Fantasy Football Mid Round: 10 Picks Who Could Explode in 2024 Redraft and Best Ball

Fantasy Football Drafts are won and lost in the middle rounds

Most fantasy football managers obsess over the first, or final, rounds of their fantasy football drafts. They pour endless research into their Round 1 picks, or into discovering the next great late-round sleepers (i.e. the next Puka Nacua or Kyren Williams).

Yet, while less sexy, navigating the mid-rounds of your fantasy football draft is where you often make or break your season. Take a look at the following chart of “Top Advance Rates” in Underdog’s 2023 Best Ball Mania (via RotoViz):

Essentially, your draft slot determined whether you had a shot at the elite picks like Christian McCaffrey, CeeDee Lamb, and Tyreek Hill. Thus, the real edge came from nailing those mid-round selections, the fantasy football picks you actually had a shot at landing no matter where you drafted from. Five of the top ten players (50%) with the highest advance rates came from the 70-120 ADP range.

Here’s a breakdown of players in the 50 to 120 ADP range that we believe can explode in 2024. I currently reference Underdog’s ADP, as Best Ball Drafts are the more common and accurate source of ADP right now.

Fantasy Mid-Round EXPLOSION Candidates: Who Could BLOW UP in 2024 Fantasy Football?

Mid-Round Quarterbacks to Target in 2024 Fantasy Football

Kyler Murray – ADP: 78, QB8

Kyler Murray is a highly intriguing pick at QB8. At this point, the benefits of a QB with “Konami Code” rushing upside are well-documented. 15-of-16 QBs to hit 125+ rushing attempts in the last decade have finished in the Top-12 QBs in a given season. Moreover, every QB who has hit 700+ rushing yards across the last-five years has finished Top-10 or better.

Unsurprisingly, QBs with this dual-threat ability are flying off the board in 2024. Josh Allen (34.5 ADP) and Jalen Hurts (37.4) are the top-two QBs off the board, typically by the end of Round 3. Lamar Jackson (43.2) typically goes QB3, and Anthony Richardson (55.9) is going as the QB6 purely on the rushing upside he flashed.

At his Round 7-8 price, Murray is the last proven QB with rushing upside. He has never finished below 30 Rush yards per game (505 per season pace), while also boasting solid passing stats. His fantasy points per game (FPPG) in the past seasons include:

  • 18.9 (9th among players with 8+ starts)
  • 18.9 (7th)
  • 22.2 (4th)
  • 24.4 (3rd)

Despite dealing with injuries to himself and his weapons last season, Murray still was a Top-12 QB in 62% of his starts. This was with a hampered Marquise Brown as his WR1. Despite dealing with a hamstring injury last season, Murray still managed to perform at a high level.

Now, Murray will throw to the best WR prospect in the last decade in Marvin Harrison, as well as a surging Trey McBride and new-arrival Zay Jones. Between his rushing upside and revamped arsenal, Murray has the highest upside to explode in this range.

Murray ranks is my QB10 and 80th Overall Player in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings, while ranking 82nd in my Top-200 Best Ball Fantasy Big Board.

Dak Prescott – ADP: 89.3, QB9

Dak Prescott, consistently overlooked by fantasy managers, provides excellent value at QB9.

After the Cowboys’ Week 7 bye, Prescott led all QBs in fantasy points per game (24 FPPG). Yes, he outscored Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, and every other QB in the league.

Prescott’s second-half explosion was largely due to a massive offensive philosophy switch. Through six weeks, the Cowboys had ranked bottom-five in pass-rate over expectation. By year’s end, they were pushing Top-3 in pass-rate:

The impact on Prescott, and this overall offense, was massive.

Through six weeks, Prescott ranked as the QB22 In FPPG (14.6). He was borderline droppable (via RotoViz):

After the Bye, Prescott and the Cowboys were electric. As mentioned, no QB outscored Dak, who was a Top-12 QB an absurd 82% of the time. This included five spikes of 30+ FPs, as well as 9-of-11 games topping 20 points.

Why am I confident we’ll be seeing second-half Prescott for the majority of 2024? Look at the Cowboys offseason moves. An ancient Ezekeil Elliott has replaced Tony Pollard. They have no choice but to chuck it.

