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5 Dynasty Draft Values: Wide Receivers (2024 Fantasy Football)

Startups. Startups. Startups. It is dynasty startup SZN! I know we all return to redraft in the summer months and the best ball streets are all blazing, but this is also the time for dynasty startups. Before you enter another dynasty fantasy football startup, read up on my top five wide receiver values and run a handful of startup mock drafts with our draft simulator.

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Dynasty Draft Values: Wide Receivers

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – SEA) | ADP: WR31, 76.5 Overall

I know Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s rookie season didn’t live up to the hype (WR56 in fantasy points per game), but I’m still bullish about his sophomore season outlook. Let’s examine where things went wrong in 2023. First, we need to talk about the broken wrist he suffered before the season. That hampered his early season usage as he didn’t see above a 60% snapshare until Week 6. Even without factoring in the injury, his 2023 usage profile was pathetic. Shane Waldron neutered Smith-Njigba into a low aDOT (average depth of target) screen merchant. Last season, among 44 qualifying wide receivers, Smith-Njigba had the seventh-highest screen rate (25.6% of his target volume) and the seventh-most screen targets. His aDOT with these targets was a jaw-dropping -2.9 yards. When Smith-Njigba was tasked with performing as an outside receiver, he was superb, ranking 15th in yards per route run and fourth in targets per route run. Buy the dip on a supremely talented player.

Diontae Johnson (WR – CAR) | ADP: WR36, 85.2 Overall

I don’t usually proclaim my love for wide receivers entering their age-28 season in a contract year, but all of the risk is built into his average draft position (ADP). Johnson’s talent remains real, and I have faith in Dave Canales’ ability to design an offense. Last year, when Johnson was healthy, he was still producing as a trusted target hog. 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 was 20th in first downs per route run (FD/RR) at 0.109. In that span, he was the WR33 in fantasy points per game. I’ll happily take the discount in startups right now and either ride him to a championship with a contending squad or deal him in-season when he’s eating volume and his value has rebounded.

Christian Kirk (WR – JAX) | ADP: WR44, 105 Overall

Christian Kirk has two years left on his current deal and could easily be the Jaguars’ WR1 this season. His WR4 price tag in startups right now is laughable. He was headed for a beautiful season before injury derailed him. 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 yards per route run (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 stats pace was 138 targets, 94 receptions and 1,278 receiving yards. Kirk should pick back up where he left off in 2024. This value is too good to pass up in startups.

Ricky Pearsall (WR – SF) | ADP: WR47, 111.7 Overall

Ricky Pearsall is being priced in startups like Deebo Samuel will be with the 49ers long term and Pearsall only earned Day 2 draft capital. Are you telling me you can draft a wide receiver that earned first-round NFL Draft capital and resides in one of the NFL’s best offenses in the WR4 range of startups? You’ve got to be kidding. This is ridiculous. I won’t be surprised if Samuel is moved to another team before Week 1. Then, the sky will be the limit for Pearsall. Pearsall’s skillset is a mashup of Samuel’s and Brandon Aiyuk‘s. Pearsall can offer the 49ers a little something after the catch, but he is also a superb route runner, who ranked in the 89th percentile in receiving grade, the 91st percentile in receiving grade against single coverage and the 90th percentile in separation percentage in his final season at Florida. I have and will continue to draft as much Pearsall as possible.

Jermaine Burton (WR – CIN) | ADP: WR61, 150.7 Overall

Again, we have a supremely talented wide receiver being priced as if Tee Higgins will be on the Bengals after the 2024 season. Considering Cincinnati’s history of paying their top-end talent versus letting them walk in free agency, I’ll be making huge bets on Jermaine Burton during this startup cycle. The Bengals’ passing attack could be led for years by Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Burton. Burrow will love throwing to a receiver that last year ranked in the 90th percentile against single coverage and 82nd percentile in YPRR. Whenever Higgins moves onto another team, people will hurry to move Burton up their rankings, but by then, the buying window will have been shut tight. Don’t miss out.

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*All data utilized in this article courtesy of FantasyPros, Fantasy Points Data, PFF and PlayerProfiler.com unless otherwise specified. All average draft position (ADP) data cited per DLF May Superflex ADP.

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