The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

NFC South Preview for 2024 Fantasy Football

After previewing the AFC South, in my most previous article covering each division for fantasy football, the discussion of potential amongst players from that division is endless. The NFC South is much different. While there is some value to be had, it’s not as plentiful as other divisions across the league. For example, in a deeper than usual year of quarterback and tight end rankings, the players at each position in the NFC South don’t particularly stand out. That’s not to say you shouldn’t draft any of these players, but it’s important to understand when and where it’s worth selecting them in 2024 fantasy football drafts.

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.

Previewing the NFC South for 2024 Fantasy Football

Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Baker Mayfield has the most proven weapons in the passing game amongst every team in the NFC South. Mayfield showed us last year he deserves to be a starter in this league and can support the fantasy value of key players in Tampa Bay’s offense. As a result, Mayfield has a high floor for fantasy football averaging 17.4 points per game as the QB17 last season. Unfortunately, Baker isn’t one to take off running with just 823 career rushing yards and seven total touchdowns on the ground since 2018. Mayfield is nothing more than a week-to-week streamer in 1QB leagues depending on the matchup, but a safe QB2 in Superflex leagues that you can feel fine about selecting if you’re at the tail end of a heavy quarterback run in drafts.

Running Back

Rachaad White is coming off a 2023 season with 336 total touches, 272 carries, and 1,539 all-purpose yards. This time last year, White was categorized as a running back in the “RB dead zone” where fantasy managers took a risk selecting him between Round 4 and Round 7 hoping to find a starter, though with low expectations. Rachaad White’s RB9 finish far exceed expectations and he’s in a position to finish similarly in 2024.

The Buccaneers are missing offensive coordinator, Dave Canales, who is now the head coach of the Carolina Panthers. However, Tampa’s new offensive coordinator, Liam Coen, shouldn’t be tweaking too much with how the team operated last season. In regards to Rachaad White, he should still see the majority of snaps, carries, and overall touches. Fourth-round rookie Bucky Irving is the only notable addition to the backfield and he profiles more as an option for a third-down receiving role. However, White is a far better pass blocker, which often gets overlooked for fantasy football. Because of this, White shouldn’t come off the field much and he has receiving upside of his own. I think White has another great opportunity to finish as a top-12 RB based on volume alone with potential for more if the Buccaneers can find more ways to score in the red zone.

Wide Receiver

Mike Evans feels like the Derrick Henry of the wide receiver position when it comes to expectations of an imminent downfall. However, just as Henry keeps grinding away as one of the league’s most dominant running backs, Evans continues to post 1,000+ yard seasons as one of the league’s best receivers. For 10 straight seasons now, Evans has 1,000 or more receiving yards each year. His 2023 season of 1,255 yards is his third-highest total. So, bringing back Baker Mayfield, who tossed 136 targets Evans’ way last season, is important for continuity’s sake. Evans will be 31 years old at the season’s start, but if we learned anything from Keenan Allen, Davante Adams, and even Evans himself last season, we shouldn’t overlook studs just based on age alone.

Not far behind Evans’ 136 targets is Chris Godwin with 130 of his own. Godwin’s 2023 season is a forgettable one, especially since he scored just three total touchdowns and his lowest number of receptions (83) since 2020. The key to Godwin’s success for the 2024 fantasy football season is returning to a role in the slot. His 32% of snaps in the slot in 2023 is a major dip from 51%, 53%, and 60% in three seasons prior. Returning Godwin to the slot in Liam Coen’s offense could be a similar utilization to Cooper Kupp in his massive 2022 season when Coen was the offensive coordinator for the Rams. Godwin is going to be much cheaper than usual and a great low-cost value for an expected bounce-back season.

Due to Rachaad White’s receiving upside, and two stud wide receivers both expected to command close to 25% of the target share each, drafting any other Buccaneers wide receiver for the 2024 fantasy football season is a waste of a pick in most leagues. Trey Palmer and his 4.33 [40-yard dash] speed could have an impact if given an opportunity barring Evans or Godwin missing time.

Tight End

Cade Otton’s 2023-24 playoff stats are a far cry from his regular season numbers. In two playoff games, Otton caught 13 of his 19 targets for 154 total yards and a touchdown. He hauled in at least five receptions in both games but did so just three times in 17 regular season games. Otton is the tight end you would target on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but I’m not going to during most 2024 fantasy football drafts. He remains a matchup-based streamer with a limited ceiling due to the players he shares the field with.

Carolina Panthers


Bryce Young is looking to bounce back after a forgettable rookie season. The 2023 first-overall pick will start the 2024 season with his third different head coach. Yes, after firing Frank Reich 11 games into last season and then replacing him with Chris Tabor for the remainder of the season, the Panthers now look to Dave Canales to get Bryce Young and the team back on track.