Thus, I expect Dallas to again fire away in 2024. Despite the slow-start, the Cowboys ultimately ranked first in points (30.1), pass yards (265.8), pass attempts (37.4), and passing TDs (2.2) per game.

Prescott is also easily stackable even if you miss on **CeeDee Lamb.**Jake Ferguson, Brandin Cooks, and the aforementioned Elliott are all phenomenal values right now.

Dak was the QB3 by season’s end. He was also the highest-rostered QB on advancing Best Ball teams (36.9%). Yet, we can get him as the QB9 off the board?

Dak presents as a massive mid-round fantasy buy. He is my QB6 and 74th Overall Player in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings. Prescott also ranks 76th in my Top-200 Best Ball Fantasy Big Board.

Mid-Round Running Backs to Target in 2024 Fantasy Football

Alvin Kamara – ADP 67, RB17

Alvin Kamara may have missed the first three weeks due to suspension. Yet, when he returned, AK41 was a PPR machine.

Kamara has consistently performed at a high level throughout his NFL seasons.

Kamara was RB3 in points per game (PPG) last year, thanks to his heavy receiving usage:

  • 62% of snaps
  • 53% of rushes
  • 33% of team goal-line carries
  • 50% route rate
  • 34% target per route run (TPRR)
  • 6.6 targets per game (1st among RBs)
  • 86 total targets (2nd, despite playing only 13 games)

All of those receiving metrics rank Top-3 among RBs. Kamara even yieled 14 targets twice in 2023! He finished Top-12 among RBs in 7-of-13 active games, while falling outside the Top-24 just twice. Via RotoViz:

With Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed stretching the field, checkdown maven Derek Carr should still pepper Kamara. Another 86-100 targets can’t be ruled out.

That’s especially true in new OC Klint Kubiak‘s RB-centric scheme. Kubiak hails from the “Shanahan Tree,” and is even the son of prodigious zone-blocking maven Gary Kubiak. Dating back to the Terrell Davis days, this Kubiak/Shanahan scheme has routinely yielded monstrous rushing results.

The scheme emphasizes “marrying the run and pass,” which can make pass-catching RBs deadly, as Christian McCaffrey showed last year. Kubiak has already shared his excitement for deploying Kamara in similar ways in 2024:

“I think it will be really fun to work with Alvin,” Kubiak said. “He’s got a great skill set that we can do a lot of things with. So it’s just up to us as coaches at identifying those things and him putting in the work.”

“He’s been in multiple times – up in my office – talking football. Getting some one on one time with him to teach the offense. Getting to know him a little bit, he’s a very bright player. I’m just now figuring out how bright he really is. It’ll be fun to load his plate up.”

Last, the Saints took Taliese Fuaga, a zone-blocking mauler at #14 overall. He was Brugler’s #4 ranked tackle for his noteworthy run-blocking abilities. Fuaga should fit the scheme perfectly and create far wider holes than Kamara has been used to these past two seasons.

Ultimately, any time you can get the RB3 in FPPG at an RB17 price tag, even after great improvements in OC and line, you should take advantage. Gobble up Kamara, my RB17 and 57th overall player in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings, in your Fantasy Mid-Rounds.

Najee Harris – ADP 87.2, RB23 and Jaylen Warren – ADP 90.7, RB25

I love targeting both Steelers RBs at their late mid-round prices. Depending on my previous pics, I’ll typically target Najee Harris for floor, and Jaylen Warren for ceiling.

Both RBs should benefit from a significantly more fertile fantasy environment.

First, new OC Arthur Smith has many faults, but crafting strong run-games is NOT one of them. has been a part of some bruising rushing attacks. The Titans averaged 153.5 YPG in his first two seasons in Tennessee. More impressively, he took the 2022 Falcons from 31st in rushing up to 3rd. His teams have ranked Top-10 in attempts and yards in four of five seasons, and top-three in both categories for three of those five years.

More importantly, the line is dramatically improved.

