Top Breakout Wide Receivers To Target in 2024 Fantasy Football Drafts

Dec 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) before a snap during the second half against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) before a snap during the second half against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Breakouts: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Tight Ends

Wide receiver has become the most important position in the world of fantasy football. That’s obvious in the current average draft position data, where four of the first five picks and seven of the top 10 overall are wideouts.

A big part of the surge at the position, besides the NFL rules making it easier for the position to thrive, is a ridiculous number of players at the position who have broken out in recent years. From Justin Jefferson to Ja’Marr Chase and CeeDee Lamb (to name just a few), receivers have often come right out of college and fill up the stat sheets within their first few years in the pros.

With that in mind, here are eight breakout wide receivers to target somewhere in the early to middle rounds who could have career-best seasons in 2024.

1. Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

Wilson was listed among my breakout candidates last season, but the injury that cost Aaron Rodgers most of the year sunk that idea like the Titanic. On a positive note, he still averaged around 13 points per game with some less-than-stellar quarterbacks under center. With Rodgers back this season, however, Wilson will once again be in a position to meet his statistical expectations.

2. Marvin Harrison Jr., Arizona Cardinals

I have to be honest, folks … I love Harrison Jr. this season. I even have him ranked ahead of Davante Adams in my re-draft rank list. He was the best wide receiver in the 2024 class, and he landed in the perfect spot with a Cardinals offense that will use him as an alpha right out of the gates. With Marquise Brown and Rondale Moore gone, Harrison Jr. will see plenty of targets in Year 1.

3. Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints

Olave is coming off his second 1,000-yard season, but I don’t think he’s hit his statistical ceiling. That could happen in Year 3, as he’ll no longer have to contend with Michael Thomas (when healthy) for targets. Olave also has the advantage of playing against a pretty advantageous slate of opponents, which could further vault him to increased fantasy stardom in 2024.

4. Drake London, Atlanta Falcons

Excuse my non-stop Seinfeld references when it comes to London, but we “love the Drake” this season. Bad quarterbacks and a lack of elite target totals have limited London in his first two seasons, but that won’t be the case in 2024. The Falcons signed veteran gunslinger Kirk Cousins, who elevates the value of all of Atlanta’s pass catchers. London could be a top-12 wideout this season.

5. Malik Nabers, New York Giants

Harrison Jr. wasn’t the lone rookie wideout who landed in a good spot, as Nabers is a virtual lock to lead the Giants in targets this season. Sure, the quarterback will be Daniel Jones or Drew Lock, but volume can often overcome bad signal-callers. Nabers, who comes from the wide receiver friendly LSU offense, could push for weekly starting value in fantasy leagues in his first year.

6. Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens

Flowers is coming off a good but not great rookie season, finishing as the WR31. Obviously, that leaves a lot of room for improvement, and letting Odell Beckham Jr. leave as a free agent opens up a few more targets for the talented speedster. In fact, I can see him getting into the 130-140 target range in his second NFL season. Flowers could blossom into a nice draft value.

7. George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pickens is a talented wideout who has yet to meet expectations, but this season could be his breakout campaign. The Steelers traded Diontae Johnson and his near seven targets per game from a year ago, leaving Pickens as the clear No. 1 wide receiver. Pittsburgh also added Russell Wilson and Justin Fields at quarterback, which makes Pickens more appealing in fantasy drafts.

8. Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers

Reed had a slow start to his rookie season, but he finished on a high note with 15-plus points in each of his last four games, including two with more than 20. He was highly productive despite not seeing a massive touch share overall, making Reed an attractive option in both re-drafts and best-ball formats. He’ll be a great flex option with the potential to push for much greater totals.

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Michael Fabiano


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Formerly of CBS Sports, NFL Network and SirusXM, Michael was the first fantasy analyst to appear on one of the four major TV networks. His work can now be found on SI, Westwood One Radio and the Bleav Podcast Network.