2024 NFL Draft: Zamir White headlines veteran fantasy football winners

Zamir White was nothing less than a season-saver for many of us in the closing weeks of 2023, an absolute fantasy football hero.

After Josh Jacobs suffered a quad injury against Minnesota in early December — in a dreadful game that had no discernible relationship to modern football and should be erased from our collective memory — the widely available White became a premium waiver pickup. From the moment he hit our rosters in Week 15, he didn’t miss.

White closed the season with a stellar four-game stretch in which he gained 457 scrimmage yards and handled at least 20 touches each week. He averaged 4.73 yards per carry and 3.66 yards after contact per attempt in the final month, plus he hauled in nine receptions.

Basically, White seized the featured role in the Vegas backfield and made an emphatic statement. He passed both the eye test and the stat test.

The Raiders front office clearly liked what they saw from White, because Jacobs walked in free agency and the only notable addition to the team’s backfield has been Alexander Mattison, who signed a modest one-year deal. White’s fantasy projection might have been wrecked if Vegas used a Day 2 pick on a running back, but instead they waited until the sixth round to select a depth option and likely special teams contributor.

So without question, White is among the biggest post-draft fantasy winners. He’s dodged every bullet the offseason can fire. White should enter best-ball season as a solid RB2 on everyone’s board. His name belongs at or near the top of any list of fantasy risers following the 2024 NFL Draft, along with these post-draft winners…

Last year, one of the best plays in football was a deep shot to this gentleman. On pass attempts targeting Shaheed that traveled 20-plus yards, he caught 12 of 21 and scored five touchdowns. His passer-rating when targeted on such throws was 121.5. Perhaps the Saints should have looked his way with greater frequency.

New Orleans released Michael Thomas in the offseason, didn’t sign a needle-moving veteran receiver and didn’t draft the position until the fifth round (Bub Means, downfield threat and developmental prospect). It sure seems like Shaheed is in line for a spike in targets after seeing 75 last season. If we can get him in the neighborhood of 100, he’s gonna be a weekly fantasy starter with matchup-tilting potential.

When Singletary initially signed with the Giants back in March — reuniting with Brian Daboll, his former OC — it seemed reasonable to assume another brand-name back would be added to the mix at some point. But the follow-up move never happened.

Singletary is now comfortably atop the backfield depth chart for New York and the only addition worth mentioning is Tyrone Tracy, a 24-year-old fifth-round rookie. Tracy is a converted wide receiver, an elusive player still developing as a running back — a nice enough long-term flier, but not an immediate threat to Singletary’s role.

At a minimum, we’re getting a fourth straight season with 1000-plus scrimmage yards from Singletary, assuming good health. He’s also a decent bet to exceed last year’s career-high 216 carries.

We’d previously speculated that Indianapolis might be a potential landing spot for Brock Bowers, but the draft’s best tight end prospect was snagged just before the Colts were on the clock. Richardson still made out OK on draft weekend, because his team used its picks in Rounds 2-5 on a pair of offensive linemen and two explosive receivers, one big (6-foot-4 Adonai Mitchell) and one snack-size (5-foot-8 Anthony Gould). Mitchell is the buzzier name, and he clearly has a sizable chip on his shoulder after falling to the second round.

Full credit to Indy for setting up Richardson for a successful second season, enhancing both his protection and his receiving room. This is a player who delivered seven combined touchdowns in only four games last year (three of which he didn’t finish). His fantasy ceiling is as high as anyone’s.

The rest of the AFC really needed to find a way to take advantage of Kansas City last year, when the team’s receiving corps was loaded with bad ideas.

Instead, Mahomes snatched another Lombardi, then the Chiefs retooled and upgraded the offense. After signing Marquise Brown in free agency, KC drafted Texas receiver Xavier Worthy, the fastest player in combine history. In the second round, they beefed up the offensive line, prompting Mahomes to profess his adoration for his GM:

It seems ridiculous to declare someone a post-draft winner when that person’s entire public life has been defined by relentless winning, but … well, here we are. Mahomes already has two 5,000-yard passing seasons on the resume and he’s about to make a serious run at a third.