In the 2024 NFL Draft, the Steelers invested both their first and second-round picks on mauling linemen. Troy Fautanu, selected at 20th overall, was Dane Brugler‘s No.1 ranked guard. Meanwhile, Roun 2 pick Zach Frazier, was Brugler’s third-ranked center. In 2023, the Steelers also spent Round 1 capital on Broderick Jones. Clearly, the Steelers are trying to get back to “bully ball” up front.

The Steelers’ offensive line has shown significant improvement over the past three seasons.

Harris is the safer of the two picks, with a sturdy floor for his low price. He has finished every year of his career with at least 250+ carries, 1,000+ yards, and 7+ TDs, and has yet to miss a single game. Harris has finished as the RB4, RB14, and RB22 in his three professional seasons.

Moreover, Harris closed the 2023 season on a hot streak. After sucking to open the year, Harris was the RB9 in FPPG from the midpoint, including two 24+ blow-ups to close out the year:

Harris is also reportedly “motivated, to say the least“ after the Steelers declined his fifth-year option. Harris is already down seven pounds. He’s a safe bet to outperform his RB23 ADP, even in a timeshare.

Still, Jaylen Warren is preferred if I like my other RB options and want to shoot for the moon.

Yes, fantasy success for RBs is more volume-driven than any other position. Still, Warren’s efficiency metrics are off the charts:

  • 1st in missed tackles forced per attempt
  • 3rd in yards over expected per carry
  • 3rd in explosive run rate (8.1%)
  • 2nd in elusive rating
  • 2nd in yards per attempt (5.2)

Warren also thrived as a receiver. He ranked 5th in receptions (63) and 5th in yards per route run (1.41). Pretty much any metric that measures “is this back good,” Warren smashed.

The issue becomes volume. Thankfully, Arthur Smith has been Top-3 in total RB touches in three-of-five seasons. When not paired with Derrick Henry, Smith has also typically featured backfield splits. Just by nature of the scheme, Warren should command more touches.

Yet, what if Harris did ever miss time? Warren’s contingent fantasy value is truly unmatchable at RB. He would rank as a weekly Top-5 option as the Steelers’ feature RB. If you happen to unlock this upside during your season stretch run, your Best Ball or Redraft team could prove to be unbeatable

Ultimately, Harris is my 69th Overall Player and RB20 in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings. Harris ranks 79th in my Top-200 Best Ball Fantasy Big Board.

Meanwhile, despite his higher ceiling, Warren 71st Overall Player and RB22 in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings. Warren also ranks 84th in my Top-200 Best Ball Fantasy Big Board.

Zack Moss – ADP 92.7, RB26

Perhaps no Round 8+ RB carries as much TD upside as Zack Moss.

Moss enters a Bengals team brimming with volume, especially in the Red Zone. Joe Mixon is gone, opening up 78.9% of Cincy’s RB opportunities – third among RBs. This included over 320 touches, 66 targets, and the third-most Red-Zone touches (71) – including the most carries from inside-the-10 (38). In fact, Mixon saw 82% of the Bengals Red Zone RB touches.

Moss, a sixth round pick, has shown significant potential in his brief time as a featured back.

Yes, Chase Brown is a highly-intriguing “Penny Stock,” detailed below:

Still, Moss is the overwhelming favorite to absorb the majority of rushing work, and especially that oh-so-sweet Red Zone volume.

Plus, Moss flashed a massive ceiling in his brief time as the Colts’ featured back during Jonathan Taylor‘s absence.

From Weeks 2-5, Moss tallied 89 carries, 517 YFS, and 4 TDs, ranking as the Half PPR RB4 and averaging 20.4 FPPG.

Moss racked up some impressive efficiency metrics over this span, too. He had 15 explosive runs on just 183 attempts, grading out 15th among RBs in PFF’s breakaway percentage. He also ranked 18th in PFF’s elusive rating, compared to a 30th ranking for Mixon.

