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Fantasy Football 2024: Bryce Young, Will Levis and the Top 5 Most Improved Quarterback Situations

Major changes occur every season in the NFL, and many move the fantasy football needle. Few — if any — seem to matter more than the effect on the quarterback. And in fantasy, we want to know whose situation has improved the most – both for our studs and for potential late-round gems. Here are the Top 5 most improved quarterback situations for the 2024 season.

My ranks for each QB appear in parentheses. You can see all my 2024 rankings here.

TOP 5 IMPROVED QB SITUATIONS

1. Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers (QB25)

Young’s improved situation isn’t just about receiving weapons, as Dave Canales is over a year into his career after reviving Baker Mayfield’s career and improving the Buccaneers offense. That was after Canales helped Geno Smith have a career year with the Seahawks in 2022. Brad Idzik is the new offensive coordinator, who has been with Canales since 2019.

Now let’s talk about the receiving corps, led last year by Adam Thielen, at 103-1014-4, followed by a huge drop to No. 2 with DJ Chark at 35-525-5. Thielen faded after a torrid start, but Young had rookie struggles and no help on weapons that could be separated quickly, easily and consistently. The Panthers traded for Diontae Johnson and drafted Xavier Legette, meaning Thielen’s best case would be to fend off Legette for the No. 2 role, and either way, the upside is Young’s. Oh, and let’s not overlook the addition of Jonathon Brooks, who can easily add 30+ receptions for a full season out of the backfield.

It’s possible that Young takes a huge step forward, and the Panthers have done just about everything they can to make that happen, including spending massively in free agency to shore up the offensive line — even if only one of them is a free agent the Top 50.

2. Will Levis, Tennessee Titans (QB26)

Whether or not you believe in Levis, we’ll find out if he can be an NFL quarterback this year. The Titans’ offensive line needed help and they added the best available free agent to the line (Top 10) in center Lloyd Cushenberry. They needed a coaching change and they now have Brian Callahan as head coach and Nick Holz as offensive coordinator, with reports that they will work together on play-calling. They needed offensive talent to help Levis, so they replaced Derrick Henry with Tony Pollard and signed Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd in free agency.

Callahan helped Jake Browning perform admirably in Joe Burrow’s absence. The Bengals passed 61.5% of the time under Callahan (fourth in 2019-23), and they ran 76.4% of the time with him three wide/11 sets (only behind him). LAR at 81.0%). A trio of DeAndre Hopkins, Ridley and Boyd form a Top 10 group, plus the receiving prowess of Pollard, Tyjae Spears and even Chigoziem Okonkwo shouldn’t be forgotten. Additionally, Levis is aggressive, completing a career-high 22.4% of his passes for 20+ air yards, with Nick Mullens (16.9%) and Drew Lock (15.8%) coming in second and third.

3. Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets (QB18)

If Aaron Rodgers has anything left, the Jets will find out. They added some offensive line help/depth with John Simpson and Tyron Smith, but more than that, the receiving room looks deep and dangerous.

Allen Lazard disappointed, even though he didn’t face Rodgers all year. Now he might be an afterthought with Mike Williams getting a one-year deal and Malachi Corley coming through the draft. That’s a major No. 2-3 wideout upgrade, especially when you realize Lazard’s miserable 23/311/1 was good because he was the second-best Jets wideout last year (Tyler Conklin and Breece Hall were the No. 2 and 3 leading ‘receivers’). ”). Again, the passing game wasn’t all the wideouts’ fault considering the quarterback play, but Rodgers has one of the most improved corps in the league.

4. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (QB4)

The Chiefs have been looking for answers since trading Tyreek Hill, and they have a potential answer in Rashee Rice (when he returns from suspension). But they don’t stand still. Marquise Brown arrived via free agency, and Barry Allen… er, Xavier Worthy came off the board to the Chiefs in the first round. The offense on the court is back, which is great for Mahomes, who is coming off his lowest season in over 15 games (4031/26 in 14 games during the 2019 season). Even if you only have one full season between Rice (suspension) and Brown (healthcare – being able to stay on the field), that combination plus Worthy gives Mahomes the best receiving room since Hill left… at least on paper.

