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    Fantasy Football WR Sleepers 2024: Top Options Include Ladd McConkey, Adonai Mitchell, and Khalil Shakir

    Landing a fantasy football sleeper can elevate your team to a championship contender very quickly. Here are some WRs who could outperform expectations in 2024.

    Fantasy football sleepers can instantly take your team from a middling contender to a championship favorite in the blink of an eye. Ask anyone who drafted WR Puka Nacua last year about his fantasy impact and they’ll quickly confirm how big of a difference-maker he was for their fantasy squad.

    Fantasy Football WR Sleepers

    Ladd McConkey, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

    You should not make a career out of questioning new Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh’s methods of running a football team.

    He has an impressive résumé of recorded success that has followed him both at the collegiate and professional levels. Yet, it’s hard not to get a bit concerned for quarterback Justin Herbert when the organization decided to part ways with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler, and Gerald Everett this offseason.

    That is 229 receptions and 2,339 receiving yards worth of production from 2023 completely removed from the roster. These moves meant the pass-catching talent on the Los Angeles roster heading into the 2024 NFL Draft consisted of Quentin Johnston, Joshua Palmer, and Hayden Hurst.

    No offense to any of the players just mentioned, but that isn’t an imposing enough group to strike fear into the hearts of opposing defenses, even with Herbert under center.

    Yet, help arrived in the form of McConkey. With the Bulldogs, McConkey profiled as a versatile, lightning-quick, explosive playmaker who threatens defenses vertically. With his 4.39-second 40-yard dash speed, he could torture ill-equipped defenders who can’t compete with his elite short-area burst as an underneath after-the-catch threat or contribute as a ball carrier with designed rushing touches.

    The raw athleticism alone is enough to get you excited about his potential in the NFL. However, where McConkey really stands out as a candidate to lead this team in targets as a rookie is his diverse release package and elite ability to create separation as a nuanced route runner.

    McConkey’s post-graduate-level route-running prowess shows up all over the film with great tempo variation, textbook stem IQ to attack defenders’ leverage, and balletic controlled footwork at the breakpoint — which helps him snap down and instantly accelerate out of his breaks to force a social-distancing-type separation between him and his defender.

    McConkey is already the best route runner on this roster. Combine that with his formation versatility — which is also arguably the best on the team — and his plus-level run-after-catch (RAC) ability with top-tier acceleration, surprising contact balance, and deceptive top speed, and you have the recipe for an instant fantasy success in 2024.

    After L.A.’s exodus of talent, there are 320 targets up for grabs. Do we really think McConkey isn’t going to see a hefty amount of those looks from one of the best quarterbacks in the league in 2024? Palmer will certainly be involved, but my money is on McConkey.

    McConkey’s current ADP sits at No. 71 overall (WR44 off the board), just behind Rome Odunze, Jordan Addison, and Christian Watson. Frankly, I’d rather have McConkey than all three of them as McConkey is simply in a better situation.

    The table is set for McConkey to make a massive fantasy impact early in his career while and he’s paired with an elite quarterback from the moment he steps onto an NFL field.

    Adonai Mitchell, WR, Indianapolis Colts

    Michael Pittman Jr. may enter the 2024 season as the unquestioned alpha in Indianapolis’ WR room because of his 109 receptions for 1,152 yards and four scores on 156 targets in 2023, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook the other options in this passing attack in 2024.

    The situation behind Pittman should not scare fantasy managers away from investing middle-round draft capital on rookie WR Adonai Mitchell heading into his rookie year.

    Sure, Josh Downs had his fair share of moments as a rookie and should have a consistent role as a slot option. But his best games were with Gardner Minshew II under center, and Downs doesn’t exactly have the WR2 role locked down.

    Don’t even get me started on Alec Pierce, whose immense snap share from last season is sure to evaporate with Mitchell now on the roster after posting a brutal 0.87 yards per route run in 2023.

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    Mitchell entered this draft process with a somewhat polarizing prospect profile. His ideal size (6’2”, 205 pounds) and vertical speed (4.34-second 40-yard dash) give him an immediate opportunity to operate as an outside vertical playmaker.

