6 MUST DRAFT Rookies in the 2024 Fantasy Football Season

by Chris O'Brien · Draft Strategy
Fantasy Rookie

PlayerProfiler is home to award winning dynasty rankings and tools. Our Dynasty Deluxe package includes complete Dynasty Rankings, Rookie Rankings, Trade Analyzer, Draft Planner, Mock Drafts, and more. Check it out. Post-NFL Draft, let’s take a look at some of the fantasy rookie landing spots. The combination of talent and team situation means immediate fantasy production. 

Now that the 2024 Draft is in the books, let’s take a look at the rookies with the best fantasy football landing spots for the upcoming season. I’m going to bypass the low-hanging fruit of Caleb Williams, Marvin Harrison Jr, Jayden Daniels, and Malik Nabers. (Yes, Malik Nabers on the Giants – the talent and sheer volume he’s set to receive make New York a good landing spot). Now, let’s dig a little deeper and look for some treasures, accounting for both talent and landing spot.

Rome Odunze – WR, CHI

Rome Odunze isn’t getting much hype for his fantasy potential in 2024 due to the WR depth chart in Chicago. He’s got two established veterans in front of him in DJ Moore and Keenan Allen. Allen had one of the best years of his career as Justin Herbert’s top target in 2023, but he’ll be entering the 2024 season at age 32. With what projects to be a much more pass-happy offense with new QB Williams, there will be enough to go around for Odunze. His top-10 draft capital, film, and college production point to him being an immediate star at the next level.

Ladd McConkey – WR, LAC

Ladd McConkey is going to be Justin Herbert’s best friend. He’s a refined route runner with great tempo in and out of his routes. With Keenan Allen gone, Ladd is going to eat up a ton of targets between the numbers. He’s an explosive athlete with sub-4.4 speed. The Chargers depth chart is depleted with both Mike Williams and Allen gone.

Ladd steps into the perfect situation to command targets alongside Joshua Palmer and Quentin Johnston. His lackluster production profile can be attributed to a duo of injuries he sustained in his final year, along with Georgia’s philosophy of rotating their receivers. The high second round draft capital, athletic profile, and tape all suggest he could come into a nice productive role as a rookie.

Jonathon Brooks RB, CAR

Jonathon Brooks was selected as the first RB off the board in the second round by the Carolina Panthers. In a backfield with Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders, Brooks has a real shot to be a second-half stud in year one. Brooks’s season was cut short by a torn ACL, but he is expected to be ready by July. He averaged over 113 rushing yards per game and just under 30 receiving yards per game in his last collegiate season.

Brooks can do it all, putting up numbers comparable to Bijan Robinson’s first 10 games in his final year at Texas. I’d expect Hubbard sees a similar high-usage role that he had at the end of 2023 until Brooks is caught up to game speed. Brooks will then take over and show how dominant of a player he is over the backstretch.

Brian Thomas Jr. WR, JAX

With Calvin Ridley’s departure, Brian Thomas is set up to be the Jags’ number one option on the outside. Thomas is a freak athlete, running a 4.34 forty at 6-3 and 209-pounds and posting a 38.5-inch vertical. He also has a nose for the end zone, scoring 17 times for LSU last season. That should match up perfectly with his role in the pros as the primary outside receiver in Jacksonville.

Ridley saw 26 red zone targets last year, third-most in the league. Christian Kirk and Evan Engram will continue to command a large chunk of the Target Share, but Thomas will make up for it with his efficiency downfield and in the red zone.

Xavier Worthy WR, KC

The Chiefs traded up to draft Xavier Worthy in the first round of the NFL Draft. Everything about his production profile, tape, and athleticism screams he is going to smash at the next level. His breakout age of 18.7 is in the 97th-percentile. He had three straight years of production at Texas, and received that juicy first-round draft capital. Andy Reid knows how to maximize the potential when looking back at guys like DeSean Jackson and Tyreek Hill.

Worthy will be competing with Marquise Brown, Travis Kelce, and Rashee Rice for targets, which sounds intimidating. But just like Thomas Jr., Worthy is going to use his playmaking ability and down-the-field efficiency to put up some monster games. Kelce just became the highest-paid tight end in history, but he will turn 35 years old in October. Kelce failed to eclipse 1,000 yards for the first time since 2015, and Rice is facing a potential suspension for legal troubles. Worthy will get a chance to make an impact in year one, but it may be inconsistent week-to-week.

Xavier Legette WR, CAR

Xavier Legette is undoubtedly a raw WR coming into the league. His route running could use a lot of work, but he has dominant size and athleticism that cannot be taught. At 6-1 and 221-pounds, Legette has burners when he hits top speed. He was clocked at 22.3 MPH on a 76-yard catch and run last year. That is faster than any other player in college or the NFL for the 2023 season.

Legette is a fifth-year breakout, which typically wouldn’t bode well for his NFL success. But I’m willing to take the gamble on him in Carolina with the hope that he has some Deebo Samuel-esque plays drawn up for him. All Legette needs is a screen or a short slant to get that train-like momentum going.

Plant Your Flag

These are the guys that I am willing to take a shot on to produce meaningful fantasy games in year one. There are plenty of other rookies in attractive landing spots, but I foresee most of them taking a year or two to develop and become fantasy-relevant.

See Theo Gremminger’s Post-NFL Dynasty Winners here: Dynasty Fantasy Football: Post NFL Draft Dynasty Winners