5. Daniel Jones, New York Giants (QB28)

Like the Panthers, the Giants added significant help at receiver and on the offensive line. The Giants haven’t produced a 1,000-yard receiver since Odell Beckham… oh… check that out – they haven’t produced an 800-yard receiver! Darius Slayton has led the team in receiving yards in four of the five seasons since OBJ left for Cleveland, never surpassing 770 yards. Malik Nabers isn’t just an LSU stunner, he’s instantly the Giants’ best weapon. Now Jalin Hyatt can push for his breakthrough, with Wan’Dale Robinson establishing himself in his most efficient role, and Slayton still there when needed to still be the No. 2.

Additionally, assuming Darren Waller retires, they have drafted Theo Johnson to compete with Daniel Bellinger as the team’s top pick. As mentioned, the Giants addressed the offensive line, not with top-tier upgrades, but enough to improve on a league-worst 85 sacks allowed – even when you factor in the QB play, the next team gave up 65 (Panthers) on. If Jones hopes to save his career with this last chance, the Giants have helped with their additions.


POTPOURRI

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals — The Cardinals’ leading receiver was Trey McBride, who didn’t have the starting tight end role to start the year. Marquise Brown missed the mark, finishing with 574 yards, behind McBride’s 825. Adding an elite talent and potential immediate Top 12 receiver in Marvin Harrison Jr. is a huge boost. Zay Jones puts less pressure on Michael Wilson and Greg Dortch to be definitive runners-up, allowing all three to form a quality group behind Harrison and McBride. Even with an offensive line still a concern after the addition of Jonah Williams, Murray can push for 4,000 passing yards and mid-20s touchdowns again.

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans — Stroud won’t surprise people like he did as a rookie. Nico Collins broke out, Tank Dell dropped his jaw in a limited season, Noah Brown came up big on a few occasions — and now the Texans are taking nothing for granted. They traded for Stefon Diggs, who along with Stroud will form one of the best duos in the NFL, assuming he bounces back from his disappointing second half. Even if Diggs is just the No. 2 pick, Collins, Diggs and Dell are a Top 3 NFL trio, and that’s before the added depth and Dalton Schultz at tight end. Overall, it comes down to one major addition, but that addition of Diggs makes it easier for everyone and harder for every defense.

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns — Health and shaking off the heavy rust are the first steps in Watson’s recovery. There are two minor changes for Watson heading into 2024. First, Ken Dorsey takes over as offensive coordinator. This season will be a bit of a “last chance” for both of them. The Bills fired Dorsey, leaving him to blame for the offensive inconsistencies, and while there were some positives for the Bills, the usage and effectiveness of Stefon Diggs fell away. We’ll see if it was more of Dorsey being gone or Diggs falling off a bit.

The Browns aren’t just banking on Dorsey to revive Watson’s career, as they made another discounted wide receiver trade, bringing in Jerry Jeudy to compete for the No. 2 role with Elijah Moore. A quartet of Amari Cooper, David Njoku, Jeudy and Moore is enviable for most teams and gives Watson a good chance to get back to 4000/25+ as a passer and save his career.

Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts — It was just one play, but like Watson, the added wideout gives Richardson a nice trio of receivers. The Colts added Adonai Mitchell in the NFL Draft, and with Josh Downs succeeding as a rookie, both see less pressure to make it big in 2024 behind Michael Pittman. While the offense will have one of the lower passing percentages (unless Richardson gets injured again and Joe Flacco steps in), Richardson has three quality wideouts at his disposal before factoring in the receiving ability of Jonathan Taylor and the potential for Jelani Woods to play out to break.

(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)