Xavier Worthy Fantasy Forecast 2024

Xavier Worthy

Xavier Worthy Fantasy Forecast 2024

Xavier Worthy has a very nice athletic résumé. Growing up in Fresno, he earned a district championship for cross country in 6th grade. He made his varsity football team as a 140-pound freshman. As a junior he helped his high school (Central East) to an undefeated record and the first state title in the school’s history. This junior season led to Worthy receiving a multitude of offers from schools like Georgia, Alabama, Oregon, Penn State, Auburn, LSU, Michigan, and Texas A&M. He lost his senior season to the Covid pandemic, and then he attempted to graduate early and commit to a school for the start of the January 2021 semester. He eventually accepted the Michigan offer and planned to enroll in January 2021. That’s where this story gets interesting.

Recruiting and Collegiate Background

After arriving in Michigan, the school discovered issues relating to his academic requirements in order to enroll. As such, the school asked him to wait until June. Keep in mind he had already moved there from California. Worthy found an apartment close to campus anyway so that he could be close to the team and the facilities. However, he was then not permitted to use Michigan’s facilities. Worthy then decided to move home and de-commit from the Wolverines. Can’t say that I blame him.

Worthy then decided to join the Texas program despite never visiting this school. The biggest factor in Worthy’s decision was newly hired head coach Steve Sarkisian who has just produced a ton of success with DeVonta Smith in Alabama. At a similar physical frame, Worthy was hoping that he could duplicate that success.

In 39 games with the Longhorns, Xavier Worthy had a prolific collegiate career with 197 receptions, 2755 yards, and 26 TDs. He elected to skip his senior year to enter the NFL Draft.

Rookie Odds

Worthy is currently +1600 to win offensive rookie of the year. That number isn’t high enough to entice me for reasons you can find below.

Statistical and Athletic Notes

Below are the notes I made for Xavier Worthy before this year’s draft:

  • 4-star recruit
  • Committed to Texas without ever seeing the place due to Sarkisian being there
  • Very fast and high top-end speed which forces d-backs to honor
  • Capable of cuts and comeback curl routes to QB
  • Can make first man miss
  • Accomplished punt returner
  • Above average spatial awareness which he uses to maximize YAC
  • Excellent Combine
  • Durable despite slender, thin body
  • His size (5’11, 172 lbs) could hinder NFL ceiling
  • Has difficulty fighting in heavy traffic
  • Can take eyes off ball which leads to concentration drops
  • Can be pushed backwards when blocking

Landing Spot

Xavier Worthy was drafted #28 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs, the 5th WR off the board.

The Good

The landing spot probably could not have gotten much better for Worthy. Though the Chiefs struggled at times offensively last season, ending up with the likes of Reid, Mahomes, Kelce, etc couldn’t be much better for a hopeful WR.

Despite his size, Worthy never missed a collegiate game in 3 seasons. He will likely be initially utilized as a deep threat, or jet sweeps and screens to maximize yards after the catch. Players like Kelce, Rice and the RBs will work the intermediate routes. Defenses are going to have to respect Worthy’s explosiveness off the line of scrimmage as well as his talents in tracking deep balls. Worthy is also likely to earn a role on special teams as a return man, which could aid in him gaining more playing time and increase his worth (pun intended) in the Kansas City program.

The Bad

The Chiefs also signed Hollywood Brown this past offseason. Brown can also catch deep balls and is more versatile than Worthy at this stage of their careers. There are a lot of mouths to feed in Kansas City, and rookie WRs have failed in this offense before.

Worthy is not going to win many 50/50 balls, so his production will likely be tied to a combination of being able to separate from d-backs and Mahomes electing to throw the ball deep. Worthy has also had an issue with drops. Should he start frequently dropping passes, or worse muff punts, he could be in the doghouse quite quickly.

2023 Redraft Fantasy Outlook

Worthy is currently being drafted around pick 94 in the 8th round of drafts. That’s a little rich for me for a player and team with this many question marks. He is being drafted before guys like Nick Chubb (who I understand may never be the same player but still), Christian Watson, Courtland Sutton, TJ Hockenson, Justin Herbert, and fellow rookie WR Rome Odunze who may be the better prospect. Now I can poke holes in all those guys with the best of them, but at least they are mostly known commodities. I may have a little PTSD from the inconsistence Mahomes and Kelce gave me through much of last year, but I also see roadblocks preventing Worthy from being a consistent week-to-week performer. He might have some spike weeks or be a decent plug in during the bye weeks, but I don’t want to spend an 8th round selection on that. I know Rashee Rice is dealing with some off the field issues as well, and that might be playing into the draft stock of Xavier Worthy, but Rice and Kelce are the primary receiving weapons for the Chiefs.

***I do retain the right to redact everything should Rashee Rice (or anyone else) be unavailable this year.***

Dynasty Outlook

In dynasty leagues Worthy is the 56th pick, just ahead of Stefon Diggs! In rookie drafts, Worthy goes around 6th. Those averages are also a little high for me, especially as there is so much competition in Kansas for fantasy production, and there’s no guarantee that Worthy stays with the Chiefs long term. In fact, if he is not on this team after a few seasons, that will likely be detrimental to his career. If Worthy does find success in Kansas City, it will likely be to his athletic talents and yard after the catch ability, something the Chiefs haven’t truly had since Tyreek Hill left town. Should he accomplish this, fantasy players will be justified in picking him at those ADPs. If Worthy were not on the defending champions, then his ADP would likely be lower across the board. I’d be a little more comfortable if his ADP were lower in all formats, but I certainly can’t fault anyone from trying to hit a home run in dynasty with Xavier Worthy.

Bold Prediction

While mostly inconsistent throughout the 2024 NFL season, at close to minimum coast on DraftKings, Worthy will help someone win a million dollars this season with a huge spike week.

Fun Fact

With a 4.21 40 yard dash, Worthy set the record for the fastest time ever. The previous record holder? Former Chief WR John Ross.

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