Moss proved capable of shouldering a massive workload, including 80% snap share in 3-of-4 contests. Via FantasyLife’s Utilization Hub:

Moss’ game logs included:

  • Week 2: 98% snaps, 22 touches (4 rec), 107 YFS, 1 TD (20.7 FPs, RB10)
  • Week 3: 77% snaps, 33 touches (2 rec), 145 YFS, 1 TD (22.5 FPs, RB5)
  • Week 4: 81% snaps, 18 touches, 70 YFS, 1 2PT (9.0 FPs, RB26)
  • Week 5: 80% snaps, 25 touches (2 rec), 195 YFS, 2 TDs (33.5 FPs, RB2)

From here, Moss took a clear backseat to Taylor. Still, he proved himself fully capable of lead-back duties and earned a contract suggesting he’ll be just that in Cincinnati.

Thus, I expect Moss to cross 10+ TDs, while pushing for 900-1,000 yards on the ground. He’s skyrocketed to my 71st Overall Player and RB22 in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings. Moss also ranks 84th in my Top-200 Best Ball Fantasy Big Board. He’s a mid-round fantasy steal.

Mid-Round Wide Receivers to Target in 2024 Fantasy Football

Calvin Ridley – ADP: 64.1, WR36

Over his career, Calvin Ridley has finished as the WR20, WR27 (missed four games, WR18 in FPPG), WR5 and WR20. Yet he’s going as the WR36?

Yes, I get Tennessee appears like an ugly landing spot on paper. This isn’t Mike Vrabel‘s team anymore, though, and the passing game is being drafted as if it is. I’m buying all the pieces at their current prices, especially Ridley, in fantasy football drafts.

Under Vrabel, Tennessee was Bottom-3 in pass attempts in five of six seasons. Will Levis was below 20 attempts in seven of nine starts, and never topped 23 attempts. Meanwhile, Brian Callahan‘s Bengals ranked Top-7 in attempts in three of five years; during Joe Burrow’s healthy seasons, the Bengals finished Top-7 in passing yards and TDs.

Levis isn’t Burrow, but the guy can sling deep. Callahan has worked with Burrow, Matthew Stafford, and Peyton Manning across his career, and is the ideal candidate to squeeze the most out of Levis.

Beyond the overall passing game improvements, Ridley’s role should also be enhanced in Tennessee. In Jacksonville, Ridley was locked into a static and deep sideline role with some truly odd route deployment. Yet, he still finished as a top-10 receiver in 35% of games.

Callahan, meanwhile, plans to use Ridley more dynamically, similar to Ja’Marr Chase‘s role in Cincinnati:

“Being able to move Calvin around is going to be exciting… I just think it’s a good group that has some flexibility, particularly with Calvin. I think he has played all over the formation, so that part to me is exciting.”

You are [looking at a very similar role to what Ja’Marr [Chase]](LINK 2) played in terms of his ability to move, move around the formation, use him in motion. He’s got such a unique skill set, he’s got great quickness, he’s got great speed, he can run all the routes…he can win inside, he can win outside, he’s got a lot of different things he can do well.

This improved usage will be huge, as it should allow Ridley cleaner releases. Based on Matt Harmon‘s “Reception Perception,” this will be huge, as Ridley did well against all types of coverage besides press.

The last time Ridley was used in this creative, “move-around” way, he finished as the WR5.

Ridley’s situation reminds me of 2023 Mike Evans, where improved usage facilitated a massive value at his 67 ADP. He’ll need Levis to come through to at least Baker Mayfield levels, but considering DeAndre Hopkins produced as the WR7 with Levis as his QB (in that low volume attack), I’m confident Ridley will perform just fine.

Note: While I prefer Ridley, I also do love buying Hopkins, who goes a round later (77 ADP). Levis is also my favorite late-round QB buy right now too. Pretty much, I am stacking up Titans in a ton of early Best Ball.

Overall, Ridley skyrocketed to my 58th Overall Player and WR31 in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings. Ridley also ranks 55th (+17 ECR) in my Top-200 Best Ball Fantasy Big Board. He is my favorite middle round WR target.

Chris Godwin – ADP: 71, WR41

Speaking of WRs who could blow-up due to improved usage, fantasy managers should cue: Chris Godwin‘s music.

Godwin is fresh off his worth fantasy in recent memory. In the past five years since becoming a starter, he’s finished as the WR2, WR15, WR9, WR19… and then the WR37 in 2023.

