This offseason, I dedicated countless hours to researching which data points matter for future fantasy performance. I embark upon this journey every offseason, but I have never felt more prepared for an activity like creating rankings and tiers than in 2024.

That doesn't mean I will get everything right. There will be misses. Football is a cruel game played with an elongated sphere that can bounce in the most unpredictable ways. The critical thing to remember is that we are playing a game of probabilities. 

If we can get more things right than wrong, we have a great chance of beating our opponents. I only know how to do that by following the data. So, let's dive in.

Tier Methodology

This article will group players into tiers based on the following data criteria.

  • Fantasy points: PPR points per game
  • Talent profile: Target share, yards per route run (YPRR), air yards share
  • Age: Rounded up based on Week 1
  • Passing offense quality: Fantasy Life projections
  • Target competition: Teammates inside top-36 ADP at WR and top seven at TE
  • Player average draft position (ADP): Underdog

Fantasy points per game and talent profile

I love advanced data, but historical points per game are still the gold standard for predicting future fantasy production. However, we can gain a superior understanding of talent by going one level deeper.

So what does a WR1, WR2 or WR3 look like?

Age

As players age, our data's year-over-year correlation decays. By comparing a WR's best three-year stretch (prime production) versus age buckets, we can see when WRs are at their max powers and fall off.

Passing offense quality and target competition

The final step is to assess a player's environment. Even good WRs have struggled to put up elite numbers in bad offenses.

Since WRs are part of the equation, some chicken-or-the-egg stuff is happening. We account for that in the Fantasy Life projections when forecasting team passing yards, which is the source for passing offense quality.

From a target competition standpoint, we prefer teams with fewer mouths to feed and having an offensive coordinator willing to push the cheat code buttons is a bonus.


Player average draft position (ADP)

Never before have we had such robust market data. Thanks to the explosion of best ball, thousands of real-money drafts have already occurred for 2024. We must leverage this data.

While one of the goals with the tiers is to unearth mispriced players, I want to respect ADP. It represents something much larger and infinitely more intelligent than one person. You should be highly skeptical if you see an analyst (including me) repeatedly pounding the table for a player moving opposite of ADP. 

In "The Logic of Sports Betting," Ed Miller and Matthew Davidow had this to say:

“Market resistance is a massive red flag that you're missing something, and the best thing you can do is stop betting into the resistance and instead try to figure out what you may have gotten wrong.”

Enough methodology talk. Let's talk tiers.

TierRankPlayerTeam
11CeeDee LambCowboys
22Tyreek HillDolphins
23Ja'Marr ChaseBengals
24Amon-Ra St. BrownLions
35Justin JeffersonVikings
36A.J. BrownEagles
37Puka NacuaRams
48Garrett WilsonJets
49Marvin Harrison Jr.Cardinals
410Drake LondonFalcons
411Chris OlaveSaints
512Nico CollinsTexans
513Jaylen WaddleDolphins
514Brandon Aiyuk49ers
615Deebo Samuel49ers
616Davante AdamsRaiders
617Mike EvansBuccaneers
718Malik NabersGiants
719DeVonta SmithEagles
720Tank DellTexans
821D.J. MooreBears
822D.K. MetcalfSeahawks
923Stefon DiggsTexans
924Cooper KuppRams
1025George PickensSteelers
1026Zay FlowersRavens
1127Michael Pittman Jr.Colts
1128Tee HigginsBengals
1129Amari CooperBrowns
1130Christian KirkJaguars
1131Terry McLaurinCommanders
1132Marquise BrownChiefs
1133Keenan AllenBears
1234Jayden ReedPackers
1235Rome OdunzeBears
1236Xavier WorthyChiefs
1237Rashee RiceChiefs
1338Diontae JohnsonPanthers
1339Calvin RidleyTitans
1340Chris GodwinBuccaneers
1341DeAndre HopkinsTitans
1442Brian Thomas Jr.Jaguars
1443Ladd McConkeyChargers
1444Keon ColemanBills
1445Jordan AddisonVikings
1446Christian WatsonPackers
1447Jaxon Smith-NjigbaSeahawks
1448Jameson WilliamsLions
1549Curtis SamuelBills
1550Courtland SuttonBroncos
1551Tyler LockettSeahawks
1652Joshua PalmerChargers
1653Rashid ShaheedSaints
1654Khalil ShakirBills
1655Romeo DoubsPackers
1756Mike WilliamsJets
1757Jakobi MeyersRaiders
1758Brandin CooksCowboys
1859Adonai MitchellColts
1860Ja'Lynn PolkPatriots
1861Josh DownsColts
1862Xavier LegettePanthers
1863Dontayvion WicksPackers
1964Jerry JeudyBrowns
1965Gabriel DavisJaguars
2066Jermaine BurtonBengals
2067Roman WilsonSteelers
2068Adam ThielenPanthers
2069Malachi CorleyJets
2070Jahan DotsonCommanders
2071Ricky Pearsall49ers
2072Quentin JohnstonChargers
2073Darnell MooneyFalcons
2074DeMario DouglasPatriots
2075Rashod BatemanRavens
2076Demarcus RobinsonRams
2077Troy FranklinBroncos
2078Michael WilsonCardinals
2079Marvin Mims Jr.Broncos
2080Wan'Dale RobinsonGiants
2081Luke McCaffreyCommanders
2082Javon BakerPatriots
2083Jalen McMillanBuccaneers
2084Jalen TolbertCowboys

