2024 Fantasy Football Rookie Wide Receivers

by Corey Pieper
2024 Fantasy Football Rookie Wide Receivers

Fantasy Six Pack's rookie coverage continues with the 2024 Fantasy Football Rookie Wide Receivers. If you haven't already checked out the quarterbacks and running backs articles, they're full of rookie information.

This was touted as a historic receiver class. We saw seven receivers (and one tight end) go in the first round of the NFL draft. Another eight receivers went on the second night of the draft. In total, 35 receivers were selected by NFL teams. We didn't go through all 35 of them, but in this article, we have redraft profiles of 18 receivers and two tight ends.

Read on as myself and Kacey Kasem analyze the 2024 fantasy football rookie wide receivers you need to know for your redraft leagues.

2024 Fantasy Football Rookie Wide Receivers

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Marvin Harrison Jr., Arizona Cardinals @copieps

There was a debate on what the Arizona Cardinals would do with the 4th overall pick. The team chose to stand pat and select one of the best wide receiver prospects of the last decade Marvin Harrison Jr. He is the star of the 2024 fantasy football rookie wide receivers.

At this point, plenty has been said of Harrison Jr.'s talent. At 6'4, he is also a route-running technician. It makes sense for a player who learned from a Hall of Fame receiver as a father. He put together back-to-back nearly identical seasons at Ohio State. He had over 1,200 receiving yards and 14 receiving touchdowns each year.

Harrison instantly becomes the top receiving option in the Cardinals' offense which should be revitalized with a healthy Kyler Murray at quarterback. It has been three seasons since they had a thousand-yard receiver. That should change this season.

Even in a redraft league, Harrison is a top-10 option at wide receiver. As such, he will be selected in the first two rounds of fantasy drafts.

Malik Nabers, New York Giants @thekaceykasem

The New York Giants selected wide receiver Malik Nabers with the number six overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. LSU’s star wideout will join a Giants’ roster desperate for a WR1. Nabers should slide right into the lead role. You have to go back to 2018 to find the last time New York had a 1,000-yard receiver on the roster. The speedy and physical Nabers registered 2,585 yards and 17 receiving touchdowns over the past two seasons with LSU. 

Nabers should see tons of targets from quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones has been inconsistent and disappointing throughout his career, and having a true top wide receiver will help his value. 

If Jones’ play becomes unpredictable, Nabers could wait until year two to be a fantasy asset. Giants lack strong playmakers at the skill positions, so Nabers has a real shot at being fantasy-relevant in year one. Wan’Dale Robinson’s value drops with the addition of Nabers.

Rome Odunze, Chicago Bears @thekaceykasem

The Chicago Bears used the overall ninth draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draft on wide receiver Rome Odunze out of Washington. Quarterback Caleb Williams was the first player off the board. Chicago followed that up by taking Odunze, a talented offensive player added to an already incredible wide receiver room. 

Odunze caught 92 passes for 1,640 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2023. These players are capable of 1,000 yards or more in a season. For fantasy purposes, Odunze will be relevant in year one. 

He’ll join D.J. Moore and Keenan Allen, and only time will tell who ends the season as WR1, WR2, and WR3 on that roster.

Brock Bowers, Las Vegas Raiders @copieps

While this is the 2024 Fantasy Football Rookie Wide Receivers preview, some tight ends can't be ignored. Brock Bowers is one of them.

We're only a few years removed from the last generational talent at tight end. The comparisons between Brock Bowers and Kyle Pitts are going to happen. After his record-breaking rookie season, Pitts has had a disappointing next two years. Don't let that discourage you when drafting Bowers.

Bowers qualifies at tight end, but his usage at Georgia was so much more than that. He lined up at the traditional tight end, slot receiver, split out wide, and even in the backfield. Hopefully, we'll see the Raiders take advantage of his unique abilities.

The Raiders used a high pick on Michael Mayer at tight end just last season. Mayer had a decent rookie season with 27 receptions, 304 receiving yards, and two touchdowns. That would be a large disappointment though for Bowers.

There were 11 tight ends last season with over 700 receiving yards. If Bowers stays healthy, that threshold is attainable in his rookie season. It's possible that we also get rushing production from him. That would be a bonus though. Bowers is a top-12 tight end in redraft leagues this season.

