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Fantasy Football: 2024 Positive TD Regression Candidates At WR

Garrett Wilson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups - rotoballer icon

Touchdowns are the name of the game in fantasy football, especially at running back, wide receiver, and tight end. In most leagues, both rushing and receiving touchdowns count for six points. In a half-PPR league, that's the same thing as three catches for 45 yards.

Now that we're on the topic of touchdowns, this article will highlight four wide receivers that are due for positive TD regression in 2024. These guys didn't find paydirt very often. As a result, they didn't score as many fantasy points as their managers would have liked.

For one reason or another, the following four wide receivers are in line to score many more touchdowns in 2024 than they did in 2023. Quarterback changes, personnel adjustments, or just positive regression to the mean. Either way, expect more fantasy points from these guys as they find themselves celebrating more touchdowns this upcoming season.

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!

Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

Wilson scored just three touchdowns on 168 targets in 2023 (one touchdown every 56 targets). Those 168 targets came from the likes of Zach Wilson, Trevor Siemian, and Tim Boyle. Between the three different quarterbacks, Wilson had a catchable target rate of just 67.9%, per PlayerProfiler. That ranked 65th among all wide receivers last season. 

Through two NFL seasons, Wilson has yet to miss a single game. In fact, he led the league in routes run (666) and route participation (100%) in 2023. The opportunity has been there, but the quarterback play has not. This is set to change in a major way in 2024 with a seemingly healthy Aaron Rodgers under center.

Rodgers is no stranger to working with a clear-cut, alpha WR1. He and Davante Adams have connected for 76 touchdowns across eight seasons. That’s an average of 9.5 touchdowns per season. Adams had 29 touchdowns in 30 games played in his last two seasons with Rodgers in Green Bay. Everyone knew the ball was going to Adams in the red zone, but nobody could stop it. It shouldn’t be any different with Wilson. 10 touchdowns should be his floor. Get used to this:

 

Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams

Wait, Nacua could be even better than he was in his rookie season where he finished as WR4? Believe it or not, yes. Despite seeing the 6th-most targets (160), Puka found paydirt just six times. Just 10% (16 out of 160) of Nacua’s targets came in the red zone, while 20% of Cooper Kupp’s targets (19 out of 95) came in the red zone. Kupp had just one less touchdown (five) than Nacua despite 65 fewer targets. As Matthew Stafford continues to build trust with Nacua, expect that percentage of red zone targets to increase, leading to more touchdown opportunities.

Per PlayerProfiler, Nacua was 5th in yards after the catch (YAC) and 6th in yards per route run (YPRR). His opportunity was very similar to that of Amon-Ra St. Brown, who finished the season with 10 touchdowns on 164 targets. One major difference: St. Brown had 25 red zone targets in 2023 compared to Nacua’s 16. Again, that number should increase in 2024 with more trust from his quarterback. 

Currently, Nacua has an Underdog average draft position (ADP) of 9.5 or WR6. That’s assuming no room for improvement in his second season after a dominant rookie campaign. With Kupp showing some signs of decline in 2023 (just a 25.6% target share and target rate), expect the 23-year-old Nacua to continue his ascension into stardom. And with that stardom will come more touchdowns, and subsequently more fantasy points.

 

Drake London, Atlanta Falcons

Talk about a quarterback upgrade. London goes from Desmond Ridder, who threw 12 touchdowns in 15 games last season, to Kirk Cousins, who threw 18 touchdowns in just eight games last season. With Ridder under center, the former 8th overall pick saw major dips in both opportunity and efficiency. Despite increases in snap share and route participation, London scored just two touchdowns on 110 targets in 2023. As a rookie, he scored four touchdowns on 117 targets, so not much better. 

With Arthur Smith calling the shots, the Falcons were an extremely run-heavy team. In 2022, they ran the ball at the 2nd-highest rate in the league, while last season they ran the ball at the 4th-highest rate in the league. Meanwhile, with Cousins under center, the Vikings have been top-five in pass rate the last two seasons. The Falcons have one of the best running backs in the league in Bijan Robinson, but they’re not paying Cousins $180M to be a game manager. More targets are coming London’s way this season.

In the last three seasons, Cousins has thrown nearly 37 passes per game. In the last two seasons, the Falcons have thrown just 27.8 passes per game. If we assume even 33 pass attempts per game this season, and a modest 25% target share for London, that would be 140 targets. That’d be 8.3 targets per game. London has averaged less than seven targets per game in each of his first two seasons. Not only that, but Cousins will be way more accurate than both Mariota and Ridder. 

London is currently being drafted as the WR10 on Underdog despite finishes as WR31 and WR37 in his first two NFL seasons. The market has caught on to his untapped potential with Cousins under center.

 

Marquise Brown, Kansas City Chiefs

Brown joins a Chiefs team that has been top-five in pass attempts each of the last four seasons. For comparison sake, the Cardinals attempted 32.6 passes per game in 2023, while the Chiefs attempted 37.3 pass attempts per game. 

It’s not just the volume of pass attempts that’s going up. It’s the accuracy of the pass attempts that’s going to be very different. Last season, Patrick Mahomes’ primary pass-catchers, Rashee Rice and Travis Kelce, were both top-3 at their position in catchable target rate. Meanwhile, Hollywood Brown was 96th among wide receivers with a catchable target rate of just 56.4%. 

Brown’s 20 deep targets and nine red zone targets in 2023 resulted in just four touchdowns. Per PlayerProfiler, he had the lowest target quality of his career in the last two seasons playing in Arizona. In his three seasons with Baltimore, Brown had 21 touchdowns in 46 games. With the Cardinals, he scored just seven touchdowns in 26 games. 

In 2024, he’s being paired with arguably the most accurate passer in the league in Mahomes. Touchdowns can be somewhat random, but there’s a lot of data that points to Brown catching more of them this season. Remember, Rashee Rice had seven of them on just 102 targets as a rookie. Brown, like Drake London with Kirk Cousins and Garrett Wilson with Aaron Rodgers, will get one of the biggest upgrades at quarterback this offseason.



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