Tiers 1 & 2 – Perfection & alphas in great situations

CeeDee Lamb has delivered back-to-back WR1 finishes with 17.7 and 23.8 points per game (PPG). His talent profile is as strong as they come, with high-end WR1 marks across all the categories that correlate to future production.

At 25, the Cowboys superstar is in his prime and leads an offense that has averaged 252 passing yards over the last two seasons with Dak Prescott. Dallas doesn't boast another high-end target earner, and they create mismatches by lining Lamb up inside. He played from the slot on 58% of snaps — a rate similar to Amon-Ra St. Brown (56%), Cooper Kupp (57%) and Keenan Allen (59%).

Assuming we avoid a lengthy holdout, he is the safest profile in fantasy for 2024.

Tyreek Hill has the top talent profile in the NFL — he bests Lamb in target share, YPRR and air yards share. So, how can Hill fall into Tier 2?

  • Age: Hill is in a range where WRs typically start to decline, and even elite WRs fall off 22% of the time without warning.
  • Competition: Jaylen Waddle's 24% target share is WR2 caliber.

I remain bullish on Hill's outlook as my No. 2 WR. He resides in a passing offense that has averaged 274 yards with Tua Tagovailoa, and Mike McDaniel has been the cheat-code king.

No team projects for more passing yards than Miami in the Fantasy Life projections, and no WR offers more upside than Hill.

Ja'Marr Chase has delivered 18.0, 20.5 and 16.4 PPG, which puts him in the high-end WR1 conversation. It looks like Chase backslid in 2023, but Joe Burrow battled a calf injury in the preseason and suffered a season-ending wrist injury in Week 11. We only saw a healthy Burrow from Week 5 to 11, but Chase posted a 2.72 YPRR. For his career, Chase has a 2.51 YPRR with Burrow.

Zac Taylor needs to jam the cheat-code buttons more often, but the Bengals are a pass-first offense (6% DBOE) with an outstanding young QB. Despite some target competition from Tee Higgins, there is plenty of volume.

Chase is due for an eruption season — we need him and Burrow healthy together.

Amon-Ra St. Brown agreed to a four-year $120 million extension with the Lions this offseason. Considering the Sun God checks off every WR1 talent box, it was money well spent. ARSB has pushed the bar higher every season with 13.1, 16.7 and 20.8 PPG.

The Lions averaged 265 passing yards per contest over the last two seasons, and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson has done a great job creating advantageous situations. St. Brown has been in motion the third-most (20%) out of all WRs with at least 700 routes.

Sam LaPorta is an ascending talent who could cap the target share, but it was fine last season. When both were on the field, St. Brown boasted a whopping 32% share, while LaPorta also garnered 25%.

Note: While these tiers take a player profile approach, we also have rankings and tiers driven by all our rankers with customizable scoring and league settings. You can even sync your league. 

In addition, we are super excited to introduce Fantasy Life+, a premium suite of tools designed for the fantasy player who wants more.


Tier 3 – Alphas with competition or QB questions

Justin Jefferson living anywhere other than Tier 1 seems sacrilege. We are talking about the highest-paid non-QB in the NFL, whose talent profile towers over mere mortal WR1s.

You are probably thinking, “Oh, McFly, your shoe's untied.”

Well, I am wearing flip-flops, and I *hope* I am not being gullible. There are legit questions about the Vikings' offense.

Kirk Cousins averaged 270 passing yards over the last three seasons, and that number is coming down. Since 2018, first-round rookie QBs who weren't the top pick in the draft (J.J. McCarthy went 10th) have averaged 196 yards. 

Sam Darnold has never bested 212 passing yards per game (YPG) in seasons with at least 12 starts. Some will dismiss these concerns by pointing to Nick Mullens' 306 YPG in four starts. However, that ignores that he had 285 and 244 YPG seasons in San Francisco. Kevin O'Connell is a good coach, but he's no Jedi.

I have Minnesota projected above the historical averages (219 YPG). Still, only 5% of WRs on offenses in this range have posted WR1 finishes since 2011. Jefferson has the talent to do it, but if things go bad, he wouldn't be the first talented WR to struggle.