Luckily for Bryce Young, Canales has recently succeeded in reviving the careers of quarterbacks before him. In 2022, he was the quarterbacks coach for the Seattle Seahawks with a hand in Geno Smith’s Comeback Player of the Year season. Last year, Canales worked with Baker Mayfield as the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that won a home playoff game and then gave Mayfield a three-year, $100 million extension.

There’s obviously no guarantee Young is instantly fixed on hiring Canales alone. However, the team also invested in Young with key off-season moves. They include but are not limited to, trading for Diontae Johnson, drafting both Xavier Legette and Jonathan Brooks in the top-46 picks, and bolstering the offensive line by signing two starting guards Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis.

Young’s second season should be better than his first. How could it not be? He threw two fewer interceptions (10) last season than he did (12) in 35 games at the University of Alabama. The run game around Young should be better, his pass catchers more open, and the line much more protective. Young isn’t going to cost much in drafts but is likely only a consideration as a second quarterback for Superflex league lineups.

Running Back

How we approach the Carolina Panthers running back room will depend on news and updates throughout training camp. As of now, it’s unclear whether or not second round pick, Jonathan Brooks, will be ready after a November 2023 ACL tear. He could still be available for Week 1, but might not really start yielding start-worthy fantasy production until a month into the season.

That leaves a decision between Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders as to which player commands significant touches, if at all, until Brooks is ready. Sanders is reportedly dealing with a heel issue that’s holding him out of mini-camp. That’s something to keep an eye on when their full training camp starts up, but it’s worth noting that Chuba Hubbard flat-out outplayed Sanders in 2023. Neither averaged 4.0 yards per carry, but Hubbard did start seven more games, log 109 more carries, and rush for 470 more yards than Sanders with a handful more targets, as well.

It’s a new regime in Carolina, one that wants to run the ball. That’s why getting a good pulse on this backfield over the next few months is important. Head coach Dave Canales attributes last season’s success with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the team’s ability to run the ball. He also claims he is going to be “stubborn” about how often the Panthers run this season. It’s worth noting that Bucs’ back Rachaad White tied Christian McCaffrey for the second-most rushes (272) last season. As of now, it’s hard to say if rookie Jonathan Brooks can handle such a workload, but if he starts ramping up in his post-ACL recovery during training camp, he’s green-lit to be a high-floor, high-ceiling RB2 for the 2024 fantasy football season.

Wide Receiver

After struggling to find anything nice to say about the Carolina Panthers wide receivers last season, it’s nice to finally have a player or two to talk about this season. Diontae Johnson is the obvious big name following the trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Panthers. Carolina went out and got Bryce Young a true WR1 who is one of the best route runners in the league and, at the very least, consistently gets open. That alone makes Johnson enticing for fantasy football because he more often than not will be Young’s first read gobbling up plenty of quick targets. He is one of my favorite wide receivers to draft at a WR3 value who should finish much higher in Points Per Reception leagues. It’s not often I expect to see the 2024 Panthers in the red zone, but when they are, Johnson should be the top target there, as well.

When coaches talk, I listen. The Carolina Panthers talked a lot about rookie Xavier Legette. Actions speak louder than words and trading up from the 33rd pick one spot to select Legette 32nd overall, as a first-rounder, is hard to ignore. Legette is a flat-out playmaker. He’s a big-body receiver (225 pounds) that is known for racking up yards after the catch. Legette isn’t a bad dart throw at the end of drafts, but if nothing else, he should boost the value of Bryce Young.

Then there’s Adam Thielen, Jonathan Mingo, and Terrace Marshall Jr. Until we see more from the latter two, I’d rather invest in the first-round trade-up pick, Legette, that this new coaching regime invested in themselves. Thielen is a nice veteran presence but will be 34 years old by the start of the season. After a hot start to 2023, his age seemingly caught up to him. He logged nearly 60% of his 2023 yardage before November.

Tight End

None of the Carolina Panthers’ tight ends should be on the fantasy radar for the 2024 season. Tommy Tremble has never surpassed 35 targets in three seasons and Ian Thomas has done so just once (36) in six seasons, in 2018 as a rookie. There’s a chance one of these players, or rookie Ja’Tavion Sanders, emerges as a trustworthy target for Young, but it’s not something we should be investing in during 2024 fantasy drafts. I do like Sanders as a dynasty league investment, especially in tight end premium leagues. His upside is evident by two seasons at Texas with at least 600 yards in each and 99 total receptions over 27 games.

Atlanta Falcons


Kirk Cousins under center for the Atlanta Falcons means more for the rest of the offense than it does for Cousins himself. Cousins isn’t a 20.0+ points per game fantasy football quarterback; he never has been. Throwing to Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson last season with the Vikings, in Kevin O’Connell’s pass-heavy offense, was his best chance, but he tore his Achilles, ending his season.