Why the dramatic drop-off? Perhaps Godwin’s departure from his typical slot role played a major role. Godwin was lined up in the slot or inside on 67%, 70%, and 72% of plays in the three years prior to 2023.

He thrived in this role, ranking fifth in the NFL in receptions per game (6.5) and ninth in receiving yards per game (72.3). Godwin also had exceptional catch rates, hauling in 77.4% of his targets in 2020, 77.2% in 2021 and 73.2% in 2022

Last year? Godwin kicked inside just 32% of the time.

Thankfully, new OC Liam Coen has pledged to use Godwin more inside, with plenty of “lay-up” opportunities. In fact, Coen even mentioned using Godwin in a role similar to Cooper Kupp. Coen was the Rams’ assistant WRs coach in 2019 – not Kupp’s triple-crown season, but perhaps the start of his ascension (94 rec, 1161 yds, 10 TDs).

“You’ve got a guy [in Mike Evans] that’s 6-4 and change, 220, and can move like he does,” he said on Tuesday after being introduced to the local media. “Then you’ve got a guy like Chris that I think can be really dynamic on the inside. That’s where I envision him playing, is more on the inside, playing that ‘F’ position that ultimately Cooper played. A lot of things do run through that. So I’m excited about him.”

Just like Kupp, Godwin is an elite route-runner with phenomenal run-after-catch skills. He should thrive in a return to this more high-volume role. Godwin’s WR41 price is lower than his career floor, and does not capture the incredible ceiling he has now back in the slot.

As such, Godwin is my WR39 and 75th overall player in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings. He ranks 69th (+4 ECR) in my Top-200 Best Ball Fantasy Big Board.

Terry McLaurin – ADP: 54.3, WR32

Since his surprising rookie-year splash, Terry McLaurin has seemingly underwhelmed relative to his price.

McLaurin has shown consistent performance over the past three seasons. Yet, McLaurin has finished as the WR30, WR19, WR25, WR16, and WR32, suggesting he’s being drafted at his floor right now. Meanwhile, I expect McLaurin to hit his ceiling in a career-best set up for 2024.

First, Jayden Daniels should be, by far, the top QB McLaurin has ever played with. From 2019-2022, McLaurin caught passes from a whopping 11 different QBs, nearly all of them bad. 2023 marked the only year McLaurin played with one QB in all 17 games… and that was Sam Howell… inside Eric Bienemy‘s dreadful “spread-the-wealth” show.

In fact, when McLaurin played two drives with Jacoby Brissett last year (his first competent QB since Alex Smith), he exploded. 93 yards, and 1 TD. Just barely missed a second TD. On TWO DRIVES:

Daniels should provide the stability and arm-talent to launch McLaurin to his highest ceiling yet.

This is especially true in Kliff Kingsbury‘s RPO-heavy scheme, which relentlessly targets WR1s.

Last preseason, Ben Gretch did phenomenal work outlining just how concentrated target shares become on RPO-based plays. These plays decrease the amount of reads a QB must make and require quick decisions, which results in huge target volume for the top two options.

Just look at the 2022 Eagles, who leaned on RPOs at a league-high clip. AJ Brown and Devonta Smith posted 145 and 136 targets respectively. The Dolphins, who rank third in RPOs, flow through Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

Meanwhile, Kingsbury routinely ranked towards the top of the league in in RPOs, and routinely peppered his WR1s. During Kingsbury’s last season, the WR1 (DHop or Marquise Brown) notched 10+ targets in 10-of-16 games; they both averaged 10.6+ targets per game (Top-5) as the No.1 option.

McLaurin has a realistic shot at 150+ targets from the best QB of his career. At worst, he should hover around his career average finish as the WR24. At best, he could finally prove to be the WR1 that many seem to be giving up on just a tad too early.

Ultimately, McLaurin is my WR30 and 58th overall player in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings. He ranks 52nd (+9 ECR) in my Top-200 Best Ball Fantasy Big Board.

