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Fantasy Football News 2024

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The Ravens selected North Carolina WR Devontez Walker in Round 4 of the NFL Draft. Walker’s path to the draft was a long one that included a 2019 ACL tear and multiple transfers. He entered scouts’ radar in 2022 at Kent State, where he tallied 58-921-11 in 12 games. Walker accounted for 29.6% of the team’s catches, 35.6% of the receiving yards, and 64.7% of the receiving TDs. Strong marks – the kind you want to see from a guy facing a lower level of competition. A transfer to North Carolina paired Walker with top-10 QB prospect Drake Maye. However, Walker didn’t play a full season, as an eligibility battle with the NCAA limited the Carolina native to eight games. When active, he filled an outside, vertical role. That led to a massive 18.2-yard aDOT and 17.0 yards per catch. The nearly 6’2, 193-pounder effectively used his 83rd percentile wingspan to snag 10 of 17 contested catch opportunities (58.5%). Walker also boats NFL-caliber speed on tape. According to tracking data from Zebra Sports, he hit a Senior Bowl-high 21.18 MPH. Walker’s negatives come from a lack of proven post-catch ability and a thin route portfolio. Overall, we’re intrigued by the size/athleticism package. In Baltimore, Walker finds intriguing opportunity behind No. 1 WR Zay Flowers. Walker will primarily compete for snaps with Rashod Bateman and Nelson Agholor. The rookie at least has a shot to provide some spike weeks for best-ball teams. Longer term, he has the potential to develop into a field-stretching No. 2 WR for QB Lamar Jackson.

The Patriots selected UCF WR Javon Baker in Round 4 of the NFL Draft. Baker’s college journey began at Alabama, where he arrived as a four-star recruit. Meaningful production simply didn’t follow. From 2020-2021, the Georgia native tallied only 9 catches (19 games). He entered the transfer portal in January of 2022 and landed at UCF that June. Right away, he led the Knights in yards (796) while finishing second in catches (56) and TDs (5). Baker’s production hit new highs last fall (52-1,139-7) as he played more of a downfield role. His aDOT finished at 17.1, while he also averaged 7.2 yards after catch per reception. Baker’s 3.21 yards per route run should also open eyes. That ranked eighth among 78 WRs with 80+ targets. Baker doesn’t always show plus speed on tape, but at 6’1, 207, he does a nice job in contested situations. We’ll just have to keep an eye on his hands. For his career, Baker dropped 15 passes for an 11.4% drop rate. The rookie joins a rebuilding Patriots offense that’s also added QB Drake Maye and WR Ja’Lynn Polk so far in this draft. There’s certainly opportunity for Baker to earn a 2024 role, although he’s only worth a shot in deep best-ball drafts for now. Longer term, he could develop into a top-2 option for New England.

The Giants selected Penn State TE Theo Johnson in Round 4 of the NFL Draft. A converted WR, Johnson spent four years with the Nittany Lions – two as a full-time starter. Career-best numbers surfaced as a senior, but he wasn’t a major performer (34-341-7). He accounted for 13.8% of the team’s catches, 12.2% of the receiving yards, and 20.3% of the receiving TDs. He managed just 1.26 yards per route run -- down from the 1.58 figure he tallied as a junior. The real promise here lies in Johnson’s athletic gifts, which helped him to play all over the formation (47.9% inline, 38.8% slot, 9.8% wide). At 6’6, 259 pounds, he’s simply a rare athlete. Look no further than his Combine performance, which included a 4.57 forty, a 39.5-inch vertical, a 125-inch broad jump, and a 4.19 shuttle. Altogether, Johnson posted a historic 9.99 Relative Athletic Score. Now, his game needs refinement – most notably in his route running. Johnson also found himself in two off-field incidents that led to misdemeanors. He joins a Giants team that’s still waiting to hear whether TE Darren Waller will continue his football career. If not, TE Daniel Bellinger would stand as Johnson’s top competition for snaps. That’d give the rookie an outside shot at 2024 fantasy value – although he’s more of a dynasty bench stash.

