Dynasty Strategy: Final 2024 Rookie Top 65

Dynasty Strategy: Final 2024 Rookie Top 65

This article is part of our Dynasty Strategy series.

These rankings are for 1QB, PPR scoring formats that start two running backs and three wide receivers. The players are broken into nine tiers. Although the players are loosely ranked even within tiers, the drawn lines more so occur between the tiers rather than within tiers. Basically, if two players are in same tier it means I wouldn't feel like arguing over the order.

The player blurbs in each tier are underneath the listed players, listed in the same order as the names.

TIER 1 (2)

Marvin Harrison, WR, ARI
Rome Odunze, WR, CHI

Nothing much to say about Harrison. In 1QB fantasy formats I think he's the top pick.

Odunze is underrated. I realize this is a high ranking for him – you could probably trade Malik Nabers for Odunze and more, but I doubt this will be the case any later than October or so. Odunze might be as good or better of an NFL receiver as DJ Moore, and Keenan Allen only has so many reps left. With Odunze you have a potential top-five NFL receiver with a top-five NFL quarterback. The idea that any sort of caution is required with Odunze seems nuts to me. High floor, high ceiling.

TIER 2 (1)

Malik Nabers, WR, NYG

I was tempted to put the Tier 3 guys in Tier 2 with Nabers, but I'll hold off out of respect for Nabers' current market standing. A lot of people rank Nabers as the second player in the class, and the people who listen to those people will pay a king's ransom for Nabers, understandably enough.

I have zero long-term concerns with Nabers, but I think his rookie year will be a struggle – think a worse version of Garrett Wilson's 2023 season. Nabers may very well be on Wilson's level at some point, but I doubt it will be this year, especially considering Nabers only turns 21 about a month before the season starts. Nabers won't be playing his best football for two or three years, and that would be the case if he weren't chasing knuckleballs from Daniel Jones and Drew Lock. Expect visible sideline frustration this year. I'd rather try to buy Nabers later, when the struggles and frustration get some attention from the market. Some people have a Ja'Marr Chase rookie season in mind and that just is not happening folks. With that said, at his peak Nabers could be something like peak Stefon Diggs.

TIER 3 (3)

Brock Bowers, TE, LV
Ladd McConkey, WR, LAC
Caleb Williams, QB, CHI

Bowers' landing spot is more of a problem for Michael Mayer than it is for Bowers, but it still was one of the worst places Bowers could have landed.

This is admittedly an aggressive ranking for McConkey, but I had him ranked about this high before the draft and then he landed in maybe the absolute best place possible. I don't believe in Josh Palmer as more than a WR3, Quentin Johnston was a disaster last year, and while I think DJ Chark is a good player he is also injured often and playing on a one-year deal. I think there's a real chance McConkey emerges the WR1 of Justin Herbert's, and as soon as this year.

Williams is a totally solid first overall pick and he's inheriting a roster far better than any other first overall pick has lately, and probably at any point in league history. I'd probably rank him first overall in superflex or 2QB leagues.

TIER 4 (10)

Xavier Worthy, WR, KC
Keon Coleman, WR, BUF
Ricky Pearsall, WR, SF
Brian Thomas, WR, JAC
Trey Benson, RB, ARI
Jonathon Brooks, RB, CAR
Drake Maye, QB, NE
J.J. McCarthy, QB, MIN
Jayden Daniels, QB, WAS
Bo Nix, QB, DEN

Worthy dropped a lot of passes as Texas assigned him a ~30-percent target share, but in the NFL he can avoid those drop situations with a lower target share, probably around 22 percent or so. This would make him something of a big-play specialist and a WR2, but in the Patrick Mahomes offense there will be a lot of big plays. You have to like the 4.21 40 guy to have a hand in those.

