Rashee Rice’s Dynasty Value | Fantasy Outlook, Ranking, and More

Kansas City Chiefs WR Rashee Rice excelled as a rookie, especially down the stretch. How highly should dynasty managers value him heading into 2024?

Kansas City Chiefs WR Rashee Rice spent his entire rookie season improving week after week. By the second half, he had established himself as the clear best receiver on the team and a WR1 in fantasy football. Where does his dynasty value stand heading into the 2024 offseason?

Rashee Rice’s Dynasty Outlook

I will be the first to admit I was not a believer in Rice as a prospect. Evaluating football players is hard, and no one is going to come even close to getting everything correct.

The key to success in this game is acknowledging this fact and being open to changing your opinion based on new information. A year ago, all we had to go off of was Rice’s college production profile. Now we have his entire rookie season in the NFL.

Let’s hop in our DeLorean and go back to before the 2022 season. The Chiefs used a second-round pick on a guy by the name of Skyy Moore. I liked Moore far more as a prospect than I did Rice. Then, we saw Moore’s entire rookie season. In a year where Patrick Mahomes threw for 5,250 yards, Moore accounted for a whopping 250 of that. I acknowledged my error and moved on.

It wasn’t just the lack of productivity that spelled doom for Moore. The Chiefs had one of the shallowest wide receiver rooms in the NFL. Their closest thing to an alpha WR was JuJu Smith-Schuster. If Moore couldn’t earn a meaningful role in that wide receiver room, it was safe to conclude it would never happen.

Let’s now jump forward a year to 2023. After whiffing on Moore and losing Smith-Schuster, the Chiefs still had a glaring need at wide receiver. Once again, they took a shot at solving the problem with a second-round pick, selecting Rice.

Somehow, the Chiefs’ wide receiver room was even weaker in 2023 than it was in 2022. Rice couldn’t have asked for a better landing spot. Not only would he have every opportunity to succeed, but if he didn’t, we could easily conclude he wasn’t good.

Not only did Rice earn a starting role, he became the clear WR1 and Mahomes’ top target aside from Travis Kelce. Many other receivers had the same, if not better, opportunity to do so. Where they failed, Rice succeeded. That’s very promising for his long-term value.

MORE: Which Dynasty Fantasy Platform Is Right for You?

Rice broke out late in college and wasn’t productive until his senior season. However, he did command a massive 30.6% target share in his final year at SMU. That provided hope that Rice, when paired with Mahomes, could end up being something. Remember, while every collegiate stat tells us something, no single one dictates how a player will perform at the next level.

It’s impossible to know exactly why Rice was used so seldomly early in the season. The most likely answer is he was a rookie, didn’t have a firm grasp of the full playbook, and just wasn’t ready for a larger role.

As the season progressed, Rice kept making the most of his limited opportunities. He was standing out as the Chiefs’ other receivers were proving untrustworthy.

Without a clear top option, head coach Andy Reid’s approach was to rotate receivers in and out of the game constantly. Over the second half of the season, Rice’s rapid improvement (as well as the other guys’ struggles) forced them to change their philosophy.

Beginning around Week 12, Rice officially became the Chiefs’ WR1. After averaging 10.2 fantasy points per game over the first 11 weeks, Rice closed the season leaving a blaze of destruction in his wake. From Weeks 12-17, Rice averaged a studly 18.5 fantasy points per game. Just seven wide receivers were better than him over that span.

Now, I’m not suggesting Rice is going to maintain around an 18-point-per-game average throughout a full season. But 16 points per game? Sure. That’s about the threshold for WR1 production.

We typically need to see rookie receivers reach at least 500 yards for them to have any realistic shot at panning out. However, it’s not a binary threshold. The degree to which a receiver surpasses that mark correlates to how high their ceilings are.

Rice caught 79 passes for 938 receiving yards as a rookie. Since 2011, there have been 26 rookie receivers to record 900+ yards. Three of the 2023 class did it. That gives us 23 receivers who we’ve seen play beyond their rookie year.