Brian Thomas Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars @copieps

Determining the pass-catching hierarchy of the Jacksonville Jaguars is difficult. Calvin Ridley, the team's top receiver from last season, is now a member of the Tennessee Titans. Zay Jones was recently released. The team brought in free-agent receivers Gabe Davis and Devin Duvernay as possible replacements. Then, they spent their top selection on Louisiana State wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr.

Thomas exploded onto the scene in his third season with the LSU Tigers. He led the nation in receiving touchdowns with 17. He's the vertical threat that Trevor Lawrence has been missing.

With Evan Engram and Christian Kirk also in the fold as holdovers, it's hard to project a large target share for Thomas in his rookie season. For that reason, he is more of a late-round stash in redraft fantasy leagues.

Xavier Worthy, Kansas City Chiefs @thekaceykasem

Trading up in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Chiefs took University of Texas standout Xavier Worthy with pick 28. The rookie wideout hopes to continue the success of his collegiate career. Over his three years at Texas, Worthy hauled in 197 balls for 2,755 yards and 26 touchdowns. Last season was his best, with 1,014 yards on 75 catches. He additionally scored five times.

The new Kansas City wide receiver joins a team that will use him as a wide receiver but also on special teams. He was a great special teamer in college, posting 371 return yards in his final season at UT. 

Worthy joins a roster with Travis Kelce, Rashee Rice, and Marquise Brown as weapons in Patrick Mahomes’ arsenal. He’ll look to make an impact in year one with his speed and dependability.

Ricky Pearsall, San Francisco 49ers @thekaceykasem

Ricky Pearsall was the selection made by San Francisco with the 31st pick of the 2024 NFL Draft. Rumors swirled during the draft as viewers tuned in to see if the 49ers would trade either Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk. If they made a trade, we’d wonder who they’d select to replace that player. The 49ers didn’t end up trading either of those players during the draft, but they secured another wideout in Pearsall. 

He has reliable hands and is good at route running, but is also light for a wideout. He is also 23 years old, meaning he needs to see playing time to develop quickly. Some criticized the pick, calling it a reach. Xavier Legette, Keon Coleman, and Adonai Mitchell were still available when the 49ers were on the clock. 

Others said San Francisco did a good job grabbing the wideout at 31. Pearsall will be helpful in run blocking, and he’s also a punt returner. He’ll be able to contribute to the team, but the jury is still out on whether or not he’ll be valuable in fantasy football.

Xavier Legette, Carolina Panthers @thekaceykasem

The final pick of the first round of the 2024 NFL draft was Xavier Legette out of South Carolina. The Carolina Panthers pounced on the speedy and productive wide receiver. Legette was quiet in his first four seasons at South Carolina but broke out in his fifth year as a senior. In 12 games, he put up 1,255 yards on 71 catches while scoring seven times.

Last season, the Panthers had the fewest passing yards in the NFL with 3,245. Bryce Young needs all the help he can get in his sophomore season. Dionte Johnson was signed in the offseason to be the top wideout in the offense. Adam Thielen is turning 34 soon, and Jonathan Mingo had a subpar rookie season. 

Legette’s lack of college production hinders him, but he’ll need to produce quickly in the NFL or risk turning into the next Jonathan Mingo. Mingo struggled as a 2023 rookie wide receiver and Legette could be the 2024 Fantasy Football Rookie Wide Receivers version.

Keon Coleman, Buffalo Bills @copieps

Keon Coleman's landing spot is one of the most intriguing for fantasy football. After the trade of Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans, there is an opening for an alpha wide receiver on the Buffalo Bills. Coleman can step right in and fill that void.

Diggs is vacating 159 targets. With the signing of Curtis Samuel and the progression of Dalton Kincaid and Khalil Shakir, you can't just assume that Coleman gets all of those. The only rookie receivers ever to have that many targets are Anquan Boldin in 2003 and Puka Nacua just last season. While still a high number, 130 targets seems like a fair expectation.

With his ability to accumulate yards-after-the-catch yards, if Coleman gets that many targets it could be an exceptional rookie season. The big three rookie wideouts of Harrison Jr., Nabers, and Oduze will likely be gone in the first 75 picks. Coleman is the rookie receiver whom I'd target next.

Ladd McConkey, Los Angeles Chargers @thekaceykasem

With pick 34 of the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers took wide receiver Ladd McConkey. New head coach Jim Harbaugh’s Chargers will look different in 2024. 

