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Perfect Fantasy Football Draft: DBro’s Picks for Every Round (2024)

Do you ever have dreams that jar you awake? That leaves you screaming? If only for a moment. Drenched in a cold sweat. The what if. What if my fantasy football draft plays out EXACTLY LIKE I WANT IT TO in my most important league? Perfect. Ya know. The one with the hefty buy-in. The family fantasy football league where winning means a year-long smack talk fest to your relatives. The office fantasy football league where you can dunk on your coworkers weekly.

These are my Perfect Fantasy Football Draft targets for 2024. Go make your Fantasy Football title dreams a reality.

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Derek Brown’s Perfect Fantasy Football Draft

*Unless otherwise specified, All data utilized in this article courtesy of Fantasy Points Data, PFF, and*

Approach to Round 1

Depending on your draft spot, the idea is always to stay fluid in round 1. If you have a top-three selection, then the conversation is simple. Select one of Christian McCaffrey, CeeDee Lamb, or Ja’Marr Chase, whoever falls to you. Without a tight end making it into the top 12 of ADP anymore (bye-bye Travis Kelce), this is a choose-your-own-adventure round from running back or wideout.

Early-Round Players to Target

  • Christian McCaffrey (RB – SF): McCaffrey remained “THE DUDE” at running back in fantasy last year. He was the RB1 in fantasy, finishing as an RB1 in 81% of his games and as a top 24 RB in every game he played. McCaffrey averaged 21.2 touches and 126.5 total yards per game while ranking second in carries, fourth in targets, and first in red zone touches among running backs. There’s no reason to expect a falloff entering 2024. His deeper efficiency metrics all scream that he remains in the prime of his career after ranking fourth in explosive run rate and 10th in yards after contact last season (per Fantasy Points Data).
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR – DAL): Lamb finally did it. He DID IT! He finished as the WR1 in fantasy points per game while going on an absolute heater to close the season. Lamb surpassed 100 receiving yards in seven of his final 12 games, including a monstrous 227 receiving yard performance in Week 17. Last year, among 81 qualifying receivers, he ranked fourth in target share (29.2%), fifth in yards per route run (2.90), and eighth in first downs per route run (per Fantasy Points Data). There’s nothing to stop him from challenging for the WR1 crown again in 2024, with Dallas running it back with almost the same cast of skilled characters. Lamb should eat.

  • Ja’Marr Chase (WR – CIN): Chase’s 2023 season was ruined by injury both with his quarterback (Joe Burrow) and his late-season shoulder sprain. In Weeks 1-4, while Burrow was looking like a shadow of his former self, Chase was still the WR23, drawing a 27.0% target share, a 34.6% air-yard share, and a 36.2% first-read share while producing 1.81 yards per route run (YPRR) and 0.102 first downs per route run (FD/RR). In Weeks 5-10, when Burrow was back to dealing, Chase was the WR4 in fantasy, commanding a 28.4% target share, a 43.1% air-yard share, and a 34.5% first read share while churning out a whopping 2.69 YPRR and 0.145 FD/RR. Chase should be viewed as a consensus top-four wide receiver and a top-three pick in fantasy.

Mid-Round Players to Target

  • Breece Hall (RB – NYJ): Despite recuperating from an extensive knee injury, it didn’t derail Hall in his second season. He finished the season as the RB6 in fantasy points per game with 299 touches and 1,585 total yards. Hall was 12th in opportunity share and second in weighted opportunities, and in Weeks 5-18, he averaged 20.2 touches and 102.5 total yards. A huge part of his value last season came from his pass game usage, as he led all running backs in targets, receiving yards, and receptions. While some of this was part of the fallout of Zach Wilson at the helm, Hall should remain a focal point for the passing attack in 2024. He was a baller as a receiver last season, ranking third in yards per route run and fourth in expected fantasy points per route run (per Fantasy Points Data). Hall is a top-five fantasy running back in all formats.
  • Bijan Robinson (RB – ATL): The Arthur Smith experiment capsized what could have been an enormous rookie season for Robinson. He ranked ninth in snap share, third in targets, sixth in receptions, and fourth in receiving yards among running backs, but he finished as the RB17 in fantasy points per game. Robinson was the RB12 in expected fantasy points per game, but his opportunity share ranked 31st, and he was also 32nd in red zone touches with Smith’s insistence on utilizing Tyler Allgeier. If Robinson receives the bulk of the high-leverage touches under the new Falcons regime, he should crush in 2024. Last year, he ranked 23rd in explosive run rate, 17th in yards after contact per attempt, and 25th in yards per route run (per Fantasy Points Data). Robinson is a locked-in RB1 for 2024.
  • Justin Jefferson (WR – MIN): Despite dealing with injuries and bad quarterback play for part of the season, Jefferson finished as the WR5 in fantasy points per game. If you exclude Week 14, in which he played only 18% of the snaps, he was the WR4 in fantasy points per game. Even after Week 14, when he was suffering through the quarterback roulette wheel, Jefferson still churned out 22.1 fantasy points per game while drawing a 30.1% target share, manufacturing 3.03 YPRR, and blazing 0.134 FD/RR (ninth-best, per Fantasy Points Data). Jefferson is quarterback-proof, so it doesn’t matter to me whether Sam Darnold or J.J. McCarthy is under center this season. Jefferson has proven he can still be a top-five fantasy wideout with putrid passers. Jefferson could still have WR1 overall upside if Darnold and McCarthy outperform expectations.

Late-Round Players to Target

  • Garrett Wilson (WR – NYJ): Assuming Wilson stays healthy in 2024 (which I do), his ascension into the WR1 ranks is a foregone conclusion. Last year, he had no problem drawing the volume that will help him be a top 12 option, ranking ninth in target share (27.1%), first in air-yard share (45.8%), and fifth in first-read share (36.8%). The problem was obvious last year when there was no Aaron Rodgers. The quarterback play was abysmal. Last season, the Jets ranked 30th in adjusted completion rate and 27th in catchable target rate. With Rodgers back in the huddle, Wilson is an easy WR1 with top-five upside.

  • Puka Nacua (WR – LAR): Everyone HURRY! Get it. Grab it. Got it? Good. Pop the tops on those Puka Juice 40s; it’s time to CHUG! Nacua had a rookie season for the ages, finishing as the WR6 in fantasy points per game. He set rookie records for receptions and receiving yards. Even after Cooper Kupp returned, he led the duo in target share (25.4%), air-yard share (32.7%), YPRR (2.61, and fantasy points per game (WR12). Nacua could access another level in his sophomore campaign if Matthew Stafford stays healthy and Kupp’s powers diminish just a tiny bit more. Nacua could finish as a top-three option at the position this season if everything breaks his way.
  • Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND): It was a weird year for Jonathan Taylor all around. From contract disputes to injuries, we rarely got to see Taylor fully ramped up and healthy in 2023. Entering his age-25 season, Taylor remains firmly in the prime of his career. In Weeks 7-18, he handled 21 touches per game, churning out 99.4 total yards per game. While many of his efficiency metrics were depressed last season, Taylor still ranked 13th in yards after contact per attempt, which tells me all I need to know. He’s still one of the best backs in the league and should remain a locked-in RB1 after finishing last season as the RB12 in fantasy points per game. A rushing attack fueled by Taylor and Anthony Richardson should be a nightmare for defensive coordinators this season.

