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6 Dark Horse NFL League Leader Candidates (2024 Fantasy Football)

Fantasy football and sports betting worlds have collided in the past few years. Fantasy football players can use the betting market to help them with their drafts. The over/under total for games helps fantasy players make weekly lineup decisions. Similarly, season-long league leaders can give fantasy players some insight into how Vegas views players for the upcoming season.

Let’s look at some dark horse candidates to lead the league in passing, rushing, and receiving touchdowns and yards and how it impacts fantasy football outlooks for the 2024 season.

2024 fantasy football draft kit

Fantasy Football Dark Horse League Leader Candidates

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Passing Touchdowns – Brock Purdy (QB – SF) (+1100)

While Dak Prescott led the NFL in passing touchdowns (36) last season, Purdy finished third (31). However, the former Iowa State star likely would have been second in the league had he played in a meaningless Week 18 contest. The young quarterback had the highest touchdown rate (7%) in the NFL last year after posting a 7.6% mark as a rookie. With Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and Ricky Pearsall at his disposal, Purdy could easily lead the league in passing touchdowns in 2024.

Passing Yards – Jared Goff (QB – DET) (+800)

The Detroit Lions have one of the top offenses in the NFL. Goff isn’t an elite quarterback but can throw with the best in the league. Last year, Goff had the second-most passing yards in the NFL (4,575) after ranking sixth in 2022 (4,438). More importantly, he averaged 276.2 passing yards per game in a dome compared to 252.2 outdoors last season. Goff plays only three games outdoors this year, making him a value with the fourth-best odds to lead the NFL in passing yards.

Rushing Touchdowns – Gus Edwards (RB – LAC) (+7000)

Edwards had a breakout season in 2023. He had 13 rushing touchdowns, ranking fifth in the NFL and third among running backs. The veteran running back had the fifth-most rushing touchdowns despite ranking 24th in the league with 198 rushing attempts. More importantly, Edwards joined the Los Angeles Chargers this offseason. He will be the lead back for Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman’s run-heavy offense. While the veteran has the 27th-best odds to lead the league in rushing touchdowns, Edwards could be this year’s Raheem Mostert.

Rushing Yards – Zamir White (RB – LV) (+2500)

Fantasy players love White this year despite limited career production. He was outstanding over the final four weeks of the 2023 season with Josh Jacobs injured, averaging 99.3 rushing yards per game. The former Georgia star would have ranked first in the NFL with 1,687 rushing yards on a 17-game pace with that 99.3 average, beating league leader Christian McCaffrey by 228 yards. White could lead the NFL in rushing yards with limited competition for rushing attempts. He is one of my favorite running backs to draft this year.

Receiving Touchdowns – Drake London (WR – ATL) (+2800)

While London ranked 113th in the NFL with two receiving touchdowns last year, fantasy players have high hopes for the former USC star and the Atlanta Falcons offense in 2024. Kirk Cousins finally solves the team’s problems at quarterback. The veteran averaged 33 passing touchdowns per season over a 17-game pace during his time with the Minnesota Vikings. Furthermore, the Vikings had four wide receivers score double-digit touchdowns over the past four years. After totaling six receiving touchdowns on 141 career receptions, expect London to have double-digit scores this season.

Receiving Yards – George Pickens (WR – PIT) (+4000)

Pickens had 1,140 receiving yards in 2023, the 16th-most in the NFL, finishing with more than Chris Olave, DK Metcalf and Garrett Wilson. Yet, the former Georgia star could be significantly better this upcoming season after the Pittsburgh Steelers traded away Diontae Johnson this offseason and added Russell Wilson and Justin Fields. Pickens had seven games with fewer than 40 receiving yards last year, including two contests with zero or less. Don’t be surprised if he becomes one of the top wide receivers in the NFL in 2024.

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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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