NFL Draft News & Analysis

Fantasy Football: Best QB landing spots for the 2024 NFL Draft, including the Minnesota Vikings and Las Vegas Raiders

2RYKHX7 Charlotte, NC, USA. 1st Oct, 2023. Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell during the fourth quarter of the NFL matchup against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, NC. (Scott Kinser/Cal Sport Media). Credit: csm/Alamy Live News Credit: Cal Sport Media/Alamy Live News

Minnesota Vikings: The Minnesota Vikings’ coaching staff, weapons and opportunity make them the preferred landing spot for a rookie quarterback. 

Las Vegas Raiders: The Las Vegas Raiders’ play-action passing game will make life easy on their 2024 starter. 

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Rookie NFL players need the perfect blend of talent and situational fit to produce a high-end fantasy football season in Year 1. This article identifies and explains the ideal landing spots for the 2024 NFL Draft’s rookie quarterback class. 

Minnesota Vikings

The rookie quarterback selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2024 NFL draft lands in fantasy-friendly situation. The young signal-caller will be well coached with voluminous opportunity, reasonably well protected and armed with a dearth of high-end pass-catching options while facing beatable divisional opponents.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell must now make good on his quarterback-guru reputation with veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins and his seventh-ranked 85.1 PFF passing grade, ranked among 32 NFL quarterbacks with at least 250 passing attempts, out the door. Fantasy managers should expect O’Connell’s incoming quarterback to push for the class-high in passing attempts.

Cousins was lost for the season after suffering a season-ending Achilles tendon rupture in Week 8, but O’Connell still maintained an aggressive aerial attack, dropping his fifth-ranked 6.6 offensive plays per drive rate and second-ranked 68.4% passing rate to 6.0 (13th) and 66.0% (ninth), respectively.

The offensive line returns four-of-five starters including stalwart tackles Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill, whose respective 85.3 PFF pass-blocking grade and 73.4 PFF pass-blocking grade rank third and 25th among 64 NFL tackles with at least 320 pass-protection snaps.

Minnesota No. 1 wide receiver Justin Jefferson’s 91.2 PFF receiving grade and No. 2 wide receiver Jordan Addison’s 69.7 PFF receiving grade tie and rank fourth and 47th, respectively, among 61 NFL wide receivers with at least 70 targets in 2023. The duo pairs nicely with the team’s top-tier short-area weapons.

Minnesota opponents, the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions, notably feature exploitable secondaries, locking the young quarterback in for four fantasy-friendly divisional matchups. Detroit’s secondary (54.0 PFF coverage grade) ranks 32nd among NFL teams and Green Bay traded away its highest-graded cornerback Rasul Douglas mid-season. Among 32 NFL cornerbacks with at least 320 coverage snaps, Douglas’ 81.8 PFF coverage grade ranks eighth. 

Fantasy managers should draft Minnesota’s new quarterback as a high-end QB2 with matchup-based QB1 upside.

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears may employ a slow-paced approach under head coach Matt Eberflus and new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, but incoming rookie quarterback Caleb Williams, widely expected to be selected by Chicago with the first overall pick, is immediately fantasy-viable thanks to his cohesive offensive line and marvelously deep pass-catching corps. Williams’ 84.6 PFF passing grade ranks 12th among 37 Power Five quarterbacks with at least 300 passing attempts

Chicago’s pass protection features solid blind-side blockers in tackle Braxton Jones (70.8 PFF pass-blocking grade) and guard Teven Jenkins (68.8 PFF pass-blocking grade) bookended by reliable tight end depth in Cole Kmet (66.0 PFF pass-blocking grade) and Gerald Everett (67.5 PFF pass-blocking grade).

No. 1 wide receiver D.J. Moore (89.5 PFF receiving grade) and Kmet (77.7 PFF receiving grade) both grade out top eight, positionally, among 24 NFL wide receivers (min. 120 targets) and 27 NFL tight ends (min. 50 targets), respectively. The front office added six-time Pro Bowl slot receiver Keenan Allen via trade this offseason, whose 87.4 PFF receiving grade sits two spots behind Moore’s in the rankings.

Running backs Roschon Johnson (94.4%) and D’Andre Swift (93.5%) both caught more than 93.0% of catchable passes last year. 

The team also possesses the No. 9 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, which can be used to add a promising, third wide receiver to the mix or bring on a right-side blocker. 

Chicago’s incoming rookie quarterback can be immediately deployed as a fantasy football QB1.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders are an ideal landing spot for an incoming rookie quarterback thanks to its expectedly moderate offensive pace, high play-action-passing volume, a reliable pass-catching corps and a solid offensive line. 