Since 2011, WR1s who faced a 30 to 50 YPG passing downturn have dropped 3.5 PPR points per game. Only two (12%) didn't decline. Here are the WR1s who were close(ish) to 20 PPG the season before:

  • Davante Adams: 21.8 to 17.7
  • Calvin Johnson: 21.8 to 21.8
  • Demaryius Thomas: 21.2 to 17.0
  • Stefon Diggs: 20.5 to 16.8
  • Demaryius Thomas: 19.9 to 21.2
  • Davante Adams: 19.7 to 15.6
  • A.J. Green: 19.2 to 16.1
  • Emmanuel Sanders: 18.8 to 15.2
  • Odell Beckham Jr.: 18.3 to 12.7

I love Jefferson's talent, but Lamb, Hill and Chase are also uber-talented and reside in more dependable situations.

A.J. Brown has two WR1 finishes (17.9 and 17.3) with the Eagles. While that is great, Brown's talent profile mirrors a WR capable of a 20-plus point-per-game outburst. Only two WRs posted a target share over 29% and a YPRR above 2.50 in 2023: Hill and Brown.

Brown must battle an ascending WR talent (DeVonta Smith) for targets, but the passing environment is the primary factor keeping Brown a tier below Hill. The Eagles have averaged 236 yards per game with Jalen Hurts since 2022.

However, Kellen Moore's arrival could unlock a Hill-type season. Last season, Moore utilized motion at the snap 59% (6th) compared to the Eagles at 27% (32nd). The new OC could also mean a higher pass rate and more plays.

  • Eagles in 2023: -1% DBOE (19th), 7.7 seconds neutral playclock (28th)
  • Chargers in 2023: 5% DBOE (5th), 10.8 seconds neutral playclock (4th)

If Philadelphia fully implements Moore's scheme, it could offset the target competition and turbocharge the Eagles' passing game past what I have projected. Brown has high-end WR1 upside.

Puka Nacua erupted for 17.6 PPG as a rookie, capturing 28% of the Rams' target share despite playing alongside Cooper Kupp. The breakout wasn't just a symptom of Kupp's missed games. When lined up together, Nacua had a 29% target share and 2.40 YPRR versus 27% and 1.93 for Kupp.

With Kupp entering his age-31 season with signs of wear and tear, there is a chance Nacua becomes a more significant focal point in 2024. If Kupp doesn't fall off, Nacua is in a good spot with Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford.

Over the last two seasons, the Rams averaged 261 passing yards when Stafford played 90% of snaps and McVay dialed up cheat codes on the reg, utilizing motion on 59% of plays.

Garrett Wilson is a touchy subject for some after investing an early-round pick and getting a low-end WR3 in return. The downgrade from Aaron Rodgers to Zach Wilson was devastating. Wilson did his part, delivering an elite 30% target share and 46% air yards share, but the QB woes kept his fantasy production in check.

His underlying data tells us he is likely a WR1 profile; we just need more passing yards per game. Additionally, Wilson's target competition is low. Mike Williams is coming off an ACL injury at age 30. His highest target share in a season is 19%. Rookie Malachi Corley should get some action around the line of scrimmage but is a raw route runner.

The biggest risk with Wilson is Rodgers' health. If Rodgers plays all 17 games, Wilson could make a similar leap to the one we saw from CeeDee Lamb last season.


Tier 4 – Ascending high-end talents with opportunity

Marvin Harrison Jr. is the best prospect in the WR Super Model. Since 2018, five prospects have reached the 85th percentile, and their results in Year 1 were strong.

  • Ja'Marr Chase: WR5 (18.0)
  • Jaylen Waddle: WR13 (15.5)
  • DeVonta Smith: WR38 (10.9)

This group represents a fair estimation of Harrison's range of outcomes. You may be getting a high-end WR1 out of the gate like Chase, with the most likely outcome being a high-end to mid-range WR2 like Waddle. The low end of the scale would be Smith, representing a bust at his current price as the WR9.

Kyler Murray averaged 242 passing yards in games where he played at least 90% of snaps over the last two seasons, so my projection on the Cardinals' passing game could be low. Still, we have seen Murray support WR1 production before (DeAndre Hopkins in 2020 and 2022), and this has the look of a consolidated offense, with only Trey McBride providing target competition.

There is risk in Harrison's profile as a pre-prime player, but three out of four Fantasy Life rankers have him inside the top 10.

Drake London has been a WR4, averaging 10.7 fantasy points per game over his first two seasons. While that is a red flag, his QB play was atrocious — only the Giants, Titans, Panthers and Bears averaged fewer passing yards per game than the Falcons (183).

London has more to offer. Over his first two seasons, he registered a 25% target share, 31% air yards share and a 1.96 YPRR. He did all this despite Arthur Smith limiting him to 83% route participation.

No WR ran more pure than London this offseason. 

