Xavier Worthy, Ladd McConkey, Keon Coleman Highlight 2024 Fantasy Rookie WR Winners

Many 2024 Rookie Wide Receivers landed in perfect spots for both redraft and dynasty fantasy football value. Who were the biggest winners?

Yes, individual talent is typically the most important factor in fantasy football success, especially in Dynasty Fantasy. Still, usage and surrounding team talent and tendencies are also critical.

As such, Landing Spot cannot be ignored when assessing a rookie’s value, in both the short and long term. Below, I outline eight 2024 rookie wide receivers (WRs) winners, each of whom received big “stock up” arrows following the 2024 NFL Draft.

SUMMARY (TLDR):

  • Marvin Harrison, Xavier Worthy, Ladd McConkey, and Keon Coleman all landed in perfect situations featuring available volume and elite QB play. They are massive winners, both in redraft and dynasty fantasy.
  • Ricky Pearsall is a massive winner for dynasty fantasy, but a crowded 49ers WR room makes him a redraft fantasy “loser.” Jermaine Burton is in a similar situation with the Bengals, albeit with a clearer path to Year One value.
  • Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker may be sneaky big 2024 Rookie WR winners with a runway to plenty of volume from an intriguing rookie QB.
2024 Fantasy Football Rookie WR WINNERS: Marvin Harrison, Keon Coleman, Ladd McConkey, Xavier Worthy

WR Fantasy Winner No. 1: Marvin Harrison Jr.

Let’s face it: Harrison would’ve succeeded regardless of the landing spot. He’s among the best WR prospects in the last decade, and quite possibly ever.

Still, it certainly doesn’t hurt that Harrison landed in the PERFECT spot for immediate and long-term fantasy success.

With the Arizona Cardinals, Harrison steps into one of the most barren WR rooms, one desperate for a do-it-all target hog. Since he has no holes in his game, Harrison can and should fill that role to perfection.

Even better, he has a talented QB in Kyler Murray, who has a proven track record of peppering his WR1 to phenomenal fantasy success. In Murray’s last healthy season (2022), he showered his top WR (Marquise Brown or DeAndre Hopkins) with 10+ targets in 10-of-15 contests.

While Hopkins served a six-game suspension, Brown averaged 10.7 targets per game (WR5) and 18.3 FPPG (WR7). He hit 10+ targets in four of six games, including a whopping 17 in Week 3, while never dipping below 12 PPR FPs.

Upon his return, Hopkins immediately re-gained Target Hog status, notching 11+ targets in six of nine games, averaging 10.6 looks and 17.7 FPPG (WR9). The veteran WR produced similarly in his other healthy season with Murray, being fed 160 targets which he turned into 115 catches, 1407 yds, and 6 TDs (WR4).

In short, Harrison was bound to be productive anywhere, but his ceiling is that much higher in Arizona. He’s my redraft WR9 as a fringe first-rounder, and only CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson, and Ja’Marr Chase rank ahead of Lamb in dynasty for me.

WR Fantasy Winner No. 2: Xavier Worthy

The math seems simple here: Xavier Worthy is the fastest player in NFL history (4.21 forty). The cannon-armed Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid have maximized speed in the past. They traded up to secure Worthy, and must have a vision for how to maximize this deadly weapon.

Yet, Marquez Valdez-Scantling and Kadarius Toney had speed in bundles, and both face-planted in Kansas City.

So why am I so confident Worthy will smash in season-long and dynasty fantasy? Screens.

No one crafts a more deadly screen game than Reid. How many times did we see Tyreek Hill get schemed into space, and then outrun the entire defense for 50+ yard TDs?

Meanwhile, Worthy is experienced and deadly in the screen game. As Scott Barret points out, “46% of his career catches have come on screens (most of any projected top-25 Power 5 WR in this class), and 28% of his career targets have come on deep passes (most of any projected top-10 Power 5 WR in this class).”

While this “screen-reliance” may be a negative in some landing spots, it’s a match made in heaven in Kansas City.

Nevermind Worthy’s untapped deep ceiling. Obviously, anyone who blazes a 4.21 forty possesses the skills to get behind a defense. Yet, this never fully materialized in college. In fact, as Barrett points out: “Worthy’s 9.2 career YPT average on deep passes ranks worst of any projected non-UDFA Power 5 WR in the class. The fastest WR of all time is ostensibly the worst deep threat in his own Draft class.”

No doubt, this seems concerning at first glance. Yet, consider Worthy’s dreadful deep QB passing, and it may just be a sign of things to come:

You don’t need me to emphasize Mahomes’ ability to sling the rock downfield accurately.