Head coach Antonio Pierce brought in former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy to serve in the same capacity. The two coaches employ a balanced attack and rely heavily on play-action passing and while Pierce’s 2023 Raiders utilized the 25th-fastest pace from Week 9-on, three of Getsy’s four offenses have finished top-12 in pace over the last four years. He served as the Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator from 2020-to-2021.

Pierce and Getsy’s offensive play-calling data among NFL teams:
Antonio Pierce & Luke Getsy Off.  Off. Plays Per Drive Passing Rate Play-Action Rate
Antonio Pierce – 2023 5.6 (No. 25) 58.0% (No. 25) 25.7% (No. 13)
Luke Getsy – CHI 2023 6.1 (No. 11) 57.1% (No. 30) 25.4% (No. 12)
Luke Getsy – CHI 2022 5.7 (T-No. 26) 52.5% (No. 31) 32.7% (No. 4)
Luke Getsy – GB 2021 6.4 (T-No. 6) 61.3% (No. 20) 25.2% (No. 19)
Luke Getsy – GB 2020 6.6 (No. 3) 59.2% (No. 23) 28.5% (No. 11)

Should a rookie quarterback compete with second-year player Aidan O’Connell (64.6 PFF passing grade) and journeyman Gardner Minshew (60.6 PFF passing grade) for the starting role, the rookie will not need more weapons. 

No. 1 wide receiver Davante Adams earned 160-plus targets in five of the last six seasons. His 1.97 yards per route run (YPRR) in 2023 is the lowest average during that span, which ranks 17th among 24 NFL wide receivers who earned at least 120 targets. His 80.0 PFF receiving grade ties for 16th.

No. 2 wide receiver Jakobi Meyers and second-year No. 3 wide receiver Tre Tucker round out a starting trio that helped the Las Vegas wide receiver corps receive a 16th-ranked 72.0 PFF receiving grade. 

Tight end Michael Mayer is one-of-five 2023 rookie tight ends to earn at least 25 targets, producing a promising 66.1 PFF receiving grade.

Running back Zamir White remains somewhat inexperienced but caught 100.0% of catchable passes last year and his 69.7 PFF receiving grade ranks 17th among 68 NFL running backs with at least 15 targets

Las Vegas’ offensive line retains four-of-five 2023 starters, led by left tackle Kolton Miller (79.3 PFF pass-blocking grade) and center Andre James (71.2 PFF pass-blocking grade).

From 2020-to-2023, 14 rookie quarterbacks attempted at least 75 play-action passes, 10 of which averaged 7.5 yards or more per attempt. Using the same criteria for non-play-action attempts, 21 rookie quarterbacks attempted at least 75 such passes and just two averaged 7.5 yards or more per attempt. Pierce and Getsy’s commitment to the run-fake helps alleviate fantasy-point-scoring concerns related to their likely low-end passing rates.

Las Vegas is an ideal landing spot for an incoming pocket passer.

Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans are quietly in the mix to select a rookie quarterback with the seventh overall pick following an erratic 2023 rookie showing from second-round quarterback Will Levis, whose 61.6 PFF passing grade ranks 26th among 32 NFL quarterbacks with at least 250 passing attempts. Should an incoming rookie be allowed to compete with Levis, the young player will have savvy perimeter route runners, post-catch creators in the quick-passing game, robust interior blockers and an extremely high-volume passing attack to work with.

New head coach Brian Callahan hired former Jacksonville Jaguars passing game coordinator Nick Holz for the vacated offensive coordinator position on February 5th, 2024. Holz was reunited with his 2023 No. 1 pass catcher when the team signed free agent wide receiver Calvin Ridley to a multi-year contract. Ridley (132 targets) sidekicks incumbent No. 1 wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (133), creating a formidable and reliable target-hog one-two punch. 

Second-year pass-catching running back Tyjae Spears’ 9.0 yards after the catch per reception (YAC/Rec.) in 2023 ranks fifth among 11 NFL running backs to earn at least 65 targets and tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo is averaging 6.1 yards after the catch per reception through two NFL seasons. 

Tennessee’s tackle spots must be upgraded via the draft but the front office fortified the interior by center Lloyd Cushenberry in free agency. His 76.4 PFF pass-blocking grade ranks third among 33 NFL centers with at least 300 pass-blocking snaps in 2023

Callahan ran a notoriously high-volume passing offense over the last five seasons, operating as the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator. Cincinnati’s starting quarterback Joe Burrow (76.8 PFF passing grade) suffered a season-ending Week 10 Scapholunate ligament tear in his right wrist but Callahan only reduced his then-second-ranked 69.6% passing rate to an 11th-ranked 64.4%. 

Tennessee’s offense could facilitate a low-end QB1 fantasy football season for a talented rookie quarterback.

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