  • Kirk Cousins, who averaged 270 passing yards the last three years, is the new starting QB.
  • Raheem Morris is the new head coach.
  • Zac Robinson (Rams) is the new OC and should bring those McVay cheat codes.

I am projecting a 70-plus passing YPG improvement. Over the last decade, that was a profitable recipe for quality WRs in their prime.

  • Eric Decker (2012): 9.6 to 16.8 PPG (+7.3)
  • T.Y. Hilton (2018): 11.1 to 17.1 PPG (+6.0)
  • Davante Adams (2018): 15.9 to 21.8 (+5.9)
  • Stefon Diggs (2020): 14.6 to 20.5 (+6.0)

Chris Olave provided WR3 (13.4) and WR2 (14.3) finishes over his first two campaigns. His underlying talent profile suggests he is a WR2, but he is entering his prime, and we could see a leap.

Last season, Derek Carr suffered shoulder injuries and concussions that knocked him out of three games. In games after those injuries, he averaged only 184 passing yards. He isn't a world-beater, but Carr is a capable NFL QB who can throw for 250 yards per game.

Hopefully, new OC Klint Kubiak, whose last stop was in San Francisco, will upgrade the Saints scheme. Last year, New Orleans ranked 30th in motion at the snap and 32nd in play-action passing.

Look for Olave to push for his first WR1 campaign.


Tier 5 – Prime high-end talents with big competition

Everyone in this tier would rank as WR1s on less talented depth charts. They are great WR2 options that offer contingent upside in these scenarios:

  • They become the top option on their team
  • Teammate injury
  • Teammate talent erosion
  • Efficiency spike season

Nico Collins exploded for 17.2 PPG last season. He was equally good in games when Tank Dell saw an 80% route participation or better, scoring 17.1 PPG. The challenge is the arrival of Stefon Diggs, who still earned a 30% target share in 2023.

The Texans already demonstrated a willingness to heavily rotate their WRs last year with a less talented room.

  • Nico Collins: 72% route participation (excludes missed games)
  • Tank Dell: 72% route participation

Still, Collins plays with an ascending young QB (C.J. Stroud) and a red-hot coordinator (Bobby Slowik). That keeps his ceiling sky high despite unknowns about pecking order. There is a possibility that an aging Diggs can't keep Collins off the field.

Jaylen Waddle delivered high-end WR2 finishes in his first two campaigns (15.5 and 15.4 PPG) but fell to low-end WR2 territory last year (14.2). However, it was his best target share and YPRR season of his career.

Unfortunately, Waddle fell under 60% route participation three times due to in-game injuries.


When excluding those three games, he averaged 15.6 points with a 26% target share.

Look for Waddle to rebound to high-end WR2 territory with a chance to spike a WR1 season. The Dolphins are my No. 1 projected passing team, and Mike McDaniel has used the second-most two WR sets, keeping targets highly consolidated.

Brandon Aiyuk registered career highs in PPG and YPRR in his fourth season. When the 49ers face man coverage, he has been their preferred option. Unfortunately, the NFL is predominantly a zone league, and Deebo Samuel gets more of the zone targets, keeping Aiyuk from exploding.

Despite the target challenges, the 49ers are one of the most prolific offenses, and Aiyuk should see plenty of high-quality looks. On plays without Samuel on the field, Aiyuk has a 29% target share and a gaudy 2.86 YPRR over the last two seasons.


Tier 6 – Aging high-end talents with competition or QB concerns

This group can still offer value at the right price in your draft. If I am only drafting one team, I want to avoid taking drafting more than one player from this tier.

Deebo Samuel has given us WR1 (21.1), WR3 (13.3) and WR1 (16.2) finishes in his last three campaigns. His target share fell to a three-year low in 2023 (21%), partially due to three injury games where he played less than 60% of the snaps. His 23% targets per route run (TPRR) aligned with his previous two seasons.

Samuel's role in the San Francisco offense offsets concerns about his talent profile numbers. He is their top target against zone coverage, soaking up underneath targets that allow him to use his YAC ability. He tacked on 225 yards rushing with five TDs in his first full campaign with Christian McCaffrey.

The dual-threat weapon has missed 1, 4, 1, 9, and 1 games, which doesn't include the games he left early. It is hard to take Samuel over younger options despite his higher PPG history when you pair the injury history with him being past the typical prime years for a WR. He is fair game after that.

Davante Adams still earned targets (32%) and air yards at elite levels (44%) last season despite a WR2 finish. However, he will turn 32 this December, and his talent profile has several concerning issues

We are at the point where the cliff can hit instantly, and the upside in a passing attack with Aidan O'Connell or Gardner Minshew is questionable. I have the Raiders projected for 224 yards per game, which could look like an even smaller pie if Brock Bowers turns that low target competition assumption into a medium.

Adams has a mine-filled overall profile, leading me to a below-consensus rank.

