Fantasy Showdown: Puka Nacua vs Garrett Wilson

In this fantasy showdown, we compare two of the NFL's best young receivers. Nacua and Wilson are going with picks 10-12, but which should you target?
Puka Nacua vs Garrett Wilson Fantasy Football
Puka Nacua finished last season as WR4 but Garrett Wilson's upside with Aaron Rodgers back is intriguing.

As we continue our fantasy football showdown series, our team takes a look at two promising young wide receivers that are currently being drafted in the bottom-half of the first round.

If you own a fantasy pick between 9th and 12th overall, you will likely have to decide between Puka Nacua or Garrett Wilson. In this article, we'll share our thoughts and break down which receiver our staff would pick first.

Rankings and ADP

If we look at 2023 numbers alone, Wilson's ADP should be nowhere near Nacua's. However, Wilson is undeniably a top 10 WR in the NFL on talent alone. The question is, how much will his numbers improve with Aaron Rodgers under center?

The intrigue surrounding what the Jets offense could look like with a competent QB and a defense that keeps them on the field has Wilson's ADP all the way up to 11 (WR8).

Meanwhile, it appears fantasy owners are betting on a slight sophomore slump for Nacua who finished 2023 as WR4 but is currently the 7th WR taken in fantasy leagues.

Underdog (Best Ball)

  • Puka Nacua: ADP 10 (WR7)

  • Garrett Wilson: ADP 11 (WR8)

FantasyPros (Redraft Leagues)

  • Puka Nacua: ADP 10 (WR7)

  • Garrett Wilson: ADP 11 (WR8)

Puka Nacua 2023 Recap

Puka Nacua’s 2023 rookie campaign was possibly one of the best fantasy performances we’ve seen from a first year wideout and by far the best fantasy performance from a receiver drafted on day three of the previous year’s draft.

Puka started the season with three 100-yard games in his first four games and although he struggled to find the end zone at the start of the season, he finished the year playing every game, catching 105 passes, and scoring 6 times.

Stafford might have moved on from Kupp and planted Nacua as his favorite target and while the two play a similar game, Nacua’s 2023 catapulted the BYU product into the upper-echelon of wideouts by the end of the season and on the Rams roster. He had six games with 10 or more targets and that number should maintain heading into next season.

Garrett Wilson 2023 Recap

Garrett Wilson has finished as the WR21 and WR26 in PPR formats the last two seasons, without a proper Quarterback. Last year, Wilson was extremely durable with 9 games of 10 or more targets and 17 games played during the season. A main cause for concern was red zone play with just 3 TDs in 2023 and 4 in 2022.

While Rodgers should help, Wilson doesn’t have much WR depth behind him which leads secondaries to double him every chance they get. One of the most consistent route runners in the league at 23, Wilson is on an upward trajectory in all formats with Rodgers healthy once again.

2024 Outlook and Our Pick

The Rams now have a year under their belt with the core trio of Kyren Williams, Cooper Kupp, and Puka Nacua. Heading into 2024, they have added Blake Corum to the mix and if health remains, this offense is a top 3 unit in the league with McVay at the helm calling plays.

With Nacua training with Kupp this offseason, expect more chemistry among the two early on in 2024. We can’t expect Puka to replicate the start of the season as Kupp missed the first four games of 2023, but the 1v1 coverages and red zone opportunities whether on the ground or through the air should give Nacua the same value he ended with.

WR7 is a good spot for Puka, with Lamb, Hill, Chase, Jefferson, Amon-Ra, and A.J. Brown ahead of him. Cooper Kupp is the better value play at the WR20, but Puka’s youth and volume of targets within the McVay offense gives him a slight edge.

The WRs behind the 23-year-old - Wilson, MHJ, London, Olave, and Adams just don’t have the offensive firepower to compete with Puka and his immense upside.

Jets Offense Remains a Limiting Factor for Wilson

Last year, I made the mistake of buying in on the Jets as an offense. While Garrett Wilson wasn’t rostered on any of my teams, I’m still going to stray away from picking Wilson as the WR8, or at the turn of the 1st and 2nd rounds.

With Aaron Rodgers missing a full year and the offense still limited behind Wilson and Hall, I’d trust in MHJ, Olave, and Adams to at least provide better red zone value than Wilson who has caught just 7 TDs in his first two NFL seasons.

In best ball especially, Nacua provides a higher reward week-to-week as the Rams offense will put up 30 points on the scoreboard much more than the Jets who are due to face tougher defenses this season.

Our Pick: Puka Nacua

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