Approach to Round 2

Round 2, in many instances, boils down to drafting your favorite running back or wide receiver that falls to you. This round is a mish-mash of volume options and upside.

Early-Round Players to Target

  • Jahmyr Gibbs (RB – DET): Every nerd who said the Lions were foolish for selecting Gibbs in the first round has a tiny bit of egg on their face. Gibbs finished the season as the RB8 in fantasy points per game and fantasy points per opportunity. He was a tackle-breaking blur last season, ranking 18th in yards after contact per attempt and 11th in missed tackles forced per attempt (per Fantasy Points Data). After David Montgomery returned from injury, Gibbs averaged 14.1 touches and 73.1 total yards per game. Montgomery isn’t going anywhere, but that doesn’t mean Gibbs can’t be a top-shelf RB1 again in 2024.
  • Saquon Barkley (RB – PHI): The Philly front office has officially gaslit the entire Giants’ fanbase. Barkley’s move to the Eagles might be met with some blowback because people are worried about his touchdown equity with Jalen Hurts. Barkley and D’Andre Swift are not close to being in the same talent area code. Bringing in Barkley means we likely see a downtick of Hurts’ goalline dives in 2024. While the overall counting stats for Barkley look depressed, he’s still very much an every-down bell cow with juice left in the tank entering his age-27 season. Last season, he played at least 70% of the snaps in 11 of his 14 games while ranking second in opportunity share and ninth in weighted opportunities. Last season, Barkley was still an explosive player, ranking 17th in explosive run rate, but his tackle-breaking metrics took a hit as he was 37th in missed tackles forced per attempt and 33rd in yards after contact per attempt (minimum 50 carries per Fantasy Points Data). Barkley remains a stud RB1.
  • Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF): Aiyuk was fantastic last season as the WR16 in fantasy, with career highs in yards per reception and receiving yards. He also crushed in deeper efficiency metrics, ranking third in YPRR and second in FD/RR. Aiyuk is a player where you’re betting on talent, and the complexion of the 49ers’ offense changes to an extent depending on where you’re drafting him. I don’t want him to be my WR1 on teams, but as my WR2, I’m comfortable taking the swing. The worries with his profile are easy to see, starting with volume. As good as Aiyuk was last year, he still only ranked 30th in raw target volume with an astounding 105 targets. He also ranked only 44th in red zone targets and was the WR31 in expected fantasy points per game. There’s risk here, but as Aiyuk displayed last year, there can be reward as well.

Mid-Round Players to Target

  • Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR – ARI): Harrison Jr.’s prospect profile speaks for itself. Over the last two years of college, he ranked fifth and seventh in YPRR and third and sixth in PFF receiving grade. He has the size and overall skillset to command alpha-level volume from the jump, and he’ll have that opportunity in Arizona. Yes, he will have to contend with Trey McBride for the weekly team lead in targets, but after McBride, things get sparse quickly. Arizona still has Greg Dortch and Michael Wilson and added Zay Jones this offseason, but none of those players have proven they can consistently push for a 20% target share in the NFL. Harrison’s draft stock is spicy, but he deserves it. Last year, Arizona tossed the rock 555 times; if Harrison can command a 25% target share (which is possible), he would be tied for 13th in raw target volume among wide receivers last year. Harrison could rank top 12 in targets among wideouts in his rookie season.
  • Chris Olave (WR – NO): Did Olave match last year’s hype with his production? No. Did he woefully fail, and we should be worried about him in 2024? NOPE. Olave displayed growth with new career highs in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and fantasy points per game (14.5, WR19). Last year, among 81 qualifying receivers, Olave ranked 24th in YPRR and 16th in FD/RR. Olave had to deal with the ups and downs of Derek Carr last year, which smoothed out toward the end of the season with the Saints changing up the complexion of the passing offense, which should continue in 2024. Carr last year was tied to two outcomes. It was either wind-up and chuck it deep or check it down, as Carr ranked eighth in deep attempts while also having the sixth-highest check-down rate. In Weeks 1-12, New Orleans had the fifth-highest aDOT while ranking 14th in catchable target rate with the 16th-highest off-target rate. In Weeks 13-18, the Saints changed it up as their aDOT was the 11th-lowest, and the offense ranked first in catchable target rate with the lowest off-target rate. With Klint Kubiak now the offensive coordinator, we should expect this lower aDOT model to continue with more motion and YAC opportunities opening up for Olave. The needle is pointing up for 2024.

Late-Round Players to Target

  • Derrick Henry (RB – BAL): Some players are simply built differently. Henry has and remains one of those guys. Last year, at age 29, he ranked first in rushing attempts and second in rushing yards while showing little drop-off in his efficiency metrics. Last season, among 68 qualifying backs, Henry ranked ninth in explosive run rate and 11th in yards after contact per attempt (per Fantasy Points Data). While he will cross the dreaded age 30 threshold this year, it’s tough to project a drop-off for Henry and any reasons that he can’t continue to chug along as an RB1., especially when Henry has proven over the last two seasons that his pass game utility should increase despite his advancing age. Over the last two years, Henry has ranked 11th and 14th in TPRR and seventh and first in YPRR among backs. The big fellow isn’t slowing down. Continue to believe in the King in 2024 as the Ravens’ workhorse back.

  • Drake London (WR – ATL): Arthur Smith is gone. It’s time for London to fly. His upside this season is massive in what should be a revamped offensive approach with Kirk Cousins under center and Zac Robinson calling plays. Last year, London’s numbers were passable but not amazing, as quarterback play held him in check. The Falcons’ quarterbacks posted the fourth-lowest adjusted completion rate and the third-lowest catchable target rate. London still posted 1.98 YPRR (32nd) while ranking 27th in FD/RR and top 25 in first read share (20th) and target share (25th). After reexamining his 2023 film, I do not doubt that the same player who posted monster numbers as a rookie is still here. London realizes his massive potential this year. Enjoy the breakout.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Approach to Round 3

In Round 3, we enter the premium tight-end conversation. Pick your flavor of pay-up tight end that you think will finish TE1 overall this year. I think other options later in my article also have this upside, so if you want to wait at the position, I get it. Lamar Jackson is also a smash pick in this round as we continue the interjection of onesie positions.

Early-Round Players to Target

  • Sam LaPorta (TE – DET): Sammy Ballgame had a rookie season for the ages. Last year, he logged the most PPR points and PPR points per game, the third-most receiving yards, and the most receiving touchdowns (tied) for a rookie tight end since 1966. He finished as the TE3 in fantasy points per game, ranking sixth in target share and YPRR, 10th in first read share, and third in FD/RR. Ballgame is in play to finish as the TE1 in 2024 and is worth paying up for in drafts.
  • Travis Kelce (TE – KC): Kelce had a “down season” by his lofty standards, but it was still a strong showing as he remained the TE1 in fantasy points per game. Kelce maintained electric marks in efficiency third in YPRR and second in FD/RR, ranking third in target share (21.2%) and second in first-read share (25.8%, per Fantasy Points Data). Kelce isn’t washed and remains Patrick Mahomes‘ WR1.