The Broncos spent the second pick of Round 4 on Oregon WR Troy Franklin. The No. 3 WR in the 2021 recruiting class broke out as a sophomore in 2022, leading the Ducks with 61 catches, 891 yards, and 9 TDs. He blasted by those numbers this past year, finishing top-6 in the country in receiving yards (1,383) and TDs (14). Franklin’s 3.32 yards per route ranked sixth among 286 qualifying WRs. His 87.3 Pro Football Focus receiving grade ranked 15th. Franklin was dominant going deep, averaging a huge 17.1 yards per catch and ranking top-10 in the nation in catches (14), receiving yards (558), and TDs (7) on targets 20+ yards downfield. He ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash at the Combine and looks at least that fast on tape. Franklin regularly ran by DBs in man coverage and defeated angles vs. zone coverage. That speed also makes him a weapon after the catch. The concerns: Franklin is a wiry 6’2, 176-pounder and struggles with drops (8.0% career drop rate). He’s not a good bet to emerge as a No. 1 WR in the NFL. But his big-play ability gives him the potential to score a bunch of fantasy points without big target volume. Franklin’s dynasty value obviously takes a big hit after he fell to Round 4. But he landed with the team that drafted his QB of the past two years, Bo Nix, in Round 1. The Broncos traded away WR Jerry Jeudy this offseason. They still have WR Courtland Sutton under contract through 2025. He has been a subject of trade rumors, however, and sports a cuttable dead-cap number ($3.825 million) for the final year of his deal. WR Marvin Mims arrived in the second round of 2023 but has yet to truly break through. Ultimately, there's room for Franklin to earn a prominent role over the next few years. He'll carry upside if he slides far enough in your rookie draft. Expect his rookie ADP to decline vs. where it was pre-NFL Draft. How much that declines will be key to whether you should target him.

The Panthers selected Texas TE Ja’Tavion Sanders with the first pick of Round 4. He’s been overshadowed in this class by TE Brock Bowers, but Sanders is a damn good prospect in his own right. A five-star recruit and top-30 overall player in the 2021 class, Sanders broke out as a sophomore in 2022. He ranked second on that Longhorns team in catches (54), third in receiving yards (613), and second in TDs (5). Last year brought a career-high 682 receiving yards, despite the arrival of WR Adonai Mitchell. Sanders averaged a big 15.2 yards per catch, fueled largely by 7.7 yards after catch per reception. He’s a fluid athlete with plus speed, capable of making plays at all three levels of the field. Sanders also possesses nice ball skills and reliable hands. He was charged with just four drops (3.9% drop rate) over the last two seasons. Sanders needs to clean up his route running and consistency as a blocker. But he has all the tools to develop into a perennial top-12 fantasy TE. Sanders finds plenty of opportunity in Carolina, where he joins a TE room alongside Tommy Tremble, Ian Thomas, and Stephen Sullivan. The rookie has a good chance to win the Week 1 starting job.

Panthers RB Jonathon Brooks confirmed on Friday night that he's on track to be ready for training camp after tearing his ACL in November. “I’m out there, I’m running, I’m about to start cutting," Brooks said. "So I’m progressing well. I’m right on track on where I need to be." Despite the knee injury, Brooks was the only RB in the class to get Round 2 capital. And he landed in a backfield with Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders as the competition for touches. The Panthers might slow-roll Brooks early this season. But it shouldn't take him long to emerge as the clear lead back. He boasts top-20 upside in redraft leagues and already looks like a top-12 dynasty RB.