Coleman doesn't drop passes but he also doesn't create much separation, which means he might get overexposed a bit if his target rate is too high and the offense starts forcing throws even when he's covered. Coleman might emerge as the WR1 in Buffalo at some point, but I think they'd be in a rough spot if so. If Buffalo tries to use him the same way they did Gabe Davis then this won't go well – Davis was miscast the downfield role because he lacks the necessary speed, but Coleman is a step slower yet. The basic tradeoff with Coleman and Davis is that you're getting slower with Coleman in exchange for fewer drops. If Curtis Samuel misses any time (has that ever happened before?) the Bills instantly become the slowest offense in the league, which bothers me obviously.

This might prove too high for Pearsall if the 49ers don't move Deebo Samuel before the start of the season, but if Pearsall is playing 800 snaps in the Shanahan offense then he's raking.

I'm concerned that Thomas is a true downfield and sideline specialist – something like a better Marquez Valdes-Scantling. I don't think volume will ever be on the table for Thomas, so he'll always need to get by with efficiency and touchdown production. Playing in a Trevor Lawrence offense gives me just enough assurance that it will work out (narrowly).

Benson might not ever be a true workhorse due to lingering concerns about his durability, but I think his statistical profile could turn out something like Raheem Mostert's, albeit a more powerful version. If James Conner leaves Arizona then Benson should become one of the more valuable fantasy running backs.

I mostly list Brooks this high to acknowledge his trade value. I wouldn't have taken him before the third round even if he weren't returning from an ACL tear. I expect a slow rookie season for Brooks as he returns from injury to a busted offense – one with at least one better pure runner than Brooks in Chuba Hubbard. Brooks' eventual starting statistical profile might resemble something like Rachaad White last year – Brooks is a good receiver like White, but I suspect he's slower. It's also worth recalling Brooks got hurt every year in college. At the very least I'd rather buy Brooks later on, when the despair of playing for the Panthers sets into the market (it appears it hasn't yet).

I think Maye is very clearly the second best quarterback in this draft, and I think his fantasy upside is generally a little underrated because people don't correctly factor how strong of a rushing threat he is. With that said, the landing spot is depressing as hell.

I don't think Daniels is a starting NFL quarterback. I'm only listing him this high to acknowledge his current market standing. If I acquired Daniels I would look to trade him at the first or second chance.

While I don't think Nix is any worse than Daniels, I'm not really inspired by either. Nor would anyone be inspired by the Denver roster/organization.

Although I safely prefer McCarthy over Daniels or Nix as a prospect, he's still untested for the time being and I am having trouble shaking the paranoia that Sam Darnold might actually look good throwing to Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison.

TIER 5 (16)

Blake Corum, RB, LAR
Ray Davis, RB, BUF
Jaylen Wright, RB, MIA
Kimani Vidal, RB, LAC
Ben Sinnott, TE, WAS
Jermaine Burton, WR, CIN
Ja'Lynn Polk, WR, NE
Troy Franklin, WR, DEN
Adonai Mitchell, WR, IND
Roman Wilson, WR, PIT
Xavier Legette, WR, CAR
Jalen McMillan, WR, TB
Malachi Corley, WR, NYJ
Luke McCaffrey, WR, WAS
Devontez Walker, WR, BAL
Javon Baker, WR, NE


I think Corum is clearly better than Brooks, and Kyren Williams for that matter. I think Corum will displace Williams earlier than anyone thinks, but that's an objectively aggressive assumption and moreover, Williams will be on the team at least two more years.

Davis is more of a threat to James Cook's workload than people think, in my opinion. That's particularly true for rushing usage, because there are some run calls you just cannot make when Cook is on the field. Yet any functional running game will tend to feature such play calls. The Bills can either use Davis on those plays or forfeit them as a category. If Cook were to miss time then Davis has higher upside than Cook because Davis can play 50 snaps while executing any play design, including pass-catching situations.

I think Wright is basically a plug-and-play copy of Raheem Mostert. Both Mostert and De'Von Achane have durability limitations, so Wright is closer to the field than most third-string runners.

