From an NFL standpoint, I could see how both Miami and Pats fans are reacting to the news. Welker doesn't provide much of an impact to wins/losses, even on special teams, to warrant such a salary.
From a fantasy perspective, we have a huge sleeper here. If anybody was paying attention in the NFL playoffs, the Patriots made friggin' Jabbar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell
relevant. During the regular season, even on a Miami team with horrible quarterbacking, Welker was fantasy relevant especially in point-per-reception leagues and leagues that rewards return yardage. At the end of the season:
- In my PPR league (one point per catch) that does not award return yardage, Welker was the #40 WR.
- In a standard league (no PPR) that awards 1 point per 20 return yards, Welker was the #29 WR.
- In my league that offers BOTH PPR (0.5 point per catch) and return yardage, (1 point per 20 return yards) Welker was the #15 WR.
All 10 or 12-man leagues.
Just goes to show you that league settings can make a big difference. But in the right format (PPR and return yardage) Welker could have made a BIG difference for your fantasy team. At one point in the season Welker was the #3 WR in this format!
Welker likely went undrafted in nearly all leagues and people were basically able to get a top 15 WR off the waiver wire.