🧀 Don't Sleep on this GB WR

69 days until Chiefs-Ravens (nice)...

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The only debate I care about is whether my fantasy league should add an extra FLEX…

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by The Fantasy Life Magazine:

  • Is Romeo Doubs poised to lead this Packers WR room?

  • Matthew Berry’s updated position rankings! Derrick Henry 🚀

  • RB Preview: Is Isiah Pacheco one of fantasy’s best values?

  • It’s 6/28. Take it away, Ian Hartitz…

The Packers WR room pecking order is one of the more intriguing subplots of the 2024 fantasy football season.

Why? Well, second-year starter Jordan Love sure looks a lot like the next big thing at the position after making more than a few breathtaking plays during his breakout 2023 campaign. The QB10 in the Fantasy Life Consensus Rankings: There should be plenty of pass-game production to go around in this Green Bay offense next season … we just have to figure out who will reap the most rewards in fantasy land.

Early Underdog ADP currently has not one, not two, not three, but four Packers WRs going off the board among the position’s top 60 players, yet each option is relatively affordable due to the uncertainty at hand surrounding each player’s respective upcoming target share:

  • Jayden Reed (WR34, pick 54.9 ADP)

  • Christian Watson (WR45, 74.5)

  • Romeo Doubs (WR52, 104.4)

  • Dontayvion Wicks (WR60, 122.6)

It’s easy to make a bull case for each:

  • Reed led the way with 13.6 PPR points per game last season and proved to be lethal as both a receiver (64-793-8) and occasional rusher (11-119-2). He’s the favorite to (again) work as the offense’s primary slot receiver.

  • Watson has looked like the most explosive option of the group for the better part of the last two seasons when the Injury Gods have looked the other way. Here’s to hoping those hamstrings are finally healthy.

  • Doubs led the team in targets during the regular season and easily led the way in postseason receiving yards with 234 — TE Luke Musgrave (66) was the next-most-productive Packers pass-catcher last January.

  • Wicks averaged an impressive 2.04 yards per route run as a rookie and finished strong with four TDs in his final four games. He certainly looked like a stud during his limited opportunities.

A recent article from Packers.com gave some extra shine to Doubs, who has at times been written off as a long-term answer at the position by optimistic Wicks truthers. Head Coach Matt LaFleur sure doesn’t seem to agree.

"I can't think of a bad day that he's had out there. He is definitely improving."

While that quote does indeed reek of rather meaningless offseason coach-speak fluff, it’s a good reminder that Doubs is far from an afterthought in this passing game. This is evident by peeping Packers WR usage from Weeks 5-13 last season, which featured the healthiest stretch of the year for Watson, who didn’t reach a snap rate north of 50% during September and missed the team’s final five regular season games before being limited in the playoffs.

Packers WRs in Weeks 5-13:

  • Doubs: 83% routes, 15% targets, 9.6 PPR points per game

  • Watson: 82% routes, 19% targets, 11.4 PPR points per game

  • Reed: 63% routes, 15% targets, 11.4 PPR points per game

  • Wicks: 34% routes, 10% targets, 6.6 PPR points per game

Fantasy Life Projections agree with the clear-cut top-three options here and accordingly have Reed (101 targets), Doubs (88) and Watson (87) working well ahead of Wicks (47). This doesn’t mean things can’t shift more toward the latter WR in 2024, but it’s awfully difficult to envision Doubs falling too far out of favor in this offense after largely doing nothing other than balling the hell out during his first two seasons in Green Bay.

Doubs is shaping up as a pretty, pretty, pretty good bargain as a WR5 in best ball land and is regularly available after the top-11 QBs/TEs, top-29 RBs and top-50 WRs are already off the board.

Some might say this makes Doubs a sleeper of sorts in fantasy land — but he’s not the only one you should be aware of.

