Top Undervalued Wide Receivers to Target in 2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football

undervalued wide receivers 2024 dynasty fantasy football.
It's time to add elite young talent to your wide receiver room.

Two young wide receivers, fresh off their rookie seasons, are currently undervalued gems. Despite their performances, many in the dynasty fantasy football community see them as “sell” candidates, presenting a prime buy-low opportunity for savvy managers.

Interestingly, these analysts and fans are overlooking the potential of these young talents, allowing us to scoop up these wide receivers at incredible discounts. Don’t miss out on adding these rising stars to your 2024 dynasty fantasy football roster.

JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA, WR, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

The Seattle Seahawks were on the clock with the 20th overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, which they used on the first wide receiver taken in the class, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, out of Ohio State University.

In his freshman year, he only caught ten passes. But, he skyrocketed his draft stock the following season after leading a loaded Buckeye receiver room with 1,606 receiving yards on 95 receptions (16.9 yards per reception) and nine receiving scores.

In his first NFL season, Smith-Njigba put up 63 receptions on 93 targets, with 628 receiving yards and four caught touchdowns, widely considered an “underwhelming” rookie season. Some reasons for the lack of opportunity might include that he was drafted to a team with two established wide receivers ahead of him and the fact that he began his rookie season with surgery to a broken wrist.

But let’s dive deeper.

For starters, Tyler Lockett is Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s main competitor for targets because we know DK Metcalf isn’t going anywhere. However, it’s not a coincidence that Lockett was a top-15 WR from 2018 to 2022–only to rank WR33 in PPR leagues in Smith-Njigba’s first season with the Seahawks in 2023.

Under Shane Waldron, the Seattle Seahawks ranked 20th in passing yards per game in 2023, nearly tied with the Washington Commanders. New offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb comes into Seattle after leading the Washington Huskies to a national title appearance. Grubb’s college quarterback, Michael Penix Jr., had the most passing yards in college football last year while supporting a 1,600-yard-plus receiver and a 1,100-yard-plus receiver.

Any and all Seahawks fans should be ecstatic to see this offense under Grubb. In 2022, his offense ranked first in passing yards per game and total yards per game. In addition to that, the unit ranked top five in passing attempts in both 2022 and 2023. It’s safe to say JSN is just as excited to see Ryan Grubb’s scheme in action.

There will be much more of an emphasis on the passing game for next year’s Seattle Seahawks. New head coach, Mike MacDonald, even said Smith-Njigba is a “guy we can focus our offense around.”

“JSN is a great player, and [we’re] expecting great big things out of him,” McDonald added. “He’s had a great offseason. He works his tail off. His practice habits are awesome. His moving ability is pretty elite. I think we got a really cool plan for him.” 

Let’s not forget how good of a prospect JSN was and is—digging into the last two wide receiver classes, Smith-Njigba posted the most first downs per route run in college than all 2023 and 2024 wide receiver prospects. Not only that, but he posted metrics similar to those of other notable prospects such as Puka Nacua, Malik Nabers, and Marvin Harrison Jr.

Besides Jaylen Waddle, Jaxon Smith-Njigba had the most career yards per route run amongst all first-round wide receiver prospects since 2019. Smith-Njigba boasted more EPA per snap and career yards per route run than the NFL’s top three receivers, CeeDee Lamb, Ja’Marr Chase, and Justin Jefferson, ever did as prospects.

Many doubt Smith-Njigba because of his “mediocre” stats playing behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. The reality is that he was only a rookie, yet he topped both of his teammates, Metcalf and Lockett, in first-read target share on third and fourth downs. Smith-Njigba was also in the top 10 amongst all wide receivers in 2023 for first-read target share (on third/fourth downs).

The rookie wideout was also the Seahawks’ go-to guy in crucial situations like third and fourth down under a poor coaching regime. Under a new coaching regime that focuses on the passing game, Smith-Njigba just might flourish, given his prowess during those decisive third and fourth down situations.

