Rome Odunze 2024 Fantasy Outlook and Dynasty Value: Caleb Williams’ Future Alpha WR1

Odunze could bring immediate fantasy success despite a congested Bears target totem pole.

With the ninth selection in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears selected Rome Odunze, making him the third WR off the board within a stacked class.

Some might say that Odunze is not set up for immediate success in Chicago and is off most redraft boards in 2024. Is Odunze a 2024 casualty but set up for 2025 success? That’s the consensus, and on its face, that’s the most logical outcome.

I say differently.

“Whatever expectations I may have had about this player would never have been high enough. Odunze’s film consistently blew me away and his prospect charting profile might just be the most impressive I’ve ever collected,” wrote Matt Harmon of ReceptionPerception.

Odunze is arguably the best route runner in this class, and looking at his success rates by route last season, it’s hard to argue.

With the ability to track “the deep ball like Ken Griffey Jr. patrolled centerfield,” Odunze could bring immediate fantasy success despite being buried behind Keenan Allen and DJ Moore on the totem pole.

Using his 6’3″ frame and buttery-soft hands, Odunze blocks out opposing defenders and cleanly snatches passes through contact. In fact, he only has seven drops across his 167 catches in his last two years with Washington (a 4.1% drop rate).

Across that same span, he finished with 2,785 yards and 20 TDs, making him arguably the most productive receiver coming into the NFL in this class.

Split hairs however you’d like, but given his exceptional route running and pristine ball tracking, Odunze has arguably the highest ceiling. Being paired with the quarterback who, if nothing else, landed in the best possible spot to succeed. Odunze is a low-key, juicy late-round rookie target and an elite dynasty WR option moving forward.

LANDING SPOT: ODUNZE DRIPS IN DOUBLE-DIGIT TD UPSIDE AS A ROOKIE

Number one overall pick and uber-hyped quarterback Caleb Williams alluded to how Odunze has already impressed the Bears from top to bottom.

In fact, in an interview with Stacey Dales of the NFL Network, Williams compared his pairing with Odunze to LeBron and DWade with the Miami Heat. Chemistry and compatibility will not be a problem for these two.

While he dominated with all his routes, it’s interesting that Odunze was used primarily as a downfield target, making his low drop percentage all the more impressive. In fact, 84% of his snaps at Washington came while lined up on the outside, and 67% came on the line of scrimmage.

Considering Odunze’s top-flight success rate vs. all coverage types, it’s easy to see the path to a respectable slice of what could be a prolific aerial pie in 2024.

But just how much? That’s the million-dollar question.

In the last three years, the Bears offense has ranked 27th, 32nd, and 23rd in total pass attempts.

Justin Fields was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Williams was drafted to usher in a new offensive era. They brought in Shane Waldron as the new OC, whose teams have ranked 17th, 15th, and 31st in pass attempts in the same span.

During that time, Russell Wilson (2021) and Geno Smith (2022–2023) led the offense. Seattle ranked 10th in passing TDs under Wilson, 4th (2022), and 20th (2023) under Smith.

Williams projects to be the team’s first 4,000-yard passer and has a legitimate chance to be the first to throw for 30 TDs. With weapons like D’Andre Swift, Cole Kmet, and Allen and Moore, Odunze will have plenty of target competition.

There’s no reason to believe the Bears won’t approach 600 pass attempts, which would have ranked 12th in 2023.

Allen and Moore have not eclipsed 8 TDs in any season thus far in their careers. Odunze showed a real nose for the end zone in his final year of college. Given his exceptional downfield prowess, ability to successfully run every route, and body control at all field areas, it’s well within the range of possibilities to lead an exciting young offense in receiving touchdowns.

Given his high draft capital, he’s a lock to receive a respectable share of the targets.

ROME ODUNZE 2024 FANTASY OUTLOOK AND DYNASTY VALUE

Odunze should be a low-end dynasty WR1 just based on his top 10 draft capital, 19.3 breakout age, and 26.4% college dominator rating. Being paired with a consensus top-5 QB prospect since Andrew Luck only strengthens his case.

Odunze likely won’t be able to volume his way into the same fantasy production as Marvin Harrison Jr. His analytical and production profiles suggest he will be a top breakout candidate in 2025, with the potential to be a WR1 in fantasy for the next five years.

Odunze is the Wolf’s WR40 (+1 vs ECR) in his 2024 Fantasy Rankings and Big Board. He also checks in at WR3 and No. 5 overall on our 2024 Dynasty Rookie Rankings.

Rome Odunze — Gut Projection: 90 targets, 65 receptions, 850 yards, 9 TDs.

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