The Buccaneers selected Washington WR Jalen McMillan in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. McMillan functioned as Washington’s primary slot over the past two seasons, with 2022 turning up peak production (79-1,098-0). He hit 80 yards in seven of 13 games. McMillan even out-targeted Rome Odunze (118-110) with help from one extra game played. Last year, a left MCL sprain limited McMillan’s output. Still, he posted solid marks in yards per route run (2.30) and yards after catch per reception (6.4). Notably, his aDOT dropped to 9.6 – well below the 13.1 figure he posted in ‘22. Of course, catching balls from Round 1 QB Michael Penix Jr. helped. But the tape here shows a nice blend of route polish and athleticism. At the NFL Combine, McMillan registered a strong 9.33 Relative Athletic Score, highlighted by a 10’7” broad jump. The 6’1, 203-pounder could earn a starting role as soon as 2025 when Chris Godwin is due for free agency. For 2024, though, McMillan is only worth stashing in deep formats.

The Packers drafted USC RB MarShawn Lloyd in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. Lloyd tore his left ACL in fall camp of his freshman season at South Carolina in 2020 and carried just 64 times in 2021. He emerged as the backfield leader in 2022, tallying 111 carries for 573 yards and nine TDs. Lloyd then headed west to USC and turned in a career year. Although he shared the backfield with fifth-year senior Austin Jones, Lloyd ripped off 820 yards and nine TDs on a huge 7.1 yards per carry. He took 15.7% of his carries for 15+ yards – the best rate among this year’s top-25 RB prospects. And he ranked third in Pro Football Focus’ Elusive Rating among all 157 FBS RBs with 100+ carries. Lloyd confirmed that dynamism by earning a strong 8.62 Relative Athletic Score at the Combine, highlighted by a 4.46-second 40 time at 5’9 and 220 pounds. Lloyd is relatively unproven as a pass catcher and comes with durability concerns after also missing time with a thigh injury and broken left arm dating back to high school. Unfortunately, he landed on a Packers team with Josh Jacobs under contract through the 2027 season. While Lloyd should eventually work ahead of A.J. Dillon, the rookie is off the redraft radar.

The Steelers drafted Michigan WR Roman Wilson in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. It took Wilson until his fourth season to lead Michigan in receptions or receiving yards. But his 2023 campaign was impressive. Wilson tallied a 48-789-12 receiving line, accounting for 25.1% of the team’s receiving yards and half of the receiving TDs. Wilson caught 71.6% of his targets on a 13.9-yard average target depth. That led to a huge 11.8 yards per target. Wilson ranked 29th in yards per route and 22nd in Pro Football Focus receiving grade among 286 qualifying WRs. The 5’11, 185-pounder played 65% of his snaps in the slot last year and figures to primarily stick inside as a pro. But don’t mistake him for just a short-range target. Wilson regularly won deep at Michigan last year and blazed a 4.39-second 40-yard dash at the Combine. He also has one of the most reliable pairs of hands in this year’s WR class, dropping only one of 50 catchable targets last season, per PFF. The Steelers lost 136 targets via trade/free agency. Wilson should handle a chunk of those alongside George Pickens. While QB play is a question mark for 2024, the Michigan product is firmly in play as a late-round stash.

The Rams spent a third-round pick on RB Blake Corum from Michigan. Corum played behind Hassan Haskins as a sophomore in 2021, ripping off 6.6 yards per carry and scoring 11 times on 144 carries (7.6% TD rate). Then came a huge 2022 season: 247 carries for 1,463 yards and 18 TDs in 12 games. All three marks ranked top-13 in the country. Corum averaged a strong 5.9 yards per carry, finishing first in Pro Football Focus rushing grade among 168 qualifying RBs. His 2022 campaign ended, though, with a torn meniscus in his left knee in late November. That injury played a part in Corum’s decision to return to Michigan for his senior year. He put up big numbers again in 2023 – 258 carries for 1,245 yards and an FBS-high 27 TDs – but his advanced metrics were down. Corum averaged just 4.8 yards per carry and sunk to 71st in PFF rushing grade among 157 qualifiers. So the big question here is whether Corum can regain that 2022 form. If he does, he’ll prove to be one of the best pure runners in this year’s RB class. If not, we’re looking at an undersized back (205 lbs.) that doesn’t offer a ton in the passing game. Kyren Williams dominated backfield work for the Rams in 2023, but the team had little else in the backfield. There's a chance Corum takes a significant amount of work from Williams. Expect him to stay close to his early rookie ADP.