Simply put: Worthy could not have landed in a better spot for fantasy success, starting from Day One. He is my WR37 (+11 ECR) for Redraft, and the No.4 WR in my 2024 Rookie Rankings.

WR Fantasy Winner No. 3: Ladd McConkey

Ladd McConkey has always been a favorite of mine– and of many talented WR analysts, including the creator of Reception Perception, Matthew Harmon. Just look at all the green across this route tree:

Not just a “slot guy,” Harmon’s charting shows that McConkey can win on any route, at any layer of the field. This is especially true in the deep game, where McConkey’s 4.39 speed flourishes. In Harmon’s grading, McConkey ranked as the WR3 against zone, and WR4 against man.

Further, FantasyLife’s Dwain McFarland emphasized, McConkey “earned a 23% TPRR against man and 25% against zone (second-highest in the class, behind Marvin Harrison). His 3.05 career YPRR against zone looks is one of the best in the class — even stronger than Maserati Marv.”

There’s simply not a route McConkey can’t run, nor a coverage he can’t beat — especially zone. Given the NFL runs zone coverage at a 70% clip, the ultimate Zone Beater should thrive.

And then there’s the available volume. My God, the available volume.

The Chargers vacated 395 targets (most), 2672 Air Yards (3rd), 57.9% target share (3rd), 24 inside-the-10 targets (most).

Not only is this a ton of sweet, sweet volume up for grabs. It’s coming from a Top-Five arm in the NFL in Justin Herbert.

Since Herbert entered the NFL, Keenan Allen has finished as the WR6, WR12, WR12, and WR3 in FPPG. He has averaged 18 FPPG, finished as a Top 24 WR in a whopping 62% of games, thanks to 10.3 targets per game & an average 27% target share.

Yes, I know Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman will be bringing a much more run-focused offense to Los Angeles. He has ranked in the top 10 in rush attempts in every season he’s called plays (including top-three in six of 10) while also ranking Bottom-Five in pass attempts in nine of 10 years.

Still, even with this smaller pie, Roman has coached some quality WR stats. In San Fran with Harbaugh, we saw the following WR stat lines:

  • 2012Michael Crabtree: 127 targets, 85 rec, 1105 yards, 9 TDs
  • 2013 – Anquan Boldin: 129 targets, 85 rec, 1179 yards, 7 TDs
  • 2014 – Anquan Boldin: 130 targets, 83 rec, 1062 yards, 5 TDs

These all ranked Top-24 among WRs, and Boldin was in his age 33 and 34 season respectively. Despite a run-obsessed attack, high-end WR numbers are still possible, especially with the elevated QB play of Herbert.

In short, McConkey has all the traits to be a true WR1, and is in the perfect spot to see 130+ targets from a premier arm talent. He has Top-24 WR upside from Day One and for the foreseeable future, making Ladd my WR38 in Redraft and No.5 Rookie WR in this class.

WR Fantasy Winner No. 4: Keon Coleman

Understandably, Keon Coleman is a polarizing WR prospect. Not just because he had one of the best press conferences of all time:

Keon Coleman Excited To Play With Josh Allen | Buffalo Bills | 2024 NFL Draft

Coleman’s 4.61 forty was hideous. Yet he topped 22 MPH in his “play speed,” which was Top-Five in the class. Coleman was below-average at separating from coverage, yet he was among the top contested ball catchers of the class.

Personally, I saw enough “wow” in Coleman’s tape to be highly intrigued. I especially loved his ability to get open on extended plays, with Coleman’s college QB calling him a “QB’s best friend” for this exact skill. Perhaps no QB buys extra time better than Josh Allen, which could help Coleman reach an absurdly high ceiling.

Speaking of Allen, he reportedly told the Bills that Coleman was the WR he wanted the team to select: “The 20-year-old said he received a text from Allen on Friday, before he was drafted that said (via the team’s official website), “You’re the guy that I want. I watched a lot of receivers and I want to play with you.”

The duo’s onfield rapport will be far more important, but it doesn’t hurt they’ve already connected beforehand.