Mid-Round Players to Target

  • Michael Pittman (WR – IND): Pittman has proven to be one of the safest picks in fantasy drafts over the last three years, with WR14, WR21, and WR22 finishes. Despite catching passes from Gardner Minshew for most of the year, Pittman finished with his usual efficiency ranking 23rd in YPRR and 24th in FD/RR while gobbling up the volume (ninth in targets, fourth in target share). The Colts will remain a middling neutral pass rate team this year while pushing the pace envelope. Pittman should finish with another solid WR2 season, but he could offer more upside if he can ever break out with even reasonable touchdown numbers. Pittman hasn’t had more than six receiving touchdowns over the last three years. He only spiked it four times last season despite ranking ninth in red zone targets. Pittman has a WR1 season in him, and I won’t bet against him unleashing it in 2024.
  • Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL): Jackson logged his first top-three fantasy quarterback finish last year since 2019. In both years, Jackson hoisted the MVP trophy. Maybe he goes for a third piece of hardware. His rushing ability remains a huge part of his excellence after ranking first in rushing yards per game, third in red zone carries, and fourth in rushing touchdowns last year. Jackson also remains one of the best passers in the NFL, although no one wants to admit that when they enter a Jackson discussion. In 2023, Jackson ranked 10th in passer rating from a clean pocket, first in CPOE, sixth in adjusted completion rate, and fourth in hero throw rate. Jackson has difference-maker top-three upside at the quarterback position still in 2024.

Late-Round Players to Target

  • Isiah Pacheco (RB – KC): Pacheco settled in a strong RB2 last season (RB14), but he could have even more upside in 2024 if the team doesn’t retain Jerick McKinnon. In the four games he played without McKinnon active, Pachecho averaged 20.2 touches and 100.7 total yards. He was Kansas City’s workhorse, as he played at least 70% of the snaps in three of those four games. The second-year back rewarded their faith in him as he was 12th in explosive run rate and 26th in yards after contact per attempt (per Fantasy Points Data). Among 48 qualifying backs, he also ranked 28th in yards per route run. Pacheco had plenty of high-leverage usage last season, ranking seventh in red zone touches and third on Kansas City in red zone targets. He’s a solid RB2 who could easily run hot with touchdowns and climb into the RB1 category in 2024.
  • Nico Collins (WR – HOU): Yes, Houston’s target tree has another branch that didn’t exist last year (Stefon Diggs). Is that worrisome for Collins? Sure, but this is a bet on talent. Drawing volume is a reflection of the talent that Collins has in spades. I’m not willing to back off drafting him and Tank Dell with the arrival of a veteran wide receiver that widely sunk fantasy teams down the stretch last year. In 2023, Collins ranked 12th in targets per route run, second in YPRR, seventh in receiving yards per game, and fifth in FD/RR. Everything in his profile suggests he is an alpha-level talent in the prime of his career, tied to one of the best young quarterbacks in the game.

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Round 4 Targets

While Round 4 might cause stress for some, with players lumped in what appears to be a long tier, I love this round. If Achane hits, he is likely a top-five back this year. With Metcalf and Smith, we know we are drafting strong, solid WR2s with some upside. Mixon, Walker, and Cooper are underrated sources of volume for 2024. Also, my guy Stroud is here, and he’s primed to shred passing defenses all year.

  • De’Von Achane (RB – MIA): Achane was part of the new wave of explosive young rushers that hit the scene last season. He finished as the RB5 in fantasy points per game. In the eight games he played at least 41% of the snaps, Achane averaged 14.2 touches and 113.8 total yards. Any fantasy gamer who falls in love with efficiency stats will love Achane. He was so damn good last year, ranking first in explosive run rate, third in missed tackles forced per attempt, and second in yards after contact per attempt (per Fantasy Points Data). If he can overtake Raheem Mostert (and hold off Jaylen Wright) as the team’s primary goal-line rusher, Achane could finish as a top-three back in 2024.

  • D.K. Metcalf (WR – SEA): Metcalf is another rock-solid pick in fantasy who hasn’t finished outside the top 24 fantasy wideouts (WR22, WR24, WR20) in the last three years. Almost all of Metcalf’s deeper metrics lived in the WR2 territory as he was 22nd in YPRR, 23rd in first read share, and 20th in FD/RR last season. Seattle’s offense remains an enigma for 2024. Will they be run heavy at the behest of their defensive head coach? Will they grip it and rip it in the passing game under the direction of their offensive coordinator? It will be one of the fascinating things that we have to wait until the season to see play out. If Jaxon Smith-Njigba isn’t up to the task of taking over as Metcalf’s running mate with Tyler Lockett another year older, Metcalf could see a bump from his 20.7% target share last year (31st), which could vault him up the wide receiver leaderboard in 2024. Metcalf is a strong WR2 that still has some untapped upside. It’s possible he will revisit his 2020 production (WR10) this year.
  • DeVonta Smith (WR – PHI): Smith has been entrenched as a playmaking WR2 in fantasy football over the last two seasons (WR20, WR14). Smith should run it back again this year with similar production. Last year, he was 21st in receiving yards per game and 29th in first read share while some of his deeper metrics sagged. Smith saw his FD/RR ranking drop to 39th, and his YPRR sat at only 33rd (minimum 50 targets). While this is concerning, the talent didn’t disappear for Smith. Philly’s offense was broken last year as rudimentary play calling held the entire show back from its potential. Smith and Metcalf go in the same range of drafts, and each player feels like a safe bet with some upside in 2024.
  • Joe Mixon (RB – HOU): Joe Mixon and Rachaad White were the Spiderman GIF last season. Both were exceptionally inefficient runners who survived on volume and passing game work. Mixon was the RB11 last season, ranking eighth in snap share, third in opportunity share, and seventh in weighted opportunities. He was a whopping fifth in carries and 13th in targets as Cincinnati worked in Chase Brown only sparingly. He has the opportunity to reprise that same workload in Houston. With only Dameon Pierce, Dare Ogunbowale, Jawhar Jordan, and J.J. Taylor behind Mixon, he should be the unquestioned bellcow for the Texans in 2024. Last season, Mixon’s per-touch efficiency was horrendous. He was 36th in yards per touch, 35th in yards created per touch, and 41st in breakaway run rate. That didn’t stop him from being an RB1 last year, and it likely won’t this season.

