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2024 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings Analysis and Outlook - Ja'Lynn Polk vs. Javon Baker

Ja'Lynn Polk - Fantasy Football Rankings, College FB, WR, NFL Draft Sleepers

Last year, C.J. Stroud took the fantasy world by storm and uplifted Tank Dell and Nico Collins into must-start territory. This year, Drake Maye has a chance to do the same to some degree with the New England Patriots offense.

Drake Maye is the most talented quarterback to play for the Patriots since Tom Brady retired, and all of his receivers are well outside the top-eight rounds in fantasy football drafts this year.

This begs the question between Ja'Lynn Polk and Javon Baker; which is the better bet in 2024? Let's dive into it.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!


Ja'Lynn Polk’s 2024 Fantasy Football Outlook

The Patriots selected Polk with the 37th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Polk's college profile got off to a slow start, but in 2023, he put together over 1,100 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. His NFL Combine measurements hit many key thresholds, but he didn't do anything to really stand out. Polk's best attributes are on display with the ball in the air, as he has the body control and physicality to win consistently.

In a wide-open receiver room, his biggest competition is Javon Baker, and both are outside the top-70 WRs in 2024 ADP. It's unlikely he will finish as a top-24 wide receiver. For a flex option or a depth piece to trade away after a spike week, Polk is a solid option.


Javon Baker’s 2024 Fantasy Football Outlook

Despite going 83 picks later in the draft, Javon Baker is still a name to keep an eye on. He has a lot of similarities in the way that he wins with Polk, but he has a little more ability in yards after the catch. His week-to-week floor will likely be lower due to the draft capital showing a clear preference for Polk to Baker, but both are rookies with the ability to take over the receiver room.

Baker was the higher-rated prospect coming out of high school, and his college production would have looked extremely different if he wasn't stuck in Alabama's crowded receiving room. Once Baker transferred to UCF, it was wheels up and he showed the qualities that an NFL team would want its alpha receiver to have.


Who Should I Draft in Fantasy Football?

At their current ADP, the Patriots receivers are essentially free. Baker's YAC ability will make his spike weeks a little more enticing, but Polk's investment from the team gives him the edge in expected usage.

Both players are expected to outperform their ADP, and at their current cost, it's not unreasonable to grab both. Rosters don't have room for depth receivers all over the place, so drafting Polk early and having him for the early-season safety is the better option right now. Baker will be a name to watch on the waiver wire throughout the season, and if Maye elevates this offense even at 80 percent of what Stroud did in 2023, they'll be players to add.

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