This is admittedly an aggressively-high ranking for Vidal, and maybe too aggressive. I just feel like the NFL has already demonstrated enough times that they have no idea how to scout running backs – even the teams that know what they're looking for are often looking for the wrong things. That the league let Vidal fall to the sixth round doesn't deter me. The criticisms of Vidal do not read as lucid. People will acknowledge his 4.46 40 and call him slow in the same sentence. It's stupid. I love J.K. Dobbins and think he's a top-10 NFL talent at running back, but he's on a one-year deal with a much lengthier injury history. If Dobbins doesn't play the passing-down snaps for the Chargers then Vidal does. Simple as that. It won't be Isaiah Spiller.

I'm not convinced Sinnott is better than Ja'Tavion Sanders but I still like Sinnott plenty. Whereas Sanders is very young and has obstacles ahead of him in Carolina, Sinnott is ready to play now, and Zach Ertz has been expired for two years now.

Burton should be an improvement in the slot over Tyler Boyd, if only because Burton's speed makes him more useful in a mid-usage role like Boyd had. Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins will obviously eat first, but at least Burton's speed and downfield presence will allow him to do more damage per rep than Boyd did in this particular offense. If Higgins leaves by whatever mechanism then Burton is immediately Joe Burrow's WR2.

I thought the Polk selection was uninspiring but the Patriots are committed to him now, and it's not like there's any on-hand talent aside from Demario Douglas. Polk might be New England's top boundary receiver right away, and as much as I'm not a huge Polk fan I think he's miles better than fourth-round Patriots selection Javon Baker.

Franklin has some concerning traits in his profile but his production and athletic testing are just good enough overall for him to have a narrow path to NFL starting viability. In Denver there could be substantial usage opportunity, especially since the Broncos took Franklin's Oregon teammate in Nix.

Mitchell might be a better prospect than Burton or Franklin – I have no strong opinion on that – but I worry that the opportunity level with the Colts might be elusive for at least one year. Even as an Anthony Richardson fan I'd concede you don't want him throwing 40 times per game, and in this run-based offense Michael Pittman is already the target hog. Josh Downs and Alec Pierce aren't going to just disappear, either.

Wilson never commanded a high target share at Michigan and so the same will likely prove the case with his NFL career. Wilson has real speed though and his efficiency was always sky-high. Even if he's only a WR2/WR3 type, Wilson should be good in that capacity at least. With Pittsburgh you have a run-heavy offense, sure, but Van Jefferson is not going to hold off Wilson forever.

Look, it's good for Legette that he went in the first round but the fact that it was the Panthers taking him pretty much assures it was a bad idea. Legette has excellent athleticism but someone with excellent athleticism shouldn't go four years doing nothing. I think Legette's usage profile in the NFL is one that needs to get by with efficiency, because he'll never be a high target-rate guy. Does anyone expect the Carolina passing game to become efficient at any point?

McMillan should provide Tampa Bay with an immediate upgrade over Trey Palmer, who played 676 unproductive snaps last year. McMillan played ahead of and was more productive than Polk before an injury created room for Polk.

Corley has his fans out there and his tape is certainly fun to watch, but I don't know if there's a such thing as a YAC specialist who runs a 4.6 in the NFL. Devin Duvernay broke as many tackles in college and was much faster with better hands, and it still hasn't been enough to amount to any opportunity in the NFL. You gotta have something other than just 'breaking tackles.'

McCaffrey doesn't have the most obvious route to playing time in Washington but his production profile is totally solid and his athletic testing is good enough to clear starter standards.

Walker is kind of like a middle-class man's Brian Thomas, a downfield and sideline specialist whose target volume is likely capped around a 20 percent share or so. Walker will likely get a lot of decoy routes to clear space for Mark Andrews and Zay Flowers. Still, Walker could be a high-YPT, high-TD percentage guy in that role, giving him a narrow path to something like fantasy WR3 viability if he can push for 750-plus snaps at some point.

To me Baker just looks like a slower Denzel Mims, but as a fourth-round pick on a team with poor receivers he'll probably get a shot to prove that wrong.