  • Amari Cooper (WR – CLE): Cooper continues to chug along. Entering his age-30 season, he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Last year, he finished as the WR17 in fantasy points per game, ranking 23rd in target share (22.1%), 13th in air-yard share (39%), and 12th in YPRR. While Deshaun Watson wasn’t good last year, that didn’t stop Cooper from excelling with Watson. In the five full games Watson played, Cooper averaged 96 receiving yards per game with 2.96 YPRR and 0.123 FD/RR. Over a full season, among 81 qualifying wide receivers, Cooper would have ranked fourth, fifth, and 10th in those statistical categories if he kept up that pace. Cooper is a fantastic value pick this year that has some juicy upside.
  • Kenneth Walker (RB – SEA): Walker continues to hum along as a dependable RB2 in fantasy (RB20 last season) despite dealing with a myriad of injuries in 2023. Walker worked through a bruised shoulder, a strained oblique, a chest issue, and a tender calf last season. This didn’t stop him from averaging 17.3 touches and 82 total yards in the 14 games that he played at least 41% of the snaps. Walker remains one of the best pure rushers in the game, sitting at fourth in missed tackles forced per attempt and 26th in explosive run rate last season (minimum 50 carries per Fantasy Points Data). Zach Charbonnet will continue to be a weekly worry as he siphons off red zone and pass game work, but Walker should still lead the backfield in touches this year.
  • C.J. Stroud (QB – HOU): Stroud quickly proved all the haters wrong. I’m old enough to remember people slighting this person because of S2 scores. If you faded those narratives around this talented, franchise-changing player, you were loving the entire 2023 season. Stroud balled out, ranking seventh in fantasy points per game. There was plenty to like about his deeper numbers surrounding his play as he ranked third in clean pocket passer rating, 11th in fantasy points per dropback, and had the sixth-lowest turnover rate. With a solidified offensive line keeping him clean and the team bringing in Joe Mixon and Stefon Diggs to help the scoring barrage, Stroud is primed for a special sophomore campaign that could vault him into the top 3-5 fantasy quarterbacks in 2024.

Round 5 Targets

Anthony Richardson is my only QB must-have in this range. He has legitimate QB1 overall upside. Again, we head back to pick your TE1 overall warrior thinking. The rest of the receivers I love in this range are solid bets to eclipse their projections with their mix of possible volume and talent. Oh, and for my wide receiver-heavy drafters, this is a good spot to consider drafting your first RB with Montgomery. He’s a top-24 back with RB1 possibilities if Gibbs were to miss any time.

  • Malik Nabers (WR – NYG): While we might have worries about the landing spot, there are two undeniable facts here. Nabers is a stone-cold baller, and he will vacuum up all the targets he can handle in 2024. During his final year at LSU, Nabers ranked third in YPRR, first in PFF receiving grade, and fourth in missed tackles forced. Nabers is the clear WR1 for New York this season, and it’s not particularly close. No Giants wide receiver managed over a 16.9% target share last year, so there’s no one standing in Nabers’ way of soaking up a 23-25% target share in his rookie season. The Giants threw the ball 518 times last year. If Nabers can earn a 25% target share and the Giants don’t pass any more than they did last season, he will theoretically see 130 targets. That would have been tied for 19th in targets among wide receivers last season. I’m willing to invest in Nabers’ talent, and I’m just praying that we get at least league-average quarterback play from Daniel Jones and company this season.

  • Anthony Richardson (QB – IND): Richardson is a mystery box of untold potential entering the 2024 season. If he could put what we saw in a small sample last year on paper for an entire campaign, it could be magical. In Richardson’s two full starts, he averaged 25.7 fantasy points per game, which, if you’re keeping score at home, is more than Josh Allen averaged last year (24.2). Richardson led all quarterbacks (minimum 80 dropbacks) in fantasy points per dropback. Are his passing numbers worrisome? Sure. Are there some small silver linings that lead to hopeful thoughts? Yep. In his final two games, he managed at least 8.0 yards per attempt and at least a 7.1% big-time throw rate. Even if he takes a step forward as a passer, rushing will be the magic elixir that will carry Richardson in 2024. Last year, Richardson, even in the abbreviated sample, ranked fifth in rushing yards per game and third in red zone carries per game. Richardson has QB1 overall upside this season if everything breaks his way.
  • Trey McBride (TE – ARI): McBride was on a tear at the end of last year, and I fully expect him to pick up right where he left off in 2024, where he left off. In Weeks 8-18, among tight ends, he ranked first in weighted opportunity and target share, fourth in YPRR and missed tackles forced, and fifth in PFF receiving grade. If you extrapolated that ten-game sample over a full season, McBride would have finished with 144 targets, 112 receptions, and 1,114 receiving yards. Yes, McBride will have to contend with Marvin Harrison Jr. weekly for the team target lead, but that’s it. There isn’t another soul on the Cardinals roster that will consistently push these two with a high-end target share. McBride could easily finish this season as the TE1 overall.
  • Zay Flowers (WR – BAL): Flowers had his moments as a rookie. While he didn’t live up to the preseason hype, it wasn’t a dreadful rookie showing by any stretch, especially after Mark Andrews was out. Without Andrews, Flowers saw his first read share increase to 30.7%, and his FD/RR rate increased ever so slightly from 0.081 to 0.085. Flowers, during that stretch (eight games), earned six end zone targets, which was awesome compared to the single end zone target he saw in Weeks 1-10. With Odell Beckham Jr. gone in 2024, the Baltimore passing attack will further consolidate around Flowers and Andrews.
  • Mark Andrews (TE – BAL): Before he was lost to injury in Week 11, Andrews was still producing as an elite tight end. In Weeks 1-10, he ranked third in target share (22.1%), fifth in YPRR (2.05), and fifth in FD/RR (0.102). Andrews has been a round two or three selection over the last few years. In 2024, Andrews comes at a discount, but make no mistake, he still has TE1 overall upside and remains a difference-making fantasy asset. He should challenge Zay Flowers for the team lead in targets this season.

  • Christian Kirk (WR – JAC): Kirk will be the Jaguars’ WR1 in 2024. He was on his way to a monstrous season before getting derailed by injury. In Weeks 2-12, Krik was the WR19 in fantasy points per game, drawing a 22.6% target share and 30.5% air-yard share, producing 2.31 YPRR and 0.101 FD/RR. If he had kept up that pace for the full season, he would have ranked 22nd, 17th, and 22nd in those categories. His full season counting stat pace was 138 targets, 94 receptions, and 1,278 receiving yards. With Calvin Ridley gone, Kirk’s biggest competition for targets is Evan Engram. Engram didn’t break out last year until Kirk was out, so I doubt Engram is the clear option over Kirk entering 2024. Gabriel Davis is a proven role player, and Brian Thomas Jr. is a rookie who will face growing pains in the NFL. Look for Trevor Lawrence to feed Kirk this year as one of the best values in fantasy drafts.
  • David Montgomery (RB – DET): David Montgomery wrapped up his first season in Detroit as a resounding success in real-life football and fantasy. He was the RB15 in fantasy as he managed the second 1,000-yard rushing season of his NFL career. Montgomery did see his volume limited down the stretch some, as he averaged 15 touches and 75.7 total yards after his return in Week 10. He’ll continue to share the backfield load with Jahmyr Gibbs weekly, but in one of the best offenses in the NFL, that shouldn’t be a massive worry for his 2024 outlook. Montgomery will be the early down hammer (19th in missed tackles forced per attempt, per Fantasy Points Data) and be plenty involved in the red zone. Last season, he was 15th in carries and fifth in red zone touches as he scored 13 touchdowns (fourth-most).

