NFL Draft Fantasy Impact

The 2024 draft should feature three quarterbacks selected within the first three picks. When looking at the organizations that hold the first three picks, it’s a no-brainer as all three teams have new coaching staffs and offensive schemes from a season ago. From a fantasy perspective, what does it mean for skill positional players with a new QB on the horizon? Let’s dive into the numbers and see what they say… 

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  • Player: Caleb Williams
  • College/Position: USC, QB
  • Draft Selection: 1st, Chicago Bears

Chicago made significant changes to their offense this offseason. They traded away Justin Fields, traded for Keenan Allen, and brought in a new offensive coordinator, Shane Waldron. Then they added TE, Gerald Everett, and RB, D’Andre Swift. Waldron, a product of the Sean McVay tree, passed the ball 64% and preferred an 11-personnel formation (3 WR) on 42% on first down with Seattle in 2023.  I envision a similar scheme in Chicago and wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears select a WR with the 9th pick or in the second round to give Williams 3 high-quality WRs. 

Fantasy Impact: Waldron has produced steady and reliable fantasy WRs over his three seasons (2021-23) in Seattle. DK Metcalf finished as the WR 10, 19, and 15 from 2021-23, while Tyler Locket finished as the WR 11, 13, and 34 from 201-23. It would not be a stretch to say D.J. Moore and Allen each finish as solid WR2s next season, provided Williams excels in his first year in the Windy City. They may be discounted in drafts but both are worthy selections next season.

A TE has never finished higher than TE18 in a Waldron-ran offense, which has me shying away from Cole Kmet and Everett, despite Waldron running a 12 personnel as his next favorite formation. RBs under Waldron have a 15% target share spanning three seasons, so I wouldn’t expect Swift to be involved in the passing game which lowers his ceiling but makes for a solid RB2. 


  • Player: Jayden Daniels
  • College/Position: LSU, QB
  • Draft Selection: 2nd, Washington Commanders 

The Commanders’ offense was handed to Kliff Kingsbury, who engineered a top-10 offense in two of his four seasons as the Head Coach in Arizona. As for fantasy, Kingsbury has produced a top-10 QB twice, a top-five RB, and a top-10 WR once. Should Washington draft Daniels, they are getting a dual-threat QB similar to what Kingsbury had in Kyler Murray. As a rookie, Murray finished as the 11th-best QB in 2019. The myths of Kingsbury running 10 personnel are often over-exaggerated as his offense in Arizona was most successful while operating in an 11 personnel. 

Fantasy Impact: Terry McLaurin appears to be poised to be the biggest beneficiary as the de facto number one WR for the Commanders heading into 2024. However, this may not be the case in reality as Kingsbury likes to spread the ball around. If you exclude the monster season by DeAndre Hopkins in 2020 (115 receptions for 1,407 yards with 6 TDs on 160 targets), a Cardinals WR never went over 1,000 receiving yards throughout four seasons. In Murray’s rookie season with Kingsbury, the WR1 and WR2 each drew at least 100 targets. I foresee a low-end WR2 season for McLaurin as the top WR in Kingsbury offense, where the WR1 averaged 83.5 catches for 975 yards and 5 TDs.

Jahan Dotson is the WR2 on the roster and will provide better value in drafts, as the WR2 with the Cardinals averaged 59 receptions for 723 yards with 4 TDs. Zach Ertz averaged 51.5 catches for 489.5 yards and 3.5 TDs in two seasons with Kingsbury which makes him a TE2 in Washington. The safety valve for QBs under Kingsbury has been the RB.  The RB committees averaged 73 catches for 562 yards, while Chase Edmonds caught a career-high 53 passes for 402 yards on 67 targets in 2020. Austin Ekeler could reasonably put up another 50-60 catch season and make for an intriguing pick in the mid-rounds in 2024. 


  • Player: Drake Maye
  • College/Position: UNC, QB
  • Draft Selection: 3rd, New England Patriots 

It’s a new era for the New England Patriots after 24 seasons with Bill Belichick. Jerod Mayo and Alex Van Pelt have been tasked to construct a new offense while holding the third pick in the draft. They will take a QB in hopes of finding their new franchise cornerstone. As the OC in Cleveland, Van Pelt relied on running the ball and play action. The Browns ranked within the top 10 in rushing attempts in every season (2020-2023) with Van Pelt and didn’t have a 1,000-yard WR until Amari Cooper in 2022. 

Fantasy Impact: Should the Patriots select Maye with the third pick, they most likely will base their offense on the running game thus limiting his fantasy potential. In this case, I would knock the New England WRs down in rankings as I do not see a dominant WR1 on their roster out of K.J. Osborn, Kendrick Bourne, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. WR1’s in Cleveland averaged 68.5 receptions for 955 yards with 5 TDs on 110.5 targets. These numbers appear higher due to the talent of Amari Cooper, so whoever ends up as the top wideout with New England is poised to be a WR3.

The biggest winner for the Patriots will be Hunter Henry, as the TE position has ended up as the second pass catcher in Van Pelt’s scheme, averaging 62 catches for 625 yards with 4 TDs on 84 targets.  Henry hasn’t seen that sort of volume since his time as a Charger and makes for a nice sleeper. Rhamondre Stevenson and Antonio Gibson should form a lesser duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt but should see plenty of volume under a rookie QB. Stevenson should provide post-hype sleeper production next season under Van Pelt. I will be heavily targeting him next season. 


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