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Khalil Shakir

Shakir could be best of Buffalo receivers

I have some interest in Khalil Shakir. He was effective with his limited opportunities last year, and the Bills are re-working their receiving corps. Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis are gone, so they’ll have a new top guy this year.

Curtis Samuel and Keon Coleman look like the other top candidates. Samuel had some previous success with the Panthers and Commanders and is their highest-priced player at the position. They selected Coleman with the first pick of the second round after trading down a couple of times. (Wide receivers were selected with both of the picks the Bills traded – Xavier Worthy going 28th and Xavier Legette 32nd.)

I see Shakir as comparable to those guys. He’s not as heralded (he entered the league as a fifth-round choice and hasn’t actually played all that much), but he’s been around for two years, and he’s shown some ability to work effectively with Josh Allen.

I remember Shakir playing well in the postseason as a rookie, catching 5 passes for 91 yards. And he was shockingly efficient last year. He had only 45 passes thrown his way, but he caught 39 of them. He some really impressive after-the-catch work, including on a touchdown against Pittsburgh in the playoffs.

In the last 31 years, only 20 wide receivers with at least 40 targets have averaged over 12 yards per pass target (not yards per catch, but yards per play – including incompletions), and Shakir is in that group.

2008Devery Henderson, N.O.563279314.23
2006Devery Henderson, N.O.543274513.85
2018Tyler Lockett, Sea.705796513.810
2023Khalil Shakir, Buff.453961113.62
1999Tim Dwight, Atl.503266913.47
2011Jordy Nelson, G.B.9668126313.215
2019Mecole Hardman, K.C.412653813.16
2010Mike Wallace, Pitt.9860125712.810
2013Kenny Stills, N.O.503264112.85
2023Brandon Aiyuk, S.F.10575134212.87
1993John Taylor, S.F.745694012.75
2019A.J. Brown, Ten.8452105112.58
2014DeSean Jackson, Was.9556116912.36
2018Robert Foster, Buff.442754112.33
2010Patrick Crayton, S.D.422851412.21
2011Malcom Floyd, S.D.704385612.25
1999Az-Zahir Hakim, St.L.563667712.18
2019Stefon Diggs, Min.9463113012.06
2002Dennis Northcutt, Cle.503860112.05
2001Brian Finneran, Atl.412349112.03

At the same time, it’s also reasonable to tap the brakes a bit. Of those previous receivers, 11 were guys who looked similar to Shakir (lightly-used players looking to maybe take the step up from useful contributor to reliable performer), and exactly none of those guys actually made that key step. Of the 11 who didn’t rank in the top 30 in overall production (using PPR scoring), none moved up into the top 30 the next year.

Five of those 11 at least finished between 33rd and 39th in PPR production at the position, making them worth rostering in typical fantasy leagues. That makes it seem reasonable to slot Shakir in the top 50 among wide receivers in drafts.

2000Az-Zahir Hakim, St.L.81537349.14158.337
2000Tim Dwight, Atl.53264067.7391.467
2002Brian Finneran, Atl.102568388.26175.833
2003Dennis Northcutt, Cle.93627297.82155.238
2007Devery Henderson, N.O.43204099.5380.981
2009Devery Henderson, N.O.83518049.72144.743
2011Patrick Crayton, S.D.34232487.3185.481
2012Malcom Floyd, S.D.85568149.65167.438
2014Kenny Stills, N.O.836393111.23173.939
2019Robert Foster, Buff.183643.6012.3161
2020Mecole Hardman, K.C.62415609.04132.160
2024Khalil Shakir, Buff.???????

—Ian Allan

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