Puka Nacua’s Best Ball Fantasy Outlook: Can Rams WR Repeat His Dominant Performance in 2024?

After a record-breaking rookie season, should fantasy managers expect an even better 2024 for Los Angeles Rams WR Puka Nacua?

Los Angeles Rams WR Puka Nacua broke records as a rookie in 2023. Was it a fluke, or is he set to be an elite fantasy receiver for the better part of the next decade? Should fantasy football managers target Nacua in Best Ball drafts?

Puka Nacua’s 2024 Fantasy Outlook

Whenever a player largely comes out of nowhere to post an elite season, there will invariably be questions about whether he’s worth his price in fantasy drafts the following season. Our very own Kyle Soppe has those questions himself and provided a pretty compelling case for Nacua’s downside.

I’ve never met anyone who can find and analyze stats and metrics quite like Soppe. As always, his position is backed by facts and data. I respect what he’s telling us, but I couldn’t disagree more.

In his rookie season (as a Day 3 pick), Nacua caught 105 passes for 1,486 yards and six touchdowns — averaging 17.6 fantasy points per game.

I’m not concerned at all about WR Cooper Kupp being healthy in 2024. Kupp or no Kupp, Nacua is QB Matthew Stafford’s top target and L.A.’s WR1 now.

Imagine the discourse surrounding first-round talents like Seattle Seahawks WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba or Minnesota Vikings WR Jordan Addison if they did what Nacua did last season.

Would anyone be questioning whether JSN or Addison were worth second-round picks in Best Ball drafts? It’s, of course, an unfalsifiable hypothetical, but I strongly believe the answer is no. Nacua gets questioned purely because of his draft capital — or lack thereof.

There were savvy analysts out there who pinpointed Nacua as a late-round guy to throw a dart at. But it’s safe to say not a soul on the planet expected him to post the single greatest rookie wide receiver season of all time.

The only thing flukey about Nacua’s elite season is, athletically, he’s an outlier. Based on his athletic testing numbers, he’s slow with an incredibly small catch radius and lacks both burst and agility.

MORE: Should Puka Nacua Be Selected Outside the Top 12 WRs in 2024 Fantasy Football Drafts?

Of course, watching him on the field, you wouldn’t think any of those things. That’s not to say athletic testing doesn’t matter. Rather, it’s to point out that it’s not the be-all/end-all. Outliers exist, and Nacua appears to be one of them.

As a rookie, it’s safe to say Nacua is not as good as he will be when he reaches his prime. He also will have a better grasp of the playbook and the nuances of the NFL going forward.

Yet, he was already able to command a 28.7% target share and targeted on 29.1% of his routes run. Nacua’s 2.72 yards per route run was sixth in the league. Wide receivers don’t do this if they aren’t good.

Should You Draft Nacua in 2024 Best Ball Leagues?

I’m fully convinced Nacua is not just good, but great. He’s now entering his second season with Stafford and Sean McVay calling the shots. Nacua has consistency from year to year, which should only help him continue to progress.

Nacua is not quite on the level of Miami Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill, Vikings WR Justin Jefferson, Cincinnati Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase, and Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb. I would firmly put him behind Detroit Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown as well.

But after those guys, he belongs right in the conversation with New York Jets WR Garrett Wilson and Philadelphia Eagles WR A.J. Brown.

KEEP READING: Best Ball Stacking Strategy

There’s no denying that Nacua’s rookie season was incredible. Yet, I believe he can be even better in 2024. A 20-points-per-game season is within his range of outcomes. As such, Nacua is well worth selecting as early as the back half of the first round of Best Ball drafts.

With the fantasy football season behind us, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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