The team traded Keenan Allen to the Chicago Bears. Austin Ekeler signed with the Commanders, and Mike Williams is now a Jet. The Chargers honed in on a wide receiver, taking McConkey to fill the role vacated by Allen.

McConkey won’t see as many targets as Allen did last season, but it’s not wrong to think he’ll be fantasy-relevant in year one. Quarterback Justin Herbert was left with Joshua Palmer and Quentin Johnston at wide receiver, so Harbaugh knew he needed to trade up to take a wideout. McConkey was the pick due to his ability to start in the slot immediately.

Ja’Lynn Polk, New England Patriots @thekaceykasem

Ja’Lynn Polk was chosen by the New England Patriots as the 37th pick of the 2024 NFL Draft. The University of Washington star joins a team desperate for wide receiver help. As a senior, Polk had 69 catches for 1,159 yards and nine scores in 15 games. During that season, Polk split targets with Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan. He was able to stand out with other playmakers on the roster. 

Polk should see significant time on the field in his rookie campaign. The wideout is known for having exceptional hands, dropping only seven balls over the last two seasons. Polk had his best games when McMillan was injured, allowing him to shine. 

Stepping onto the field for the Patriots, Polk should overtake guys like Demario Douglas, K.J. Osborn, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Kendrick Bourne.

Adonai Mitchell, Indianapolis Colts @copieps

The Indianapolis Colts offense is full of offensive threats that can challenge defenses in different ways. Jonathan Taylor and Anthony Richardson give the team the ability to run through opponents. Michael Pittman and Josh Downs can win individual matchups, especially underneath. The team was looking for a downfield threat.

That's what they hope they have found in Adonai Mitchell. Mitchell's average depth of target was 16 yards downfield in his last year at Texas. No receiver on the Colts reached that depth last season.

If you watch a highlight reel of Mitchell's from his collegiate career, you'd think he was a top half of the first-round pick. Instead, he fell until almost the end of the second round due to some inconsistencies. Much like Brian Thomas Jr.,  there are enough questions to make Mitchell a late-round stash in his initial season.

Malachi Corley, New York Jets @copieps

Malachi Corley is coming from a Western Kentucky University offense that focused on getting the ball out quickly. It makes projecting his translation to the NFL a bit more difficult.

Corley saw 115 targets last season. 44 of those targets were behind the line of scrimmage. Another 43 targets were between 0-9 yards downfield. That means 76% of his targets were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. The comparisons have been made to the 49ers Deebo Samuel. Only 69% of his targets were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage last season.

The good news is Corley could find early playing time in the Jets' offense. Garrett Wilson and Mike Williams should be the outside receivers. Corley will be competing with Allen Lazard and Jason Brownlee for early playing time. Corley is the most explosive of those three.

We've seen Aaron Rodgers use the slot receiver before in Randall Cobb. However, we've also seen him funnel targets to just a few receivers and Wilson would seem the most likely there. Another receiver who is more watch-and-see in redraft leagues.

Roman Wilson, Pittsburgh Steelers @copieps

The Pittsburgh Steelers chose Arthur Smith to be their next offensive coordinator this offseason. Smith was the head coach of the Falcons for the past three seasons. In his first season as coach, the team still had Matt Ryan at quarterback and threw the ball 573 times. After Ryan moved on, Smith focused heavily on the run and finished first and third in rushing attempts the past two seasons. The Steelers didn't make it any secret with their drafting habits that was what they planned to do this season.

The Steelers drafted three interior offensive linemen in the first four rounds. They also chose to select Roman Wilson out of Michigan in the third round. Wilson is a slot receiver who has played in an offense that focused heavily on the run at Michigan. While Wilson is a very fluid underneath receiver, there is unlikely to be enough volume to be fantasy-relevant in redraft leagues.

Ja’Tavion Sanders, Carolina Panthers @thekaceykasem

Tight End Ja’Tavion Sanders was drafted with the 101st overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Sanders is automatically slotted in as rookie TE2 for the fantasy season. Las Vegas took standout Brock Bowers in the first round. Sanders joins a Panthers’ squad that hasn’t seen a reliable tight end since the Greg Olsen days. The University of Texas tight end joins fellow teammate Jonathon Brooks on the Panthers’ roster.

Sanders was UT’s third-leading receiver in the 2023 season. He caught 45 balls for 682 yards and two touchdowns. Before that, his 2022 season saw 54 receptions for 613 yards and five scores. Sanders was a receiver in high school, something you can see in his hands. 