Introducing The Fantasy Life Magazine Take Fantasy Life with you, on the go and on Draft Day!
Around the Watercooler (August 2022)

💰 Everything you need to bet the 2024 college football season. Freedman and Thor have you covered.

👀 The greatest fantasy football team of all time? Join Ian and Dwain as they draft it live.

🚀 Matthew Berry’s updated positional rankings are LIVE. Derrick Henry to the MOON.

📈 Just how high is this rookie QB’s ceiling? High enough for you to pay attention…

💰 The NFL must pay $4.7B in their “Sunday Ticket” case. You might be eligible for payment!

🤣 What your favorite NFL QB says about you. Sorry, Just Fields truthers.

👏 This year’s winner of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. Great day to be great!

🏥 Good notes on the specifics around Joe Burrow’s wrist injury. Side note: Best/worst doctor's last name ever?

🤔 This new third-round RB could change the usage of a certain fantasy star. Death, taxes, summer reports of RBs playing more in the slot.

Fantasy Life RB Preview

This year's underwhelming running back draft class caused an unusual amount of reshuffling of running back rooms during NFL free agency. Couple the lack of incoming talent with an increasing number of RB committees and the RB fantasy landscape continues to be a difficult puzzle to solve. 

Luckily, Fantasy Life's analysts can help clear up some of this murkiness. Here are three pressing questions answered by three of Fantasy Life's top RB aficionados, including their bold predictions for the position in 2024.

🤔 Which RB are you higher on than the market and why?

🔔🐄 Isiah Pacheco | Kansas City Chiefs

Pacheco made it through free agency and the NFL Draft without the addition of any significant competition. The biggest move the Chiefs made was bringing back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who averaged a lowly 22% snap share last season. When you pair that with how Pacheco finished 2024, there are reasons to be optimistic.

Pacheco carved out a near-every-down role from Week 9 through the Super Bowl. Per the Fantasy Life Utilization Report, he accounted for 77% of the rushing attempts and upped his involvement in the passing game with 56% route participation and 11% target share. The former Round 7 draft pick averaged a robust 17.4 fantasy points per contest, making him an RB1.

The Chiefs are a pass-first offense, and the offseason additions of Marquise Brown via free agency and Xavier Worthy in Round 1 of the NFL Draft point toward that trend continuing. That means there might not be much upside from the 17.7 totes per game Pacheco averaged down the stretch, but he resides in a high-quality offense, which boosts his TD upside.

Pacheco's closest comparables in our projection model averaged 15.4 points with an RB12 finish, based on a role similar to late 2023. In early drafts, Pacheco is hovering around pick 50, making him a good target if you decide to wait at the position.

👎 Which RB are you lower on than the market (i.e. a “Do Not Draft!” Player) and why?

😬 Tony Pollard | Tennessee Titans

The falloff in 2023 was a rough one for Pollard. He posted top-three marks in virtually any advanced RB metric you want to look at … then below-average numbers across the board once he finally was given the full-time starting job. The trademark big-play ability was basically gone: Ezekiel Elliott (20.25 mph) actually posted a higher top speed as a ball carrier than Pollard (20) last season.

Many have pointed to the idea that Pollard improved down the stretch once he felt he was back to full health following 2022's season-ending fractured fibula. That simply wasn't the case, as his marks in yards per carry (4.0 vs. 5.2), yards after contact per carry (3.0 vs. 3.8), and explosive run play rate (9% vs. 16%) during his final nine games of 2023 were still shells of what he managed the previous year.

Now, Pollard enters a new offense with PFF's reigning 32nd-ranked O-line and young, explosive competition in the form of Tyjae Spears. The Titans ranked 27th in scoring last season and the Cowboys ranked … first. Pollard needs to regain vintage form in order to make up for this catastrophic downgrade in overall offensive environment — and that's simply not a bet I plan on making more drafts than not.

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Introducing The Fantasy Life Magazine Take Fantasy Life with you, on the go and on Draft Day!