The Bengals selected Alabama WR Jermaine Burton in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. Here’s a tricky one. Burton, a highly touted recruit, began his college journey at Georgia (2020-2021). Right away, he showed value by finishing third on the Bulldogs in catches (27), yards (404) and TDs (3). His 497 yards beat Ladd McConkey and Adonai Mitchell in 2021; he ranked a close third among the group in catches (26). Come 2022, Burton transferred to SEC rival Alabama. He led the Crimson Tide in receiving over the next two seasons, showing electric downfield ability. That surfaced most prominently in 2023 with 20.5 yards per catch on a 20.2-yard average depth of target. Despite the downfield usage, Burton didn’t register a single drop last fall. A plus athlete (9.09 RAS score) at 6’0, 196 pounds, there’s a lot to like in his profile. So why’d he last so long in the draft? NFL scouts say he had “up and down moments” with both coaching staffs, per The Athletic’s Dane Brugler. Reporter Bob McGinn said pre-draft that Burton was removed from “at least two teams’ boards for various character-related issues.” Burton also lacks a standout production profile, one that includes a single-season career-high of only 40 catches (2022). That said – Cincinnati supples an excellent landing spot, particularly with Tee Higgins on the trade block. Consider Burton an upside target for dynasty rookie drafts.

The Cardinals spent a third-round pick on RB Trey Benson from Florida State. Benson suffered a multi-ligament knee injury as a freshman at Oregon in 2020 and did very little in 2021. He transferred to Florida State ahead of the 2022 campaign and turned in two highly efficient seasons for the Seminoles. Benson averaged 6.1 yards per carry and scored on 7.4% of his attempts across the past two years. An explosive runner with strong contact balance, Benson scored TDs of 80+ yards as a runner, receiver, and pass-catcher at Florida State. He confirmed his elite athleticism by earning a 9.73 Relative Athletic Score at the Combine, highlighted by a 4.39-second 40 time. Benson also showed promise as a pass-catcher over the last two years, catching 32 of 39 targets and averaging 11.5 yards per reception. He averaged just 13.2 touches per game at Florida State but has the potential to garner a bigger workload as a pro. Going to Arizona likely limits Benson's touch outlook for 2024. But it's a solid landing spot for his dynasty outlook. Check our rookie rankings to see where he lands.

The Jets used a Round 3 pick on Western Kentucky WR Malachi Corley. Corley has commonly drawn comparisons to Deebo Samuel for his after-catch skills. The 5’11, 215-pounder averaged a huge 8.2 yards after catch per reception over his four-year career, including 9.2 over the last two seasons. Corley boasts an impressive combination of power, acceleration, and agility. He forced 55 missed tackles over his final two seasons. There’s not much else to his game at this point, though. In fact, 133 of Corley’s 259 receptions at Western Kentucky – or 51.4% – came on screens. He did very little work downfield, with a minuscule 6.3-yard career average target depth. Corley totaled just 20 catches on 47 targets 20+ yards downfield over the past four years. He has enough athleticism to develop into a more complete receiver. But, at least in the short term, Corley will need heavy volume and designed touches to be a real fantasy factor. He projects as the third or fourth target for a Jets squad that’s expected to remain pass-centric.