It also doesn’t hurt how much volume is up for grabs in Buffalo:

-3353 air yards (most)
-73.3% air yards share (most)
-317 targets (2nd)
-54.7% target share (2nd)
-A whopping 86.3% WR target share (most)

No, Coleman isn’t Stefon Diggs and should never be expected to perform at Diggs-ian levels, especially in Year One. Still, it doesn’t hurt that Diggs has been a target hog and fantasy monster as Allen’s WR1:

2020: 168 tgts, WR3
2021: 163 tgts, WR7
2022: 152 tgts, WR4
2023: 161 tgts, WR9

Contending with only Curtis Samuel and Khalil Shakir at WR, Coleman could walk right into 110-120 targets from Allen. He immediately has Top-25 Upside from Day One based on the situation alone.

Ricky Pearsall: Redraft “Loser,” Dynasty Winner

In single-season redraft leagues, Ricky Pearsall falls squarely in the “loser” category. Despite a swirling rumor mill, the 49ers didn’t move either Randon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel. Thus, Pearsall will have to contend with Aiyuk, Deebo, George Kittle, and Christian McCaffrey for touches in a highly-balanced offense that rarely uses “11” personnel (22% “11” rate was second-lowest in the league).

Yet, I LOVE Pearsall’s long-term outlook in San Francisco. When an offensive guru like Kyle Shanahan spends Round One capital on a “luxury pick,” you know he loves the player. Shanahan said as much in his post-draft presser:

What’s not to love? Many of the top scouts regard Pearsall as a top-three route runner within an impressive class. Certainly, he’s among the most sure-handed. Harmon charted Pearsall second-best at beating man coverage; this absolutely shows on tape in the way Pearsall gets in-and-out of his breaks.

By 2025, the 49ers will be unable to afford both Deebo and Aiyuk. Pearsall should be locked into an elite role within a top-three offense no later than next season. While I don’t buy it, some execs are even forecasting a massive immediate impact:

A hundred catches with this stacked weapons cabinet, it seems like lunacy. Still, by 2025, 80-90+ receptions could become an annual occurrence for Shanahan’s next toy.

Jermaine Burton: Honorable Mention Redraft “Mediocre,” Dynasty Winner

Jermaine Burton lands in a highly similar situation to Pearsall in that he’ll be contending with two target monsters in year one yet has a rosy forecast in 2025 and beyond.

In fact, Burton may have a faster path to immediate value, given the Bengals have little behind the two top Alphas of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. While the 49ers run “11” personnel (3 WR sets) at the second lowest clip, the Bengals conversely ranked third-highest (70%). Tyler Boyd and his 98 targets are now gone, leaving Burton a healthy slice of volume even as a rookie.

Matt Harmon is among my favorite WR evaluators, and he ranked Burton as a first-round talent, as well as his Dynasty WR8:

Yes, Burton brings some off-field character concerns. Yet, when on the field, all he’s done is produce:

Frosh: leading WR for Georgia in the playoffs
Soph: Georgia’s leading WR
Junior: Alabama’s leading WR
Senior: Alabama’s leading WR
Career: Led the class in Yards per Target Over Expectation

In short, Burton has a clear path to Joe Burrow’s WR3 role from Day One. By Year Two and beyond, Burton could be in line for 120+ looks in one of the league’s deadliest passing attacks.

Sleeper WR Fantasy Winner(s): Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker

It’s a new era in New England, and at least one rookie WR seems primed for blast-off.

Drake Maye has his faults, but he also has a cannon arm and an uncanny ability to extend plays. Ja’Lynn Polk, meanwhile, is a well-rounded, do-it-all WR who excels in the intermediate range, especially in contested situations. For what he lacks in true explosiveness, Polk more than compensates with reliability and versatility. Polk also dominated zone coverage, ranking second in the class in win rate vs. zone, according to Matt Harmon. Polk has the profile and available opportunity to be a day one target vacuum for a talented rookie arm.


Javon Baker, meanwhile, looks to be a perfect complement to Polk once he gets onto the field. Baker may take some time to beat out Kendrick Bourne, but will offer plenty of vertical skills once he does — perfect for Maye’s rocket arm.

Baker may have been buried at Alabama, but he exploded as a senior once he transferred to UCF.  He posted a 52-1139-7 line through 13 games, ranking 3.32 YPRR, which ranked fourth-best of any Power 5 WR in this class, behind only Nabers, Harrison, and Franklin.

If that’s not enough, Baker also doesn’t lack confidence. When asked what he brings to New England, Baker replied: “Come to the home stadium and bring your popcorn. That’s all I can tell you all. Bring your popcorn — I make people in wheelchairs stand up.”

Maye is far from a guarantee. Yet, if he approaches his massive ceiling, these rookie WRs will largely have played a huge role. It’s not as sexy as the Top-Four rookies on this list, but both Polk and Baker have the upside to be Year One beasts.

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