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8 Breakout Wide Receivers for 2024 Fantasy Football

Determining breakout players for Fantasy Football before the season starts can increase your chances of winning your Fantasy Football leagues. Whether you’re participating in Redraft drafts or trading for players in Dynasty Leagues, targeting players who are poised to have a great season can give you an advantage and help you win a championship. As a content creator, my main goal has always been to help you “Play 2 Win”. This article aims to assist you in winning by highlighting my favorite breakout fantasy football wide receivers for 2024.

I want to clarify what I mean by a breakout in the context of Fantasy Football. The definition of a breakout can vary among different people, so it’s important to establish a clear understanding. While there may be similarities, everyone’s interpretation of a Fantasy Football “breakout” can also differ significantly. I define a breakout as – a player who can take a substantial leap in Fantasy Football production or a player who can have an immediate Fantasy Football scoring impact which in either case is a major positional advantage in lineups for a given year. 

A wide receiver breakout example from 2023 who took a substantial leap in production was Nico Collins, who averaged the seventh most Fantasy PPG ast 17.4 after finishing 49th with 9.7 PPG in 2022. Puka Nacua on the other hand was an instant breakout as a rookie, averaging the sixth most Fantays PPG with 17.6 in 2023. In both examples, these players were extremely valuable difference-makers for their positions and advantages to have in lineups.

The following wide receivers are all potential breakout candidates for the 2024 season in Fantasy Football. Based on their perceived skill set, current situation, statistical data, and overall opportunity, I believe these specific players have the potential for big seasons ahead.

What!? Your fantasy football league wasn’t hosted on Fantrax last season!? Once you see how Fantrax stacks up to the competition, we think you’ll be singing a different tune in the 2024 season.

2024 Fantasy Football: 8 Breakout Wide Receivers

Garrett Wilson, Jets WR

Selected by the Jets with the 10th overall pick in 2022 out of Ohio State, Garrett Wilson instantly became one of the feature players of the New York Jets. Wilson finished his rookie campaign with 147 targets (#6), 83 receptions (#16), 1,103 receiving yards (#14) and scored four touchdowns. Wilson ended up winning the AP Offensive Player of the Year, which speaks for itself on his instant impact in the NFL.

There were high hopes for Garrett Wilson in his second year, with the Jets signing Aaron Rodgers to a two-year, $75 million dollar contract. Unfortunately, Rodgers would only play four snaps before tearing his Achilles tendon which ended his season straight away.  Wilson earned the fourth most targets in 2023 at 168, which was 73 more than any other player on the roster. Wilson again surpassed 1,000 receiving yards but regressed to 1,042, which was 421 more than any player on the Jets. Wilson was not only the focal point of the Jets’ offense, but he was nearly the entire Jets’ offense through the air.

Wilson finished 2023 averaging 12.5 Fantasy PPG (#32), which was nearly identical to the 12.7 (#30) he averaged as a rookie. Although Wilson has been heavily targeted and produced decent yardage through his first two seasons in the NFL, he has not translated well for Fantasy Football. A mixture of Zach Wilson, Trevor Siemian, Tim Boyle, Mike White, Joe Flacco, and Chris Streveler may be the most obvious factor. Wilson’s catchable target rate ranked 65th for the position in 2023, and 92nd in 2022. The Jets scored the fourth least points in 2023 and produced the 2nd least total yards. The Jets scored the fourth least points and the eighth most total yards the year prior. Yes – Wilson has been the feature of the passing game but no, he has not been set up to succeed.

Having a competent quarterback can mean the world for a wide receiver’s production, especially with that production translating to Fantasy Football. Yes, Aaron Rodgers is a 40-year-old veteran coming off of a major injury, but he also has such a lengthy resume that it brings us plenty of confidence for his return. 10 seasons of over 4,000 passing yards and eight seasons of 30+ passing touchdowns have meant being one of the most productive quarterbacks who has supported his WR1 heavily. Just ask Davante Adams in his Green Bay dominating days. Veteran Mike Williams was brought in by the Jets and Malachi Corley was selected in the 2024 NFL Draft via the third round, but Wilson will continue to be the heavily targeted WR1 and feature of this offense. For a guy who has yet to score five touchdowns in a season, Aaron Rodgers feels like a great fix for that number to take a leap in 2024. Wilson has been a guy to do a lot with a little, and it all should come together in 2024. Wilson has a clear top-12 Fantasy upside and could be a candidate to fight for a top-five positional spot in 2024.

