Fantasy football: Best teams for 2024 NFL draft picks

Jayden Daniels, the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner, could land in a favorable spot for his fantasy stock as a rookie. AP Photo/Derick Hingle

The trajectory of an NFL draft prospect's career doesn't always align with fans' preferred timing. Often, however, a player's talent eventually shows up, making them a fantasy football favorite.

This year's class brings intriguing skill sets and a renewed optimism to the virtual game. Below are 10 of my favorite 2024 NFL draft prospects and where I think they would best -- and most realistically -- fit.

QB Jayden Daniels to the Washington Commanders

Surprised not to see Caleb Williams headlining this piece? That's because I'm not optimistic about Caleb's chances in Chi Town. Daniels to Washington, however, is a move I can get behind. The LSU (by way of Arizona State) product is a dual-threat talent who has a skill set ideal for the modern NFL. During his record-breaking season, Daniels led the FBS in both yards per pass (11.66) and yards per rush (8.4) while being responsible for 50 total touchdowns (40 passing, 10 rushing).

While it's not a perfect comp (what is?), last year's Heisman Trophy winner is giving Kyler Murray vibes. That's particularly intriguing, especially considering Kliff Kingsbury's recent installment as the Commandeers' offensive coordinator. With Terry McLaurin (who miraculously posted a fourth consecutive campaign over 1,000 yards despite abysmal QB play) and the criminally underutilized Jahan Dotson leading the receiving corps and a solid run game available to establish a rhythm, Daniels could slide into a sneaky-productive situation. Given his elite rushing instincts, the rookie could potentially thrive as a QB2 in superflex formats as early as Year 1.

QB Caleb Williams to the Chicago Bears

Just because I don't like the idea of Williams in Chicago doesn't mean it's not going to happen, or that it's not worth discussing. Williams is widely considered the best QB in this year's class. The Lincoln Riley acolyte enjoyed a storied college career, leaving USC as the program's single-season record holder for total offense (4,919 yards). An ace improviser, Williams possesses a penchant for delivering off script, regularly making highlight-worthy plays outside of the pocket and while off platform. In fact, the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner averaged 9.8 yards per attempt when on the move (QB5) in 2023.

The shadow side of that skill, however, is Williams' habit of holding on to the ball too long. Sure, he can carve up defenses when given time. But time isn't a luxury afforded to NFL QBs. Chicago has made an effort to improve the offensive line, and while plenty of question marks remain, the trenches are trending upward. Similarly, I applaud the organization for attempting to surround its new franchise QB with theoretical weapons, a consideration seemingly never given to Justin Fields. Personally, I'm not sold on the notion that a 32-year-old slot receiver (Keenan Allen) will save the corps, but Williams will have seasoned talent at his disposal. It's a good landing spot on paper ... even if this bitter Bears fan isn't immediately buying the "SoCal Baker Mayfield" hype.

RB Jonathon Brooks to the Arizona Cardinals

Despite rehabbing from a torn ACL that he suffered this past November, Brooks tops this year's crop of incoming running backs. The Texas product is a smooth rusher who breaks tackles with ease, having recorded the sixth-most forced missed tackles (63) among qualified RBs last season. He's also a capable receiver out of the backfield, as he averaged 26 receiving yards (RB9) per game in 2023.

Brooks has drawn comparisons to Dalvin Cook and Tony Pollard, and is a favorite to emerge as the Dallas Cowboys' newest RB1. That makes fine sense, but it's not the best move from a long-term perspective. Instead, Brooks could heal and learn behind James Conner -- who will be entering his age-29 season and is set to become a free agent at the close of 2024 -- before taking the reins in 2025. Arizona has six picks in the first two days of the draft, so the opportunity for Brooks to land in the desert are flush.

RB Trey Benson to the Dallas Cowboys

Benson is no stranger to rehab, having missed significant time after suffering a brutal right knee injury while repping Oregon back in December 2020. The Mississippi native started fresh (and healthy) on the other side of the country, scoring 15 total TDs for the Noles in 2023. Presenting with a three-down skill set, Benson does nearly everything well. He's big, fast and tough to take down, because of his compact frame and awesome contact balance. That makes him a solid fit for nearly any offense, particularly one that needs a versatile talent to handle the rock ASAP.

Enter the Cowboys. Jerry Jones' choices have, arguably, forced him to extend his timeline. That doesn't mean, however, that he's a patient man. Why wait for Brooks to bounce back when he can pick a back who has already rebounded? Pollard's departure from Dallas has freed up more than 300 touches and would allow Benson to slide in as the team's primary ball carrier.

RB Blake Corum to the Los Angeles Chargers

Blake The Great? More like Blake can shake! Corum led the Wolverines' run-centric offense all the way to the national championship, shimmying his way past defenders and through holes on the regular. After rolling up 1,245 rush yards (RB18) and 27 rushing scores (RB1) on 258 attempts (T-RB7), Corum has proven he can handle a large volume of touches and keep churning after first contact.

Where better for him to continue to shine than with his former head coach? Jim Harbaugh's arrival in Los Angeles, as well as Austin Ekeler's departure from the Chargers, lines up perfectly for Corum. He doesn't have Ek's hands (Corum managed just 16 grabs in 2023), and Gus Edwards figures to poach more than a few goal line opportunities, but the Michigan product could easily clear 200 attempts as the Bolts' lead back, providing him with easy RB2 appeal in his rookie effort.