TIER 6 (8)

Isaac Guerendo, RB, SF
MarShawn Lloyd, RB, GB
Bucky Irving, RB, TB
Michael Penix, QB, ATL
Jared Wiley, TE, KC
Ja'Tavion Sanders, TE, CAR
Cade Stover, TE, HOU
Jacob Cowing, WR, SF

Guerendo is a lot like Jaylen Wright in my opinion – a guy who should be used pretty much like Raheem Mostert, which is to say mid-volume but high-explosiveness, usually running off tackle rather than between the tackles. Christian McCaffrey is infallible but if he were to miss a game then Guerendo has all the traits to be a productive Shanahan back. For one year at least Elijah Mitchell will stay in the way, but Mitchell has obviously had durability issues.

Lloyd is super dense (5-foot-9, 220 pounds) and offers a great deal of athleticism on that anchored frame, but he's one of the most prolific fumblers of recent times and will not at any point start over Josh Jacobs.

Irving is basically another Myles Gaskin, in my opinion. He has a lot of skill as a football player but the tools are bottom grade to the point that the skills might not manifest. I'm not convinced Irving is even a better prospect than Sean Tucker was.

I don't know what anyone wants to hear about Penix. It was a bad pick from every angle of consideration, including that he wouldn't have been worth it even if they hadn't broken the team cap to sign Kirk Cousins.

Wiley is not particularly good in my opinion but there is probably a market for him since some might assume he'll be the next starting Chiefs tight end after Travis Kelce. Wiley could be a nice asset to flip on that false hype, but otherwise he's Dan Arnold in my opinion.

Sanders is very obviously better than Wiley and a number of tight ends who go in Round 2 in any given year, but he's very young and is on a cursed team. It might take a few years.

Stover could be an average or better starting tight end right now in my opinion, but Dalton Schultz is in the way for a while. Stover is better though, make no mistake about that.

I love Cowing and think he's clearly the real deal, but the 49ers rarely use a slot receiver and he obviously won't play ahead of Brandon Aiyuk or Ricky Pearsall (though I do think Cowing might be about as good as Pearsall in a three-wide offense). Unfortunately for Cowing, the 49ers run an I-formation offense.

TIER 7 (11)

Theo Johnson, TE, NYG
Erick All, TE, CIN
Jaheim Bell, TE, NE
Dylan Laube, RB, LV
Audric Estime, RB, DEN
Will Shipley, RB, PHI
Rasheen Ali, RB, BAL
Tyrone Tracy, RB, NYG
Malik Washington, WR, MIA
Ainias Smith, WR, PHI
Brenden Rice, WR, LAC
Cornelius Johnson, WR, LAC

Johnson is a solid prospect and a toolsy one to boot, but I don't think his skill set is that of an active pass catcher. Johnson's appeal is a lot like incumbent tight end Daniel Bellinger – they're both super athletic and skilled blockers, but for some reason their pass-catching ability lags a bit.

All probably would have been a Day 2 pick if not for his ACL tear. Fellow rookie tight end draft pick Tanner McLachlan is not particularly close to All's level when they're both healthy, in my opinion.

Bell is very boom-or-bust because he will either almost never play or he will play only as a pass catcher. Whereas third-round tight end Tip Reiman will definitely play but mostly block, Bell is a guy who will never block. So if Bell is somehow on the field, you know it's because he's running routes. Even as a seventh-round pick there's an outside chance that Bell emerges as another Delanie Walker type.

Laube will need some time with Alexander Mattison and Ameer Abdullah potentially getting in the way, but Laube's pass-catching ability is compelling I think and he's no worse than average as an athlete.

Estime won't play ahead of Javonte Williams or Samaje Perine, and Jaleel McLaughlin will likely hang around Denver for a while, too. Williams and Perine will probably get the 2024 season to prove themselves, but if they fail the audition then Estime could get a look in 2025.

As much as he doesn't seem like an NFL starter to me, Shipley has a solid skill set and enough athleticism to be a competent passing-down back at the very least. His immediate opportunity level might be close to zero however.

