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How Marvin Harrison Jr.'s Fantasy Football Outlook Will Be Impacted By Draft Spot

Fantasy football managers already have sky-high expectations for Marvin Harrison Jr., who is widely regarded as the top wide receiver prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft and a likely candidate to be one of the first five picks off the board.

In fact, in pre-NFL Draft fantasy leagues, Harrison has an average draft position (ADP) of pick 38.5, going as the 21st wide receiver off the board on average (per FantasyPros).

We've seen no shortage of rookie wide receivers turn in huge fantasy football performances (see Puka Nacua, the WR4 in PPR leagues in 2023 or Ja'Marr Chase, the WR5 in 2021). But a player's landing spot can be everything. Even the most skilled rookie wideouts can get off to a slow start if the wrong team calls their name in April. Let's take a deeper look at how Harrison's most likely landing spots would impact his 2024 fantasy outlook.

Arizona Cardinals (No. 4 Overall)

Harrison is a huge -200 favorite to be draft pick No. 4 overall (per DraftKings Sportsbook), and while a trade is always possible, that means his most likely landing spot is easily with the Arizona Cardinals.

It's also incredibly easy to see why. The Cardinals are paying Kyler Murray $46 million per year, and the top wideouts on the roster are currently Michael Wilson, Chris Moore, Greg Dortch and Zach Pascal. That group has a combined two seasons with even 600 receiving yards (both from Pascal, in 2019 and 2020).

This makes the landing spot a double-edged sword for Harrison.

The benefit is that he would be the clear-cut top option in the offense. Even with Arizona's love of riding James Conner on the ground, Harrison would immediately be the Cardinals' most explosive playmaker and deserve to be the focal point of the offense.

The downside is that opposing coverages will be completely designed around shutting him down. Wilson and Dortch (plus tight end Trey McBride) have shown some promise, but they're not dangerous enough to keep defenses honest.

That's where you have to bet on Harrison's skill to win out. If he's able to get open at even an average rate, he'll get as many targets as he can handle. And at the end of the day, that opportunity leaves him plenty of upside.

It's not the best potential landing spot for his fantasy outlook, but I'm certainly drafting Harrison if he's still going off the board as WR21 as a Cardinal.

Los Angeles Chargers (No. 5 Overall)

Unlikely to go top-three (which will likely be all quarterbacks), if Harrison does somehow slide past No. 4, the team waiting behind the Cardinals in the order would be happy to add an elite wide receiver. And what would being a Los Angeles Charger mean for Harrison in fantasy football?

With Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, Gerald Everett and Mike Williams all gone, the Chargers lose their only three players who saw 70-plus targets last year. They vacate a massive 52% (320 of 614) of their targets from the 2023 season.

This means there's a huge void in the Chargers' offense, and who better to help fill it than the best wide receiver prospect in the draft?

Of course, a Jim Harbaugh offense might end up being more run-heavy than we've seen in the past, so it's no guarantee that there will be 600-plus targets to go around in 2024. Still, losing Allen is enough of a hit that the available volume for Harrison would be huge.

Again similar to the Cardinals, he also wouldn't get a ton of competition (or help) from the other receivers. It's too early to write Quentin Johnson off as a bust, but he and Josh Palmer aren't going to do much to prevent defenses from keying in on Harrison.

What sets the Chargers' situation apart, however, is quarterback play. Justin Herbert consistently grades out as a better passer than Kyler Murray, and we've seen Herbert support multiple fantasy-relevant wide receivers for years.

This is my favorite fantasy football landing spot for Harrison, and I'm drafting him aggressively if he becomes a Charger.

Chicago Bears (No. 9 Overall)

The Chicago Bears are a bit of a dark horse. Harrison will almost certainly be off the board well before they pick at No. 9, but there is a chance they could be aggressive with a trade-up to give Caleb Williams a star playmaker.

This situation would bring a massive amount of uncertainty for fantasy football.

First off, we have no idea how good Williams will be. He was incredible in college of course, and he's an outstanding prospect who stands out even in a year with a loaded QB draft class. But there are no sure things in the NFL Draft, and even some stars take a while to get up to speed in the pros.

Also clouding things is that the Bears have a strong wide receiver duo with DJ Moore and Keenan Allen. Allen's contract expires next offseason, so his presence doesn't mean Chicago won't add a wide receiver, but it would make it hard for Harrison to earn enough targets to be a true fantasy star.

There is a path to upside here, but counting on both Williams playing at a high level and Harrison climbing ahead of Moore and Allen in the pecking order isn't something you want in a high fantasy draft pick. If Williams is a Bear I wouldn't draft him unless his ADP really tanks.

New England Patriots (No. 3 Overall)

The Harrison-to-New England buzz has mostly died down, but I'd be remiss to at least not touch on the dark horse destination. Harrison going to the Patriots would mean that they likely traded down, and that they forewent drafting a top quarterback.

That would be a brutal situation for Harrison.

We don't know how Jerod Mayo wants this offense to operate, but the current roster doesn't exactly signal that he's planning to air it out. Catching passes from Jacoby Brissett in an offense that is crowded with middling receivers and hasn't featured a true WR1 in years is not something you want to see if you've got Harrison on your fantasy roster.

This almost certainly won't happen, but if it does then I'm staying far away from Harrison.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.