Mike Evans doesn't have as many warning signs as Adams, making him a player I am still willing to target at ADP (he goes after Adams). Still, he is at an age where things can deteriorate quickly despite his talent profile, which still looks strong.

Baker Mayfield had a nice bounce-back season in 2023, with 238 yards per game. However, his career average is 227, and we shouldn't be overconfident in his ability to support two good wide receivers. Chris Godwin demanded a 24% target share last season.


Tier 7 – Ascending talents with competition or QB questions

Malik Nabers has the third-highest grade in the WR Rookie Super Model since 2018. Harrison Jr. and Chase slightly edged him out, but Nabers offers a similar upside. Given his talent profile and lack of competition, he should be the focal point of the Giants passing attack, ranking 14th in projected targets, just behind Harrison.

The big question is if the Giants passing game can get more going with Daniel Jones. He has averaged only 218 yards when playing at least 90% of the snaps. He hasn't had many weapons, and Nabers could help elevate that number, but it is hard to imagine Jones as someone who will suddenly transform into a prolific passer.

DeVonta Smith delivered WR4 (10.9), WR2 (15.1) and WR2 (14.4) finishes so far in his career. Those are solid numbers, and I considered putting him in Tier 5. He barely missed the cut because he has not been as prolific in YPRR. His career high is 1.99, and his three-year average is 1.86. 

Despite the lower YPRR marks, Kellen Moore's new offense could put Smith in more advantageous situations than ever (see A.J. Brown above). With more motion and slot looks, Smith could offer similar upside to the Tier 5 group.

If the Eagles offense clicks, Smith has high-end WR2 upside similar to Waddle.

Tank Dell doesn't look like he belongs in this tier, but once you dig deeper, his profile comes into focus. In Week 1, he was a part-time player (46% routes), and in Weeks 5 and 13, he left with injuries.

When focusing on his eight healthy games, he averaged 18.9 points with a 24% target share and 34% air yards share. Dell's data was still fire on 209 routes with Collins on the field.

  • Targets: 24%
  • YPRR: 2.26
  • Air yards: 40%

The addition of Diggs is a concern, but the Texans could be the best passing attack in the league. Dell has the playmaking upside to go nuclear even with fewer targets. He is an arbitrage play on Collins, Waddle and Aiyuk.


Tier 8 – Proven WR2 talents in their prime 

D.J. Moore had his coming out party last year, registering his first WR1 finish in six seasons. He delivered WR1-worthy target shares in two of the last three years. The challenge is the arrival of Keenan Allen (free agency) and Rome Odunze (NFL draft).

We are also dealing with a rookie passer. The average finish for a top-three-pick rookie QB is 222 yards per game, which I have Caleb Williams above. If Williams outperforms projections, Moore offers WR1 upside and would belong in Tier 5. I would have more confidence if offensive coordinator Shane Waldron had a history of punching up cheat codes more often.

D.K. Metcalf has three consecutive WR2 finishes with 14.4, 13.6 and 14.1 PPG. Ryan Grubb's arrival as offensive coordinator and Tyler Lockett's downward trend could create WR1 spike-season potential if Jaxon Smith-Njigba stalls out. Still, it is hard to project Metcalf as more than a WR2, given the amount of career data we have.


Tier 9 – Aging high-end talents v2

These two players profile similarly to Tier 6 but are going later in fantasy drafts, and market sentiment (ADP) is a factor in the tiers process.

Stefon Diggs has logged four consecutive WR1 finishes, but his ADP is falling. He will face more competition from younger targets like Collins and Dell, but there is a chance he is the guy to roster in an ascending passing attack with a big-time young quarterback.

The veteran WR's fantasy production faltered in the second half of 2023, averaging only 9.6 points per game, but he retained a 28% target share. The Bills' move to a run-first offense under Joe Brady, with a minus-3% DBOE (dropback rate over expected), was a significant factor.

Cooper Kupp registered his first WR3 (13.5 PPG) performance since Year 1. He was playing through injuries. However, injuries have been one of the leading indicators for aging WRs ahead of the cliff, and Kupp has missed 13 games over the last two seasons.

With injuries in tow, Kupp's YPRR plummeted to 1.86, marking consecutive years of decline. Additionally, we have the emergence of Puka Nacua as a high-end WR1 option. Kupp held his own against Nacua with a 27% target share in games together, so he could re-emerge. Still, given all the warning signs, I have Kupp ranked below ADP.


Tier 10 – Ascending talents with QB questions v2

George Pickens had a 26% target share on plays without Diontae Johnson last season. During games without Johnson, he averaged 17 points per game. The QB situation in Pittsburgh could be better, and Arthur Smith will pound the rock, but the target competition is meager and Pickens might be an alpha.

