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Way Too Early 2024 Fantasy Receiver Rankings – Part 1

It's never too soon to start planning your fantasy football draft. And a number one receiver should be your priority.

Just because the draft isn’t until April doesn’t mean you can’t get a jump on your fantasy competitors right now. The foundation of any successful redraft fantasy team is an elite receiver after all.

Way Too Early Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings – Part 1 

1. CeeDee Lamb 

After their implosion in the playoffs, it’s easy to forget that the Cowboys won 12 games last season. And they scored more passing touchdowns than any other team. Lamb caught 12 of those 36 scoring passes. 

The Cowboys have three offensive linemen and two running backs headed to free agency. And they will have to re-work some deals to become cap compliant, but it would be a surprise if Jerry Jones doesn’t do everything humanly possible to send the same offense onto the field in 2024. So, there’s no reason to think Lamb won’t be the most valuable fantasy receiver again.  

2. Tyreek Hill 

Like the Cowboys, the Dolphins’ season ended with a whimper rather than a party. But during the regular season, they were largely unstoppable. Hill led the league with 13 receiving touchdowns and 1,799 receiving yards during the regular season. 

Miami will have five offensive linemen headed to free agency and four receivers. And they’re currently $24 million over the salary cap. So, they’re going to have to do some rebuilding with cheaper options, but Tyreek is still Tyreek. And if both he and Jaylen Waddle can stay healthy, he could improve on his impressive 2023 numbers. 

3. Ja’Marr Chase 

Joe Burrow’s favorite receiver only played 10 games with his starting quarterback in 2023. But still had 16.4 fantasy points per game in 2023. The Bengals won’t remember 2023 with any fondness, but they’ve got $45 million to spend in free agency and seem to be linked with any and all the desirable offensive stars. So, 2024 promises to be a much better season in Cincy. 

4. Justin Jefferson 

The Twitterverse is abuzz with rumors that the Vikings want to trade Jefferson. The rumor came just days after Jefferson allegedly told the team he would only sign a contract extension if they could tell him their long-term plan for a quarterback. But rumors don’t always equate to reality. 

Jefferson, like Chase, didn’t get to play the entire season with his starting QB in 2023. He only played 10 games. And Kirk Cousins only started five of those games. But Jefferson still ended the season with 1,074 yards after racking up 192 in the final game in Detroit. So, he seems fully recovered from his chest injury. Jefferson only caught five touchdowns in 2023. He’ll improve on that wherever he ends up playing in 2024. 

5. A.J Brown 

In a recent phone call to a Philly radio station, the Eagles number 1 receiver said he didn’t want to be traded. And that he gets hot and bothered on the sideline because he’s the guy who holds his teammates responsible. 

So that cleared that up. On the field, Brown (and the Eagles’ offense) had a pretty odd 2023 season. They started the season 10-1 and then it went horribly wrong. But in those first 10 weeks, Brown caught 68 passes for 1,013 yards and hauled in six touchdowns. In the next eight games, he only caught one touchdown and recorded just 443 receiving yards. So, the Eagles did the only sensible thing, fired the offensive coordinator. The only slight problem is that they replaced him with the guy who was the passing game coordinator. And that was part of the problem.   

But Brown is still impossible to defend one one-on-one. He ranks first in the league for receiving yards, touchdowns, and receiver rating when he’s facing single coverage! Brown averaged 17 fantasy points per game in 2023. And if he’s the guy who holds his teammates to account, he needs to be faultless himself. 

6. Amon-Ra St. Brown 

The Lions had one of the best running attacks in the NFL in 2023 and in the first half of the NFC Championship game, they literally gave the 49ers defense the run around. So ARSB might not get the same number of looks as the rest of the top five receivers. But he certainly makes the most of it when he does get the ball. He scored 10 touchdowns in 2023 and ended the season with a 12.5-yard per-touch average.  

St. Brown scored 330.9 fantasy points in 2023, but the Lions should lean on their run game more in 2024. Jahmyr Gibbs’ emergence late in the season figures (he averaged 15 touches per game in the last five weeks of the regular season) to put a dent in the rest of the Lions’ touches in 2024.  

