The 2024 NFL Draft was unusual. Six quarterbacks in the first 12 picks. No defensive players in the first 14 picks. No running backs taken through the first 45 picks and one running back taken through the first 65 picks, then six taken between picks Nos. 120 through 134. The Falcons picked Michael Penix Jr. eighth overall after spending a ton of cash on Kirk Cousins.


What's not unusual is the number of players impacted by the draft. As has been said around the Internet for years, the NFL Draft is essentially the only time coaching staffs and front offices are forced to be 100 percent honest. They're telling the world about the direction of their teams with actions, not words (because their words are often meaningless). Smart Fantasy managers always pay attention.


Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs

Was: QB4
Now: QB1

First-round pick Xavier Worthy is the latest addition to the Chiefs offense, and literally the fastest possible player they could have given their QB. Though he's lighter than Tyreek Hill, he is much more accomplished as a prospect than Hill was (Worthy led the Texas Longhorns in receiving yards three straight years). This is on top of Kansas City signing Marquise Brown earlier in the offseason, creating a pass-catching crew that's better than Mahomes had in 2023 (when he averaged 20.9 Fantasy points per game) and 2022 (when he averaged a silly 29.4 Fantasy points per game).

Isiah Pacheco, RB, Chiefs

Was: RB13
Now: RB11

I'm not sure I have moved Pacheco up enough. Yes, the Chiefs addressed their passing game in the draft, but they didn't touch their run game. The most they've done this offseason to address the run is bring back Clyde Edwards-Helaire on a cheap deal and sign rugby player Louis Rees-Zammit. Even if Jerick McKinnon resurfaces, it's pretty clear that Pacheco is the preferred engine of this backfield. Last year, Pacheco had 15-plus touches in 15 games including the postseason and notched at least 15 PPR points in 10. That's a pretty good hit rate.

Zamir White, RB, Raiders

Was: RB33
Now: RB20

Las Vegas drafted Dylan Laube, a 24-year-old back who offers more in the receiving and return game than rushing game. Laube is fun, but he shouldn't command carries from White. The only guy who could do that is Alexander Mattison, who is set to make under $2 million this season and was a drag on the Vikings offense last season. White averaged 23.3 touches and 15.2 PPR points in his final four games last year. He sure looks like the odds-on fave to lead this run game in 2024.

Jonathon Brooks, RB, Panthers

Ranked: RB24

Working on the assumption that Brooks is participating in Panthers training camp, Brooks should eventually find his way to a meaningful workload in Carolina. Brooks is a good one-cut runner as well as a terrific pass-catcher who can be relied on for short targets from Bryce Young. You might remember Young leaning on Jahmyr Gibbs in college; the same thing could happen here. Carolina did a lot of work this offseason to upgrade its offensive line and receiving corps, so this squad shouldn't be as awful as it was last year. Additionally, new head coach and play caller Dave Canales found a ton of work for running back Rachaad White in Tampa Bay last year. He could make the same magic happen with Brooks this year.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys

Was: unranked
Now: RB39

There's a lot of time between now and Week 1, so don't assume Elliott will be the Cowboys' main running back just yet. There are a handful of running backs both waiting for a contract and toiling on depth charts who could head to Dallas and immediately put Elliott into a limited role. But even in said role, Elliott could handle short-yardage work including at the goal line as well as third downs thanks to his receiving and pass blocking skills. The 29-year-old could provide some help as quality Fantasy depth.

Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Cardinals

Ranked: WR11

Everyone knew Harrison would likely get snagged by the Cardinals and immediately shoot up the Fantasy rankings. It wasn't until I was reminded how much Kyler Murray threw to his top wide receivers that I got really amped for Harrison. In 2020, DeAndre Hopkins played his first year in the desert with Kyler Murray and averaged 10.0 targets per game. After a down 2021 that included some injuries, Hopkins had 10.7 targets per game in nine 2022 contests -- and teammate Marquise Brown had 8.9. Last year Brown averaged 7.2 targets per game to lead all Cardinals receivers. Harrison should top that, and because he's considered a sure-handed route technician, odds are he'll translate a high catch rate into very good numbers including in the red zone. This is about as high as he should get picked.

Terry McLaurin, WR, Commanders

Was: WR34
Now: WR29

Over the past two seasons, 20.6% of McLaurin's targets were uncatchable (overthrown, underthrown, pass batted down at the line, etc.). Getting Jayden Daniels as his quarterback should improve the quality of target he gets moving forward. Daniels should also improve McLaurin's chances of hitting big plays thanks to the QB's tendency to throw deep with accuracy. This should be a Washington offense that throws a good amount -- not as much as it did last year when they were chasing points every week, but still somewhere above league average if not the top-10. McLaurin has a clear path to leading the franchise in targets and putting together his best year ever.


Josh Allen, QB, Bills

Was: QB1
Now: somewhere between QB2 through QB4

After losing Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis, the Bills restocked their WR corps with Keon Coleman in the draft and Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins in free agency. It sounds like Allen had eyes for Coleman because of his huge size, but even GM Brandon Beane said in the post-draft press conference: "Is [Coleman] going to run away from people? Probably not. That's probably not his No. 1 strength. I think his play speed is definitely faster." Kind of nerve-racking! I can be on board with Dalton Kincaid being used more, and I could be convinced that Coleman, Samuel and Khalil Shakir can work together to divvy up the targets left behind by Diggs and Davis, but it'll take an outstanding year of passing efficiency (or even more rushing production) for Allen to put up sky-high stats.

Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers

Was: QB10
Now: QB14

Herbert put up huge numbers with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. If you squint, you'll find an undersized version of Allen in Ladd McConkey, but you're gonna need a telescope to see pre-injury Williams in Quentin Johnston. If we hear about Johnston making a sizable leap this summer then we could potentially get excited about Herbert as a value pick on Draft Day. And it's telling that the Chargers spent three draft picks on receivers, then added three more in post-draft free agency. Having McConkey helps (Harbaugh loves him), as does an upgraded offensive line to buy him an extra second of time, but Herbert's days of averaging over 275 yards per game like he did in the first three years of his career are tough to believe.

Michael Penix Jr., QB, Falcons

Ranked: QB36

You know why.

De'Von Achane, RB, Dolphins

Was: RB12
Now: RB18

We already knew Achane would split reps with Raheem Mostert. Now we know that even if Mostert misses time there's another running back on the roster that Achane will split reps with. That would be rookie Jaylen Wright, whom the Dolphins gave up a Day 2 pick in 2025 to draft in 2024. Wright unquestionably fits the Dolphins zone-run scheme and adds potential as a receiver and pass blocker too. Achane's hyper-efficiency was a joy to watch last season, but in the 12 total games (playoffs included) he got hurt and left early in one, was a non-factor in five others, and scored 14-plus PPR points in six (including three blowout wins and two blowout losses). I get that he's explosive but he's now one of THREE fast running backs the Dolphins will insist on rotating throughout a game. The point is, the whole Dolphins backfield will be a week-to-week puzzle that some Fantasy managers will get migraines trying to figure out. At least Mostert's Fantasy value was already downgraded because of his age; now Achane's will be downgraded because he's not worth risking an early-round pick on.

James Conner, RB, Cardinals

Was: RB17
Now: RB25

Conner is 29 and at the end of his contract with the Cardinals. Though many of his 2023 metrics suggest he's far from falling off, one that stood out was a 22.1% rate of runs for zero/negative yards. Third-rounder Trey Benson was touted by the Cardinals brass for his speed first and foremost, but he's also capable of working third downs as a receiver. Not only could he replace Emari Demercado in that specialization role but Benson should also creep into Conner's rushing workload too. Chalk Conner up as yet another capable starter to begin the season with, but without guarantees he'll remain in Fantasy lineups all year.

D.J. Moore, WR, Bears

Was: WR11
Now: WR19

Keenan Allen, WR, Bears

Was: WR30
Now: WR38

Rome Odunze, WR, Bears

Ranked: WR46

The Bears deserve heaps of praise for nailing the offseason. It doesn't guarantee massive Fantasy results. Yes, these are three super-talented receivers who will be difficult for any defense to cover. But they'll all warrant targets. And let's be real, Caleb Williams is a terrific prospect but he's a rookie who didn't come into the league with the same type of hype as Joe Burrow or Andrew Luck. I don't think Williams will stink, but even he has to recognize that there will be some type of learning curve. And to his credit, he'll want to get his targets as involved as he can. Last year Moore averaged 8.0 targets per game, Allen amassed 11.5 and Odunze, in college, came in at 9.3. In each of 2022 and 2023, exactly three NFL teams had two players each average at least 8.0 targets per game. And in the past two seasons combined only three teams total had three or more players each average at least 7.0 targets per game (one last year -- Jacksonville). It'll be tough for all three receivers to be good Fantasy assets, particularly with someone new to the NFL throwing to them. 

Rashee Rice, WR, Chiefs

Was: WR18
Now: WR33

Before and after Rice fled the scene of a major traffic accident in Dallas, the Chiefs added speed at receiver in veteran Marquise Brown and rookie Xavier Worthy. Rice is expected to face a suspension, if not jail time, for his actions. But even if he didn't do something completely unavoidable off the field, his target share was going to be affected by these two additions. Worthy especially stands out because he is a long-term addition to the Chiefs who is more than just a downfield threat; he led Texas in receiving yards three straight seasons and has a lot of quality traits. And yeah, Travis Kelce is still there too (and just signed an extension). Rice averaged 8.9 targets per game in his final 10 including the playoffs, but is very unlikely to hit anywhere close to that mark in however many games he plays in 2024.

Malik Nabers, WR, Giants

Ranked: WR34

Nabers' projection would have been much better had he landed with the Chargers because he would have had as good of a target share with a better quarterback throwing to him. Here's the reality: Under head coach Brian Daboll, one player in the past two years (Darren Waller) has had more than 6.2 targets per game -- Sterling Shepard in three games in 2022 averaged 8.0. Nabers should buck that trend, but he's unlikely to land more than, say, 7.5 targets per game. And those targets will likely come from Daniel Jones, who completed 67.5% of his throws in 2023 but averaged 5.7 yards per attempt (third-lowest among QBs with at least 150 pass attempts) on a 6.8-yard ADOT (seventh-lowest) with a deep pass rate of 8.1% (the lowest). After catching bombs from Jayden Daniels at LSU last year, Nabers' numbers figure to be limited. It's too bad, and hopefully, it's just temporary, because Nabers is an exceptional athlete who is worth the Fantasy capital in late Round 6/early Round 7, but not before.