William Del Pilar's Blog: Keeper Leagues' Free-Agent WRs

William Del PilarContributor IMarch 18, 2009

We’re continuing on with wide receivers in my blog series of free-agent players and keeper leagues. As always, before moving on, a few comments:

I believe wide receivers are the easiest position to waive because they are so deep. You have 64 starting wide receivers and a deep pool of nearly 96 to choose from. I base that on the simple fact many teams go three wide and all teams will eventually go with multiple-receiver sets when needed.

As always never view any player, especially wide receivers, as untouchable. Every year look to trade your top wideout for draft picks or a top producing player such as a quarterback or running back.

In-season you can find quality wide receivers weekly depending on the matchup. On draft day there are always quality veterans available as well.

As I’ve said in previous blogs, I’ll be piggybacking off our free-agent analysis tables that came out in late February. I’ll link to that article each time I do a position.

Wide Receivers

Free-agent wide receivers (Part II)

Devery Henderson (re-signed by the New Orleans Saints): Henderson is guaranteed $6 million of a $12 million, four-year deal. OUCH! I’m not sure what the Saints were thinking for someone who is going to be one of their more inconsistent players.

I guess he’s seen as one of the team’s big-play receivers and he is by averaging 24.8 yards per catch last season! However, he only scored three touchdowns to go with 32 receptions and 793 yards.

I think because of his inconsistency you have to cut him loose. Right now you have running back Reggie Bush (knee), wide receiver Marques Colston, tight end Jeremy Shockey and even fellow wideout Lance Moore eating into Henderson’s touches. Feel free to waive him if you have to waive a body.

I would.

Ike Hilliard: Hilliard has yet to latch onto any team but he does want to play this year. He is 33 years old, has taken a pounding as he’s a tough physical receiver, but entering his 13th season he would be expensive as a veteran pick up for any team.

You also have a crowded free agent market with former teammate Amani Toomer, out there with Jerry Porter, Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt, Reggie Williams, Bobby Engram and others. Feel free to cut him loose as he has no fantasy value now and possibly ever again!

Bryant Johnson (signed by the Detroit Lions): The Lions now have a No. 3 wideout who’s going to earn $9 million over three years. He’s going to compete and probably take the No. 2 spot across from a beast of a receiver, Calvin Johnson. B. Johnson has recorded 255 receptions for 3,221 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career.

He has played 93 games in his career, which translates into three receptions for 35 yards and 0.13 touchdowns per game. That is, a touchdown every eight games.

Sure, I’m not being fair to him as he did not start all those games, but he was a No. 3 receiver most of his career outside last season.

Last year, he caught 45 passes for 546 yards with three touchdowns, and he’s going to a team in the Lions that has to rebuild. He’s someone you don’t even consider, you just waive him.

Bobby Engram (signed by the Kansas City Chiefs): I like this signing from an NFL standpoint. The former Chicago Bears wideout came into his own while in Seattle for many years and now has a chance to be productive once again in Kansas City.

However, he’s coming off an injury-shortened season with only 47 receptions, 489 yards and zero touchdowns. The fact the Chiefs are a rebuilding team, Engram is 36 years old and entering his 14th season, tells me you can afford to waive him.

He could be a producer in point-per-reception leagues, but the Chiefs are such a big question mark, you can wait for him in a draft. Waive him.

Michael Clayton (re-signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Reports state Clayton has a new contract worth $24 million over five years with $10.5 million guaranteed. That’s a lot for a player who has had only one good season in five years.

That was his rookie year! In 2008, he had 38 receptions for 484 yards with one touchdown, and in 2007 he had 22 receptions for 301 yards.

He has not produced in four straight years, and even if you think he will this year, you will be able to grab him in a draft late. Go ahead and waive him; to me, there’s no reason for why he received such a large contract!

We’ll look to wrap up the free-agent wide receivers with my next blog before wrapping the series up with tight ends. Until next time, let’s enjoy some fantasy baseball drafts! Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter.


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