Cousins’ weapons in Atlanta do rival those with the Vikings. Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Bijan Robinson are all former top-eight NFL Draft selections from 2021 through 2023. However, Cousins will have to maintain an elite level of passing and scoring to maintain top-10 value on a fantasy points-per-game basis given his lack of rushing upside. It’s possible he does, but he is more likely a high-end QB2 with QB1 streaming weeks. The best way to invest in Cousins, coming off of a torn Achilles, is to draft one of his many weapons. He is an excellent high-upside QB2 for Superflex leagues. If you do select him in that format, I would use a late pick on Michael Penix Jr. as insurance.

If Cousins were to miss time for any reason, I do think Penix can help things afloat for these weapons, as well. Penix has plenty of starting experience, specifically over his last two seasons at the University of Washington. His back-to-back final seasons of at least 4,600 passing yards in each, 67 total passing touchdowns, and a National Championship appearance should speak for itself.

Running Back

This may be the most straightforward discussion of the entire NFC South. Bijan Robinson is a top-three running back to consider in 2024 fantasy football drafts. He is a unanimous first-round pick and anywhere you can get him is fine with me. Everyone knows the obvious talent Bijan possesses except maybe last year’s head coach, Arthur Smith. Luckily for us, new head coach Raheem Morris, isn’t messing around. Morris continues to emphasize getting Bijan Robinson the ball as much as possible. It’s music to everyone’s ears when Bijan himself references “Christian McCaffrey-like” utilization. He should push to lead the league in touches and see plenty of red zone work on an improved Falcons offense. If you draft Bijan Robinson, then Tyler Allgeier is one of the most important handcuff running backs to stash on your bench.

Wide Receiver

It’s time for Drake London to break out in a big way. After two seasons of catching passes from Desmond Ridder, Marcus Mariota, and Taylor Heinicke, we can rest assure catching passes from Kirk Cousins will go a lot better. London has yet to log 1,000 yards receiving with just six total touchdowns in 33 games played. After just 117 and 109 targets respectively in his first two seasons, expect London to lead the Falcons in targets this year with a much higher share that goes hand-in-hand with the team’s passing volume (see discussion of Kyle Pitts below). I think most fantasy managers will be able to draft Drake London as their WR2, but he could easily put him WR1 numbers as Cousins’ top target.

Beyond London, I expect tight end Kyle Pitts and running back Bijan Robinson to draw the majority of targets. Darnell Mooney and Rondale Moore are two interesting deeper league adds as downfield threats in Atlanta. Both wide receivers are more enticing as best ball picks as it just takes one big throw from Cousins to make having them on your roster worth it. When that is will be hard to predict with so much talent ahead of them which is why drafting and starting them in redraft leagues is nearly impossible.

Tight End

We all have a choice for the 2024 fantasy football season. You can either be someone who gives Kyle Pitts another chance or someone who fades him completely at his Average Draft Position. I understand the latter stance, but I’m going to make the argument for Kyle Pitts to see if I can change your mind or hype you up even more to do so if you were already planning on it.

Kyle Pitts is only three years removed from 68 receptions, 1,026 yards, and one touchdown with 110 targets as a rookie. His quarterback was Matt Ryan. Since then, Pitts has caught passes from three different starting quarterbacks: Desmond Ridder, Marcus Mariota, and Taylor Heinicke. Heading into 2024, Kirk Cousins will be Pitts’ fifth different starting quarterback and arguably the best, albeit coming off of a torn Achilles. It’s worth noting, in eight games last season before his injury, Cousins targeted tight end T.J. Hockenson a league-leading 68 times amongst all tight ends. It’s a different offense and they are vastly different tight ends, but Cousins knows to get the ball to his best players.

Kyle Pitts’ 2023 season is also one plagued by a nagging knee injury from the season prior. Pitts tore his MCL in Week 11 of the 2022 season and, although he played in every game, never seemed fully healthy. He’s now a year and a half removed from his 2022 season-ending injury.

Lastly is the expected volume for a now healthy, but clearly talented, Kyle Pitts. New head coach Raheem Morris most recently held the position of quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator with the Los Angeles Rams since 2022. In two seasons in said role, the Rams averaged 628 pass attempts per season or 36.9 attempts per game. Kirk Cousins is coming from a system in Minnesota where he averaged 38 pass attempts per game over the last two seasons.

The bottom line is that we should see a much better utilization of Pitts is a pass-heavier and more successful offense. I’m willing to invest in Pitts again this fantasy football season with the possibility of grabbing another player off of the waiver wire to streak each week if, after a month or so, it doesn’t look like it’s panning out.