Drake London, Falcons WR

Drake London was the first wide receiver off of the board back in the 2022 NFL Draft, selected by the Falcons with the eighth overall pick. Rookie season, London earned the fifth-highest target share for the position (29.4%) and earned 117 total which ranked 22nd for the position. London produced 866 receiving yards and scored four touchdowns that year. 10.5 Fantasy PPG was extremely underwhelming, ranking 43rd for the position. Sophomore season meant regressing in some places, but upping his receiving total. Down in targets (117 to 109), receptions (72 to 69) and receiving touchdowns (four to two) but up in receiving yards to 905 (+39) and by some change in Fantasy PPG 10.9 (#42). Disappointing for Fantasy Football purposes.

Similar to Garrett Wilson, the cards have not always been in London’s favor since entering the league. The Falcons attempted the eighth least passes in 2023 and the second least passes in 2022 which shows a lack of volume. Desmond Ridder, Taylor Heinicke and Marcus Mariota the last two seasons at the quarterback position make up a weak core to say the least on top of that.

This off-season there have been some positive signs though in London’s favor. The first was the firing of Arthur Smith, who we all perceived as someone who held this offense back. The second great sign was Atlanta signing Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million dollar deal. Cousins has finished seven seasons with over 4,000 passing yards and three seasons with 30+ touchdowns thrown. Cousins is a massive quarterback upgrade to the system.  Some may not see it as a positive, but the Falcons selecting gunslinger Michael Penix Jr. in this year’s NFL Draft with the eighth overall pick was insulation to the quarterback position for Kirk Cousins who is 35 and coming off of a major injury.

New coaching, more passing volume, plus higher quality targets should equal a Fantasy Football leap for Drake London. This past season, London finished with 18.7 (Week 2), 14.7 (Week 5), 21.5 (Week 6), 29.2 (Week 14), and 9.6 Fantasy Points in the games he was targeted eight or more times, which foreshadows what he can do with volume. London is one of the trio of Kyle Pitts and Bijan Robinson, who all can complement each other and be successful for Fantasy this coming season in a new Falcons’ offense. Look for London to see a bump in targets, receiving yards, and touchdowns which could mean a top 12 Fantasy finish in 2024.

Marvin Harrison Jr., Cardinals WR

The Cardinals selected Marvin Harrison Jr. with the fourth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Marvin Harrison Jr. produced 2,613 total receiving yards and 31 receiving touchdowns through three seasons at Ohio State. Throughout MHJ’s career, he averaged 4.08 receptions, 68.76 receiving yards, and 0.82 receiving touchdowns per game which shows his production rate. MHJ is the first player in Ohio State history to have two seasons of over 1,000 receiving yards, which is impressive when you take a look at the list of OSU alumni and players currently in the NFL. MHJ’s elite athletic attributes paired with his extremely productive resume just screams “alpha WR” at the NFL level. MHJ has agile footwork, is an effective route-running skillset, and haselite hands. MHJ can be a deep threat as well, who plays bigger than his 6’4 size and length. High IQ and commitment as a blocker will give Harrison an immediate role on top of his skillset and athleticism.

Arizona was a great landing spot for Harrison Jr., who immediately will be the featured wide receiver for Kyler Murray. Marquise Brown vacates 101 targets (14 games) from 2023, after his move to the Chiefs. Murray finished with over 3,700 passing yards in his opening three seasons (2019-2021) and attempted 542 passes in 2021 (ninth most) and 558 passes in 2022 (seventh most). Having the combination of Marvin Harrison Jr. and rising star tight end Trey McBride should mean Kyler getting back to throwing the ball at a higher rate. Murray has only played 19 games the last two seasons but is healthy and ready for a bounce-back himself.

Marvin Harrison Jr. is the next Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, and Puka Nacua. We have an incoming rookie wide receiver who will step into volume straight away and be a heavy producer for a decade for Fantasy Football. MHJ has all of the traits you look for in a WR1 and an alpha at the position. MHJ has the DNA of a top 12 Fantasy wide receiver, and not just sometime in the future but year one in 2024. Many will “reach” on the rookie in their Redraft Fantasy Football Leagues but he may be well worth just that.

