Third-Year MUST HAVES: 2024 Fantasy Football Breakout Targets (2024)

Third-Year MUST HAVES: 2024 Fantasy Football Breakout Targets (1)

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1.Drake London - WR, Atlanta Falcons

2.Jake Ferguson - TE, Dallas Cowboys

3.Isiah Pacheco - RB, Kansas City Chiefs

4.Garrett Wilson - WR, New York Jets

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7.More Fantasy Football Analysis

Fantasy football managers understand that players often take a few years to develop into star performers. Third-year players may experience breakout seasons due to coaching and personnel changes, injuries, and increased playing opportunities.

For example, Nico Collins took a giant leap forward in his third year. In 2023, he was drafted as WR56 in PPR leagues but finished as WR12. We'll take a look at four players who have the same sort of breakout potential for the upcoming 2024 season.

Each of these players has their reasons for breaking out in 2024. This article will examine why these players will shine in fantasy football. The average draft position referenced in this article is the FFPC ADP.

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Drake London - WR, Atlanta Falcons

Drake London, the eighth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, has quickly established himself as the WR1 on the Atlanta Falcons roster. In his rookie season, he displayed his potential. He caught an impressive 72 balls on 117 targets, collecting 866 yards and four touchdowns.

London resumed his steady performance the following season with 69 receptions on 109 targets, resulting in 905 yards and two scores. The star wideout has faced an issue while in Atlanta: poor quarterback play. Quarterbacks Desmond Ridder, Marcus Mariota, and Taylor Heinicke were all under center at one point during his career in the NFL.

The Falcons signed Kirk Cousins for the 2024 season. Cousins has demonstrated his ability to support multiple pass-catchers in the past. Justin Jefferson, Stefon Diggs, and Adam Thielen benefited from Cousins' presence. If eighth overall draft pick Michael Penix Jr. needs to come in at quarterback, he will be better than what London had to work with last season.


— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) October 15, 2023

The coaching situation has transformed in Atlanta. Raheem Morris takes over as head coach. Before Morris's arrival, Arthur Smith was the head coach, operating a run-first offense. The arrival of Zac Robinson as the new offensive coordinator brings a new perspective to the team.

Robinson, who formerly served as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams, is part of the Sean McVay coaching tree. This connection bodes well for London and other Atlanta pass-catchers, hinting at potential improvements in their performance.

The third-year wide receiver should take a leap forward in 2024. London's NFPC ADP is 24.44, and he's going off the board as WR10. RotoBaller rankings have London ranked as WR14, the 22nd overall player. Fantasy managers anticipate a breakout for the wideout, as displayed by his ADP.

Jake Ferguson - TE, Dallas Cowboys

Dalton Schultz signed with the Houston Texans for the 2023 season. Jake Ferguson became the Dallas Cowboys' starting tight end for 2023 as a result. After displaying glimpses of what he could do at tight end in his 2022 rookie season, Ferguson finished the 2023 season as TE9 in PPR leagues.

Last season, Ferguson hauled in 71 balls for 761 yards and five scores. He was also the second-most-targeted player on the Cowboys behind CeeDee Lamb. Ferguson saw targets 102 times to Lamb's 181.

Dallas' offense is pass-heavy, with quarterback Dak Prescott leading the NFL in touchdown passes last year with 36. The athletic tight end only scored five touchdowns in 2023. He was frequently used in the red zone, even if he wasn't scoring. The Pro Bowler should find positive touchdown regression in 2024.


— SleeperNFL (@SleeperNFL) December 1, 2023

Running back Tony Pollard is now in Tennessee. The Cowboys are reuniting with Ezekiel Elliott for 2024. Dallas will want to pass first with a declining Elliott and a question mark in Rico Dowdle. Head coach Mike McCarthy recently said the Cowboys will use a running-back-by-committee game plan in 2024.