7. Puka Nacua 

Nacua’s injury history in college saw him drop to the Rams in the fifth round of the draft. And he was everything Sean McVay could have hoped for in a rookie receiver. Not only did he play a significant role in improving the passing offense. His run blocking was also vital in helping the Rams return to the postseason for the first time since they won Super Bowl LVI. 

He scored 298.5 fantasy points in 2023 and if Cooper Kupp and Kyren Williams can stay healthy in 2024, he should score even more this time out. Nacua averaged 13.5 yards per touch in 2023, but he only scored six touchdowns. He could double that in 2024. 

8. D.K Metcalf 

Metcalf recorded NextGen’s fastest ball carry in the league in 2023. So, he’s still one of the league’s elite receivers. His 1,114 receiving yards were his most in a single season since 2020.  And he missed a game with a rib injury. He also had to deal with the Seahawks needing to start two different quarterbacks after Geno Smith suffered several injuries. 

Metcalf scored 225.4 fantasy points in 2023, but if the Seahawks can avoid disruptive injuries, he’ll score significantly more in 2024. A healthy Jaxson Smith-Njigba alongside Metcalf and Lockett will stress any defense they face. If Metcalf faces a lot of single coverage, he’ll put up numbers. 

9. Tank Dell 

The Stroud to Dell pipeline was box office in the early part of 2023. The rookie receiver started eight games and hauled in seven touchdown passes. But then he suffered a brutal leg break and missed the rest of the season. Ironically the emergence of Nico Collins in Dell’s absence figures to help Dell in 2024. With two explosive receivers who only dropped 4.7% of the 127 targets they saw in 2023 the Texans’ defense is going to stretch defenses all over the field. 

Dell averaged 15 fantasy points per game in 2023. So, even if he doesn’t improve (and he probably will) in 2024 he projects to score 255 points this time out. 

10. George Pickens 

After, what we can only imagine was a rather stern talking to from Mike Tomlin Pickens decided to go beast mode in the last three weeks of the regular season. Pickens put up 326 receiving yards from just 11 catches. And he didn’t even see a target in Week 18. He ended the regular season averaging a league-leading 18.1 yards per reception. That should be enough for the Steelers to pass to him more often. He only saw 106 targets in 2023 and that saw him ranked 33rd in the league. 

Who knows who will be starting at quarterback for the Steelers in 2024? They seem to be quashing any talk of Russell Wilson’s arrival. But whoever is throwing the ball we know Arthur Smith is calling the plays. And he has a history with physical receivers, having coached the Titans when A.J. Brown was there. Pickens might not maintain his ridiculous average, but he should certainly have plenty of explosive plays regardless of the quarterback. 

11. Mike Evans

He’s a free agent and wherever he lands he’ll be carrying a hefty price tag. But he’s the most consistent receiver in the league, so where he’s playing seems largely irrelevant. In 10 seasons in the NFL Evans averages 1,168 receiving yards per season! And he caught 13 touchdowns last season, which led the league and was the fifth time he’d hauled in more than 10  scoring passes. 

He scored 282.5 fantasy points last season. And depending on where he signs in free agency he could improve on that in 2024. 

12. Davante Adams

Adamas seems to have been an elite receiver since woolly mammoths roamed the earth, but he’s somehow only 31. Last season he suffered through the last knockings of Josh McDaniels’ coaching career. But once Antonio Pierce took the reigns the Raiders suddenly became a functioning NFL team. 

There’s a new offensive coordinator in Luke Getsy, who hasn’t exactly set the world on fire so far. But in his defense, he was working for the Bears, who are an absolute bonfire of an organization. And he knows Adams from his time in Green Bay. When Getsy was the Packers passing game coordinator in 2020 Adams caught 20 touchdown passes! And while Aaron Rodgers isn’t going to be walking into the Allegiant Stadium wearing a Raiders jersey any time soon they are rumoured to be interested in drafting J.J McCarthy. And there’s a bit of Aaron Rodgers about McCarthy. Probably without the conspiracy theories and spouting nonsense for Pat McAfee’s amusement. 

Adams scored 265.4 fantasy points in 2023, in the last eight weeks of the season he caught 52 passes for 572 yards and five touchdowns. Expect more of this moving forward. 

Main Photo: Eric Seals-USA TODAY NETWORK

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