Zay Flowers, Ravens WR

The Ravens selected Zay Flowers with the 22nd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Flowers had a great opportunity to step into a large role in year one, and he did just that. Zay Flowers led the Ravens in targets (108), receptions (77), and receiving yards (858) by the end of the year. Mark Andrews did suffer an injury that cut his season short, but Zay did out-target Andrews on a per-game basis 6.8 to 6.1. Flowers finished 15th for the position in yards after catch (391), showing his playmaking ability, and averaged 12.9 Fantasy PPG which ranked 31st for the position. Flowers flashed some Fantasy upside in windows, finishing with 17.7 (Week 1), 17.1 (Week 6), 23.2 (Week 12), 20 (Week 14), 22.2 (Week 16), and 19.6 (Week 17) Fantasy Points through the season.

Through the Ravens’ two playoff games, Zay was the focal point of their offense through the air. Flowers finished catching nine of his 13 targets for 156 receiving yards and a touchdown. To create a perspective, Flowers accounted for 23.63% of the team’s targets, 25% of the team’s receptions, and 36.79% of the team’s receiving yards through those two games. It’s a small sample size of games, but with those two being the two most important ones of the year this means a lot to me.

Lamar Jackson finished 2023 with career-highs in passing attempts (457) and passing yards (3,678). Jackson still was the mobile quarterback we know and love (led the position in rushing yards), but seeing this step forward as a passer is encouraging for Flowers. Flowers and Andrews will make a solid 1-2 punch in 2024, with newcomer Derrick Henry and Jackson keeping defenses honest on the ground. Flowers is a great candidate to build off of his solid year one as an important piece in a great offense and has the upside of a top 15 Fantasy wide receiver.

Chris Olave, Saints WR

Yet another third-year wide receiver from the 2022 class, also selected in the first round. Chris Olave was drafted 11th overall by the Saints, and would instantly have a Fantasy Football impact as a rookie. In 2022, Olave earned 119 targets, and he caught 72 of them for 1,042 receiving yards and four touchdowns. This resulted in finishing #25 in Fantasy PPG for the position with 13.2. Olave climbed statistically across the board in 2023, rising to 138 targets, 87 receptions, 1,123 receiving yards, five touchdowns, and 14.5 Fantasy PPG (#19). Two productive seasons looking at the numbers, and two seasons that translated well for Fantasy so far. Olave could still trend up in year three towards a true Fantasy Football breakout.

Olave has ranked #4 for the position in deep targets (32 / 29) the last two seasons. Olave’s average depth of target has ranked 20th (13.3) and ninth (14) in the last two seasons. Olave has also ranked 6th (1,834) and eighth (1,670) in air yards in his first two NFL seasons. These are all metrics that can mean Fantasy Football receiving yard upside as they are opportunities to make bigger plays. Derek Carr produced 3,878 passing yards and 25 passing touchdowns in his first season with the Saints in 2023, but we have seen more upside through the air back in his Raider days with four seasons straight from 2018-2021 with over 4,000 passing yards. If Carr can get back on track in 2024 with his yardage, this could mean a big push toward Olave having a big Fantasy breakout.

Olave will enter 2024 with target competition from Alvin Kamara out of the backfield, and from pass-catchers named Rashid Shaheed, Cedrick Wilson Jr., AT Perry and Juwan Johnson. This is fairly weak target competition at the end of the day. The positive trend upward we have seen him Olave could certainly continue in 2024, which would mean those Fantasy Points going up. If Olave can rise to 1,200+ receiving yards and up his touchdown totals, he could be a top-12 Fantasy candidate for the position.

Jayden Reed, Packers WR

Green Bay selected Jayden Reed out of Michigan State in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Reed on the Packers following his 2023 rookie campaign finished tied for first in targets per game (5.9 / 94 overall), led Green Bay in receiving yards (793), and led the receiving room in total touchdowns (10). For the position, Reed finished 16th in slot snaps, #27 in yards after catch (335), #27 in yards per route run (2.06), #3 in rushing yards (119), and #26 in Fantasy PPG (13.6). Finishing as a near top 24 (WR2) option for the position as a rookie for Fantasy Football meant importance to lineups through the year, and could be a sign of what is to come in the future.

Jordan Love was selected back in 2020 but finally had his shot as a starter in 2023, which meant excelling across the board. Love finished with 4,159 passing yards and 32 passing touchdowns, which is great production through the air and a solid sign for the pass-catchers in Green Bay. A lot of talks this off-season has been focused on who is the best wide receiver to roster from the Packers between Reed, explosive threat Christian Watson, playoff-productive Romeo Doubs and highly efficient fellow 2023 rookie Dontayvion Wicks. The Packers also have a pair of 2023 rookie tight ends who showed promise in Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft. Reed made his role known in 2023, Reed gave you the answer in his production. Sometimes, these things are not hard.

