You MUST Draft This Rookie QB! | Fantasy Football 2024

4 June 2024 • by Neal Maligno

Caleb Williams – All the weapons in the world, feels impossible to fail. Sure there will be bumps in the road as no rookie season is perfect. Could def. have a CJ Stroud-like rookie season with DJ Moore, Keenan Allen and Rome Odunze + Cole Kmet and Swift / Roschon / Herbert at RB. The only thing that can slow this offense down it feels like is the offensive line, but they are a middle of the pack group and could improve.

Caleb falls into the top 15 range for me at Quarterback, being one of the most talented QBs to enter the league in recent memory. Although I have real questions about his personality and leadership ability at the highest level. Many people don’t consider personality when they discuss players in fantasy, but for me, if I have concerns over a QBs ability to lead men, I’m going to pass on drafting him 9 times out of 10.

Jayden Daniels – My personal favorite rookie QB, he has plenty of weapons with Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson and rookie Luke McCaffrey in the slot. McCaffrey is the son of Ed and brother of Christian, so I’m not betting against him. Throw in new additions RB Austin Ekeler and TE Zach Ertz and now this offense has a ton of potential if it stays healthy. The offensive line is def. a concern, especially considering that Jayden Daniels has crazy running upside.

Quarterbacks with running upside could always get them in trouble if the o-line is a problem. Jayden Daniel’s will finish top 20 in fantasy football by default if he stays healthy, with a chance to finish higher if the o-line cooperates. If I had the #1 pick in rookie drafts or if I’m drafting between Jayden or Caleb in a redraft league, I’m rolling with Jayden Daniels 10 times out of 10.

J.J. McCarthy – I feel like I keep repeating this, but again, this rookie QB has a cast of high level weapons at his disposal. Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, TJ Hockenson, Ty Chandler and recently signed Aaron Jones. Likely a better o-line then Caleb or Jayden will have, the problem for McCarthy is Sam Darnold. I know, I know, sounds a little crazy, but if the top 10 pick just doesn’t seem as ready to go as Sam Darnold does, I don’t think the Vikings will rush it.

Even if he doesn’t start the season, it may not be long before he does get the starting job, but that risk is enough to push McCarthy down for me. I don’t see a top 25 finish for McCarthy in year 1, so in redraft 1QB leagues I’m staying away, but in 2QB redraft leagues I think he’s an interesting option. He’s been a winner everywhere he’s gone and for me that counts for something, so keep close tabs on McCarthy’s situation in Minnesota.

Drake Maye – You won’t find me as one of those who are super high on Maye. Brand new head coach, they ran Mac Jones out of town, the Zappe era came and went and now it’s Maye’s turn. Jacoby Brissett is back in New England and if I had to bet on a starter today, I’d push my chips all in on Brissett and I wouldn’t think twice about it.

The wide receivers are a random group, guys with talent, but we have to wait and see who steps up to grab starting jobs and the o-line needs to stay healthy to be a decent group. Drake Maye is not a QB I’d consider in 1QB redraft leagues. I’d also tend to pass on him in rookie drafts, not that I think he’ll be awful, but his situation just doesn’t inspire confidence for me at the moment.

Bo Nix – There is a lot to unpack in Denver, starting with their new rookie QB who they drafted #12. First off, I think Sean Payton’s ego will not allow him to start Stidham or Zach Wilson over Nix, so I trust that he’ll be the starter out the gate. The Broncos traded Jerry Jeudy away, but I still believe in Courtland Sutton, Marvin Mims and Josh Reynolds being good enough weapons at WR. The RBs who catch out the backfield in Denver are pretty good and Nix will also be playing behind a solid offensive line as well. I may be a Raider fan, but I don’t hate Nix’s chances as the Broncos starting QB in his rookie season.

Michael Penix – Nobody knows why the hell the Falcons drafted Michael Penix after just giving Kirk Cousins $180 million dollar deal, but here we are. They will tell us it was for the future, but we wanted to see him start now and there were teams in position to make that happen. He won’t see the field until Kirk Cousins is injured or gone, so this could take a few seasons, making his trajectory one similar to that of Packers QB Jordan Love. He’s worth drafting and holding onto in dynasty, but in redraft he’s a hard pass.

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