  • Tank Dell (WR – HOU): Yes, Dell now has to contend with Stefon Diggs for targets, too, but we need to put respect on Dell’s name and understand that he could still fight for the team lead in targets in 2024. Last year, in the seven full games that Dell and Nico Collins played together, Dell bested him in every meaningful category. Dell led the duo in target share (22.5 vs. 22.1%), air-yard share (35.9 vs. 25.3%), weighted opportunity (59.0 vs. 50.9), and fantasy points per game (18.7 vs. 18.1). Overall last year Dell posted monster numbers in YPRR (2.40) and FD/RR (0.115) ranking 16th and 14th in these statistics. His recovery from a broken fibula will be huge, but if he is still the same guy we saw in 2023, there’s plenty of reason to invest heavily in him smashing in 2024.

Round 6 Targets

This round is a beautiful mixed bag of volume, onesie positional hammers, and investing in underrated offenses. Washington and Arizona are two of my favorite offenses to invest in for 2024.

  • Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS): McLaurin is primed for a bounce-back season in 2024. Last year, Sam Howell and his putrid passing sunk McLaurin’s season. McLaurin still led the team with a 20.4% target share, a 34.7% air-yard share, 1.64 YPRR, and a 25.4% first-read share. Don’t forget that this is the same receiver that ranked 16th in YPRR (2.20) and 19th in FD/RR (0.104) in 2023. That talent didn’t suddenly disappear. It was depressed by a quarterback last year that ranked 21st in CPOE and 25th in clean pocket passer rating. Last year, he was the WR34 in fantasy points per game and the WR21 in expected fantasy points per game. With Jayden Daniels under center, McLaurin could return to the WR2 ranks in 2024.
  • Kyler Murray (QB – ARI): Murray immediately reinserted himself into the QB1 conversation in fantasy last year. He finished as the QB9 in fantasy points per game while struggling as a passer. Among 45 qualifying passers last season, he was 38th in CPOE, 35th in highly accurate throw rate, and had the ninth-highest off-target rate. It wasn’t pretty, but for fantasy purposes, he smoothed over those rough edges with rushing ranking ninth in rushing yards per game, 10th in carries per game, and ninth in red zone carries per game. Murray has displayed serious arm talent in the NFL previously, so I’m expecting a bounce back with his passing. Last year, we saw his floor, which is still a QB1 in fantasy. In 2020, we saw what the ceiling looked like (QB3). Murray will be one of my most drafted players in 2024.

  • Zamir White (RB – LV): Zamir White proved capable of carrying the mail last year and should be the Raiders’ workhorse in 2024. In Weeks 15-18, he averaged 23.3 touches and 114.3 total yards as the RB12 in fantasy points per game. During this cup of coffee as the team’s starter, among 41 qualifying backs, he ranked 13th in explosive run rate, sixth in yards after contact per attempt, and 17th in success rate. With Josh Jacobs heading to Cheesehead town, White should be a volume-driven RB2 with upside for more in 2024.
  • Dalton Kincaid (TE – BUF): After Kincaid became the starter for the Bills, he was a locked in TE1. In Weeks 7-18, he ranked seventh in target share (19.0%), ninth in receiving yards per game (50.5) and first-read share (21.0%), and 12th in YPRR (1.85). During that stretch, he ranked 11th in route per dropback rate and fantasy points per game. There’s room for Kincaid to grow in 2024 with more routes and experience. He could enter the top three tight end conversation this year as the leader of the Bills’ passing attack with Stefon Diggs moving on to Houston. Invest in talented second-year players in good offenses. Kincaid checks all those boxes.

Round 7 Targets

Copy and paste the Round 6 analysis here. We’re still in the business of drafting difference-maker quarterbacks and tight ends unless we’ve already filled that bucket. Rice wouldn’t be available here without the suspension storm hanging over his head. I’ll scoop him up here, depending on my roster build.

  • George Kittle (TE – SF): Kittle proved last year that the tank isn’t dry. He was the TE6 in fantasy points per game, finishing with the third-highest receptions and receiving yards of his career, while he ranked only tenth in raw target volume (90). Kittle’s high leverage usage was fine, though, as he was first in deep targets and 10th in red zone targets among tight ends. Among 51 qualifying tight ends, he ranked first in YPRR (2.42) and seventh in FD/RR (0.10). Kittle can easily post another top-six fantasy tight end season in 2024, and the floor and ceiling will move upward if Deebo Samuel is moved before Week 1.

  • Jordan Love (QB – GB): Love completed his first full season as the Packer’s starter and surpassed every expectation that I had for him. Love was the QB5 in fantasy points per game, ranking seventh in passing yards and second in passing touchdowns. After he had somewhat of a slow start to the season, Love caught fire after Week 9. For the rest of the season among 36 qualifying quarterbacks, he was fourth in passer rating and CPOE and sixth in fantasy points per dropback. During that stretch, he was also sixth in clean pocket passer rating. Love is a wonderful value in drafts if you want to wait on quarterback some and still have access to top 3-5 upside at the position.
  • Rashee Rice (WR – KC): We’ll see how long Rice is suspended for and where his ADP settles in at, but he is likely a strong value for 2024. Every year, we have to navigate these suspension waters for some players. His ADP could also vary widely from league to league. With that in mind, I’m more likely to take the leap and select Rice in leagues where he slips down the board, or I’m looking to “play catch up some” at wide receiver, depending on how my draft has unfolded. The additions of Xavier Worthy and Hollywood Brown to this passing attack have also muddied the waters for Rice. All of this uncertainty will make drafters wary of pressing the button, but the risk will be built into his ADP. While we can debate all of those factors, we can’t debate that Rice is a supremely talented player catching passes from one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. In Weeks 12-18, Rice ranked 12th in target share (25.2%), 10th in YPRR (2.77) and FD/RR (0.123), and ninth in fantasy points per route run (0.60). Buy the dip.
  • Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL): Pitts was railroaded yet again last year by Arthur Smith, as he played most of the season at less than 100%. Pitts finished as the TE16 in fantasy points per game and the TE15 in expected fantasy points per game. Much of this can be attributed to his minuscule touchdown production (only three, 18th among TEs) and a non-existent red zone role (34th in red zone targets). While Pitts lagged in YPRR and FD/RR (18th in both), he still flashed in one of the metrics I look to for projecting talent and ceiling at the tight end position, and that’s YPRR vs. man coverage. Last year, Pitts ranked seventh in this metric, immediately behind Travis Kelce. With a revamped offensive system, a clean bill of health, and improved quarterback play, Pitts is set to soar this season.

Round 8 Targets

Volume and contingent upside swings. That’s what I’m all about in Round 8. Johnson is an auto pick in this range if you’re looking to catch up or deepen your WR room. Odunze and Worthy are locked in muddy depth charts that could clarify quickly with one injury or if these talented rookies rise to the top of the pecking order. Robinson and Singletary are my two favorite RB2 targets this year.

