WR Brian Thomas Jr. Fantasy Impact

WR Brian Thomas Jr. Fantasy

Brian Thomas Jr. was one of my favorite wide receivers to talk about coming out of the 2024 NFL draft. Now that he has landed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thomas Jr. can jump right off the page and into a prominent role this season. Thomas Jr. was drafted in the first round with the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 23rd overall pick. At first glance, this might not be a big deal as it could lead some to believe that Thomas Jr. may have to work his way into the Jaguars starting lineup, but that might not be true. The Jacksonville Jaguars recently released wide receiver Zay Jones from the team. They also lost wide receiver Calvin Ridley in free agency to the Tennessee Titans. They filled the void by signing former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis for the team. The Jags also still have Christian Kirk on the roster, but their wide receiver corp has undergone significant changes this offseason. With these moves, Brian Thomas Jr looks to have a real opportunity to be a big part of the Jaguars passing attack in 2024. 

Fantasy Value

While other wide receivers may be ahead of Thomas in either redraft or dynasty, his fantasy value should still be high this season. Why? It’s all about the opportunity. During the 2023 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars finished inside the top 10 in pass attempts with 620 (sixth-most in the NFL). The Jags also finished ninth in passing yards with 4,126. Where the Jags’ passing attack took a hit was its passing touchdowns. The team finished with just 22 passing touchdowns on the season, ranking them 21st overall. The addition of Gabriel Davis and Brian Thomas Jr. could be what the Jaguars need to get more passing touchdowns on the board from Trevor Lawrence. Thomas is a bigger wide receiver at 6’3″, 209 lb, and can separate very well from defenders with his 4.33 40 speed. Did I fail to mention that Thomas sported the second-best 40 times of all wide receivers during the combine outside of Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy? Yeah, he’s that fast. In redraft leagues, Thomas should be a rookie who should be added later in fantasy drafts and possess a major upside this season. Per Fantasydata’s ADP chart, Thomas is currently the WR45. That number could change as we continue to go through the offseason. 

Dynasty Value

Ah, Dynasty formats. The real “thinking man’s” game. Thomas’s ADP in rookie drafts is coming off boards as the WR6 among rookie wide receivers. I believe Thomas has more upside than a few guys ahead of him should this be the case. A quick example of this is some having Chargers wide receiver Ladd McConkey over Brian Thomas Jr. A quick glance at both situations says that the Chargers may opt to run the ball a bit more than they have in the past with Jim Harbaugh now the head coach. While both receivers should see starting reps in their respective offenses, Thomas looks to be the heir apparent to WR1-level targets. McConkey may be playing second-fiddle to hold over Quentin Johnston. Regarding landing spot and opportunity, Thomas has the best chances to perform right away for fantasy managers, especially in Dynasty. Thomas may start off a bit slow, as most rookie wide receivers do, but I think heading towards mid-season, Thomas will likely take over the lead role for the Jags offense and lead the wide receiver corp in 2024 and beyond. 


I don’t think there’s enough discussion coming out of fantasy circles for Brian Thomas Jr., and I’m not sure why. But I’ll be more than happy to plant my flag on his fantasy value this season. Thomas has one of the better landing spots despite being selected in the back of the first round of the 2024 NFL draft. The Jaguars will continue to push Trevor Lawrence to live up to his first-round draft stock, and adding bigger, faster targets like Gabriel Davis and Brian Thomas Jr is a step in the right direction. Thomas also has a better path to starter snaps with minimal bodies in front of him. “But Will, you forgot about Christian Kirk. He’s going to see plenty of targets, too.” are you sure about that? Last season, Kirk saw a big dip in targets once Calvin Ridley came to the team. Kirk went from 133 targets in 2022 to just 85 targets in 2023. That’s a dropoff of 48 targets. Calvin Ridley saw 136 targets last season, and Zay Jones saw 64 targets (he did miss nine games due to injury). While there is plenty of work to go around, the drafting of Brian Thomas Jr signals that the Jaguars front office and coaches want to get their bigger play-makers the ball so that they can score more once they get into the red zone, another area where Kirk wasn’t effective in seeing just six targets inside the 20. Brian Thomas Jr should be a smash hit for savvy fantasy managers this offseason. 

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William Spencer