Fantasy Football: 4 must-draft players at their current ADP

2TDDE38 Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis (8) warms up before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

• Without much competition in the backfield, Las Vegas Raiders RB Zamir White could be in for a high-volume role in 2024: Despite the potential for volume, White is being drafted, on average, as the RB27 in spring best ball drafts.

Amari Cooper’s production with Deshaun Watson under center in 2023 points to another big year on the horizon: Cooper averaged just over five receptions and 96 yards per game in his five games with Watson last season.

• Check out PFF's fantasy football rankings: PFF’s fantasy football rankings include ranks from our experts, projections and our strength of schedule metric.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Though it’s still early in the offseason, fantasy football best ball drafts and mock drafts are in full swing, providing managers with their first look at the perceived value of players ahead of the season. With that, it’s time to start evaluating potential values in fantasy. Here are five players that are “must-draft assets” in 2024 fantasy football drafts, should their average draft position (ADP) remain stable leading up to the season.

ADP data comes courtesy of FantasyPros.

QB Will Levis, Tennessee Titans

Current ADP: QB23

There’s no level of certainty that second-year quarterback Will Levis is the Titans’ quarterback of the future. However, there’s also no doubt that the Titans have set him up with an excellent opportunity to prove himself with many upgrades they’ve made to the offense, which could translate in a big way to fantasy production in Year 2. 

The additions go far beyond just signing wide receivers Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd, as each should be massive upgrades lining up opposite DeAndre Hopkins. Tennessee also made a concerted effort to rebuild the offensive line after a fairly disastrous 2023 campaign where it ranked bottom-eighth in the league with a 57.1 PFF pass-blocking grade. The Titans signed signing center Lloyd Cushenberry in free agency and drafted Alabama tackle J.C. Latham sixth overall – two solid additions to help keep Levis upright.

Levis led the league with an 11.1-yard average depth of target as a rookie, a testament to his willingness to push the ball downfield. However, his receivers could not help him much, tied for the second-highest drop rate on pass attempts. Levis’ rocket arm, above-average athleticism and aggressive playstyle paired with upgraded weaponry on offense could be just the recipe for a breakout campaign in 2024. 

RB Zamir White, Las Vegas Raiders

Current ADP: RB27

The Las Vegas Raiders let 2019 first-round pick Josh Jacobs walk in free agency after having accounted for a whopping 70.3% of the team’s rush attempts at the running back position over the past five seasons. Despite the gaping need, they didn’t do much to address the position this offseason, adding free agent signing Alexander Mattison and drafting sixth-round rookie Dylan Laube. All of that points to a potentially significant role for former fourth-round pick Zamir White heading into his third NFL season. 

Though White saw a fairly limited workload in 2023, Jacobs' late-season injury provided him an ideal opportunity to prove his capability to lead the backfield in a starting role. White started in each of the Raiders’ four final games to close out the season, averaging just over 23 touches per game as the lead back. While he scored just a single touchdown in that span, he saw 100% of the team’s red zone and inside the five-yard-line carries. That valuable role is one that Mattison is almost certainly not going to intercept, as he's failed to score a single touchdown on 24 red-zone opportunities (and nine inside the five) last season.

Given their question marks at quarterback, the Raiders offense doesn't project as especially productive. However, even with White’s limited touchdown production, he finished as a top-16 running back in three of four starts. Consider him a volume-based option that could provide a very solid floor on a weekly basis.

WR Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns

Current ADP: WR31

Is there a more underrated wide receiver for fantasy football than Amari Cooper right now? When it comes to the Cleveland Browns, recency bias undeniably favors tight end David Njoku, as he achieved an undeniable breakout with Joe Flacco under center. However, most forget that Amari Cooper was Deshaun Watson’s primary receiving option during the five games he started and finished while healthy. 

In 2023, the Watson-Cooper duo ranked among the most efficient pairings in the league. Per NFL Next Gen Stats, among QB-WR duos to connect for 30 or more targets, Watson and Cooper ranked: 

  • Second in EPA per target (0.90)
  • Third in passer rating on targets (130.3) 
  • Sixth in yards per target (12.3)
  • Fifth in successful play rate (64.1%)

Cooper led the team with 7.8 targets and 96 receiving yards per game with Watson under center, as he's scored 15-plus fantasy points in all but one of those five such games. If the two can continue to build on that chemistry in 2024, Cooper projects to be a screaming value in fantasy football leagues.

TE Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys

Current ADP: TE12

Dallas Cowboys TE Jake Ferguson heads into his third NFL season after finishing as the TE9 in fantasy points per game as Dak Prescott‘s No. 2 receiving option, and somehow, he’s still being drafted outside of the top-10 tight ends in fantasy at this point in the offseason. Make it make sense. 

Though Ferguson lacks top-end athleticism, the opportunity he should continue to see in the Cowboys offense (barring injury) projects him much closer to the TE6 to TE8 range than his current draft cost of TE12. In 2023, Ferguson ranked seventh among tight ends with 96 targets on the year and eighth in yards (761) with ideal usage in the red zone and end zone. He ranked top-three among tight ends in both red-zone (24) and end-zone (nine) targets – the most valuable opportunities on the field for a position with such weekly variance dependent on touchdowns.

Expect Ferguson’s usage to provide him a stable weekly floor heading into the 2024 season that will make him an ideal late-round target in fantasy drafts for those missing out on the Sam LaPorta and Travis Kelce’s of the world.


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