  • Diontae Johnson (WR – CAR): Earning volume is a skill. It’s a reflection of talent, and few do that better than Johnson year after year. Once he returned from injury in Week 7, he continued to gobble up targets like usual, ranking 14th in target share (23.7%), sixth in air-yard share (41.6%), and 20th in FD/RR (0.109). In that span, he was the WR33 in fantasy points per game. Johnson should have no issues earning similar volume this season in Carolina, flanked by Adam Thielen and Xavier Legette. Look for Bryce Young to pepper his new WR1. Johnson is a WR3/4 that could easily post WR2 production in 2024.

  • Jaylen Warren (RB – PIT): Jaylen Warren was one of the most explosive and elusive backs in the NFL. This sounds like a hyperbolic statement I know, but it really isn’t. Last season, he finished third in explosive run rate, first in missed tackles forced per attempt, and second in yards after contact per attempt (per Fantasy Points Data). If these numbers don’t jump off the page, then I don’t know what else to tell you. Oh wait, he was also 12th in yards per route run and fifth in targets per route run. Warren is a stud and outperformed Najee Harris in nearly every metric. While he finished as the RB29 in fantasy points per game, that doesn’t tell the entire story. Warren was an RB2 or better in weekly scoring in 50% of his games. Warren will still have to split a backfield this season with Harris, but if you’re betting on talent (which you should be), there aren’t many better options to grab in drafts that have his type of upside if anything were to happen to Harris.

  • Brian Robinson (RB – WAS): Brian Robinson‘s overall stat lines don’t portray how good he was last season. Robinson was the RB14 in fantasy points per opportunity and the RB22 in fantasy points per game. He also stood out in efficiency categories, ranking 22nd in explosive run rate and 13th in yards after contact per attempt (per Fantasy Points Data). In the 12 games in which he played at least 40% of the snaps, Robinson averaged 15.5 touches and 77.9 total yards per game. He quietly displayed a three-down skillset last season, proving that he can play on passing downs, ranking fifth in yards per route run and 12th in PFF’s pass-blocking grade (minimum 20 targets and 50 pass-blocking snaps). Robinson will have to fight Austin Ekeler for passing down snaps and red zone work as he settles into the RB2/3 zone for 2024.
  • Rome Odunze (WR – CHI): No one should question Odunze’s talent. In his final season in college, Odunze ranked 18th in YPRR and 8th in PFF receiving grade. It is fair to wonder about his ability to earn targets in year one, as D.J. Moore and Keenan Allen will flank him. There are reasons to be hopeful for Odunze, though. Unlike Jaxon Smith-Njigba last year, Odunze can still have splash weeks this year because of his ability to stretch the field, as his 15.5 aDOT in 2023 attests, so he can maximize some lost volume with big plays. The volume of this passing attack could surprise us as well, though. In 2021-2023, under new Bears’ offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, Seattle ranked seventh in neutral pace and ninth in neutral passing rate. If the passing volume shocks the world and/or Keenan Allen or D.J. Moore misses any time, Odunze could outplay his ADP.
  • Xavier Worthy (WR – KC): A wide receiver drafted in the first round landing in Kansas City? Yes, please. Worthy has blinding speed and the ability to create big plays with the ball in his hands. In two of his final three collegiate seasons, he ranked inside the top 27 collegiate receivers in yards after the catch per reception (27th, 8th). Worthy was also in the 90th percentile in his final season at Texas in separation percentage. Hollywood Brown isn’t a sure thing at this point in his career to stay healthy for an entire season. Rashee Rice has suspension questions looming. This offense, at some point this season, could boil down to Worthy and Travis Kelce as Patrick Mahomes‘ top two targets.
  • Devin Singletary (RB – NYG): Devin Singletary steps in as the Giants’ new lead back with some big shoes to fill with Saquon Barkley‘s departure. Last year, with the Texans, he proved again that he could be a solid starting tailback in the NFL as he stepped in during the middle of the season and stole the starting job away from Dameon Pierce in Houston. In Weeks 9-18, he averaged 19 touches and 86.6 total yards as the RB21 in fantasy points per game. Singletary continues to roll along as an efficient rusher. Last year, he was 19th in explosive run rate and 22nd in missed tackles forced per attempt (per Fantasy Points Data). While the Giants aren’t the sexiest landing spot, Singletary should flirt with RB2 production as the team’s bellcow.

Later Round Targets

Could I have cut this list down? Sure, but these are all my guys when we get into the later rounds. While you build the backbone of your team in the early rounds, which is immensely important, the later rounds are where we mine value and find players that can turn the tide for a fantasy team. WR4s that become WR2s. Quarterbacks, receivers, and tight ends who can be weekly starters. This is where you win your league, so I didn’t want to skimp on targets. I’ll be targeting these 20+ players across all of my fantasy action in 2024.

  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – SEA): Smith-Njigba’s usage last year was comical. The team neutered him into a low aDOT player when he has the skills to be so much more. When he was aligned outside, he flashed the talent that had plenty of Fantasy GMs drafting him aggressively last year. Among 81 qualifying wide receivers last season, when he was running routes on the perimeter, Smith-Njigba ranked 15th in YPRR and fourth in TPRR. Among 61 qualifying receivers with at least 40 perimeter targets, he also ranked 14th in FD/RR. With a new head coach and offensive coordinator to revamp this offense and a retooled offensive line, Smith-Njigba should flourish in his sophomore season.
  • Tyjae Spears (RB – TEN): RIP Tyjae Spears RB1 szn. It was fun while it lasted, but Tony Pollard‘s arrival has kiboshed that. That doesn’t mean Tyjae Spears can’t be 2021 Tony Pollard to Tony Pollard in Tennessee. Spears operated as discount De’Von Achane last season, ranking fifth in explosive run rate and 14th in yards after contact per attempt (per Fantasy Points Data). He proved that he can be a three-down explosive play monster as well, ranking seventh in target share, 10th in TPRR, and 17th in YPRR. If the Titans trot out an offense with an above-average neutral rushing rate and Spears can continue his insane efficiency, he will remain a strong RB3 who could finish as a low-end RB2 if this offense surprises people.

  • Christian Watson (WR – GB): I hate to break it to the Dontayvion Wicks and Jayden Reed hives, but when Watson was on the field last year, he remained the Packer’s WR1. 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). Hamstring woes have plagued Watson for the last two years, but Green Bay investigated further into it this offseason with the hopes of getting their stud third-year wide receiver right for 2024. If Watson can finally enjoy a fully healthy season, he can fulfill the potential we have seen in spurts over the last two seasons.
  • Ladd McConkey (WR – LAC): McConkey could become the Bolts’ WR1 in short order. McConkey has a clear path to volume this year, with only Joshua Palmer and Quentin Johnston pushing him weekly. Is the passing volume in a Greg Roman offense a concern? Absolutely, but that’s why his ADP is this low. During Roman’s final four seasons with Baltimore, his offenses averaged 496 passing attempts. If McConkey can earn at least a 21% target share, then we’re talking 102 targets, which might not sound like much, but that would have been tied for 32nd among wide receivers last season. There’s plenty of upside for McConkey to earn an even larger slice of the target pie in 2024, considering the other pass catchers that are running opposite him and his inherent talent level. Last year at Georgia, McConkey was in the 98th percentile in receiving grade and receiving grade versus single coverage. He was also in the 91st percentile or higher in separation percentage and YPRR. If the Bolts’ throw even more than I’m projecting, McConkey could be one of the best values of the fantasy draft season.

