2024 Dynasty Rookie Post-Draft Update: Malik Nabers

Bruce Matson

The NFL Draft is behind us, rookie drafts are taking place, and as dynasty managers we are looking ahead to the upcoming season. In our Dynasty Rookie Post-Draft Update series, we break down all the incoming fantasy-relevant rookies, looking at their profiles and where they fit. The basis of the rookie profile involves the usage of STORM analysis, focusing on five key components: Situation, Talent, Opportunity, Risk, and Market.

Situation

Name: Malik Nabers

Position: Wide Receiver

Pro Team: New York Giants

College Team: LSU Tigers

Draft Status: Round One, sixth overall

The New York Giants have not produced a 1,000-yard wide receiver since Odell Beckham caught 77 passes for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns in 2018. Darius Slayton has led the team in receiving in four of the last five seasons. The ghost of Kenny Golladay led the team with 551 receiving yards in 2021. Considering the roster has lacked talent for over half a decade at the wide receiver spot, it’s easy to see why the Giants couldn’t pass on Nabers.

The Giants need to decide what they want to do with Daniel Jones for the long term. He has a potential out on his contract after the 2024 season per Spotrac. There was a lot of talk about the Giants selecting a quarterback in this year’s draft.

Nabers will be Jonses’ alpha wide receiver, which is something he has never had during his career with the New York Giants. If the team needs to go in another direction at quarterback in the next few years, they already have a stud wide receiver to smooth out the transition.

Talent

 

Malik Nabers Pro Day Results:

  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 200 pounds
  • Arm: N/A
  • Hand: N/A
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.35 seconds
  • 10 Yard Split: 1.5 seconds
  • Vertical Jump: 42 inches
  • Broad Jump: 10’9’’
  • Three Cone: N/A

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RAS Score Courtesy of Ras.Football.

Nabers’ athletic testing is very indicative of what we see on tape. He’s a twitched-up wide receiver who will instantly get on the heels of the defensive backs. He posted a 4.44-second 40 time and a 38-inch vertical back in high school and the fact that he increased those at his pro day is very encouraging.

His athletic testing checks another box as he was massively productive at LSU and his tape showcases him making many highlight-reel catches. Nabers’ burst allows him to break off routes, allowing him to create separation. He’s a very assertive route runner with a nuanced route tree.

Opportunity

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Courtesy of 4for4.

If you just look at the wide receivers listed behind Nabers on the depth chart, you will easily understand why the team decided to draft him in the first round. Nabers is the only WR1 on this team, there should not be impactful competition for targets. This is his job for the taking. If the Giants mess this up, then there’s no hope for the future.

The depth chart makes more sense when you look at the younger talent at the top of the depth chart. Jalin Hyatt is built to be the team’s field stretcher and Wan’Dale Robinson is the team’s versatile slot option. Throw in Darius Slayton who serves as the veteran presence to this team and they have a good foundation to build around Nabers who will see the bulk of the targets.

The backend of the depth chart is the ghost of former dynasty assets – from Allen Robinson, who was the first Reception Perception dandy, to Miles Boykin, another size-adjusted-speed wide receiver from Notre Dame who some people loved at one time.

This depth chart is built for Nabers to take over and be the clear-cut alpha. Daniel Jones should happily pepper him with targets. His long-term viability with the team depends on it. He hasn’t played with a wide receiver this talented before. Just like Jordan Addison being the Trojan Horse getting Kenny Picket drafted in the first round, Nabers can be the catalyst of Jones getting a fat contract in a few years since he’s scheduled to be a free agent in 2027.

Risk

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Courtesy of Sports Reference.

Nabers finished his freshman season fourth on the team in receiving. He owned a 12.61 percent share of the team’s passing production. His breakout game came against Louisiana Monroe where he caught four balls for 143 yards and one touchdown. This is a pretty good start to his career considering he didn’t play a down of football since his junior of high school. He was unable to play during his senior year due to his transfer being denied.

He ramped up the production during his sophomore season in 2022. Nabers capped off the end of the season surpassing the 100-yard mark in three of his last four games. His best performance came in the Citrus Bowl against Perdue when he caught nine balls for 163 yards and one touchdown. This was his breakout season at 19 years old owning a 26.98 percent market share of LSU’s passing production.

The stamp was put down on his career during his junior season. He was a dominant force with nine games of 100 yards receiving. Against Mississippi State he caught 13 balls for 239 yards and two touchdowns, then he reeled off 100 yards or more in eight of his next nine games. He ranked second in the NCAA in receiving behind Rome Odunze.

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Nabers had an age-19 breakout age due to producing a 26.98 percent market share of LSU’s passing production during his sophomore season. His 42.65 percent market share led all receivers in the 2024 NFL draft class this season. The early breakout age combined with the dominant production is a very good indicator that he’s ready for the NFL.

Nabers has proven he can transition rapidly from the high school level to the college game which is an indicator that he might be able to make the leap from LSU to the NFL with a smooth transition.

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Courtesy of NFL.com

Nabers checks all the boxes from the athletic specs to his film grades. Per NFL.com, he grades as the top prospect in this year’s draft class. Many draft analysts view him as a generational talent at the wide receiver position. Combine all that with his production profile and it’s hard to see him busting at the NFL level.

What would failure look like for Nabers? Since off-the-field issues and injuries are unforeseen events that could happen to all players. The main thing to focus on would be his situation with the Giants. This is a franchise that has the potential to break a generational talent. As I stated earlier, this is the first time Daniel Jones will get the opportunity to play with an alpha wide receiver. If Jones fails to take a step forward it could mean the Giants will be on a search for a new quarterback which could impact Nabers’ production.

Nabers is good enough to overcome a bad situation. He could easily provide WR1-WR2 level numbers with subpar quarterback play. Everything is pointing to him being a generational talent which should mean he is highly likely to provide valuable fantasy production no matter the situation.

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Courtesy of MFL Rookie ADP.

On average, Nabers is the fourth player off the board in dynasty superflex rookie drafts. Per MFL, the earliest he’s been drafted is third overall and the furthest he has fallen down the board is eighth overall. The market is hot for him in rookie drafts considering there were many arguments on whether he should be valued as the WR1 in this year’s class over Marvin Harrison Jr.

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Courtesy of DLF Trade Analyzer.

The DLF trade analyzer has Nabers valued around the 1.04 pick in superflex rookie drafts. He is valued as one of the most lucrative assets in dynasty. We are seeing him being valued in a similar range to Tyreek Hill, Christian McCaffrey, and Jahmyr Gibbs. This makes sense considering his DLF ADP for June has him being selected as the 14th player off the board and all of those players are being selected in his range. The reason why he’s holding a lot of value without playing a snap in the NFL is that he has the potential of being one of the top assets in all of dynasty which could land him in the Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson stratosphere.

bruce matson