Written By Josh Farnsworth
Images By Frank ‘The Franchise’ Wade
S18 Best Value: Wide receivers
The best value caravan rolls on as we dive into the deepest pool of players on the offensive side of the ball: receivers. In my review of tight ends, I mentioned that certain positions have multiple “genres” of players. Wideouts are the same way.
Some live outside the numbers. Some make the underneath routes their home. Some stay in to block. And on and on my list goes.
With the increase in roster sizes, many squads opted for a fourth wide receiver. Pair that with a slight increase in the number of times running backs caught the ball this season and wide receivers had interesting value in Season 18.
Some of the noted imperfections when it comes to judging the wideouts:
Does not take how well the WR blocks in the run game
Does not distinguish as slot possession WR vs. outside deep threat
Does not account for WRs who moonlight as kick/punt returners (I see you, Doug Britton), but even with an amended formula, the top five would not have changed.
With these disclaimers in mind, I used a fairly basic formula to tabulate who gave their team the best value based on their contract number (VPs or Value Points). The envelope please…
5. Mac Chimah/Baltimore- 2.36 VPs
Another day, another Vulture superlative to throw on the heap. Chimah is maddening to try and gameplan against. He has the speed and elusiveness whether going over the middle, hitting the out to the sideline or beating you on a deep post. He’s a silky smooth operator in a juggernaut of an offense. His regular season numbers were once again elite: 75 catches, 1,171 yards and eight TDs. I’m sure the championship ring is nice, but a fifth place finish on my list is even better, right Mac? Right?
4. B.E. Robo/Louisiana- 2.37 VPs
The Revolution finished 21st in the SFL in passing yards for Season 18. That makes what Robo did to make this list even more impressive. His 92 catches was second among wide receivers and 1,058 yards was great value for someone who was comfortably under 100 in his contract value. It was his breakout season as a legitimate No. 1 in the Louisiana passing offense.
3. Davius Reid/Los Angeles- 2.58 VPs
Speaking of breakouts, perhaps the biggest breakout star from the group of receivers in Season 18 was Davius Reid. The Lycan posted career highs in catches (92), receiving yards (1,101) and receiving touchdowns (6) to give Sully Richardson another go-to receiver in their offense. As the third-most targeted wide receiver in the SFL, Reid can expect plenty of double teams in Season 19 (if they’re smart).
2. Gunner Lewis/San Diego- 2.99 VPs
The Pacific Division sure has its fair share of talented receivers (6 in the top 12). Lewis was nearly un-coverable this past season. The former Sparrow thrived as part of a dynamic 1-2 duo. Lewis was the only non-running back to crack the 100-reception mark in Season 18 (112), travelled 1,582 yards and found the end zone 14 times. It was a masterful season, finishing only second to a familiar receiver…
1. Liam Hammer/San Diego- 3.25 VPs
The Maverick passing game? It’s decent. Hammer showed unparalleled value as compared with his contract for a staggering 3.25 value point threshold. Hammer’s 1,681 receiving yards and 15 receiving touchdowns were both tops in the SFL for Season 18. His number of receptions remained similar to his previous two campaigns (79 as compared to 86in Season 17 and 77 in Season 15), but his 21.3 yards per reception was an SFL first place finish to help him shine in an already-shiny San Diego offense. In a time where a movie at the box office with the same name is thriving, the Maverick passing offense soared to new heights.
Top rookie Izrell Adams/Portland- 1.85 VPs
While the Fleet offense most often gets associated with how well they can free up Ezekiel Love to make plays in the backfield, he is far from the only young weapon in Oregon. Adams, a first round selection of the Fleet in Season 18, had a strong showing, pulling in 58 catches for 720 yards and five touchdowns in his inaugural campaign. Izrell had the highest VP total on Portland and showed sparks of what could be the beginning of a great career. Adjustments may have to be made with a new signal-caller coming to Portland in Season 19, but Adams gives the newcomer a reliable, explosive target to grow with in the Pacific Division.