Of those 23 players, I would classify three of them as busts. That means 87% of them panned out. And of those 20, more than half were or are viewed as clear WR1s in fantasy. Rice is in some fantastic company.

Rice’s Dynasty Ranking

Where does Rice sit in the dynasty WR landscape coming out of the 2024 free-agency period? Here are Katz’s latest rankings, examining where Rice lands in comparison to other top names at the position.

1) Justin Jefferson | MIN
2) Ja’Marr Chase | CIN
3) CeeDee Lamb | DAL
4) Amon-Ra St. Brown | DET
5) Marvin Harrison Jr. | FA
6) Puka Nacua | LAR
7) Garrett Wilson | NYJ
8) Tyreek Hill | MIA
9) A.J. Brown | PHI
10) Drake London | ATL
11) Malik Nabers | FA
12) Chris Olave | NO
13) Jaylen Waddle | MIA
14) Michael Pittman Jr. | IND
15) Brandon Aiyuk | SF
16) DJ Moore | CHI
17) Rome Odunze | FA
18) DK Metcalf | SEA
19) DeVonta Smith | PHI
20) Tank Dell | HOU
21) Nico Collins | HOU
22) Rashee Rice | KC
23) Tee Higgins | CIN
24) Jordan Addison | MIN
25) Zay Flowers | BAL

Should You Trade Rice in Dynasty?

Are you considering trading Rice? Our free PFN Trade Analyzer allows you to find the best trade offers to make in seconds!

The Chiefs were always going to make changes to their wide receiver room this offseason. Had they gone out and signed Mike Evans or traded for DeAndre Hopkins, I’d be far more concerned about Rice maintaining a large target share. Instead, they went with Hollywood Brown.

By no means am I trying to disparage Brown as a signing. Quite the contrary. This is about as perfect of a fit as it gets. It’s always perfect for Rice.

Last season, Rice was primarily targeted near the line of scrimmage. His 4.8 aDOT (average depth of target) was 99th in the league. Nearly 70% of his 938 receiving yards came after the catch.

Brown provides the ideal complement. Although he’s been more than a deep threat (his highest aDOT was 13.0 in 2020, 25th in the league), Brown has a 4.32-second 40-yard dash speed. Rice is not burning anyone deep, but Brown certainly can.

Given that these two can operate in completely different areas of the field, this is a rare situation where I don’t think Brown’s presence negatively impacts Rice’s fantasy value all that much.

Rice is still going to need volume to produce. Fortunately, he should get it. The Chiefs have openly stated they want to be careful not to overload Kelce during the season. He could easily take another step back in terms of target share, paving the way for both Rice and Brown to eclipse the 25% mark.

Rice is 24 years old. That’s a bit old for a second-year player, but that’s not going to knock his dynasty value. He’s going to be playing his entire rookie contract with the best quarterback in the history of the sport.

Also, let’s not pretend like Mahomes can’t support two fantasy-relevant wide receivers if not two WR1s if the players are talented enough.

Rice’s end-of-season stretch is one of the best of all time for a rookie. That doesn’t happen unless a player is talented. He’s not going to suddenly fade into the background because the Chiefs signed Brown. Plus, they only signed Brown to a one-year deal.

The talented now-sophomore still has plenty of room to grow as a route runner and a receiver as a whole. He’s going to get better. The fact that Rice wasn’t a complete receiver last season should be viewed as a positive. If he’s this good already, there’s a world where we’re talking about perennial WR1 Rashee Rice as early as 2025, and whoever they add at wide receiver won’t matter because Rice will have established himself as the guy.

KEEP READING: Dynasty Rookie Draft Strategies

Given what you paid to acquire Rice in the 2023 dynasty rookie drafts, enjoy the rewards. If you don’t have Rice on your dynasty team, go see if his manager doesn’t fully buy in — because I do.

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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