🤔 Is the Market Wrong?

These two ADPs don't make sense...

Fantasy Life presented by the Fantasy Life Magazine

Explain this Mikal Bridges trade to me in NFL terms…

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

  • Two Undervalued Best Ball Targets

  • Watercooler: Bink a Best Ball Tourney? Buy a boat!

  • WR Preview: The crew talks WRs for 2024

  • It's 6/26. Take it away, Chris Allen…

Player values rise and fall on the information we distill into fantasy nuggets.

Piecing together positive clues about a player’s usage can bump a guy up a few spots in the ranks. Meanwhile, feuding with your front office via social media might cause gamers to think twice before clicking your name.

But what if nothing happens to a player?

What if their situation is arguably the same as it was last year?

You’d think they’d have a similar or slightly better rank, right? Well, for two guys in particular, we may be wrong about their 2024 outlook.

🦁 David Montgomery

  • 2023 End-of-Season Rank: RB13

  • 2024 ADP Rank: RB18

David Montgomery nearly matched or set career-high marks in every rushing metric while owning the RB1 title on an offense that ranked Top 10 in EPA per play and Bottom 10 in pass rate over expectation. Simply put, the Lions ran a lot, and he was good at it.

Montgomery was one of five RBs with 20 or more attempts from inside the five-yard line while also having an explosive rushing rate of over 10%. Sure, Jahmyr Gibbs took on more work in obvious passing situations. We baked that eventuality into his cost. But nothing’s changed about Detroit’s offensive approach for 2024. If anything, things look better for the Lions’ backfield.

Montgomery already noted the team’s dedication to running the ball “a lot” and “fast” during OTAs. I’ve been skeptical of the Jameson Williams hype, and even with Gibbs’ role growing, Montgomery has a shot to see more than 29 targets to go with his carries. And if drafters are going to give him to me at a discount, I’ll make that click whenever I can.

⚜️ Rashid Shaheed

  • 2023 End-of-Season Rank: WR42

  • 2024 ADP Rank: WR53

Rashid Shaheed was an obvious breakout candidate last season, with uncertainty surrounding Michael Thomas’ status. Despite having the “deep-threat” role, Shaheed’s crisp 1.67 YPRR was better than Tyler Lockett (WR51), Curtis Samuel (WR50), and Jameson Williams (WR47).

(Sidenote: dang, that’s two shots at Jamo. My bad.)

Plus, we saw Shaheed start to earn more work throughout the season, even after missing two games with a thigh injury.

  • Route Rate: 73.8% (pre-bye week), 79.9% (post-bye week)

  • Air Yard Share: 24.7%, 30.2%

  • TPRR: 16.3%, 18.0%

A.T. Perry couldn’t earn more than five targets in a single game. MT is gone. Juwan Johnson’s injury leaves Derek Carr with even fewer options than last year. Shaheed started to show more route diversity toward the end of the season on short aDOT throws. If we’re getting a full-time player along with a role expansion, he’ll be one of the bigger values of the offseason.

Maybe I should’ve mentioned him in the magazine…

Fantasy Life Magazine

🤔 Can you trust these elite WRs? Age is just a number, after all…

✍️ What to expect in Year 1 from Marvin Harrison Jr. and Co.? Cardinals team preview for 2024.

🏀 After a chaotic Tuesday night in the NBA, the draft is one sleep away. Best bets for the 2024 NBA Draft.

🚢 What do you do if you win money playing best ball? Buy a boat, obv.

🏟️ Jacksonville is building a new jungle for the Jags. DUUUVAALLLLL!

👀 A familiar face may be back in Cincinnati's backfield. Chase Brown bagholders, look away.

🤯 The Chiefs have gone Hollywood. Cameos from the Kelces are a lock.

WR Preview by The Staff

Most fantasy football drafters will be selecting multiple early-round wide receivers and rarely straying from the position for too long as their drafts unfold. The NFL Draft has added an influx of talent to the position, and the NFL offseason shook up more than a few receiver rooms. 

That's why we must look to Fantasy Life's resident WR experts for their insights on the 2024 wide receiver landscape, plus their bold predictions for the position in 2024.

📈 Which WR are you higher on than the market and why?

👀 George Pickens | Pittsburgh Steelers

In early best ball contests, Pickens is coming off the board as a mid-range WR3. Drafters seem suspicious of the mediocre QB room (Russell Wilson and Justin Fields) and the arrival of fantasy football's No. 1 nemesis, Arthur Smith.

The Fantasy Life projection model agrees with those concerns, forecasting the Steelers passing offense as a bottom-five unit. Historically, WRs on offenses that average 200 or so passing yards haven't fared well. Only 12% of them have found their way to a top-24 finish since 2011.

However, we're talking about an ascending talent who no longer has to fight for targets with Diontae Johnson, whose target-earning data graded out at the WR1 level based on data from the last 10 seasons.

Over the last two years, Pickens has a juicy 26% target share when Johnson wasn't on the field, and in four games without Johnson in 2023, Pickens averaged 17 fantasy points despite the Steelers ranking as the fourth-worst passing unit in the NFL.

The Steelers added Roman Wilson in Round 3 of the NFL Draft, but his profile doesn't suggest high-end target competition in Year 1. Pat Freiermuth is a good TE, but he has never flashed the high-end ceiling we have seen from Pickens.

When you add it all up, Pickens is a low-end WR2 with high-end WR2 upside that you can draft as a WR3.

🚀 What is your bold prediction for the WR position in 2024?

💥 Marvin Harrison Jr. will post a Top-5 fantasy season

Is this a bold prediction? Asking for a friend …

I think this is a testament to just how good I think Harrison Jr. will be and also a bet that Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will be able to support one fantasy star (and potentially two in TE Trey McBride).

You don't need me to tell you just how good Harrison Jr. really is; through three seasons at Ohio State, he made 155 catches for 2,613 yards and 31 touchdowns (plus a rushing TD). Six of the last seven wide receivers picked in the top five posted top-30 fantasy performances as a rookie. The last big one was Ja’Marr Chase finishing as the fantasy WR5 in 2021. 

Harrison is a dynamic weapon who can bring out the best in Murray and elevate him. I know the Cardinals are in rebuilding mode, but I think it has been accelerated and Harrison's presence will be the jolt this team needed. I'm not going to go out on a limb and make comparisons like others have to Larry Fitzgerald, but the immediate and future impact Harrison will have are going to be huge. It's on him, and even more on Murray, to get there.

Fantasy Life presented by the Fantasy Life Magazine