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T.Y. Hilton Faceoff

Ryan Hester and Devin Knotts offer differing views of T.Y. Hilton

The staff members at Footballguys are full of opinions. In a Faceoff, we allow two members to voice their opinions on a specific player. One picked the high side, and the other took the low side.

High Side by Ryan Hester

With Andrew Luck missing nine games due to injury, the entire Indianapolis offense had sub-par seasons. This includes Hilton, whose overall numbers were down from the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Looking deeper into Hilton's 2015 numbers, though, shows that he overcame shoddy quarterback play to maintain a high level of efficiency. Hilton's 16.3 yards per catch nearly matched the 16.4 he had in 2014, meaning that his overall performance was down due to volume.

A total of 161 targets (27% of last season's total) have left town in the form of Coby Fleener and Andre Johnson. And Hilton has room for more targets compared to other "number one" receivers in the league. For instance, Mike Evans, who finished 10th in the league in targets last season, had 28% of his team's total. Considering Indianapolis' depth chart, 25-28% isn't out of the question for Hilton.

Hilton appears to be undervalued at his current ADP of WR16 (27 overall) in PPR leagues. But Hilton's ceiling incorporates both the regression (Luck's return) and the volume (target increase) arguments. On the volume side, Hilton has 134, 131, and 139 targets in the last three seasons. If that number increases modestly to just 150, Hilton would catch 90 passes (assuming a 60% catch rate, below the 61% he averaged in 2013 and 2014 with Luck).

At 15 yards per reception (remember, Hilton has averaged over 16 per catch in the last two seasons), that's a 90 receptions, 1,350 yards line. Our projectors here at Footballguys have Hilton pegged for an average of 7.5 touchdowns. 90 / 1,350 / 7 equates to 267 PPR points. Over the last five seasons, that point total would have finished as WR10.6 on average. In 2014, Hilton himself finished with 82 / 1,345 / 7 for a finish of WR12.

Hilton's ceiling is that of a top-10 receiver. Conservatively, he can be considered in the WR14 range. At WR16, that is a bargain. It's also worth noting that Hilton has missed just one game over the past three seasons combined.

Low Side by Devin Knotts

T.Y. Hilton is a guy who has tremendous speed and has the upside in a single game that very few wide receivers have. He is currently being taken in the top 15 of wide receivers and that is overvalued compared to wide receivers around him.

Consistency is the key for Hilton as if you look at his total stats over the past three seasons he looks like a very consistent option for your fantasy team this season. However, for being a low-end wide receiver one or high-end wide receiver two he is going to have too many games where he just doesn't perform and can single-handedly sink your team. Let's take a look at wide receivers around where he is being drafted compared to having games with 10 PPR points or less last season. Hilton had six of his games last season where he had ten fantasy points or less. Excluding his rookie season, as he did not have 1,000 yards that season, he has had ten points or less in 40.4% of his games. If you draft Hilton where he is being drafted you are relying on him to perform week in and week out and he continues this trend he can single handily cost you wins throughout the season. Even if you make the semi-finals and finals of your league there is a 60% chance he will have at least one game where he scores under 10 points.

Player Percent of Games Under 10 PPR Points
T.Y. Hilton 37.5%
Sammy Watkins 30.7%
Jarvis Landry 18.8%
Demaryius Thomas 6.3%
Brandon Marshall 0.0%

The increase in competition is also a major risk for Hilton. The Colts have drafted two wide receivers with Donte Moncrief and T.Y. Hilton over the last two seasons and both expect to have a bigger role this season. Donte Moncrief is also expected to continue to grow as a wide receiver and receives even more targets than he did last season Phillip Dorsett is a very similar wide receiver to T.Y. who relies heavily on his speed due to being undersized, and while he still has a to show that he can develop into a number one wide receiver, the Colts did use a first round draft pick on him just a season ago, so they are going to want to expand his role in his second season.