The Cowboys did not draft any competition for the pass-catchers in the 2024 NFL Draft. Fifth-round rookie Ryan Flournoy is irrelevant. Dallas lost wide receiver Michael Gallup, who had just 34 receptions last season.

Veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks retains his WR2 status after catching eight touchdowns in 2023. Jalen Tolbert should be Dallas's WR3. Ferguson will continue to be Prescott's second-favorite weapon.

The Dallas tight end presently has a RotoBaller ranking of 88th player overall (TE9). His NFPC ADP is 65.44, taken as TE9. In an excellent situation, Ferguson is one of the better "middle-of-the-pack" tight ends.

Isiah Pacheco - RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Last season, Isiah Pacheco had an impressive season, especially for a seventh-round draft pick. He ran for 935 yards on 205 attempts, averaging 4.6 yards per carry.

In his second year with Kansas City, the running back scored seven touchdowns, two more than he did in his rookie season. He is another candidate for positive touchdown regression, especially if he can hit the 1,000-yard mark.

Last season, Pacheco was the third-most thrown-to Chiefs player in the red zone. He had six catches on seven targets for 32 yards and two scores. The Rutgers product rushed for 124 yards in the red zone on 33 attempts, scoring six touchdowns.

There is little competition for the two-time Super Bowl champion in the upcoming season. Jerick McKinnon is a free agent, and Pacheco had quality games when McKinnon missed time due to injury.

Isiah Pacheco gets some big blocks and finds the end zone. 😤 @isiah_pachecoRB

📺: #KCvsNYJ on NBC⁰📱: Stream on #NFLPlus

— NFL (@NFL) October 2, 2023

Although Clyde Edwards-Helaire is still there, the Chiefs declined to pick up his fifth-year option. Edwards-Helaire started three of the 15 games he played in 2023, hauling in one score while running in another.

The team often utilized CEH as a third-down back. He ran for 223 yards and added 188 yards through the air. CEH will not be a threat to Pacheco. The 25-year-old was a reliable RB2 option for fantasy managers last season. He concluded the season as RB15 in PPR leagues. On average, the back scored 15.3 fantasy points per game. "Pop" had four games where he scored 20 or more fantasy points.

For the 2024 season, the Kansas City runner is a low-end RB1. RotoBaller has him ranked as the RB11, coming in as the 34th overall player. His current FFPC ADP is 36.34, taken as the RB11.

Garrett Wilson - WR, New York Jets

The New York Jets selected wide receiver Garrett Wilson in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. For two seasons, Wilson has put up over 1,000 yards. In 2022, the wideout caught 83 balls for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns on 147 targets. Wilson then had 95 catches for 1,042 yards and three touchdowns on 168 targets in 2023.

Aaron Rodgers was supposed to be the field general getting the ball to Wilson in 2023, but he suffered an Achilles injury when the season started. Wilson has dealt with subpar quarterback play for the first two seasons of his career. Zach Wilson has been the quarterback who has thrown the ball most often. The wideout has also caught passes from Joe Flacco, Mike White, and Tim Boyle.

In 2022, the 23-year-old scored 12.7 PPR fantasy points per game. That number dropped to 12.5 PPR fantasy points per game in 2023. Wilson's fantasy points are so low despite his two 1,000-yard seasons because of his lack of touchdowns. The Jets wide receiver has only been targeted in the red zone 18 times in his two years in the league. He saw over 140 targets in each of his NFL seasons.



— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 12, 2023

Mike Williams joined New York for the 2024 season. He has two 1,000-yard seasons under his belt. Williams is coming off a torn ACL and won't look like that player anymore. The Jets drafted Malachi Corley in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Corley's role with the Jets shouldn't hurt Wilson's value.

With Rodgers as the quarterback, Wilson will see positive touchdown regression. He should have both the yardage and the touchdowns to be a WR1 in fantasy this season. The Jets star currently has an FFPC ADP of 16.19 (WR8). He is the 11th overall player and WR8 in RotoBaller's rankings. Feel confident carrying Wilson as your WR1.

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