  • Jayden Daniels (QB – WAS): Let’s get this out of the way. If Daniels starts every game this season, his rushing equity alone will push him into the top 12 of fantasy quarterbacks. In his final season at LSU, Daniels rushed for 1,134, and now he’s paired with an offensive coordinator who is quite familiar with game planning with a mobile quarterback. Kliff Kingsbury’s offense will feature play-action and deep passing, which are two of Daniels’ stand-out strengths. At the height of Kyler Murray‘s powers under Kliff Kingsbury (2021), he ranked fifth in deep ball rate and 11th in play-action dropback rate. In 2023, Daniels led all collegiate passers in deep passing grade and deep adjusted completion rate while also ranking fourth in play-action passing grade. Daniels is the best argument for waiting on a quarterback in your drafts.
  • Jonathon Brooks (RB – CAR): Brooks lands in CAR with second-round NFL Draft capital in a wide-open backfield, with his toughest competition being Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders. Yes, he’s recovering from an ACL tear, but as soon as he’s ready to shoulder most of the load for this backfield, it should be his job. Brooks displayed a three-down skillset last year at Texas, ranking 21st in yards after contact per attempt and yards per route run while also finishing ninth in PFF elusive rating. Brooks could begin the season as an RB3/flex but finish it as a stretch run hero.
  • Trey Benson (RB – ARI): Benson will have to contend with a still-spry James Conner for touches all season. Yes, Conner hasn’t played more than 13 games in a season over the last two years, so Benson could get some run as the team’s starter in 2024. It’s impossible to project that with the uncertainty of injuries, but it has to be mentioned. Even in a 1B role to Conner, Benson could make some noise with big plays. Over the last two collegiate seasons, Benson has ranked 10th and third in breakaway percentage and 42nd and first in elusive rating (per PFF). With an offense that ranked fourth in neutral script rushing rate last year, there should be enough rushing volume weekly for Benson to have flex viability. He’s a priority handcuff this season with some standalone value.

  • Jerome Ford (RB – CLE): Jerome Ford could be the Brown’s starting tailback again this season. Nick Chubb‘s health remains up in the air. While the early returns have been encouraging for his recovery, he isn’t guaranteed to play in the early parts of the season or at all in 2024. Last season, in Weeks 3-17, when Ford was the starter, he averaged 14.9 touches and 66.6 total yards as the RB20 in fantasy. Ford played well, ranking 13th in missed tackles forced per attempt and 16th in yards after contact per attempt (per Fantasy Points Data). If he is the team’s starter again this season, he should be considered an RB2 with upside. He could see even more work this season if he can hold off D’Onta Foreman on early downs and Nyheim Hines for the pass game work.
  • Blake Corum (RB – LAR): I have my worries about Corum, but the Rams investing third-round draft capital in him was interesting. Corum’s yards after contact per attempt, breakaway percentage, and elusive ratings fell in each of his final three collegiate seasons (per PFF). That’s not exactly the trend line that you want to have entering the NFL, but the Rams’ third-round investment in the Michigan product is a decent vote of confidence that Corum can possibly get back to his 2021 form (24th in yards after contact per attempt per PFF). I doubt Corum is taking passing down snaps away from Kyren Williams, but he could help spell him on early downs and salt away the clock late in games. Corum is a high-end handcuff only right now.
  • Antonio Gibson (RB – NE): Gibson lands in New England on a three-year deal, which is essentially a puffed-up one-year deal. New England can get out of Gibson’s contract after one season if he doesn’t pan out as Rhamondre Stevenson‘s running mate this upcoming season. Last season, in a breather role, Gibson ranked first in missed tackles forced per attempt and eighth in yards after contact per attempt (per Fantasy Points Data). Gibson has displayed explosive playmaking when utilized properly and demonstrates the ability to be a volume rusher when it has been called for. Gibson should work in tandem with Stevenson as the pass-catching component of this backfield, but if Stevenson falters out the gate, don’t be surprised if Gibson takes over the lead role. Gibson is an interesting RB3 with upside in 2024.
  • Rico Dowdle (RB – DAL): Dowdle will fight Ezekiel Elliott for work in Dallas this season. Dowdle has long been a fav player of mine. Last year, among 53 qualifying backs, he ranked 16th in yards after contact per attempt while also having the 23rd lowest stuff rate (per Fantasy Points Data). Could Dowdle be the next Alexander Mattison? It’s possible, but I’m willing to make the bet that he surprises people in 2024. He’s an RB3/4 who could easily post RB2 numbers if he runs away from Elliott with the job.

  • Jermaine Burton (WR – CIN): Burton has a clear path to volume behind Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. He should be starting three-wide sets from Day 1. Tyler Boyd has been a descending player for the last few seasons, and even as the team’s third wheel, he drew between 83 and 98 targets per season. Burton could push for 100-plus in his rookie season. The passing volume should be there, as Cincinnati was third in neutral passing rate last year when Joe Burrow was healthy and looking like his usual self. Off-the-field issues are the only reason that Burton was available when the Bengals selected him in the NFL Draft. Based on talent alone, he should have been at least a second-round pick and could have honestly pushed for a first-round selection. In his final season at Alabama, Burton was in the 90th percentile against single coverage and 82nd percentile in YPRR. If Tee Higgins gets moved prior to Week 1 or holds out, Burton’s stock will soar through the roof.
  • Kimani Vidal (RB – LAC): Vidal might have tumbled down the NFL draft board, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that he lacks the talent profile to take over the Bolts’ backfield. His competition (Gus Edwards & J.K. Dobbins) isn’t exactly overwhelming. Last year, Vidal ranked 21st in PFF’s elusive rating while proving that he can handle volume with at least 23 carries in 57% of his games. With Greg Roman at the controls, there will be plenty of rushing volume to chew on, so even if he doesn’t claim the workhorse role. From 2019-2022 with Baltimore, Roman coordinated an offense that ranked first in neutral rushing rate. Vidal could be a flex play in Week 1 with the upside to grow into more (RB2) as the season moves along.

  • Jaleel McLaughlin (RB – DEN): Fully expect me to be above consensus regarding Jaleel McLaughlin this season. Last year, he was electric with every touch he earned. Among all running backs with at least 50 rushing attempts or 20 targets, McLaughlin ranked 14th in explosive run rate, fifth in missed tackles forced per attempt, fourth in yards after contact per attempt, and fourth in yards per route run. Denver made it a point to get him involved in the passing game when he was on the field, as he also ranked first in targets per route run. McLaughlin could easily earn more opportunities this season, as Samaje Perine wasn’t amazing last season, and Javonte Williams looked like a shadow of his former self. At this juncture, I’m not worried about Audric Estime and Blake Watson stealing any of McLaughlin’s work this season. If McLaughlin earns Sean Payton’s trust, he could be an RB3/4 that vaults into steady RB2 production.