The Commanders selected Kansas State TE Ben Sinnott in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Sinnott was a no-star recruit and walked on at Kansas State. He totaled just two catches across his first two years on campus but earned a scholarship and significant role as a junior in 2022. Sinnott ranked fourth on that Wildcats team with 447 receiving yards and tied for second with four receiving TDs. 2023 brought new career highs across the board: 49 catches, a team-high 676 yards, and a team-high six scores. Sinnott ranked ninth in both Pro Football Focus receiving grade and yards per route among 81 qualifying TEs. The 6’4, 250-pounder boasts plus ball skills and fluidity in his routes and after the catch. He crushed the Combine with a 4.68-second 40 time, a 40-inch vertical, and elite marks in 3-cone and short shuttle to earn a 9.73 Relative Athletic Score. Sinnott also brings versatility, lining up in-line, in the slot, out wide, and in the backfield at Kansas State. The Commanders currently have Zach Ertz atop the depth chart, but he’s playing on a one-year deal. He also turns 34 next season. If Jayden Daniels hits, Sinnott could develop into a spot-start TE1 before the end of 2025.

The Colts selected Texas WR Adonai Mitchell in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. The 6’2, 205-pounder registered a 4.34-second 40 time and 39.5-inch vertical at the Combine. It earned him a 9.99 Relative Athletic Score that ranks 5th out of 3,402 WRs from 1987 to 2024. Mitchell’s college production never matched that size-athleticism combo, though. He totaled just 38 catches in 21 games for Georgia across 2021 and 2022, with a left high-ankle sprain ruining his sophomore season. Mitchell transferred to Texas this past year and set career highs with 55 catches, 845 yards, and 11 TDs. But he ranked a distant second to WR Xavier Worthy in catches and yards and underwhelmed in advanced metrics. Among 286 WRs with 50+ targets last year, Mitchell ranked just 98th in Pro Football Focus receiving grade and 179th in yards per route. His raw athleticism shows up on deep balls and contested catches, but the tape also shows below-average play strength and inconsistent effort. The ceiling here is undoubtedly high if everything clicks. But the floor is also scary-low. We’ve seen plenty of big, hyper-athletic WRs bust. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Mitchell also didn’t interview well in the pre-draft process. With the Colts, he’ll enter training camp as the favorite to play on the outside over Alec Pierce. Even if he wins that role, Mitchell will profile as a volatile best ball pick.

The Panthers selected Texas RB Jonathon Brooks in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Brooks spent just 10 games as Texas’ lead back and is coming off a November ACL tear. But there’s a reason the Panthers made him the No.1 RB off the board. Brooks averaged 114 rushing yards and 1.0 rushing TDs on 6.1 yards per carry across his 10 outings last year. He ranked top-12 among 157 qualifying RBs in Pro Football Focus rushing grade, missed tackles forced per attempt, and PFF Elusive Rating. Brooks was also a weapon as a receiver, averaging 2.5 catches and 29 receiving yards per game. He ranked 21st among 112 qualifying RBs in yards per route and 12th in PFF receiving grade. Flip on the tape and Brooks impresses with elite acceleration, sneaky elusiveness, and enough long speed to break big runs. He’s a natural pass-catcher with good hands and plenty of juice after the catch. The 6’0, 216-pounder certainly has three-down potential in the NFL. We’ll track his rehab from that torn ACL, but Brooks is on track to be medically cleared by the start of training camp (confirmed by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport). If healthy, Brooks should slot in as the RB1 ahead of Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders. There’s a top-15 ceiling here if the Panthers can get significantly better play out of Bryce Young.

The Patriots selected Washington WR Ja’Lynn Polk in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Polk transferred to Washington following one season at Texas Tech (28-264-2). He proceeded to miss nine games in 2021 with a fractured clavicle. Polk started producing with QB Michael Penix Jr. in 2022. Polk ranked third behind Jalen McMillan and Rome Odunze in all three major receiving categories, though: catches (41), yards (694), and TDs (6). He did lead the group with 16.9 yards per catch. The 22-year-old’s production reached another level in 2023, boosted by several missed games from McMillan. Polk set career highs across the board and popped with a 92-yard TD vs. Stanford. On tape, Polk shows inside/outside versatility and fearlessness over the middle. His hands, body control, and strength allow him to excel in contested situations. Polk also passed the NFL Combine test with an 8.85 Relative Athletic Score. He lands in a New England offense with weak WRs, which presents immediate opportunity -- plus a first-round QB in Drake Maye. We're not especially excited about Polk but will be curious to see how the market treats him. Keep an eye on his rookie ADP heading into your dynasty rookie drafts.