Zay Flowers delivered a WR3 finish in his first season and a WR2-worthy 24% target share. His YPRR and air yards marks are concerns, but it was only his rookie season. We have seen similar profiles like Amon-Ra St. Brown and Cooper Kupp turn in massive seasons without a high average depth of target (aDOT). Mark Andrews returns from injury to create healthy target competition in an offense not projected for a ton of yards, but Flowers posted a 24% target share on plays with Andrews (25%) last season.


Tier 11 – Prime and aging WR3s

Michael Pittman Jr. has two WR3 finishes and one WR2 finish (2023) in his first three seasons. He is a high-end target earner, but Anthony Richardson will return under center this season, turning potential pass plays into scrambles. The target competition currently grades as low, but the Colts have invested two second-round picks at WR (Josh Downs and Adonai Mitchell). Pittman could register another WR2 finish, but his lack of big-play ability pushes him below ADP.

Tee Higgins posted his worst fantasy finish ever in 2023 with 11.5 PPG. In four seasons, three have ended in WR3 or worse finishes. Injuries were a factor, forcing him under 60% route participation in three games. In healthy games, he was close to career averages.

  • PPG: 14.1
  • Targets: 20%

At this point in his career, Higgins looks more like a borderline WR2 talent profile, but he offers upside in a pass-first Bengals offense if things click, despite battling Chase for looks.

Amari Cooper has a WR2 finish in five of the last six seasons. He caught fire at the end of 2023 when Joe Flacco took over as quarterback, averaging 20.4 points, pushing his season total to 15.1. He has never reached those heights with Deshaun Watson (13.1 PPG), but he has a 24% target share and 2.34 YPRR over the last two seasons with Watson.

Christian Kirk has scored 12.1, 14.3 and 12.1 PPG over the last three seasons. His underlying talent profile mirrors that of a low-end WR3. Calvin Ridley is no longer in the building, but the Jaguars added Brian Thomas Jr. in Round 1 of the NFL Draft.

Terry McLaurin has four WR3 finishes in five seasons, averaging 13.3 PPG, and his talent profile matches that of a WR3. The Commanders moved on from Curtis Samuel. Jahan Dotson has yet to be a factor, leaving the door open for McLaurin to push for a WR2 finish if the Commanders' passing attack can outperform their low projection with rookie Jayden Daniels.

Marquise Brown has scored 14.3, 13.0 and 9.6 PPG. He has battled injuries, but when healthy he has flashed borderline WR2 talent. In 2022, he averaged 17 PPG when he and Kyler Murray were healthy for seven games together. Brown is still in his prime and gets the opportunity of a lifetime playing with Patrick Mahomes. Brown offers WR2 upside.

Keenan Allen feels criminally low after a 21.1 PPG season with a 32% target share. However, he is at an age where the end can come quickly, and D.J. Moore and Rome Odunze will challenge for playing time and targets. There is a chance Odunze plays in the two WR sets, relegating Allen to less action. Once we factor in a rookie QB, there is reason to be cautious despite his fantastic 2023 campaign.


Tier 12 – Ascending WR3 talents

We don't know for sure what we have in these players, but they are young and offer upside if things break their way.

Jayden Reed registered a WR3-worthy finish as a rookie despite playing a limited role in the Packers' attack. Green Bay is deep at WR, but they don't have an alpha, so the door is open for someone to step forward. Reed out-targeted Romeo Doubs by 28% to 21% when they lined up together, but Christian Watson bested Reed by 24% to 21%.

Rome Odunze holds the ninth-best score in the WR Rookie Super Model. He has plenty of competition for targets, and Caleb Williams could struggle in Year 1, so things could be rough early. However, Odunze's talent profile offers upside should the Bears surprise or if one of the starters suffers an injury. He could be a league-winner by the time your fantasy playoffs roll around.

Xavier Worthy didn't grade out as high as Odunze in our model, but his landing spot is elite with Mahomes. We have seen rookie WRs struggle to earn playing time early in Andy Reid's system, but Worthy is a much stronger prospect than Skyy Moore. If Rashee Rice is suspended, Worthy's timeline could accelerate.

Rashee Rice averaged 16.6 points per game with a 25% target share after taking over a full-time role from Week 14 through the Super Bowl.


Rice would be at the top of Tier 4 if there weren't the potential for a suspension. He could miss zero to six-plus games in 2024, depending on how it plays out. Hayden Winks did an excellent job breaking down the situation with odds here.


Tier 13 – Veteran WR4s with QB questions

These WRs all have some WR2-plus traits, but their situation keeps them from ranking higher. If any of these passing games click, this tier will provide value.

Diontae Johnson has struggled the last two seasons with 10.4 and 11.7 PPG after giving us 14.9 and 17.3 in 2020 and 2021. He continues to earn targets at a WR2-worthy rate, and the target competition is low in Carolina. We need a giant step forward from Bryce Young, who averaged 180 yards per game as a rookie.