Ali is a little tough for me to figure out since he couldn't do any athletic testing before the draft, but his production at Marshall implies some level of ability from scrimmage and that includes as a pass catcher. Justice Hill isn't a bum but if Ali has NFL ability he should push Hill for snaps, if only for designed targets.

I don't really understand the appeal of a prospect like Tracy but as a fifth-round pick he might see some level of opportunity on a Giants squad that no longer has Saquon Barkley. I just think Eric Gray from last year is very clearly better.

Washington was expected to go significantly sooner than the sixth round, so perhaps he'll prove a steal for Miami. Tyreek Hill and especially Jaylen Waddle have both had their share of injury issues. Unlike Hill or Waddle, Washington is probably slot-dependent, however.

Smith was a good pick for Philadelphia, even if they don't have an obvious role for him right away. At 5-foot-9 he will probably be stuck in the slot, but Smith was very productive early in his Texas A&M career and he should at the very least take the punt returner role from Britain Covey.

Rice and Johnson are both fringe prospects for the Chargers but sometimes fringe prospects come through, and there's certainly a talent void at receiver for the Chargers in the meantime.

TIER 8 (7)

Braelon Allen, RB, NYJ
Isaiah Davis, RB, NYJ
Dillon Johnson, RB, TEN
Jawhar Jordan, RB, HOU
Jamari Thrash, WR, CLE
Anthony Gould, WR, IND
Johnny Wilson, WR/TE, PHI

Allen is an interesting power back but his production was not truly standout by the standards of Wisconsin running backs, and his refusal to run a 40-yard dash on Wisconsin's fast track is a red flag to me. If Allen runs a 4.75 it's not happening, and I don't know how anyone rules that out.

Davis is a powerful running back himself even at nearly 20 pounds lighter than Allen, and at least you know in Davis' case that his speed can't be any worse than a 4.57. As the later pick of the two, though, Allen might benefit from some favoritism. My issue is I don't think either one is close to the prospect Israel Abanikanda is, and all three of them will never gain an inch on Breece Hall.

I was tempted to rank Johnson higher than this because I believe in his game and the rest of the Tennessee depth chart looks thin to me. The Titans could really use his power even if Tony Pollard and Tyjae Spears are both healthy. Still, Johnson is a long shot as an undrafted player.

Jordan is not a starter – he lacks the tools to do it – but as a rotational player his elusiveness as a runner could make him an effective draw back.

Thrash kind of looks like Nelson Agholor, for better or worse.

Gould is a gadget player to me – something like an Isaiah McKenzie, stuck in one of the league's most run-heavy offenses.

Wilson is another Hakeem Butler project.

TIER 9 (6)

George Holani, RB, SEA
Michael Wiley, RB, WAS
Kendall Milton, RB, PHI
Jaden Shirden, RB, CAR
Tip Reiman, TE, ARI
Tanner McLachlan, TE, CIN

Holani has a developed game and even tested fairly well at the combine, but he has no true calling card and was injured a lot in college. Worse prospects have popped up as productive NFL runners, but it would require some situational luck at the very least just to get the opportunity.

Wiley might be like a poor man's Kenny McIntosh – a pass-catching specialist without much big-play ability. I expect Chris Rodriguez to send Brian Robinson packing in the near future, and after Austin Ekeler Washington has no obvious pass-catching candidate among running backs. If both Ekeler and Robinson are there, though, Wiley is probably on the practice squad.

Milton has some ability as a rushing specialist in my opinion, but the Eagles have a loaded depth chart ahead of him.

Shirden might be something like the Jaleel McLaughlin of this year, but I don't know how he's supposed to earn reps ahead of even someone like Raheem Blackshear (who is still good, by the way).

Reiman will block all the time and be very good at it.

McLachlan is plenty athletic and was somewhat productive at Arizona, but 24-year-old tight ends as athletic as him should dominate in college and he did not. Teammate Erick All is better.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
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