The Chargers traded up in Round 2 of the NFL Draft to select Georgia WR Ladd McConkey 34th overall. McConkey’s raw college production doesn’t jump off the page. He never reached 60 catches or 800 yards in a season. But he played in a run-leaning Georgia offense and had to battle TE Brock Bowers (among others) for targets. McConkey was super efficient, leaving school with career 75.3% catch rate and 2.54 yards per route. His career-best 3.26 yards per route last year ranked eighth among 409 WRs with 35+ targets. McConkey is devastatingly quick and a polished route runner, making him one of the best separators in this WR class. And he’s a weapon after the catch, with a career 0.25 missed tackles forced per catch – a better rate than guys like Marvin Harrison Jr. and Rome Odunze. McConkey boosted his stock at the Combine with a 4.39-second 40 time and 9.34 Relative Athletic Score. The 6’0, 186-pounder can play both outside and in the slot. He might not big a big-play producer or high-TD-rate receiver at the next level, but McConkey has the potential to rack up a bunch of receptions. Going to the Chargers presents immediate opportunity. The WR corps shed Mike Williams and Keenan Allen this offseason, leaving Josh Palmer and Quentin Johnston as the top returning players. The landing spot helps McConkey's fantasy outlook. Check out our rookie rankings to see where he lands.

The Bills selected Florida State WR Keon Coleman in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Coleman’s most impressive college season came at Michigan State back in 2022. He led that squad as a sophomore with 58 catches, 798 yards, and seven TDs – notably ahead of then-senior Jayden Reed. Coleman transferred to Florida State this past year and turned in a mixed season. The good: He led the Seminoles in receiving yards and tied for 11th in the country with 11 receiving TDs. The bad: Coleman trailed teammate Johnny Wilson in most key metrics, including yards per game, targets per route, yards per route, and Pro Football Focus receiving grade. He ranked 149th in PFF receiving grade among 286 qualifying WRs and 175th in yards per route. Coleman’s tape is also a mixed bag. The 6’3, 213-pounder boasts one of the most impressive highlight packages in this year’s WR class, combining a big vertical with impressive body control and strong hands to make some nasty grabs in traffic. But he’s inconsistent in contested situations, converting just 20 of 46 (43%) such targets over the last two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus. That includes just 10 of 30 last year. Coleman also struggles creating separation, landing in the 47th percentile among all FBS WRs in separation rate vs. single coverage, per PFF. His combination of size and ball skills gives Coleman the potential to be a downfield and red-zone weapon as a pro. Landing in Buffalo, he joins a squad that lost 241 targets with the departures of Gabe Davis and Stefon Diggs. Couple opportunity with the presence of Josh Allen, and Coleman has the potential to enter fantasy lineups in Year 1.

49ers GM John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan talked about WR Ricky Pearsall as a guy they believe can contribute right away. “(Pearsall) just plays the position real well, whether he was outside, inside, all three positions,” Shanahan said in his post-draft press conference. “He can separate down the field, he can separate underneath, extremely good hands. … There’s nothing he can’t do." It sure sounds like the Pearsall pick was made with the expectation that WR Brandon Aiyuk or WR Deebo Samuel will be traded. Insider Michael Silver tweeted late Thursday night that he's heard Samuel is more likely to be traded at this point. Shipping away either guy would be excellent news for Pearsall's dynasty value -- and turn him into an interesting 2024 redraft pick.

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