Calvin Ridley has scored 15.0, 18.8 and 13.4 PPG over the last three years. He has a WR2-worthy target-earning profile, but his YPRR has been 1.77 or less in three of four seasons. Ridley finds a new home with the Titans in 2024, where he will compete with aging DeAndre Hopkins for targets from Will Levis, who averaged 201 yards passing in 2023. Brian Callahan will bring a more pass-friendly approach to the Titans, but Levis must improve to unlock upside for the pass-catchers.

Chris Godwin provided fantasy managers with 17.6, 15.0 and 12.2 PPG over the last three seasons. That trend is headed in the wrong direction, but Godwin has 120-plus targets in all three campaigns. Some positive regression in the TD department would go a long way for Godwin, who only has five over the last two seasons. New OC Liam Coen, a Sean McVay disciple, could boost Godwin's target quality with more motion and slot reps.

DeAndre Hopkins has hit some turbulence over the last three seasons with 14.7, 17.1 and 13.2 PPG. This can often be a precursor to a cliff for WRs in his age group. To be fair, Hopkins did his part with a 28% target share and a 42% air yards share, but he had the eighth-worst catchable target rate (65%) of all WRs with at least 350 routes. Ridley adds target competition, but we should see a more pass-heavy Titans squad.


Tier 14 – Young WR4s with something to prove

Every WR in this tier except Jordan Addison and Jameson Williams has the upside of being the WR1 on their respective teams without an injury to another starter.

Brian Thomas Jr. isn’t a finished prospect, but he provides the Jaguars with a rare blend of size and speed (6-foot-3 with a 4.33 40-yard dash). The first-round pick was never a high-end target earner in college, and his coming-out party didn’t happen until his final season at LSU. However, when QBs did look his way, Thomas rewarded them with a 132.8 QB rating.

Ladd McConkey played inside and outside (69%) at Georgia and attacked every field depth. He was above average against man coverage (23% target rate) and was lethal against zone (25%). Under Jim Harbaugh, the Chargers will be a run-oriented offense, but there is little target competition.

Keon Coleman never became an elite target earner, but he still posted strong marks, with a 25% target rate against man and 23% versus zone. Scouts have concerns about his ability to separate at the NFL level, and his adjusted contested-target rate echoed those worries at six percentage points over expected. While his profile has warts, we can't deny his opportunity in Buffalo on a wide-open depth chart.

Jordan Addison delivered a WR3-worthy 13 PPG in his rookie campaign. However, his profile has holes. His performance was boosted by 10 receiving TDs, and his underlying talent data doesn't align with the WR3 finish. The longterm outlook for Addison is still OK, but regression is likely in 2024, given the projected state of the passing attack. I am the lowest on Addison in the Fantasy Life ranks.

Christian Watson played 10 games and averaged 11.3 points per contest in 2023. However, he out-targeted the Packers' other top options when on the field together.

  • Watson vs. Reed: 24%, 21%
  • Watson vs. Doubs: 24%, 21%

The former round-two pick is still the Packers' most explosive playmaker. His hamstring issues are risky, but his rank accounts for the concerns.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba was a major letdown in his rookie season, but Tyler Lockett is deteriorating, and Metcalf is treading water in WR2 territory. The door is open in Ryan Grubbs' offense for a new leader to emerge.

Jameson Williams should see a dramatic increase in route participation with Josh Reynolds gone. The former first-round pick has big-play upside, but he must first steal targets from St. Brown and LaPorta.


Tier 15 – Aging WR5s with opportunity

Curtis Samuel provided fantasy managers with a WR4 or WR5 every year of his career except one. While you can put some of his low YPRR numbers on QB play, his inability to earn more targets in average to below-average WR rooms is a red flag. Still, a 20% target share and a 5% rush share might not be terrible in Buffalo.

Courtland Sutton has secured two WR3 finishes in five seasons. Last year was his second-best campaign (12.3). The Broncos passing attack projects lowly, but Sutton is the No. 1 option unless Marvin Mims Jr. or Troy Franklin can step up.

Tyler Lockett's WR4 finish last year doesn't bode well for the future, and his YPRR is falling (2.35, 1.94, 1.61). He might have one more season left, but historical averages aren't on Lockett's side. Don't reach. Let him fall to you if drafting the 10th-year vet.


Tier 16 – Prime WR5s with opportunity

Joshua Palmer has produced back-to-back WR4 campaigns with 10.5 and 10.9 PPG in limited playing time. With Keenan Allen and Mike Williams gone, he has a big opportunity. In nine healthy games without Allen, Palmer generated WR2 to WR3 production.

  • 2023 (3 games): 14.0 PPG, 21% targets
  • 2022 (6 games): 12.5 PPG, 17% targets

The Chargers will run more this season, but an increase in two-WR sets in Greg Roman's offense could help offset fewer passing attempts.