New Orleans Saints


Derek Carr is often painful to watch, especially if you’re in a position where you need to start him in fantasy football. Nothing about the New Orleans Saints’ off-season changes that. Carr still has Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed, and Alvin Kamara to look for in the passing game, but they are the top three targets from 2023. The only notable additions are Cedrick Wilson Jr., Equanimeous St. Brown, and fifth-round pick Bub Means. Last season, with the same significant personnel, Carr finished with just 13.9 fantasy points per game as the QB28.

The Saints are bringing in Klint Kubiak as their offensive coordinator for the 2024 season. He is already on record stating his confidence in the team’s ability to run the football. This is supported by the Saints’ selection of offensive tackle Taliese Fuage with the 14th overall pick. Implementing more play-action could produce more efficient passing plays, but even then, Carr isn’t good enough to land on the fantasy radar.

Taysom Hill, hilariously enough, is on the fantasy radar, but only if your league still maintains tight end eligibility for him. If you can play Hill at tight end, he has a unique advantage to rack up fantasy points more efficiently lining up elsewhere on the field, usually as a quarterback. In 2023, in the same role, Hill logged just six pass attempts, but 81 rush attempts, scoring five total touchdowns. He had five games of 50 or more rushing yards, as well. The significance of Hill’s value is his utilization in the red zone. He had 18 rush attempts from inside the 10-yard line which is notably more than players like Travis Etienne, Breece Hall, Lamar Jackson, and others. It’s definitely a high-risk, but potentially high-reward scenario starting Hill any given week.

Running Back

There’s a lot of June hype for second-year back Kendre Miller as well as reminders of Jamaal Williams, who scored 17 rushing touchdowns in 2022, still being on the roster. I think the real reminder is just how good Alvin Kamara is. After serving his three-game suspension at the start of last season, Kamara finished second in receptions amongst running backs behind only Breece Hall. He logged just one fewer reception, but in four fewer games. The Saints failed to add any significant pass catchers this off-season setting up Kamara for another high-volume role in the passing game.

It’s possible Kamara’s value primarily rests in his abilities as a receiver. Klint Kubiak could look to establish a three-headed monster of sorts in the run game, limiting Kamara’s workload as a whole. I still think Kamara is more than capable of serving as a fantasy roster’s RB1 until further notice, but stashing Miller or Williams for practically free near the end of drafts isn’t a bad idea.

Wide Receiver

The great equalizer in the NFL is the salary cap. It’s something we fans often forget about when it comes to roster moves and construction. The New Orleans Saints know it better than most teams as they began this off-season doing what they could to get under the cap. So, it should come as no surprise when plenty of other teams were handing out big contracts to wide receivers over the past few months, the Saints were bound by their budget and unable to.

As a result, Chris Olave picks up in 2024 where he left off in 2023. Where he left off is 138 targets in 16 games, good enough for a 23.8% team target share. That’s 51 targets more than the next player on the roster, Alvin Kamara, who, as you know, plays running back. Olave’s competition for targets is the same locking him to yet another voluminous role for the 2024 fantasy football season. He’s a high-floor WR2 with WR1 upside if Derek Carr isn’t turning the ball over or missing his target completely.

Rashid Shaheed’s 75 targets in 2023 are second to Olave amongst the Saints wide receivers. Shaheed, however, seems to be Carr’s preferred downfield option making him a boom-or-bust option for fantasy football and a worthy best-ball target. His nine receptions for 30+ yards were tied for ninth amongst receivers and just five behind Tyreek Hill who led the position. Shaheed did have seven plays of 40+ yards, just two behind Hill, which ranks third amongst wide receivers. It’s hard to put your faith in Derek Carr, but you could do worse than Rashid Shaheed later on in your drafts as a high-upside flex play.

Tight End

If you can plug Taysom Hill into the tight end slot of your lineup, refer back to my thoughts on Hill in the quarterback section above. However, if you can’t, then the tight end worth mentioning on the Saints for the 2024 fantasy football season is Juwan Johnson. He’s 27 entering his fifth season with the Saints. Unfortunately, Johnson has no more than 65 targets in a season and barely cracked 500 yards in 2022. Additionally, we have news that he suffered a lower leg injury this week during mini camp. That’s worth monitoring throughout the summer depending on severity.

On the bright side, Juwan Johnson did show a solid connection with Derek Carr at the end of last season. In the Saints’ final four games, Johnson averaged eight targets, four receptions, and 54 yards with a touchdown in three straight games. You’re not drafting Johnson, but he’s a name to remember in key matchups as a streamer.

Fantrax is one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites in the fantasy sports industry, and we’re not stopping any time soon. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.