The tight end has phenomenal hands and should be an impact player. He joins Tommy Tremble and Stephen Sullivan in the tight end room. The Panthers had zero tight ends hit the 200-yard mark last season, but Sanders has the opportunity to do this and more in 2024.

Troy Franklin, Denver Broncos @thekaceykasem

The Denver Broncos obtained Troy Franklin in the 2024 NFL Draft with the 102nd overall pick. The fourth-rounder reconnects with Oregon quarterback Bo Nix in Denver. With Nix throwing the pigskin to Franklin in 2023, the wideout had 1,383 yards on 81 receptions while scoring 14 times. 

Franklin is a deep threat that looks to add a spark to a running back room featuring Courtland Sutton, Josh Reynolds, Marvin Mims Jr., and a handful of guys not likely to see much playing time. 

Jerry Jeudy was traded to the Cleveland Browns, opening up more opportunities for Franklin. The speedster is in a good spot to be fantasy-relevant considering the Broncos don’t have a stud at WR.

Javon Baker, New England Patriots @thekaceykasem

The New England Patriots took a shot on Javon Baker with the tenth pick of the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft. This was their second wide receiver pick in the draft. Baker spent two seasons at Alabama with too many obstacles in his way. At UCF, he became a weapon downfield with his physicality. 

In his 2022 season, Baker tallied 56 catches for 796 yards and five scores. The following season, he had 52 receptions for 1,139 yards and seven touchdowns. Baker averaged a superb 21.9 yards per catch in 2023. 

He might not be the fastest wide receiver. He also has 14 drops over two seasons at UCF. Baker is still a playmaker who can be dangerous in the passing game. New England needed help at WR, and they got that in this draft.

Ainias Smith, Philadelphia Eagles @copieps

There were seasons that Ainias Smith was used as both a rusher and receiver while at Texas A&M. Last season, he focused on playing the slot at Texas A&M and finished with new highs in both receptions and receiving yards.

There is a slot opening in the Eagles' offense. DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown will continue to be the primary options outside. This off-season, the team brought in free agents Parris Campbell and DeVante Parker as other possible options. The team also drafted Johnny Wilson who at 6'7 would revolutionize the big slot in the NFL.

Part of the issue for Eagles' receivers is that quarterback Jalen Hurts funnels targets to his top three targets. Unless there is an injury, it's hard to see any of the receivers listed crack the top three options with Smith, Brown, and tight end Dallas Goedert already established.

Jamari Thrash, Cleveland Browns @copieps

Jamari Thrash only spent one season at Louisville after he transferred in from Georgia State. It's not often we see receivers dominate at the lower collegiate Group of 5 level, and then do so right away at the more challenging Power 5 level, but Thrash did just that.

At 6'1 and only 185 lbs, Thrash has the body of a slot receiver but has always had his best success out wide. With Amari Cooper and new-acquisition Jerry Jeudy likely to be the out-wide options, if Thrash is going to have early success it will likely be in the slot.

He'll be competing against last year's third-round selection Cedric Tillman and Elijah Moore. Moore will be his toughest slot competition, but you may remember that he suffered a gruesome head injury towards the end of the season. There was even a discussion of retirement by at least one doctor.

This is a camp battle to watch. Thrash has already shown success in his first season moving up from one level to another. There isn't much competition in his way from an early opportunity in the Browns' offensive plans. If that happens, he could be a sneaky late-round fantasy pick.

Malik Washington, Miami Dolphins @copieps

The Miami Dolphins are a team that knows what they want in their wide receivers. The Dolphins were the only team in the NFL with two wide receivers in the top 15 in yards after the catch last season. It's likely why they targeted Malik Washington in the sixth round of the NFL draft.

In his one season at Virginia University, Malik Washington became the primary slot option for the Cavalier's offense. It worked well. He led all collegiate wide receivers in receptions with 111. He finished fourth in all of college football in yards-after-the-catch, and first amongst wide receivers who are now in the NFL.

Washington is a very talented receiver and he couldn't be in a better offense for his skill set. He can be avoided in fantasy drafts because of the number of offensive options the Dolphins' offense already has. The team has two superstar wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Plus, they now have three different running backs who are all likely to get carries De'Von Achane, Raheem Mostert, and new rookie Jaylen Wright.

That is it for the 2024 Fantasy Football Rookie Wide Receivers review!

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