Rashid Shaheed has 8.4 and 10.1 PPG campaigns under his belt. Over the last two seasons, the Weber State alumnus delivered 12 PPG with a 20% target share in nine contests where he has reached 70% route participation. His 1.95 YPRR over his first two seasons is WR2-worthy, and the Saints are almost guaranteed to use more motion and play action with the arrival of Klint Kubiak as OC.

Khalil Shakir took over the WR3 role for the Bills in Week 8 of 2023. In 12 contests, including the playoffs, he averaged 10.2 points. His target share wasn't good (12%) but Shakir has a 21% targets per route run (TPRR) on plays without Diggs over his first two seasons. In a Josh Allen offense looking for someone to step up, Shakir has the opportunity of a lifetime in 2024.

Romeo Doubs has 8.0 and 10.2 PPG finishes in his first two seasons. He offers spike-week potential, as seen by his 27-point eruption against the Cowboys in the playoffs. However, the Packers have a room full of hungry young WRs, so his status in the pecking order could change. Doubs was out-targeted by both Reed and Watson when on the field with either.


Tier 17 – Aging WR5s with capped roles

All three WRs are past the typical prime and play with WR1s who can command 30%-plus target shares.

Mike Williams averaged 15.3 and 13.6 PPG in his last two healthy campaigns. His 2023 season was cut short by a Week 3 ACL injury. He is at the age where injuries have historically been more of a problem for WRs, so a bounce-back isn't guaranteed.

Jakobi Meyers has produced 13.0 and 13.4 PPG over the last two campaigns. He is a solid target earner but must compete with Davante Adams and newly added Brock Bowers in a QB-challenged offense.

Brandin Cooks technically fits the definition of this tier, and the market likes him in this range. However, I am not actively targeting Cooks. His production has fallen to 11.1 and 10.8 PPG, and his talent profile matches. His YPRR should have been far more potent in a good offense last season.


Tier 18 – Young WR5s with upside

The story remains unwritten on this group of players. We love the upside of the unknown.

Adonai Mitchell didn't secure the Round 1 NFL Draft capital many expected, slipping to pick 52. He was a polarizing pre-draft prospect because he flashed the raw ability talent evaluators love and checked the height-speed boxes. However, he was inconsistent, and his analytical profile was weak. Despite his inconsistencies, Mitchell will challenge Alec Pierce for the outside WR2 role opposite Pittman.

Ja'Lynn Polk was never a high-end target earner in college, but he played with Odunze and Jalen McMillan. The second-rounder attacked all layers of the field for the Huskies and was good at unlocking deep and intermediate shots. That could be a great fit with Drake Maye.

Josh Downs mostly played from the slot as a rookie, limiting him to 75% route participation. Before his knee injury in Week 9, Downs had a 21% target share with 12.5 PPG. After the injury he plummeted to 16% and 6.9 PPG. Adonai Mitchell is the favorite to win the starting outside role, but Downs has demonstrated WR3 upside already.

Xavier Legette could have had a better profile coming out of college, but the Panthers liked him enough to spend a late Round 1 pick. He should challenge Jonathan Mingo for the starting outside WR spot opposite Diontae Johnson.

Dontayvion Wicks couldn't earn a full-time job with the Packers but flashed with a 2.04 YPRR. In the two games where he reached 70% route participation, Wicks notched 16 and 24 points. If any of the Packers suffer an injury or struggle, Wicks could push for more playing time.


Tier 19 – Prime WR5s that changed teams

Jerry Jeudy hasn't lived up to his NFL Draft capital, and Gabriel Davis never broke out the way fantasy managers hoped. However, both are still in their prime and get a change of scenery, which can occasionally spark a mid-career breakout. Jeudy fits that archetype much better than Davis, but both guys should be on the field plenty in 2024.


Tier 20 – WR6 and WR7 options

For Tier 20, I will bucket the WR6 options into different categories. For more information on the rookies, check out my rankings and the Super Model. For the rest, check out our Advanced WR Stats, where you will find PPG, target share, YPRR, air yards and much more!

Rookies and Year 2 WRs: If you are looking for upside later in your draft, adding rookies and Year 2 WRs is a good strategy. I especially love this approach if some of my early WR picks were in the declining age group.

  • Jermaine Burton
  • Roman Wilson
  • Malachi Corley
  • Ricky Pearsall
  • Quentin Johnston
  • DeMario Douglas
  • Troy Franklin
  • Michael Wilson
  • Marvin Mims Jr.
  • Luke McCaffrey
  • Javon Baker
  • Jalen McMillan

Veterans with roles: If you took rookie WRs early who might need time to get on the field, here are some veterans to consider. These players don't have strong talent profiles but should see playing time early.

  • Adam Thielen
  • Jahan Dotson
  • Darnell Mooney
  • Rashod Bateman
  • Wan'Dale Robinson
  • DeMarcus Robinson