    In addition, Mitchell flashed exceptional fluidity and creativity as a route runner to consistently create separation at the breakpoint in college. This fit from a schematic standpoint is outstanding for both Richardson and the Colts’ offense.

    One could even see a similar role for Mitchell to that of DeVonta Smith in Philadelphia — who thrived in Shane Steichen’s scheme as a vertical playmaking second option alongside A.J. Brown. Smith and Mitchell are different prospects, but they do share plenty of vertical speed and great route-running ability as an outside option in the passing game.

    If Mitchell is on the football field over 90% of the time like Pierce was last season, fantasy managers should expect Mitchell to significantly outproduce Pierce’s 2023 output of just 32 receptions for 514 yards.

    The volume is a bit tricky to pinpoint for Mitchell entering his rookie year, but the snap share opportunity, perfect schematic fit, great physical tools, and route-running nuance all set him up for a fantasy-relevant role in 2024.

    Mitchell’s ADP currently sits at No. 124 overall (WR60 off the board). Mitchell is being drafted behind other receivers like Brandin Cooks, Jakobi Meyers, and Dontavyion Wicks.

    I will gladly take the chance on Mitchell and his upside in this offense over the receivers going in his range.

    Khalil Shakir, WR, Buffalo Bills

    Through the first seven games of the 2023 season, Khalil Shakir looked like nothing more than a package-specific role player in the Buffalo Bills offense, with just eight receptions for 75 yards and one score as the WR103 in full-PPR formats.

    Yet, Shakir’s expanded role and production against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9, which resulted in six receptions for 92 yards on six targets, led to his role significantly expanding over the back half of his second NFL season.

    From Week 8 through the rest of the regular season, Shakir was the WR46 in full-PPR formats. He totaled 31 receptions for 536 yards and one score, with an average of 9.2 fantasy points per game through that span.

    These may not be league-winning numbers, but this role alongside Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and Dalton Kincaid certainly isn’t worth scoffing at either. In fact, Shakir actually outscored Davis during this span by 8.7 fantasy points.

    When you look at Shakir’s overall production from 2023, he finished as the WR61 overall with 39 receptions for 611 yards and two scores. He took a nice step in the right direction last year, but he’s still a bit away from being a reliable fantasy starter based on those numbers alone.

    One encouraging sign was Shakir’s average of 7.2 yards after the catch, which actually ranked third behind only Deebo Samuel Sr. and Rashee Rice among players with 30+ receptions in 2023. Both are in the conversation of the best RAC threats at the WR position in the NFL. Shakir can be a very dangerous player when he has the ball in his hands.

    Entering 2024, the Bills have purged 241 targets, 152 receptions, 1,929 yards, and 15 touchdowns worth of receiving production off the roster this offseason with the departures of Diggs and Davis. While this is exciting for Shakir potentially seeing a bigger role in the passing game, this has been coupled with Buffalo signing Curtis Samuel and drafting Keon Coleman this offseason.

    Samuel is a proven veteran with a similar skill set to Shakir, and Coleman has the physical tools to potentially operate outside as an X receiver but has some issues consistently creating separation.

    In an ideal world, Shakir could see a similar role to Cole Beasley’s in 2020, when the former Bill finished as the WR27 with 82 receptions for 967 yards and four scores from 107 targets.

    Shakir lined up in the slot for 69% of his snaps last year, which echoes Beasley’s usage in this offense during his best years with the Bills. Since Buffalo doesn’t have an established alpha target earner on the roster anymore, this certainly feels like it’s within the range of outcomes.

    Shakir’s ADP of No. 102 overall (WR52 off the board) means fantasy managers aren’t quite convinced he’ll become a reliable fantasy starter in 2024. I don’t share those concerns.

    KEEP READING: 6 Breakout Players to Target in Fantasy Football in 2024

    Shakir really emerged as a reliable option for Allen down the stretch. His great ability to create yards after the catch makes him a great potential option for Allen to find for easy completions with the lack of a true WR1 in this offense.

    Ultimately, you want a piece of this Buffalo passing offense. The fact Shakir is currently the cheapest option among all of the pass catchers on the Bills’ roster on fantasy draft day makes him the option I want on my team.

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