  • MarShawn Lloyd (RB – GB): Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably already aware that MarShawn Lloyd was one of my man crushes throughout the NFL Draft cycle. While his landing spot has turned many off, I’m not fazed. Will Josh Jacobs be heavily involved weekly? Sure, but that doesn’t mean that Lloyd is a zero or change-of-pace option only. Lloyd crushed every part of the predraft process after jumping off the stat sheet during his final two collegiate seasons. In each of those two years, he finished in the top 20 in yards after contact per attempt, breakaway percentage, and PFF elusive rating. Lloyd will quickly be a major factor in this backfield, with his main competition for touches (Josh Jacobs) hoping for a bounceback year. Last year, Jacobs struggled mightily to break tackles and create big plays as he ranked (among 49 qualifying backs last season per Fantasy Points Data) 41st in explosive run rate, 37th in missed tackles forced per attempt, and 44th in yards after contact per attempt. Lloyd is an RB3/4 who can easily out-kick his ADP this season.
  • Jaylen Wright (RB – MIA): Wright got decent draft capital (fourth-round) in the NFL Draft, but he landed in a nightmare situation. Raheem Mostert is coming off arguably the best season of his career, and De’Von Achane is one of the league’s most explosive rushers. Wright looks to be on the outside looking in for rushing volume right now, but it only takes one injury to change that. Mostert and Achane haven’t exactly been pictures of health in the NFL. Wright is the perfect late-round high-upside draft pick to covet this year. The talented rookie, who ranked fifth in yards after contact per attempt and 13th in elusive rating (per PFF), is only one domino’s fall away from consistent RB2/3 production this year.
  • Ricky Pearsall Jr. (WR – SF): Pearsall Jr. could easily get squeezed for playing time and volume in year one, but he’s one injury or Deebo Samuel trade away from being an exquisite value. Pearsall Jr. became one of my favorite players during the NFL Draft cycle. His film was fantastic as he oozes high-end route running prowess with the athleticism to stretch the field. In his final season at Florida, he finished in the 89th percentile in receiving grade, the 91st percentile in receiving grade against single coverage, and the 90th percentile in separation percentage. Pearsall Jr. could be a player that is dropped to waivers by Week 4, but the upside is there for him to absolutely crush as well in his rookie season.
  • DeMario Douglas & Javon Baker (WRs – NE): The Patriots’ wide receiving depth chart is wide open, and these are the two bets that I’m making from that room. Regardless of whether Drake Maye or Jacoby Brissett is under center, this offense has the chance to surprise people. Last year, in the eight games Douglas played at least 50% of the snaps, he commanded a team-leading 20.8% target share and 24.4% first read share. He was a WR3 or better in weekly fantasy scoring in five of those eight games. My infatuation with Baker began during the NFL Draft cycle. He’s got that dawg in him. Baker was typecast as a field stretcher in college, but he has the after-the-catch tenacity and route-running prowess to win at all three levels. In his final collegiate season, he ranked eighth in YPRR and 24th in PFF receiving grade. Across his final two years in the collegiate ranks, he ranked 18th among all FBS wide receivers in explosive plays. Douglas or Baker could easily turn into a strong weekly flex/WR3 this season.

  • Ben Sinnott (TE – WAS): In deeper leagues or leagues with premiums on tight ends, Sinnott is a strong late-round pick. Yes, if you’re combing through this article looking for Jahan Dotson‘s name, you won’t find it. After two massively disappointing campaigns, Dotson has given little reason to hope for a third-year breakout, which is why I’m mentioning Sinnott and, subsequently, Luke McCaffrey next. This offense has the potential to surprise people in 2024. If that does happen, not only could Terry McLaurin and Brian Robinson pop among skill players, but Jayden Daniels is likely taking another player along for the ride. The fossilized remains of Zach Ertz are all that stand between Sinnott and a banner rookie season. Sinnott checks all the boxes that I look for with a tight end with massive upside. He’s an electric athlete (9.7 RAS) and a widely underrated receiving threat. In 2023, he was ninth in YPRR and receiving grade while also checking in at fourth in missed tackles forced. If there’s a rookie tight end that could pop in year one not named Brock Bowers, it’s Sinnott.

  • Luke McCaffrey (WR – WAS): Another NFL Draft cycle crush has crept into redraft season, with McCaffrey making this list. McCaffrey crushed every part of the process. He flashed big time at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, and then he opened a ton of eyes during his athletic testing. Despite his last name, I don’t think many people were expecting him to walk away with a 4.46 forty time and a 96th percentile agility score. Don’t be blown away when McCaffrey is starting in two wide receiver sets over Jahan Dotson. McCaffrey is still honing his game, especially against man coverage, but he already has a good feel for and understanding of how to beat zone coverage. In a league where every team utilizes zone coverage on at least 54.5% of their defensive snaps and 23 teams run it on at least 66% of their snaps, McCaffrey should be able to hit the ground running. Last year against zone among 111 qualifying FBS wide receivers, he ranked sixth in receiving grade and 28th in YPRR against zone. McCaffrey is a magnificent dart to toss in as many drafts as possible.
  • Jelani Woods (TE – IND): Woods’ 2023 season was lost to hamstring woes. I’m not ready to toss in the towel. I will be drafting him a ton in deep leagues, as well as in best ball and formats where I need/want a late tight-end flier. High-end athleticism is such an easy thing to bet on with tight ends, as you essentially need it to enter the elite conversation for fantasy. Woods has that with his 89th percentile 40 time, 95th percentile burst, and 82nd percentile agility score. In a small sample, he also popped in efficiency metrics. In 2022, he ranked 14th in YPRR, 16th in FD/RR, and ninth in YPRR against man coverage. Injuries be damned. I can’t say I’m back in for 2024 if, technically, I never left.
  • Demarcus Robinson (WR – LAR): It’s like everyone is forgetting what Robinson did to close the 2023 season with Los Angeles. In Weeks 13-18, he went on a tear ranking (among 109 qualifying receivers), 36th in YPRR, 28th in FD/RR, and 26th in fantasy points per route run. In those six weeks, Robinson was the WR31 in fantasy points per game. Robinson is the perfect veteran receiver to pair with a high-upside rookie late. Robinson could be a strong weekly flex play from the outset before relinquishing his fantasy lineup duties mid-season to a stretch run rookie hammer.
  • Tyrone Tracy Jr. (RB – NYG): Tracy’s NFL career could be much better than his collegiate one when it’s all said and done. Last year’s tackle-breaking metrics should raise your eyebrows, especially for a player still acclimating to the position. Tracy ranked fourth in yards after contact per attempt and fifth in elusive rating (per PFF). Purdue offered him the most vanilla offensive role possible in the passing game with his receiver background. I expect the Giants to rectify that when he does garner snaps. Tracy only has to unseat Eric Gray to earn the RB2 role for the Giants. Gray didn’t do anything to wow the team last year with his 2.8 yards per carry and 1.53 yards after contact per attempt (per Fantasy Points Data). Devin Singletary looks like the team’s workhorse, but if he goes down, Tracy could take over three-down duties. He’s one of the best handcuff options in drafts.

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