Khalil Shakir’s Dynasty Value | Fantasy Outlook, Ranking, and More

Should the Khalil Shakir dynasty conversation be that of a future fantasy starter? Is he worth acquiring now before he takes a major step forward?

If you watched the Buffalo Bills down the stretch this season, you couldn’t help but be impressed. The Khalil Shakir dynasty fantasy football discussion has evolved from “maybe a depth piece” to “should I be overextending to acquire him” in just a few short weeks after he scored in both playoff games and lit the Miami Dolphins up for 105 yards in Week 18 to secure the AFC East crown.

How impressive was Shakir’s 2023? Is what he did “sticky” and something we can count on for years to come? Let’s take a deep dive into what made the second-year pro so productive at the end of this season and find out!

Khalil Shakir’s Dynasty Outlook

Shakir was a fifth-round pick out of Boise State in 2022. He went well after Chicago Bears WR Velus Jones Jr., San Francisco 49ers WR Danny Gray, and the Dolphins WR Erik Ezukanma due to concerns about explosiveness and physical profile.

While those names are fine answers to the “name a random NFL player” trend going around social media these days, Shakir might be an answer to the “who saved my dynasty roster” conversation sooner rather than later.

The Bills opened this season much like they have in seasons past — two receiver sets. Shakir didn’t have a multi-target game until the second half of October (despite scoring in Week 1), but as he began to see the field, it became evident that taking him off of it wasn’t wise.

In his second season, Shakir ran 20+ routes on 10 occasions and caught at least three passes in nine of them. By the end of the year, he was a regular piece of Buffalo’s offense and a dangerous one at that.

In the Divisional Round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Shakir earned nine targets on 32 routes. That role seems destined to increase in a significant way with Gabe Davis posting a goodbye message to the city of Buffalo shortly after the Super Bowl.

That’s not to say the Bills won’t bring in competition for Shakir in the target department. But with Stefon Diggs on the wrong side of the age curve and now the experience edge over any newcomer, Shakir seems to have a viable role in this potent offense for years to come.

Let’s evaluate last season as a whole. Shakir’s efficiency was next level, and while it may not be completely sustainable, I’m not willing to let numbers like this just be written off.

Shakir caught 86% of his targets this season, nearly nine percentage points ahead of any other receiver who saw at least 50 targets. That is almost certainly going to regress in 2024, but the fact that he’s capable of posting such a rate and that his connection with Josh Allen this early in his career is that strong is encouraging at a high level.

Of course, catch rate isn’t everything. Here are the top five qualified receivers in that stat and where they finished this regular season on a per-game basis this season:

  1. Shakir: 86%
  2. Rashee Rice: 77.1% (WR29)
  3. Wan’Dale Robinson: 76.9% (WR58)
  4. Adam Thielen: 75.2% (WR27)
  5. CeeDee Lamb: 72.7% (WR1)

An eclectic group, to say the least. But we’ve seen exceptional players do this, and that has to at least be considered given the stability of this Bills offense and the upward trajectory — both in skill and role — that we have penciled in for Shakir.

Over the past decade, we’ve had four instances in which a WR had an 80% catch rate with an aDOT of at least 8.0 yards (again, minimum 50 targets):

  • Shakir (2023)
  • Michael Thomas (2019)
  • Michael Thomas (2018)
  • Tyler Lockett (2018)

That’s pretty impressive company. Remember those physical limitations? If you take the averages of Thomas and Lockett, you get 6’0.5”, 197 pounds, and a 4.48-second speed.

Shakir checks in at 6’0”, 190 pounds, and runs a 4.43-second 40-yard dash. This serves as a nice reminder that draft grades and scouting reports are meant to capture the most likely outcomes. There are annual exceptions that will be missed on a spreadsheet, and Shakir might be the latest example.

He operated almost exclusively out of the slot this season, which resulted in him leading Buffalo in yards from that spot this season with 628 (91.5% of Shakir’s yards). Volume is one thing, but efficiency is another.

Yards per slot target, Bills

Of course, an 81-yard touchdown helps spike those numbers, but remove that play, and the second-year pro still checks in well ahead of Buffalo’s other primary slot options at 10.9.

With offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey on staff, this offense rarely called upon a third receiver. Diggs (his dynasty outlook is an interesting research project) was the clear alpha WR1, while Buffalo insisted on wind sprints from Gabe Davis, hoping that he’d land a splash play with time.

MORE: Should You Move Amon-Ra St. Brown, David Montgomery, and Jared Goff in Dynasty?

Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t –- not exactly the most consistent of schemes for a team with Super Bowl aspirations. Once Joe Brady took over in Week 11, though, the Bills started getting a little more creative, and Shakir showed that he could be a stabilizing force for this offense.

Percentage of slot receptions that led to a first down under Brady:

  • Shakir: 70.4%
  • Kincaid: 45.5%
  • Diggs: 35%

Shakir’s Dynasty Ranking

Where does Shakir land in the dynasty WR landscape going into the 2024 offseason? Here are Soppe’s latest dynasty rankings, featuring where Shakir lands in comparison to other top names at the position.

1) Ja’Marr Chase | CIN
2) Justin Jefferson | MIN
3) Tyreek Hill | MIA
4) CeeDee Lamb | DAL
5) Amon-Ra St. Brown | DET
6) A.J. Brown | PHI
7) Garrett Wilson | NYJ
8) Jaylen Waddle | MIA
9) Chris Olave | NO
10) Tee Higgins | CIN
11) Brandon Aiyuk | SF
12) Puka Nacua | LAR
13) Cooper Kupp | LAR
14) DJ Moore | CHI
15) Nico Collins | HOU
16) DeVonta Smith | PHI
17) Michael Pittman Jr. | IND
18) Stefon Diggs | BUF
19) DK Metcalf | SEA
20) Rashee Rice | KC
21) Zay Flowers | BAL
22) Drake London | ATL
23) Jaxon Smith-Njigba | SEA
24) Davante Adams | LV
25) Mike Evans | TB

26) Tank Dell | HOU
27) Deebo Samuel | SF
28) Jayden Reed | GB
29) Calvin Ridley | JAX
30) Amari Cooper | CLE
31) Jordan Addison | MIN
32) Terry McLaurin | WAS
33) Chris Godwin | TB
34) George Pickens | PIT
35) Gabe Davis | BUF
36) Jerry Jeudy | DEN
37) Keenan Allen | LAC
38) Christian Kirk | JAX
39) Joshua Palmer | LAC
40) Michael Wilson | ARI
41) Jameson Williams | DET
42) Treylon Burks | TEN
43) Josh Downs | IND
44) Diontae Johnson | PIT
45) Jahan Dotson | WAS
46) Elijah Moore | CLE
47) Courtland Sutton | DEN
48) Christian Watson | GB
49) Marquise Brown | ARI
50) Khalil Shakir | BUF

Should You Trade Shakir in Dynasty?

This kid is certainly onto something, and he’s seemingly carved out a nice niche role that figures to expand in short order. The slot targets aren’t as likely to produce the Gabe Davis-esque highlights, but there’s no denying how effective that spot on the field can be for fantasy purposes.

Of the top 10 fantasy receivers this season, four of them were top 10 in slot points per game (six ranked 23rd or better on those shorter passes).

Who were some of the receivers that produced ahead of their ADP expectations this season?

I do think there is plenty to be excited about, and if Shakir can be had at a reasonable price, I’d make the move.

KEEP READING: Should You Move Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Khalil Shakir, and Jameson Williams in Dynasty?

I need a little more from Allen, and I want Brady to remain the offensive coordinator before fully committing to Shakir as a fantasy starter, but what he showed this season isn’t common.

Allen’s passer rating when targeting the slot:

  • 2020: 117.8
  • 2021: 106.4
  • 2022: 104.6
  • 2023: 94.7

Acquiring Shakir for a future pick or a Flex-worthy RB is a wise play. A future pick would allow you to sell hope to another manager, while a mid-level running back might result in a short-term loss but with a good chance to be a net positive over the next five years, given the difference in age curve at the position.

With the fantasy football season behind us, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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