WR Marvin Harrison Jr. to the Cardinals

Harrison is currently at -600 odds to be the first wide receiver selected, per ESPN BET. You won't get any disagreement from me. A polished playmaker with elite NFL bloodlines, Harrison is arguably the most pro-ready player in this year's draft class, regardless of position. Nearly everything about his game -- from his hands to his routes -- exude grace, ease and savvy. His prodigious talent has translated into big-time productivity, as he is one of just three Big Ten wideouts (Allen Robinson II and Tyler Johnson being the other two) to clear 1,000 receiving yards in back-to-back seasons over the past 20 years.

With the fourth overall pick and a clear need at the position, Arizona is the most probable landing spot for Harrison. Kyler Murray may not be long for the desert, nor is he the most consistent QB in the game, but he has proven capable of supporting a top-15 fantasy producer at the position (DeAndre Hopkins was a top-15 WR in fantasy PPG in all three of his seasons as a Cardinal). Harrison would easily emerge as Murray's primary option, likely flirting with double-digit targets on a regular basis and making him a priority rookie in redraft and dynasty formats.

WR Malik Nabers to the Chargers

A separation king with outstanding instincts, Nabers was a monster producer at LSU, closing out his college career as the program's all-time leader in receiving yards (3,003). At 6-feet tall and 200 pounds, he's not the biggest wideout, but with 4.4 speed and a burst score in the 98th percentile, Nabers can produce at all levels of the field and after the catch (595 YAC in 2023, WR9). A brilliant playmaker, Nabers has the tenacity and talent to become an immediate impact player in fantasy and real life.

Landing in Los Angeles could certainly speed up the maturation process. The Chargers are embarking on an obvious rebrand, having swapped out the former coaching regime and clearing out the team's pass-catching corps. The exits of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams alone have freed up more than 175 looks. Justin Herbert is likely to quickly zero in on Nabers, particularly when noting the wideout's ability to win in contested situations (18 contested catches in 2023, T-WR9). It might take a minute for the new-look Bolts to find a rhythm, but Nabers should be one of the offense's most evident (and successful) tempo-setters.

WR Rome Odunze to the New York Giants

Odunze's ascent was less of a skyrocket and more of a slow burn. That's OK, though, because it demonstrates consistent growth and evolution. Any concerns about the Husky's development were eased, as the 6-foot-3, 212-pound wideout cleared 1,100 receiving yards in consecutive campaigns. He also demonstrated his red zone prowess, hauling in 13 scores (T-WR6) in 2023. Giving all the alpha vibes, Odunze recorded 24 contested catches (T-WR1 with Rice's Luke McCaffrey) while averaging 109.3 receiving yards per game (WR4) in his final season at Washington.

The almost-22-year-old's ability is as evident as the Giants' need for an X. New York has been, quite literally, playing small for years. With Darren Waller contemplating retirement and Darius Slayton's ceiling tapped, the G-Men figure to select Odunze with the sixth overall pick. I don't love the QB situation for him, but volume remains king in fantasy. While the former track standout lacks polish, he has the physical tools and demeanor necessary to hone his craft and produce. Starting his career in the Big Apple could result in top-30 fantasy numbers for Odunze and his investors.

WR Xavier Worthy to the Indianapolis Colts

Worthy most recently gained notoriety for breaking the combine's 40-yard-dash record, blazing through the drill in just 4.21 seconds. So, yeah, he's fast. But do NOT compare him to John Ross. Worthy is much more than a one-dimensional deep threat. He's also a nuanced route-runner who can line up on the outside (58% in 2023) or in the slot (39% in 2023). A big-play threat whenever the ball is in his hands, Worthy posted an eye-popping 579 yards after the catch (WR10) in Austin last season.

I hope the California native enjoyed more than Lucas Oil Stadium while visiting (and wowing audiences in) Indianapolis in February, because he's a perfect fit for the Colts' evolving offense. Shane Steichen knows how to properly utilize complementary skill sets, as evidenced by the success A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith enjoyed under Steichen's instruction back in 2022. Worthy would be fire working opposite Michael Pittman Jr. (with Josh Downs holding it down in the slot), particularly if Anthony Richardson stays healthy for the bulk of his sophomore campaign. The latter piece of that equation is far from certain, but the upside is absolutely tantalizing.

TE Brock Bowers to the New York Jets

Bowers is, undoubtedly, the most talented player at the position (and maybe the second-most-polished player overall) in this year's draft. A two-time John Mackey Award winner, Bowers has elite speed (98th percentile) and a dogged "my ball" mentality. He simply processes and operates at a different pace, regularly hauling in one-handed grabs while motoring through (and over) a variety of tackles (4.25 yards after contact per reception, TE2). Whether he's serving from the slot, running a jet sweep or working in line, Bowers is never not winning. He's a generational talent and figures to fly off the board within the first 10 picks of the first round.

The Jets happen to have the 10th overall selection, as well as a clear need at the position, making Bowers an obvious fit for the organization. On the heels (no pun intended) of Aaron Rodgers' missed season, the window for success is quickly closing and the pressure is rapidly mounting. New York needs offensive help. Adding Mike Williams was a start, but the likelihood of the oft-injured, soon-to-be 30-year-old wideout (who underwent surgery to repair a left ACL tear in late October) returning to form and staying healthy for 17 weeks is pretty close to nil.

Admittedly, tight ends tend to develop at a slower rate. Bowers, however, is not just any tight end. He figures to make an immediate impact at the next level, likely emerging as Rodgers' second-favorite target behind Garrett Wilson. Get ready for the well-warranted hype.

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