2024 Dynasty Rookie Draft Pick 3 Strategy: How to Draft and Who to Target at the 1.03

QB? WR? Brock Bowers? Here's how to draft from the 1.03 in 2024 dynasty rookie drafts.

I knew I was a lock to land one of the big three wide receivers in this year’s draft. Being fortunate enough to draft from the 1.03 put me in the position to make some difficult and strategic decisions.

Do I take the potential cheat code at quarterback or draft the potential anchor high-end WR that can turn a rebuild into a contend quickly?

DRAFT STRATEGY FOR PICK 3 IN 2024 ROOKIE DRAFTS: MY PRE-DRAFT PLAN

Knowing your league-mates is pivotal; strategy is more than projecting one-to-three-year outlooks for players and knowing when to draft, trade, and target said players.

I knew the guy drafting from the 1.02 well. I knew his personality traits and football tendencies, and I was able to anticipate that he would draft Marvin Harrison Jr.

With Caleb Williams being the likely default 1.01 for rookie drafts (assuming SuperFlex), it was easy to see that my decisions would come down to either Nabers or Jaylen Daniels. For me, it was just a matter of preference. Both offered insane positional advantage upside.

Read more: “How to draft” from the… 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 spot

After drafting from the No. 3 spot in our 2024 dynasty rookie mock draft, let’s see how the team looks.

PICK 1.03: MALIK NABERS, WR, NEW YORK GIANTS

Malik Nabers, come on down!

I may stand on this rock with a few other brave souls, but I ranked Nabers ahead of Harrison in my wide receiver rankings. Just taking a step back and looking at the nature of the league; separation, burst, and YAC ability have become the new hotness. Take a look at the top 10 WRs in 2023 and notice what traits they predominately shared.

  • CeeDee Lamb – YAC machine + heavy volume
  • Tyreek Hill – YAC + explosive playmaking + volume
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown – Pristine route running + separation + volume
  • Puka Nacua – Elite separator + good YAC
  • Mike Evans – Contested catch and red zone TD savant
  • DJ Moore – YAC machine + elite volume
  • AJ Brown – YAC machine + good separator
  • Keenan Allen – Route running tactician with elite volume
  • Nico Collins – YAC and deep threat
  • Stefon Diggs – Good separator + YAC + volume (1st half of the season)

Notice a trend?

When I looked at how Nabers stacked up compared to the “consensus” rookie WR1, I became more convinced that Nabers was the belle of the ball. Simply put, Nabers blew Harrison out of the water at all three levels of the field. He was a better differentiator and he’s still in a position to be fed in 2024 despite being anchored down by Daniel Jones.

When operating underneath, Nabers evaded 13 tackles vs. Harrison’s 4. In the intermediate game, Nabers posted a 40% evasion rate, while Harrison evaded only two tackles total. It’s worth noting that Nabers and Harrison each had the same number of catchable targets (42) in the intermediate game. Nabers generated 273 YAC vs. Harrison’s 90.

Surely, a hulking mammoth of a man that could run like Harrison would do better downfield right? Right? Nope.

On deep targets, Nabers turned 72 fewer air yards into 43 more converted air yards. Nabers also scored nine times deep downfield vs. Harrison’s four while posting an almost perfect passer rating when targeted.

Finally, across the middle of the field… well, I’ll just let the numbers do the talking.

  •  A 17-point edge in on-target catch rate (96% to 79%)
  • 3.7-yard edge in yards per target (17.3 to 13.6)
  • A 32-point edge in receiver rating
  • A 2-1 edge in TDs (6-3)
  • A 14-3 edge in evaded tackles

Using the RotoViz Prospect Box Score Scout, we get a look into who Nabers compares to at the next level and there are a couple of red flags and a lot of grade-A studs.

PICK 2.03: TREY BENSON, RB, ARIZONA CARDINALS

While I initially favored Jonathan Brooks in my running back ranks, after looking into the athletic and analytical profile of Trey Benson, I was quickly hooked. That made the Benson decision at 2.03 as easy as ordering a Frosty with a Baconator at Wendy’s.

