longer be shackled to the run game by Pete Carroll. I expect JSN to be a WR2 this season, even with Tyler Lockett back in the fold.”
Jeremy Shulman (Fantasy Football Universe)

DeAndre Hopkins (WR – TEN)

DeAndre Hopkins remains the favorite to lead the Titans in targets this year. He beat big-ticket free-agent signing Calvin Ridley last season in yards per target, yards per route, and Pro Football Focus receiving grade — despite getting worse QB play. And the Titans figure to throw it a bunch more this year after replacing run-loving HC Mike Vrabel with the pass-leaning Brian Callahan. Hopkins is underpriced by at least a full round in drafts right now.”
Jared Smola (Draft Sharks)

Ladd McConkey (WR – LAC)

Justin Herbert has got to throw the ball to someone with Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Gerald Everett, all out of town. Between the four, that is 320 targets that are now up for grabs in Los Angeles. Ladd McConkey, come on down. Jim Harbaugh not only selected McConkey, he traded up to get the former Georgia Bulldog. McConkey has true 80 catch upside in year one playing with an elite quarterback in Herbert, and he is a must have in all formats but especially in any iteration of PPR scoring. He will no question outperform his ADP, the question is just by how much.”
Ed Birdsall (Talking Points Sports)

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