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5 Impact Rookie Wide Receivers (2024 Fantasy Football)

Over the last half-decade, rookie wide receivers have come onto the scene guns blazing. The top rookie WRs in the last five seasons have been:

I doubt that trend hits the brakes this year, as 10 wide receivers were drafted in the first 37 picks of the 2024 NFL Draft. Teams have plans in place to get young receivers the football.

Here are some rookie wide receivers I’m targeting in fantasy football drafts this season.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Fantasy Football Rookie Wide Receivers

Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR – ARI)

How convenient of me to put the fourth overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft here.

Marvin Harrison’s talent is legit, and the Cardinals parted ways with two of their top four receiving yardage leaders from 2023. Trey McBride should demand some defensive attention as a budding receiving threat, allowing Harrison to see his fair share of one-on-one matchups next season.

Harrison is currently ranked as the WR10 per FantasyPros’ expert consensus rankings (ECR), and I am extremely comfortable with him in that range. He’ll be catching passes from a (hopefully) healthy Kyler Murray.

In Murray’s first three (and nearly injury-free) seasons, he averaged more than 34 passing attempts per game. Harrison’s ceiling — assuming he commands a respectable share of those targets — is massive.

Xavier Legette (WR – CAR)

New Panthers head coach Dave Canales likes to sling the rock.

As the Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator last season, Canales called the offense that saw Baker Mayfield record the seventh-most pass attempts in the league.

In 2022, Canales was Seattle’s quarterbacks coach, where Geno Smith finished eighth in passing attempts.

The pressure is on the Panthers to showcase why Bryce Young was the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and Legette is here to help.

The Panthers have a crowded receiver room — Adam Thielen, a pair of former second-round picks in Jonathan Mingo and Terrace Marshall Jr. and newly-acquired Diontae Johnson. However, I always pay attention to offensive weapons drafted by a team in an offensive-minded head coach’s first season.

Canales and the Panthers have big plans for Legette, plans that have me drafting Legette well ahead of his current WR70 ranking.

Adonai Mitchell (WR – IND)

The Indianapolis Colts ran 11 personnel (1 tight end, 1 running back, 3 WRs) at the third-highest rate in the NFL last season (77% of plays).

That means there’s room for Adonai Mitchell, even behind Michael Pittman Jr. and Josh Downs to run routes often.

He’ll likely battle with Alec Pierce out of the gate for that WR3 spot, but keep in mind that Pierce was selected in the 2022 NFL Draft before head coach Shane Steichen joined the team. Mitchell is the current regime’s guy and will have opportunities to shine in a creative, receiver-friendly offense.

Luke McCaffrey (WR – WAS)

Curtis Samuel left in free agency, leaving the Commanders with a vacancy at slot WR.

Luke McCaffrey, the Commanders’ third-round selection, lined up in the slot on nearly 72% of his snaps at Rice last season. This is as good a path as any rookie has at getting on the field early.

Schematically, I want anyone on the field in a Kliff Kingsbury offense, especially when they’re currently ranked at WR110 (behind current free agent Michael Thomas).

Kliff Kingsbury’s offense is notoriously pass-happy. In Kyler Murray’s rookie year (2019) Murray had the ninth-most passing attempts in the NFL. Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk were targeted more than 100 times that season. Even Andy Isabella and Damiere Byrd had a few big weeks that season. McCaffrey is in a great situation to smash his WR110 ranking.

Ladd McConkey (WR – LAC)

The Chargers cleaned house this offseason, shipping both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams off via trade and free agency, respectively.

Quentin Johnston had an underwhelming rookie season, despite being a 2023 first-round pick.

There’s more than enough room for Ladd McConkey to make some noise in an offense led by Justin Herbert.

McConkey’s already drawing praise from reporters at Chargers training camp. Chargers’ new offensive coordinator Greg Roman came from Baltimore where Marquise Brown, a receiver with a similar stature to McConkey, had plenty of success.

Given the dearth of a true alpha receiver on the Chargers, targets are there for the taking and I expect McConkey to beat his current ranking of WR46.

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