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3 NFL Position Battles To Monitor: Wide Receivers (2024 Fantasy Football)

The 2024 NFL season is over three months away. However, offensive programming is underway. While the upcoming season is still off in the distance, NFL position battles are underway. Let’s look at three wide receiver NFL position battles that fantasy football players should monitor over the summer.

Best Ball Draft Kit Wide Receiver Battles To Monitor Fantasy Football

NFL Position Battles To Monitor: Wide Receivers

Wide receiver ADP via Underdog Fantasy

Houston Texans Wide

C.J. Stroud is a lucky man. The former Ohio State star has arguably the top wide receiver core in the NFL. Collins and Dell are coming off breakout seasons. Yet, that didn’t stop the Texans from trading for Diggs. Collins and Diggs were top-10 wide receivers in half-point PPR scoring last year. Meanwhile, Dell was the WR16 on a points-per-game basis, with a higher average than Davante Adams, DK Metcalf, and Chris Olave.

However, which wide receiver is the top guy in Houston? Diggs has age concerns, especially after having late-season struggles in back-to-back years. While he has the second-highest ADP of the three wide receivers, the veteran is the one I’m least likely to draft this upcoming season. Meanwhile, Collins led the teams in target share (21.1%), target per route run rate (28%), receiving yards market share (32.5%), yards per route run (3.37), end zone targets (10), and first-read target share (27%) last year( per Fantasy Points Data).

Fantasy players need to see how things progress during training camp. Dell is coming off a season-ending leg injury and got shot earlier this offseason. Yet, the explosive receiver is taking part in organized team activities. Collins is the clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver for the Texans. However, Dell might be the better value pick, especially if his ADP doesn’t change over the next few months.

Green Bay Packers

While Jordan Love doesn’t have an elite wide receiver core compared to C.J. Stroud, the former Utah State star has several high-upside options in the passing game. Most fantasy players would say Reed is Green Bay’s clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver. Therefore, it’s no surprise his ADP is more than two rounds higher than any other Packers wide receiver. However, the second-year player’s numbers dropped when Watson was on the field.

Reed averaged 9.6 half-point PPR fantasy points per game in the nine contests he played with Watson. By comparison, he averaged 14.2 fantasy points per game when Watson didn’t play. Furthermore, Reed’s target per route run rate improved from 21% with Watson playing to 33% when he didn’t (per Fantasy Points Data). While Watson’s injury history is well known, Reed also missed time at the end of his rookie season because of injuries.

Meanwhile, Doubs ranked seventh among wide receivers and eighth overall in receiving touchdowns last season (eight). While he finished first in targets, Doubs ranked last among Green Bay’s wide receivers in target per route run rate (21%) among the four receivers with at least 110 routes in 2023 (per Fantasy Points Data). The former Nevada star is a solid late-round option for fantasy players but isn’t in the mix to be the WR1 when everyone is healthy.

Many view Wicks as a late-round dart throw or high-upside draft pick this season. While he is someone I would target in best ball drafts, the second-year player isn’t an ideal redraft league pick. Wicks showed off big-play ability as a rookie, totaling four receiving touchdowns on only 39 receptions. However, fantasy players should expect his role to shrink if Watson can stay healthy in 2024. Unfortunately, health plays a significant role in this wide receiver battle, leaving fantasy players frustrated with the unit.

Kansas City Chiefs

Fantasy players have fallen for the rookie hype surrounding a Chiefs wide receiver in the past – just ask anyone who overdrafted Skyy Moore or said that Justyn Ross would be a thing. However, Worthy’s hype isn’t the same as past Kansas City wide receivers. Everyone knows the former Texas star broke the NFL Combine record with a 4.21 40-yard dash. Yet, he is more than just a speed demon. Worthy can separate and run routes at every level of the field.

Unfortunately, Brown has struggled with injuries, missing eight contests over the past two seasons. He signed a one-year prove-it deal with the Chiefs in free agency before they traded up for Worthy during the NFL Draft. Yet, his ADP is nearly identical to the rookie. Brown is the veteran in the role, but he might end up being a bigger-name Marquez Valdes-Scantling in Kansas City. While the former Oklahoma star has been the No. 1 wide receiver in the past, fantasy players should temper expectations in 2024.

Rice’s off-the-field troubles have pushed his ADP significantly lower than his two teammates. Last year, he was the WR6 from Week 12 through Week 17, averaging 14.9 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. However, Rice had a 25.2% target share and a 30% target per route run rate during those six weeks (per Fantasy Points Data). He won’t see that kind of volume without significant injuries again in 2024. Fantasy players should avoid drafting Rice in any format until the NFL announces how long his suspension will be.

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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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