Mid-Round Tight Ends to Target in 2024 Fantasy Football

Jake Ferguson – ADP 85, TE9

As mentioned, the Cowboys ultimately finished 2023 ranked first in points (30.1), pass yards (265.8), pass attempts (37.4), and passing TDs (2.2) per game, despite coming out of the gates incredibly slow.

Entering 2024, the team lost Michael Gallup and added no one besides fifth-round rookie Ryan Flournoy. Behind CeeDee Lamb, the table is wide open for massive shares of one of the juiciest Aerial Pies in the NFL – especially with the running game looking non-existent this year.

In fantasy drafts, selecting the right tight end can significantly impact your team’s performance.

Jake Ferguson has the upside to be the second-highest target earner on this squad. Among TEs, he already ranked third in total routes (511) and 7th in targets (102), despite not playing a full-time role until Week 6. He notched 5+ targets in 12 games, which yielded a steady share of TE1 weeks (per RotoViz):

Similar to Dalton Schultz before him, Ferguson was highly-utilized in the Red Zone, too. He finished as TE 1 in targets from inside the 20, TE1 in targets from inside the 10, TE2 in End Zone targets.

Unfortunately, he was unbelievably unlucky in converting these looks into TDs, as he scored -3.8s over expected (per Hayden Winks). In fact, no one is more due for positive TD regression than Ferg:

Of course, we already saw that TD regression hit in the playoffs, where Ferguson hauled in an absurd 10 rec (12 tgts), 93 yards, and 3 TDs for 37.3 PPR FPs vs. the Packers! Imagine if he can string together similar TD luck across the season.

Stir in the fact that he was 2nd in missed tackles forced and 6th in yards after catch per reception, and Ferguson has all the makings of an elite fantasy TE, but goes 3+ rounds later. After him, the position gets ghastly, so hammer Ferg in Round 8.

He slides in as my TE9 and 90th overall player in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings. He ranks 82nd (+20 ECR) in my Top-200 Best Ball Fantasy Big Board. After him, there’s no other TEs I prefer in the middle rounds.

Mark Andrews – ADP: 60, TE5

I know, I know. Labeling Mark Andrews as a “blow-up” candidate is really going out on a limb.

Yet, given he’s regularly falling to Round 5, Andrews’ upside is clearly being slept on. Across the past five years, Andrews has finished as the TE5, TE5, TE1, TE4, TE5 in FPPG. Getting him as the TE5 is drafting him at his floor, but the ceiling is much higher. Andrews has consistently performed at a high level throughout his NFL seasons.

In Todd Monken‘s new attack, Lamar Jackson set career highs with 457 pass attempts & 3678 yards. Given Lamar has a 36 TD season on his resume, there’s plenty of upside to add more scores in 2024 in Year 2 of this offense.

Just two years ago, Andrews was THE highest player on Best Ball finals teams, and was second-highest among rosters in the semis. No, he probably won’t return to the 26.6% target share or 30% targets per route that year, nor the 107 rec for 1,361 yards with nine touchdown receptions…. yet… we know the ceiling exists!

Andrews still was plenty effective when available last year. He notched a healthy 22.2% target share and was targeted on 22.6% of his routes run. Moreover, Andrews averaged 2.01 yards per route run (3rd) and 8.9 yards per target (4th). He was on pace for over 900 yards & 10 TDs, easy top-5 TE numbers.

Plus, Jackson often falls to mid-to-late Round 4, creating an incredible stacking opportunity if Andrews also makes his way back. Stir in a Week 17 matchup with the Houston Texans, who bled points to TEs last season, and Andrews could be the best Round 5 investment you make all Best Ball Season. As such, Andrews is my TE4 and 52nd overall player in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings. He ranks 50th my Top-200 Best Ball Fantasy Big Board.

Conclusion

Hitting on mid-round picks can give fantasy managers a significant edge in their fantasy football league. While roster construction and correlation are crucial in Best Ball, so too is identifying and selecting players with “blow-up upside” in the 50-120 ADP range. Since Best Ball Mania’s inception, roughly 50% of “league-winners” have come from this range, so taking stabs at these high-ceiling outcomes, while also trying to stack, correlate, and navigate positional market trends, will help you maximize your 2024 Best Ball and Redraft Fantasy winnings.

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