After getting burned a bit on Cam Akers, highly regarded Florida State running backs are battling .500 in the league, after Dalvin Cook dominated the fantasy landscape.

Weighing in at 216 pounds, Benson left scorch marks on the ground behind him following his impressive 4.39s. 40 at the NFL Combine.

A size-speed freak, he currently resides behind James Conner with the Arizona Cardinals, but how much of an obstacle is that to overcome, really? Conner has been a stalwart among late-round running back values and exudes the title of workhorse running back.

However, the story of Conner’s career has also been his particular proclivity for missing games during the season. In fact, Conner has missed at least three games in five of the last six seasons. Being injury-prone is not a thing until it is.

So why is Benson a threat? Well in the likely event Conner misses time with an injury, the Cardinals are very likely going to lean heavily on Benson and see what their 2025 do-it-all running back brings to the table. In all likelihood, once they see Benson in action, it’s going to be hard to keep him off the field.

With buttery soft hands and breakaway speed, and strong run-blocking, Benson has a great opportunity to steal passing down work from Conner out the gate.

Forcing missed tackles on 36% of his rush attempts ranks third in the class, tied with Jaylen Wright. Utilizing Graham Barfield’s Yards Created metric, we see how enticing a player Benson could become on a rising young offense.

A respectable 4.57 yards created per attempt, Benson thrived when setting the edge and making players miss in open space. While respectable, among offensive lines charted by Barfield, Florida State’s was middle of the pack regarding run-blocking.

Benson fits the Cardinals’ run-blocking scheme like a glove. At Florida State, the Seminoles utilized both gap and zone-blocking schemes, and Benson thrived in both. Averaging a yard per carry more in gap vs. zone, his flair for exploding for big gains in gap-scheme blocking makes him a strong 2025 breakout candidate.

According to PFF, Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzing ran more gap than zone for most of the season last year. Conner averaged nearly 9 gap runs per game last season, good for fourth in the NFL.

With zero collegiate fumbles, homerun speed, and ankle-breaking elusiveness, Benson is in line to slice and dice defensive lines for chunk plays and awe-inspring touchdowns. He should see the field earlier than expected.

PICK 3.03: JERMAINE BURTON, WR, CINCINNATI BENGALS

The third round is all about finding diamonds in the rough. It’s a great round to take dart throws at players who have reports of character issues.

Jermaine Burton was a rockstar at Alabama. He posted a 71st percentile college dominator and scored 15 touchdowns on 121 targets.

Jermaine Burton success by route (Reception Perception)

A separation savant, Burton cooked man and press coverages, posting 86th percentile success rates against each.

Burton’s athletic profile and ball skills create confidence that he can become a solid WR2/3 in the league, and luckily he landed in the perfect spot.

With 98 targets vacated with the departure of Tyler Boyd, he will be given an immediate opportunity to carve out a role for himself.

With Joe Burrow slinging him the rock while benefitting from the coverage vacuum Ja’Marr Chase commands and Tee Higgins out the door in 2025, Burton is in line to become a strong weekly WR2/Flex option for years to come.

PICK 4.03: SPENCER RATTLER, QB, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The same rules apply in the fourth round: value, high-upside dart throws, and quality depth.

Derek Carr has been uninspiring as the signal caller for the New Orleans Saints. The days of Sean Payton are long gone and the offensive output is not as sweet either.

Nobody checks the ball down more than Carr, which cannibalizes exactly what Chris Olave has to offer. Enter Spencer Rattler.

A much-maligned prospect who flashed early and then struggled under Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma with Caleb Williams breathing down his neck. Still, the talent Rattler possesses is terrific for fantasy football if nothing else.

He possesses big-time arm talent, especially when throwing on the move.

Having an elite route runner like Olave, a hose for an arm, and a gunslinger mentality brings back the possibility of a Jameis Winston-like fantasy opportunity in the future. With Carr likely done after this season, Rattler might get a look and that’s worth a stab in the fourth round.

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