Brian Thomas Jr. 2024 Fantasy Outlook and Dynasty Value: Trevor Lawrence’s Elite Deep Ball Threat

Jaguars WR Brian Thomas Jr. 2024 fantasy outlook and dynasty value
Brian Thomas Jr. has the talent to snag the Jaguars' WR1 spot.

A crowded Jaguars receiving corps just got busier after Jacksonville selected LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr., No. 23 overall, in April’s draft.

Jacksonville, despite having little luck drafting receivers, took the former Tiger wideout in hopes of replacing talent lost with Calvin Ridley’s departure to division rival Tennessee.

At the time of his selection, Thomas Jr. joined a receiving corps of Christian Kirk, Gabe Davis, Parker Washington, Devin Duvernay and Zay Jones — giving the rookie a chance to make a significant early impact.

BRIAN THOMAS JR.’S SKILL SET COULD WIN THE JAGS WR1 JOB

The Jaguars true No. 1 option looks to be up for grabs as Christian Kirk enters the 2024 season hoping to be more consistent, and Gabe Davis looks to prove that his NFL success isn’t just because of Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen.

Thomas Jr. was a late-bloomer at LSU, making significant noise in his third and final year across from No. 6 overall pick Malik Nabers. The two formed the most electric receiver duo in college football last season, combining for 157 receptions, 2,746 yards, and 31 touchdowns.

“He’s an explosive athlete. He can help open up the field a little bit,” general manager Trent Baalke told ESPN. “He’s certainly a younger receiver for Trevor to build around and our offense to build around.”

Thomas Jr. led college football with 17 touchdown catches for LSU one season ago. His positive combination of size, length, and speed should make the transition into the NFL smoother than others. While still needing to work on route running, Thomas Jr. is shifty against the press and can uncover quickly underneath. This should give the Jaguars — and fantasy managers — the confidence that Thomas Jr. will be able to play across the field.

The former LSU Tiger is a dynamic force on the field, showcasing his ability as a big-play threat with elite deep receiving skills evident in his staggering 15 deep catches in the 2023 season. His exceptional acceleration, speed, and precise tracking make him a nightmare for defenders. In contrast, his knack for maintaining speed after the catch consistently leads to impressive yards after catch (YAC).

Standing as a towering target with remarkable speed and reliable hands, he routinely creates mismatches against cornerbacks, leveraging his size and speed advantage. Furthermore, his outstanding leaping ability translates into a rare proficiency in contested catches, rarely failing to secure a 50-50 ball. Impressively, he boasts a quarterback rating of 148.8 when targeted, reflecting his reliability as a prime offensive target.

It’s important to note that Thomas Jr.’s 6-foot-3 size can help Jacksonville in red zone touchdown success, as it finished 21st-best in the NFL one season ago. The team also has 18 available inside the 10-yard line targets from last year.

With Ridley and Jones no longer on the team, the Jaguars have a significant chunk of available targets (251) and air yards (3,174 yards) up for grabs with Thomas Jr. and Davis replacing them. However, history is not on Thomas’ side, as only two receivers in the history of the franchise have compiled at least one 1,000-yard season: Allen Robinson and DJ Chark.

BRIAN THOMAS JR. 2024 FANTASY OUTLOOK & DYNASTY VALUE

For dynasty players, that is always music to one’s ears: a prospect that could quickly become reliable with multiple receiver position options.

While there may be intrigue for re-drafters, it is hard to want to draft an unproven player for one season. However, the fact that we don’t know the rapport that will be built between Thomas Jr. and Lawrence before the season and that there’s no clear-cut No. 1 means a low ceiling and potentially a high reward. Thomas Jr. sits at WR51 (+3 vs ECR) on The Wolf’s 2024 Fantasy Rankings and Big Board.

Jacksonville’s offensive situation makes it a little easier to trust Thomas Jr. as a player to take a risk in re-draft rather than a first-round rookie on a struggling offense — such as New York’s Malik Nabers or Carolina’s Xavier Legette.

Thomas Jr. should be drafted as one of the top receivers in 2024 Dynasty Rookie Drafts and one of the latest round flyers in re-draft.

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