Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy Football 2024: Brian Thomas Jr. is another weapon for the Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence

2RT04AN LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. (11) breaks away from Grambling State for a touchdown during an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

The Jaguars add another weapon for Trevor Lawrence: LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. helps fill the void left by Calvin Ridley this offseason.

Thomas is one of the top deep threats in this year’s class: He’s a high-upside developmental prospect who could become a future WR1 for the Jaguars.

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The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Brian Thomas Jr. at No. 23 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. He provides another high-end deep threat for franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Thomas joins the newly signed Gabe Davis and Christian Kirk in Jacksonville's wide receiver room and helps make up for the loss of Calvin Ridley, who accounted for 132 total targets in 2023.

Thomas adds to the Jaguars' receiving room

Coming off a 1,177-yard season in 2023 with LSU, Thomas is one of the top high-upside players in this entire draft and now gets his landing spot in Jacksonville to hopefully bring that potential to fruition.

While 2023 was his lone year as a top-end producer, he has the talent and athleticism to develop into the WR1 that the Jaguars are hoping he’ll become. Thomas should be considered a project player, as there is still more work to be done for him as a receiver, but there will be time to develop and learn behind two veterans in Kirk and Davis.

Brian Thomas Jr.’s career college metrics and ranks
Metric Value Rank among WR prospects since 2019
Missed tackles forced per reception 0.23 83rd percentile
Adjusted separation rate (10-plus yards ADoT) 32% 65th percentile
Yards per route run 1.95 28th percentile
Receiving grade 71.5 21st percentile

Thomas' outlook as a Jaguar

Thomas is likely to take some time to develop into a high-end fantasy asset, considering his profile coming out of college. Thomas becomes the first wide receiver drafted in the first round with a career yards per route run total below 2.00 (1.95) in the PFF College era (since 2014 ).

Thomas doesn’t have an overly impressive production profile, but if there’s one thing he does very well, it’s delivering big plays as one of the top deep threats in this class. Thomas led the class in yards per route run on 20-plus-yard throws (highlighted here) and produced one of the best yards per target over expected marks.

Jacksonville Jaguars 2023 stats and ranks (Weeks 1-17)
Metric Value Rank
Pass play percentage 64.3% 9th
Run play percentage 35.7% 24th
FF PPG (QB) 16.7 18th
FF PPG (RB) 16.4 15th
FF PPG (WR) 21.1 T-17th
FF PPG (TE) 8.2 10th
Jacksonville Jaguars expected receiving depth chart
WR1 Christian Kirk
WR2 Gabe Davis
WR3 Brian Thomas Jr.
TE1 Evan Engram
TE2 Luke Farrell

Fantasy Football Outlook

Thomas is an intriguing long-term prospect both for the NFL and fantasy football, but expectations should be tempered for 2024, as he’s far from a finished product. His college route tree was almost exclusively go routes, and he was just a one-year producer. Having faith in him for dynasty purposes is a much more reasonable expectation to take him among the top 30 wide receivers, but he’s unlikely to be worth that in 2024 leagues as he continues to develop.


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