There’s a reason why Smith-Njigba broke a 20-year-old Big Ten receiving yard record in the 2021-2022 college football season with over 1,600 receiving yards—and it wasn’t a fluke. He did this as a 19-year-old sophomore at Ohio State while playing alongside future top-12 picks Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. While Wilson and Olave prepared for the NFL draft, Smith-Njigba made even more of a statement by setting Rose Bowl records with 347 receiving yards, 15 receptions, and three receiving touchdowns versus Utah back in 2022.

The Seahawks drafted Smith-Njigba, a team that seemed to have a locked-in WR1 and WR2. As Lockett ages and his production decreases, the opportunity for the young wideout will rise, and I’m optimistic that he will produce if given the opportunity.

Even as the third option in an already below-average passing game, Smith-Njigba still produced a respectable 628 receiving yards on 63 receptions with four touchdowns as a rookie. While most probably aren’t enticed by those numbers, Smith-Njigba did have the 21st-most yards after the catch amongst all wide receivers—with over 58% of his total receiving yards coming after the catch (366).

Smith-Njigba uses his exceptional agility (99th-percentile agility score) and crisp route running to separate from defenders, which is highlighted by the fact that he posted the sixth-best target separation in the NFL last season. In addition to having the 9th-best average cushion, Smith-Njigba also put up the 17th-best route win rate this past season.

As mentioned in my recent article about Noah Fant, Ryan Grubb is bringing a new perspective to the Seahawks with his knowledge of disguise, formations, motion, and, most importantly (for our JSN shares)—screens. This is where I see Jaxon Smith-Njigba thriving under a Grubb-run offense.

Conveniently enough, Matt Harmon had Jaxon Smith-Njigba recording a 100 percent success rate on screen routes last season. Overall, Grubb might just enjoy his new weapon in Seattle next season.

JORDAN ADDISON, WR, MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Just three picks after Jaxon Smith-Njigba was selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings used their 23rd overall pick on Jordan Addison out of the University of Southern California.

As a 19-year-old in his second collegiate season at Pittsburgh, Addison took home the Biletnikoff Award after recording 100 receptions for 1,593 receiving yards (15.9 YPR) and 17 touchdowns. Following that season, he transferred to USC to play with Caleb Williams, where he put together a quieter 59-875-8 campaign. Still, no matter where Addison has played, he has produced.

After his first NFL season, there seem to be a lot of analysts, including our very own MOH, stating you should sell Addison. Many claim he can’t thrive behind an elite receiver like Justin Jefferson, especially with the loss of their veteran quarterback, Kirk Cousins.

It’s hard to ignore the flashes of greatness Addison showed us this past NFL season. He showed us his ability as a legitimate deep-ball threat with a tremendous ability to track the long ball without losing his stride.

With quite a few long touchdown catches of his own this past season, Addison proved time and time again that he can burn defenders on any given deep route. He also showed great toughness for his size and had extremely resilient hands.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell even praised Addison’s strides during the 2024 offseason.

“[Addison is] a guy that had a ton of success in year one,” O’Connell said. “And really, from a standpoint of getting a little stronger, getting a little bit more comfortable playing through contact and still playing with that great burst and transition that he has, you saw some real growth there.”

It’s difficult to understand why various dynasty analysts deem Addison a “sell” after a remarkable first NFL season. Addison finished his rookie year with 70 receptions on 108 targets for 911 receiving yards and ten touchdowns. Despite having only the 14th-most red-zone targets, Addison scored the fifth-most total touchdowns amongst all wide receivers last season in his debut NFL season.

In terms of comparison to the rest of the 2023 wide receiver class, Addison did post the eighth-most yards per route run in 11 personnel this past NFL season. Not only that, but Addison (1.70 YPRR) was also well ahead of another young wide-out in the NFL community, Zay Flowers (1.54 YPRR), who seems to be valued ahead of him.

Zooming in on the NFL rookie wide receivers in recent memory who have hit the 900-yard receiving mark, all seem to have a great track record in the NFL. Since 2019, there have been 15 wide receivers to surpass the 900-yard receiving mark in their first NFL season (per Statmuse), and only three rookies accomplished that feat in 2023.

