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The 33rd Team Expansion Draft: Fantasy Outlook for Stampede

Here at The 33rd Team, we simulated an expansion draft for our newest creation, the San Antonio Stampede. Below, you’ll find way too early fantasy analysis for this squad and their 2024 outlook.

More Expansion Team: IntroductionTeam Infrastructure | Football Operations | Assembling Coaching Staff & Roster | Expansion Draft | Projected Win Total

Stampede's Fantasy Outlook

Kirk Cousins


Kirk Cousins is a competent starter, but he generally needs a decent supporting cast around him, given his lack of rushing upside. He’ll need a solid offensive line in place to counteract his stationary nature, and this team has an average or better offensive line — assuming health.

Unfortunately, four of the Stampede's five starting offensive linemen will be 30 or older during the 2024 season. Tackle Trent Brown will be 31, guard Andrus Peat turns 31 at midseason, guard Kevin Zeitler will be 34 and center Ryan Jensen will be 33.

Zeitler and Jensen are among the best at their positions, but age is a major question mark. Brown and Peat are closer to league-average linemen, and the same is true of fellow tackle Jonah Williams, who will be 26 when the season begins. There’s a chance Williams can take a step forward in 2024 while entering his prime, but the others are finished products.

When healthy, this might be the 13th- or 14th-best line in football. If, or when, injuries take their toll, Cousins will have to play behind a well-below-average unit.

Since none of the weapons at receiver are particularly enticing, we think Cousins will be a low-end QB2. He should throw for 4,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. However, it’s tough to envision him providing more than 15 or 16 fantasy points per game.

Running Back

Given the below-average receiving core, Austin Ekeler is in a position to crush it in PPR leagues. While he’ll be 29 during the 2024 season, he hasn’t shown any signs yet of slowing down. He is the only fantasy back to put up more than 21 PPR points per game in the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Cousins’ lack of mobility, combined with the mediocre receiving core, should result in four to six receptions per game. However, as a 200-pound, 29-year-old back, we shouldn’t expect more than seven to 10 carries per game, so there is potential for another back to emerge on this team and provide some fantasy relevance.

Think of Ekeler like 2022 Leonard Fournette. Last year, Fournette had 668 rushing yards and 523 receiving yards, scoring six times. He was a low-end RB1, finishing 12th among running backs with 14.2 PPR points per game. Ekeler should finish in the low-end RB1 range, too. 

Curtis Samuel

Wide Receiver

This is where it starts to get really bleak. Michael Thomas will be 31 in 2024 and played just 10 games of football from ages 27-29. He hasn’t put up an elite (or even full season) since 2019. A strong 2023 campaign could turn things around, but he’s most likely a late-round dart throw like veteran Carolina Panthers receiver Adam Thielen is this season.

If Thomas has a bounce-back 2023 season, he’ll likely elevate his stock to Round 5 of fantasy drafts. That's slightly behind where Keenan Allen is being taken in 2023. Allen goes closer to the Round 3/4 turn, mainly due to the quarterback play of Justin Herbert and a cleaner bill of health. Thomas likely will have to play outside a decent amount in 2024, which also could hurt his production.

Michael Gallup will hold down the other receiver spot in two-wide sets. He’s largely off the fantasy radar in 2023 while paired with Dak Prescott. He should once again be left on waivers for the 2024 season with Cousins.

Curtis Samuel is interesting because the offensive line's health concerns may force the Stampede to call a lot of quick passes. Samuel has two NFL seasons with seven touchdowns and two others with more than 800 yards. He’ll be only 28 for the 2024 season — still in his prime —, and he’d become a PPR force should Thomas go down with an injury.

Samuel was the PPR WR21 per game through five weeks of the 2022 season, averaging 15.0 points per game. While he struggled down the stretch in 2022, the Washington Commanders' quarterback play was significantly worse than what he’ll experience from Cousins. He’s a better bet than Gallup for fantasy and should settle into the Round 11 or Round 12 range of drafts.

Tight End

Hayden Hurst has never reached 60 receptions or 600 receiving yards in a season, and he’ll be 31 during the 2024 season. He should be left on fantasy waiver wires to start the year.

The hope for him is some version of the 2022 Tyler Higbee season. Higbee was thrust into high-volume action as the Los Angeles Rams offensive line crumbled. Even still, 3-yard slants to Hurst are unlikely to win you your fantasy league.

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