Top Free Agent Wide Receivers for 2024

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Now that the combine is over, it's time to shift focus to free agency! Let's talk about the top free-agent Wide Receivers for 2024!

The NFL Scouting Combine has come and gone, so now the NFL's eyes turn towards Free Agency. We will discuss the top free agent Wide Receivers in the 2024 Free Agent class today, a position that has some interesting – albeit complicated – names.

With the WR depth in the 2024 NFL Draft, the free-agent WRs may suffer a bit. There are still some big names and serviceable options though. Below we break down the top WRs into 4 main tiers, with another 3 tiers at the end with some name-value if nothing else. (Note: the team name listed with each player is the team they finished the 2023 season with).

Note: Mike Evans would have been borderline tier 1-2, but re-signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 2 years, $52 million ($35 guaranteed).

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The Franchise Tag guys

Michael Pittman Jr, Indianapolis Colts

The top WR in the class is the Colts Michael Pittman Jr. You could argue which of him or Higgins is a better player, but MPJ is the clear 1 on his team, while Higgins has to deal with Ja’Marr Chase (or uncertainty with a new team). He finished as WR15 (Half-PPR) this season, with 9 WR2 or better finishes. Over the past 3 seasons, with massive QB tumult, he has averaged 98+ catches for 1050+ yards. That production is locked in WR2 production with the upside of a lower-end WR1.

Update: Pittman signed a 3-year, $70 million extension with the Colts. He will remain the top dog in Indianapolis while helping Anthony Richardson develop. Assuming they Colts do not draft a top tier receiving option, MPJ should still be a top 15ish WR.

Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

Tee Higgins has already had the franchise tag placed on him, removing him from traditional Free Agency. He is still included here as there is a possibility he will be traded. The expectation is that he remains in Cincinnati, where he should continue to be a WR2 for the team and fantasy (if healthy).

Update: Higgins has requested a trade from the Bengals.

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The one-time stars

Calvin Ridley, Jacksonville Jaguars

In his first season back from injury/suspension, Calvin Ridley had a disappointing performance… with an overall WR17 finish. Even with struggling to get back into form, he was a great option with 6 top-10 finishes. Ridley’s return to Jacksonville would be ideal, but he should build on this season either way. Entering his age-29 season may lower his dynasty value, but he still should be a locked-in WR2 with WR1 upside.

Update: Calvin Ridley signed a 4-year, $92 million contract with the Tennessee Titans. The Titans get their WR1 for Will Levis, pairing Ridley with DeAndre Hopkins and Treylon Burks. It is a high number, but this just means that we should expect Ridley to be the team’s top option and receive a bulk of gameplan looks. This is a QB downgrade, with the unproven Levis, but Ridley should stay as a locked in WR2 with upside.

Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals

Hollywood Brown has always been a complicated evaluation. Size and injury history lower his value to teams, and thus, fantasy. He still has blowup potential but is more likely a WR2 or 3 during his next contract. 

Update: Hollywood signed a 1-year, $7 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. Brown joins a WR corps that struggled immensely last season, and should be in contention to be WR1 with Rashee Rice (though, still behind Travis Kelce on the pecking order). He opens up the offense and has the sturdy hands to connect on deep passes. He has WR2 upside this season.

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The upside shots

Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills

If you thought Hollywood was frustrating, just remember Gabriel Davis’ career arc! He is a height/weight/speed extraordinaire who has frustrating inconsistency. He had moments of spectacular play and other moments just as frustrating. Most likely he is just a boom-or-bust player, but if an offense can build his consistency, watch out.

Update: Davis signed a 3-year, $39 million contract with Jacksonville. The Jaguars get their potential Calvin Ridley replacement, though they do still hope to re-sign him. Davis gives the Jaguars a true deep threat on the outside (which they tried to force mis-cast Ridley as when Zay Jones was injured). He is a frustrating player, which should continue in Jacksonville, though it is a healthy contract.

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears

After a breakout sophomore season, Mooney’s last two seasons have been massively subpar. His combined totals from 2022 and 2023 are less than the 2021 production. His massive speed and field-stretching, deep-threat ability. Spotrac’s 4 year, $40 million contract projection should see him as a team’s WR2 which could translate to WR2 or 3 production in the right scheme.

Update: Mooney signed with the Atlanta Falcons, on a 3-year, $39 million contract. Mooney is a very good fit in this offense, but it may be better for the NFL than fantasy. He will be the 4th option, at best, but does stretch the field in a needed way. He remains a risky week-to-week start, but does have upside of catching a long pass or two each week.