That list includes:

  • A.J. Brown (2019)
  • DK Metcalf (2019)
  • Terry McLaurin (2019)
  • Tee Higgins (2020)
  • CeeDee Lamb (2020)
  • Justin Jefferson (2020)
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown (2021)
  • Ja’Marr Chase (2021)
  • Jaylen Waddle (2021)
  • DeVonta Smith (2021)
  • Garrett Wilson (2022)
  • Chris Olave (2022)
  • Puka Nacua (2023)
  • Rashee Rice (2023)
  • JORDAN ADDISON (2023)

In addition to that accomplishment, Addison also showed promising metrics. Amongst all wide receivers in 2023, Addison had the 12th-most expected points added and the 20th-most fantasy points per target.

As a vertical menace, Addison is best when attacking defenders over the middle or near the sideline. Addison recorded the seventh-most total route wins this past NFL season amongst all pass catchers.

Considering this was the first time since 2014 the Vikings had to start more than two quarterbacks in a single season, Addison’s rookie year looked more impressive. After Kirk Cousins went down nearly mid-way through the season in 2023, the Vikings rotated through a quarterback carousel, including Josh Dobbs, Nick Mullens, and Jaren Hall. The 21-year-old rookie pass catcher still produced in his first season, regardless of the quarterback situation.

Minnesota also opted to use a top-10 pick on J.J. McCarthy in the wake of Kirk Cousins’ departure, who should be a decent upgrade over Sam Darnold once he gets time to settle in and develop. Although McCarthy didn’t throw much at Michigan under Jim Harbaugh, the Vikings threw the sixth-most pass attempts per game this past season. This presents a much different environment for McCarthy because he might be throwing far more often than he’s used to.

As a prospect, Jordan Addison also turned some heads before making his way to the NFL. Over the last five years in college football, only Malik Nabers and Ja’Marr Chase had more catches of 20-plus yards than Jordan Addison and he was just one 20-yard reception short of tying them. Thus, he’s a serious play-making threat.

Addison stands out yet again when looking into advanced receiving production amongst the last two wide receiver draft classes. He had more yards per team pass attempt in college than other notable pass catchers such as Nacua, Smith-Njigba, Nabers, Tank Dell, and Rome Odunze.

Regarding “beating the man,” Addison’s profile certainly checks this box. Over the last six college seasons, only DeVonta Smith had more yards per route run versus man coverage. Addison’s 3.29 yards per route run versus man coverage was better than both Malik Nabers (2.84 YPRR vs. man) and Rome Odunze (2.90 YPRR vs. man).

OVERVIEW

I believe both Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Jordan Addison are flying far too under the radar. Smith-Njigba is being drafted as the WR30 and Addison as the WR25 (via Sleeper ADP). I would personally rank them both around WR20 territory with the upside for more.

Other pass-catchers like Flowers (WR20), Metcalf (WR21), Dell (WR22), and Higgins (WR23) are being drafted ahead of the two 22-year-old wide receivers. In dynasty leagues, I’m looking to cash in on the undervaluations of Smith-Njigba and Addison—as I value them slightly more than the names I’ve just listed.

Smith-Njigba and Addison are highly attainable in most dynasty leagues. Another trade suggestion to obtain one of these young receivers might include sending off a small piece on top of a veteran wide-out like Davante Adams, Mike Evans, or Stefon Diggs

Should either of these pass catchers make meaningful progress in their second year, their values will most likely see a considerable boost. Simply put, I would prefer to acquire Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Jordan Addison before they increase in value. 

Wide receivers usually enjoy their best seasons from the ages of 24 to 27, which is another reason to encourage targeting players in this range. With JSN and Addison’s talents, they could boast tremendous upside in the long run once they reach their primes.

Jaxon-Smith Njigba has a real chance to break out in Seattle under new OC Ryan Grubb and even emerge as the Seahawks’ most valuable and consistent offensive weapon. I imagine buying Jordan Addison resembles acquiring a young Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith. We can get discounts on these bonafide studs simply because they play alongside some of the NFL’s most elite wideouts.

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