Reed is the most versatile wide receiver on the Packers roster. Reed can line up in the slot, he can run routes outside, he can be used in a “Deebo” role carrying the ball. Reed extends plays after the catch and instantly displayed touchdown upside. Finishing 26th as a rookie in Fantasy PPG was a great start to his Fantasy Football tenure, and I expect that connection with Love to extend into 2024 which could mean a leap in Fantasy production as a sophomore.

George Pickens, Steelers WR

George Pickens was selected by the Steelers via the second round back in 2022. As a rookie, Pickens caught 52 of his 85 targets for 801 receiving yards, scored four touchdowns, and averaged 9.8 Fantasy PPG (#48). Pickens took a significant step forward in 2023, earning 106 targets and catching 63 of them for 1,140 receiving yards and five touchdowns. 12.3 Fantasy PPG ranked 36th for the position. Pickens was highly efficient finishing fifth in yards per target (10.8) and #1 in yards per reception (18.1).

Pickens has had explosive games, which come from a combination of how he is deployed and what plays he can make. Pickens ranked 19th in average depth of target (13.5) and 10th in deep targets (26) in 2023. Pickens ranked third in average depth of target (15.6) and 7th in deep targets (s28) in 2022. A big factor in his yardage going up in 2023 was the yards-after-catch numbers, ranking 16th with 388. The combination of Kenny Pickett, Mason Rudolph, and Mitch Trubisky the last two seasons has made for a mediocre group of quarterbacks which did not necessarily raise Pickens’ stock in his first two seasons.

Much has changed for the Steelers in 2024. Kenny Pickett is out, and not one but two upgrades in Russell Wilson and Justin Fields are now in Pittsburgh. Both of these quarterbacks, from a personal perceived talent point of view, can elevate George Pickens. That quarterback competition will definitely be interesting, and even if coach talk comes out that it is Russ’ job I think the Steelers’ pass-catchers are in great hands regardless. Diontae Johnson, now a Panther, vacates 87 targets from last year. Johnson only played 14 games but he has been the clear WR1 for the Steelers for the last few seasons. Pittsburgh addressed the offensive line via the first, second, and fourth rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft, which boosts the offense even more. Roman Wilson, out of Michigan, was selected in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft as well, but profiles as more of a compliment wide receiver vs a featured WR1.

George Pickens made a nice progression in his sophomore season but now has so many signs pointing in the right direction for him. The combination of improved quarterback play, improved offensive line, and a path to being the team’s WR1 could mean a splash for Fantasy Football. The big-play guy is going to get more quality opportunities to make big plays.

Malik Nabers, Giants WR

The Giants selected Malik Nabers with the sixth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Nabers ranked second in the FBS for receiving yards in 2023, following his 2022 season over 1,000 receiving yards. Nabers finished his LSU career as the school leader in carer receptions (189) and receiving yards (3,003). Nabers is an explosive route-runner with plus acceleration. Nabers has great speed getting vertical paired with high leaping ability. Nabers’ ball-tracking skills give him deep-threat potential. Nabers can work both outside and inside the slot, and the yards-after-catch upside makes him a true playmaker.

We are already seeing tons of camp clips that indicate this guy is a baller. Some did not like this Giants landing spot, but I see it as an opportunity to instantly step into a system as the clear-cut #1 target. I am a fan of Wan’Dale Robinson, but looking at him along with Darius Slayton and Jalin Hyatt, makes for a room of fairly average wide receivers. Darren Waller just retired this week as well which means even more of a demand on Nabers for an instant role. Nabers to the Giants should mean being what Garrett Wilson has been to the Jets (scroll up to read that).

Daniel Jones will be returning from an ACL injury and often gets knocked for his abilities. In 2022, with Brian Daboll, Jones threw for a career-high in passing yards with 3,205. Jones threw 24 touchdowns as a rookie back in 2019. We can knock the volume through the air out of Danny Dimes but we should also note he has never had a Malik Nabers. Look for Malik Nabers to step into a massive workload as a rookie, and when you give a skilled playmaker like Nabers volume those guys are bound to make things happen. Volume + ability could = Fantasy Football breakout instantly.

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