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Debating Tyreek Hill

Gabe Morency continues his series of 2017 NFL Team Previews by taking a look at the Kansas City. Tyreek Hill rant at 2:00  

Tyreek Hill has proved to be a pretty polarizing player in the fantasy community. It seems as if you have to be in one of two camps: Hill is going to be a top 15 WR in 2017 or a complete bust. I had my own preconceptions and expectations coming into my research and what I found was pretty interesting. Hill has documented domestic abuse issues off the field that I tried very hard to leave out of my analysis. In honesty, I almost never draft Hill because I don't enjoy rooting for him. I also certainly don't have any issues with owners who love what he brought to the table last season. In the effort of fairness, I'm going to paint you a picture for each side of the argument. I'll present reasons for Hill to be a dynamo and also not worth drafting. At the end, you the reader decide which side you believe. So let's dive into just how sustainable Hill's 2016 really is.

Hill is a TyFreak

Hill is coming off a 2016 campaign that saw him finish as a top 15 WR in standard and top 25 in PPR. This is pretty impressive feat considering he was just a 22-year-old rookie and the Kansas City offense finished 19th in passing yards in 2016. It's fair to wonder what Hill would've done if he had been more involved the first 6 games of the season. Hill only saw 19 total touches through those games. While this is understandable with a young rookie, it also means that the vast majority of his production came in just 10 games. That can be taken as a great sign because there is no doubt about Hill being a major piece all season long in 2017. One of the reasons Hill wasn't a huge factor the first six games was the presence of WR Jeremy Maclin. He and TE Travis Kelce combined for 80 targets those six games, leaving not much else for Hill. Maclin fought what he said was a torn groin the rest of the season and later moved on to the Baltimore Ravens. This has led many to say, "Tyreek Hill is the new #1 WR". While that is true from a depth chart perspective, Hill is not going to be the #1 option in the passing game. That role will be taken over by Kelce, who is a Pro Bowl level talent. The talent is evident on the field. Marcus Mosher of Bleacher Report highlighted some plays that would lead me to believe Hill can be a very good NFL player.

This play, in particular, stood out as it highlights Hill being able to focus on the ball in heavy traffic and show off some hands.

There's a lot of optimism that Hill will continue to build on his rookie campaign and become a star-level player. His TD rate is sure to come down because he scored a TD on every 11.5 touches this past year. However, he's going to see more touches and threatens to explode with every single one.

Hill is a TyFluke

With a player like Hill, I expected to see a lot of big plays in all facets of the game. This was certainly the case, as 8 of Hill's 12 TDs came from 30 yards out or more. While that was great for owners last season, it's very difficult to believe that Hill can repeat that in 2017. As I referenced earlier, a TD every 11.5 touches flat out isn't going to happen again. Since Hill will be focused on being a WR this season and will not return kickoffs, let's take a look at how he did as a receiver in 2016. The one thing that popped to me was Hill's YPR(yards per reception) in 2016. Hill had a 9.7 YPR and that didn't even make the top 100 players last season. Of the 61 receptions Hill had last season, only 18 went for over 10 yards. For a game breaker who relies on big plays, that low of a YPR is a small concern. How much will Hill contribute if he's not scoring a long TD? Add to that Hill did not have a 100-yard receiving game, and also only exceeded 70 yards just twice. Hill is capable of contributing on the ground as well. He totaled 264 yards on just 24 carries for a massive 11.1 yards per rush and 3 TDs. When you look at all 24 rushes, you realize once again Hill was boom or bust. If you take out his two longest runs of 70 and 68 yards, Hill falls to 129 yards on 22 carries. Also, 8 of his 24 carries(33%) went for negative yardage. This isn't to say his yards per carry is important. It's not advisable to get too hung up on averages when evaluating such a small sample size. It's to highlight the fact the Hill heavily relied on splash plays. There's a serious question as to what he can do for your team week to week.

The Verdict

My personal opinion is I will be passing on Hill at his current ADP, which is 44th in standard and 43rd in PPR. Hill is going ahead of WRs like Michael Crabtree, Martavis Bryant, Golden Tate, Larry Fitzgerald and Jamison Crowder. There is ABSOLUTELY no way I'm taking Hill ahead of any of those WR, among others going behind him. The floor and ceiling are better for all of these WR in my opinion, especially Bryant. Hill is an explosive athlete, but teams also have a full off-season to plan for him. It's easy to scream regression and run(that's one of my favorite phrases from Yahoo's Scott Pianowski), so my best guess to what Hill finishes with is around 70 receptions, around 900 yards and maybe 4-6 TDs. If he adds in 150-200 yards rushing and 2-3 TDs, that's just not going to return value from his draft day position. I'm slightly more inclined to take a look if I'm drafting a best ball style league like an MFL10, because there will be some big weeks. He's just too much of a consistency concern for me to spend such a high pick on Tyreek Hill.

Written by Adam Strangis
Follow him on twitter @Bucn4life
Check out his work at Tyreek Hill Fantasy Football