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5 bold predictions for 2024

5 bold predictions for 2024

 


Two rookie quarterbacks finish in the top-12 at their position for fantasy football: Both Caleb Williams And Jayden Daniels will offer Fantasy football managers upside down from day 1.

DeVon Achane ends up as an RB3 (or worse): Despite Achane's incredibly efficient rookie season, the Miami Dolphins has taken several steps that indicate that he will not have to deal with an increased workload.

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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

As the NFL depth charts begin to take shape and offseason workouts are in full swing, it's officially time for fantasy analysts far and wide to plant their flags for the upcoming season.

Here are five of my wildest predictions for the 2024 fantasy football season.

Two rookie quarterbacks finish as top-12 fantasy performers

The Chicago Bears and Washington Commanders all hope to have drafted their quarterback of the future in Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels, and fantasy managers willing to take a shot at them can be in for a treat in Year 1.

Williams may have been drafted into one of the most ideal situations for a No. 1 pick in recent memory. Not only does he enter his rookie season with wide receiver Rome Odunze, a promising player who was drafted ninth overall by the team, but he also has two of the league's best veterans in Keenan Allen and DJ Moore. Each of Williams' top three receivers earned grades of 87.0 or higher and averaged 2.20 or more yards per route in 2023.

Receiving tight end options? Williams has those too! Not only will he play with Cole Kmet, who has a career-high 77.7 grade point average and ranks in the top seven among tight ends in both fantasy points per target and fantasy points per route, but he will have another in Gerald Everett have a stable veteran. , another asset the team signed this offseason.

As for Daniels, it's no secret that he will have a major advantage in fantasy production thanks to his ability as a rusher. He emerged LSU after posting a 92.4 rushing grade that led all NCAA quarterbacks in the 2023 season, with a total of 1,301 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the year. He averaged 10.4 yards per carry and 0.72 missed tackles per attempt.

Daniels doesn't quite have the same advantage as Williams with his weapons. But between Terry McLaurin, former first-round pick Jahan Dotson (who flashes himself), uber-athletic rookie tight end Ben Sinnott and Austin Ekeler as a safety valve, he still has the advantage. Don't be surprised if both he and Williams end up as QB1sas rookies.

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DeVon Achane ends up as an RB3 or worse

The Miami Dolphins lined up Texas A&M prospect Achane with the 84th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and boy, was he off to an incredible start. He racked up 813 rushing yards in just 108 attempts, earning a PFF rushing grade of 93.1, leading all running backs with at least 100 attempts. He led all running backs in yards per carry (7.5) and yards after contact per attempt (4.94), while ranking third in missed tackles per attempt (0.28). So why should he fade away as he moves forward?

Despite an incredibly efficient rookie campaign, the Dolphins have given fantasy managers plenty of reason to worry that we may not see a substantial increase in Achane's workload. It's understandable, too, since part of the concern for the former Texas A&M star as a prospect was that he was undersized but had to spend his rookie season with a shoulder sprain and a nagging knee injury.

Earlier this season, the Dolphins signed Raheem Mostert a new two-year contract worth up to $9.075 million, while trading a third-round pick in 2025 Tennessee Jaylen Wright back in this year's draft. The number of equally fast players competing for touches in the Dolphins' backfield won't be conducive to a heavy workload for Achane, as he already played behind Mostert when both were healthy.

Mostert recorded 10 or more rush attempts in all but three of his 16 games in 2023, while Achane reached that mark just five times. While there is no doubt that there is tremendous upside and opportunity to continue producing efficiently, his current average draft position at RB9 (an average second-round selection) will be difficult to justify.

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Derrick Henry becomes the fifth player in NFL history to post a 300-plus fantasy point season at age 30

The Baltimore Ravens signed 30-year veteran Derrick Henry to a two-year contract worth $16 million, officially teaming him up with Lamar Jackson. Over the past three seasons, the two have combined for 4,305 rushing yards, 48 ​​rushing touchdowns, 270 forced missed tackles and 171 explosive runs, with each player posting a rushing grade above 90.0 during that span.

Henry and Jackson are without a doubt the best QB-RB rush tandem in the league. While some fantasy managers may be skeptical of Henry's production given his age and the fact that he ranks second among all active running backs in career scoring, he still has plenty of upside.

At age 29, Henry posted the second-highest rushing grade of his career (86.8), ranking in the top five among running backs with 0.43 fantasy points per snap and a top-10 in yards after contact per attempt. Considering his age and the fact that he played in a below-average Titans offense, his finish as an RB10 in 2023 was all the more impressive.

There have been four running backs in NFL history to post a 300+ point season at age 30 (or older), including Priest Holmes (2003), Tiki Barber (2005), Charlie Garner (2002) and Walter Payton (1984). , 1985). Don't be surprised if Henry becomes the fifth.

With limited competition behind him, Henry should be in line for all the work he can handle in 2023.

Diontae Johnson is a WR2 (or better) for fantasy football in 2024

This low season is the Pittsburgh The Steelers made waves with the announcement that they had traded veteran wide receiver Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers.

While Johnson isn't known for his efficiency, he is coming off a season in which he posted career highs in receiving grades (79.1), yards per reception (13.9) and yards per route (1.90). His 5.2 yards after the catch per reception was the second-best mark of his career, as was his passer rating of 99.2 when targeted.

Unfortunately, Johnson has spent most of his career playing with the aging Ben Roethlisberger and a rotation of Kenny Pickett, Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph.

There's no guarantee he'll be in a much better position going forward, but the fact that he's averaged 10 or more fantasy points per game (including a career-high of 17 fantasy points per game in 2021) should should be encouraging in terms of both his level and his level. and the ceiling moves forward.

The Panthers have done well to provide second-year quarterback Bryce Young with more weapons than he had as a rookie. However, there is no doubt that Johnson is the most likely option to lead this team in goals.

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Dalton Kincaid ends up as the overall TE1

All eyes were on rookie wide receiver Keon Coleman, but don't let his words distract from the real storyline in this offense: the chance for a breakout season for second-year tight end Dalton Kincaid.

The Bills drafted Kincaid with the 25th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft. He was an undersized prospect with steady hands and fluidity as a route runner with a proven track record as a center in UtahIt's a passing game. He showed flashes of those traits as a rookie, finishing as a fantasy football TE11 in 2023.

Kincaid has room to grow in terms of efficiency heading into Year 2, but he will undoubtedly get every opportunity to do so in a good offense with one of the league's best quarterbacks throwing him the ball.

Stefon Diggs has scored 702 of Josh Allen's 2,696 goals over the past four seasons. Gabe Davis also left the team in free agency, having racked up 323 Allens targets during that same span, meaning plenty of opportunities for the second-year tight end to make a mark.

Kincaid ranked second on the team, behind only Diggs, with a target percentage of 19.6% on routes completed, which is encouraging.

There is a very real possibility that Kincaid leads this team in targets with the shake-up in the Bills' receiver room this offseason, and at a position as volatile as tight end, volume may ultimately be king for production.

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