KJ Osborn, Minnesota Vikings

Despite never finishing a season as a WR3, Osborn has shown potential to be that. In various games with an expanded role due to injury, he has produced a few WR2 and even some WR1 games. The projected 2-year, $15 million deal would give him a run to prove himself as a team’s WR2.

Update: KJ Osborn signed a 1-year deal worth $4 million with the New England Patriots. Osborn joins a room without an established star, but should have a role alongside Kendrick Bourne, Pop Douglas, and Juju Smith-Schuster. Without an established QB, there is not massive upside, but there is a real path to being their WR1.

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Third-contract receivers with upside

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals

It is not an ideal time for Boyd to be a free agent, off of his worst season since 2017. The down year could be attributed to injuries at QB and subsequent schematic changes. He still has legitimate WR3 ability and can be a team’s WR2 with slot and outside versatility. 

Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots

Is this rich? Yeah, probably. But I have always been a sucker for some Kendrick Bourne. In 7 full games this season, Bourne was a top-18 WR 3 times. On a points-per-game basis, he has been a WR3 twice in the past 3 years. He has WR2 upside in the right scheme.

Update: Bourne re-signed with New England on a 3-year, $19.5 million contract. $33 million maximum with $4.2 million signing bonus. Bourne enters the offseason as the Patriots’ top WR (though that will probably change) and should see a decent target share with a probable rookie QB.

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders

During his career, Samuel has been a useful player with some occasional fantasy success. He is a great underneath weapon and rushing threat who can give some solid performances. If he is able to get the $11 million + average annual salary, he should still be at a similar level of fantasy play (though hopefully with a better QB situation).

Update: Curtis Samuel joins Josh Allen in Buffalo on a 3-year, $24 million deal. He could be WR2 for the team, battling with Khalil Shakir. Samuel will be an interesting play, though it may take some time to see how he is utilized (like a Deebo or just a slot WR?). He is worth a buy, though he may just be a gadgety sort of player with the Bills.

Odell Beckham Jr, Baltimore Ravens

This isn’t his third contract, but OBJ the player fits here more than in a lower tier. He is far removed from even his Rams, but still is a solid player and WR3 upside shot. Over a 5 week span post-Mark Andrews injury, he had 3 top 18 weeks. 

DJ Chark, Carolina Panthers

Chark has not done much since his (apparent outlier) 2019 season, with less than 2,000 total yards in the last 4 seasons. This is largely attributed to missing over 20 games over that span while still being an inconsistent WR. He has the boom potential to be useful in some formats depending on his landing spot.

Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions

Reynolds has the profile of a useful NFL WR2 but has never gotten that volume as a receiver. More likely than not he will only be the 3rd option for a team. However, if he is in another good offense, he could have moments depending on matchups.

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Young players who disappointed over their rookie contract

Parris Campbell, New York Giants

Chase Claypool, Miami Dolphins

Van Jefferson, Atlanta Falcons

Donovan Peoples-Jones, Detroit Lions

Laviska Shenault, Carolina Panthers

These players were disappointing over the course of their rookie deals (add in a 1-year for Campbell). Shenault is the only one who has not switched teams, though the position kind of was. Of the group, Van Jefferson is the best route runner and overall receiver and is someone I still believe in. DPJ is a height/weight/speed player who could turn into a younger version of DJ Chark.

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Younger deep threats

Jalen Guyton, Los Angeles Chargers

Scott Miller, Atlanta Falcons

Quez Watkins, Philadelphia Eagles

Here we have a trio of deep ball specialists who have little else in their bags. They won’t be more than a team’s WR3 (if that), though. That being said, if they are worth a roster spot in a deep league, especially bestballs, where they could catch a 50-yard touchdown any week.

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Vets off one-year deals or were released

Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs

Jalen Reagor, New England Patriots

Marques Valdez-Scantling, Kansas City Chiefs

Cedrick Wilson, Miami Dolphins

At the back end are some old, one-time fun names. Will they have a real role anywhere? Doubtful. MVS has the best chance, as the best overall player of this group of free agent Wide Receivers. 

Well, that’s it for the 2024 Free Agent Wide Receivers! Thank you for reading and I hope you at least felt some nostalgia from former fun prospects! You can find my other work on the IDP Guys Author Page, and feel free to reach out to me directly to discuss other rookie profiles @JoeLow63 on X, where you can also find and follow @IDPGuys.


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