Tyreek Hill and the Great Unknown - Footballguys

Tyreek Hill gave fantasy GMs a huge year in 2017. Will changes around him derail his superstar potential in 2018?

Tyreek Hill is too expensive at current ADP

Why wouldn’t he be? He is a 24-year-old playmaker that can score from anywhere on the field, and he's coming off an impressive second season. His play last season justifies his draft position, but it doesn't account for the risks facing Hill in 2018 and beyond. There are too many changes in Kansas City, and Hill doesn’t get enough touches to offset the risk.

  • Hill evolved from a dynamic gadget player as a rookie into a bonafide WR1 last year
  • Hill and Travis Kelce have to contend with Sammy Watkins for touches this season
  • The Chiefs replaced their offensive coordinator and starting quarterback this offseason

But what if none of that matters and Hill gets even better in 2018?


a swiss army knife rookie season

Hill put the league on notice as a rookie. The Chiefs used him as a returner, runner, and receiver; he gained 1,836 all-purpose yards, scored 12 touchdowns, and was the NFL's best punt returner. His season culminated in a 1st Team All Pro selection.

As a Receiver

  • 83 targets
  • 61 receptions
  • 593 receiving yards
  • 9.7 yards per catch
  • 6 receiving touchdowns

As a Runner

  • 24 rushes
  • 267 rushing yards
  • 11.1 yards per rush
  • 3 rushing touchdowns

As a Returner

  • 39 punt returns
  • 592 punt return yards (#1 in the league)
  • 2 punt return touchdowns (#1)
  • 15.2 yards per punt return (#1)
  • 14 kickoff returns
  • 384 kickoff return yards
  • 1 kickoff return touchdown (#1)
  • 27.4 yards per kickoff return

A successful transition to full-time receiver

In spite of an All Pro rookie year, many analysts questioned whether Hill could successfully transition to a full-time wide receiver. Fantasy managers who bet on Hill were handsomely rewarded with a balefire second season.

  • 105 targets
  • 75 receptions
  • 71.4% catch rate
  • 1,183 receiving yards
  • 15.8 yards per reception
  • 7 receiving touchdowns
  • 165.2 fantasy points (standard) -- WR4
  • 240.2 fantasy points (PPR) -- WR9

Underlying metrics also validate Hill as one of the most talented young receivers.

  • Yards-after-the-catch (YAC) per reception -- 6.0 yards (9th among qualified receivers)
  • Missed tackles -- 10 (8th)
  • Catch rate -- 71.4% (9th)
  • 25+ yard catches -- 15 (3rd)

Inconsistency was the only negative

In spite of finishing as a top-10 receiver in all formats, Hill was inconsistent because of his penchant for big plays and lower target rate (versus other top receivers).

  • 3 Top-5 weekly finishes
  • 4 Top-10 weekly finishes
  • 7 Top-20 weekly finishes
  • 8 Top-30 weekly finishes
  • 7 games outside the Top 30

HILL'S EVOLVING WORLD

Hill is immensely talented, and he is going to have a lot of good games. However, there are a few things that could limit his upside.

  1. Patrick Mahomes replaces Alex Smith at quarterback -- Smith was traded to Washington, leaving second-year quarterback Mahomes under center. Andy Reid wouldn't have made this move unless he thought Mahomes could be better than Smith, so the change could end up being a boon for Hill and the other skill players. But, it's a risk and adds volatility to the equation.
  2. Eric Bieniemy replaces Matt Nagy -- Offensive coordinator Matt Nagy landed the Bears head coaching job, so Andy Reid promoted Eric Bieniemy to offensive coordinator. We don't know how important Nagy was to the Chiefs offensive resurgence since Reid has a hand in every facet of the offense. However, we do now the Chiefs were the 5th-highest scoring offense last year with Nagy running the show. It's hard to imagine Bieniemy will be better; we can only hope he maintains the status quo.
  3. Sammy Watkins replaces Albert Wilson -- Sammy Watkins hasn't lived up to immense expectations, but when healthy he's demonstrably better than anyone the Chiefs have had at WR2 in recent years. The Chiefs signed Watkins to a monster contract and clearly view him as a difference maker. There's no way Watkins isn't going to eat into Hill, Kelce, and Kareem Hunt's workloads.

Projections

Projector
Games
Rushes
RuYards
RuTDs
Recs
ReYards
ReTDs
PPR FanPts
David Dodds
15.3
14
76
1.0
71.0
973
6.0
217.9
Bob Henry
16.0
18
120
1.3
70.0
1035
6.5
232.3
Jason Wood
16.0
21
122
0.4
60.2
869
5.5
194.7
Maurile Tremblay
16.0
18
90
1.0
69.0
930
6.0
213.0
Alessandro Miglio
15.0
25
120
2.0
60.0
900
6.0
210.0

Final Thoughts

Normally a guy coming off a huge season in his second year would command a first-round price tag or close to it. Fantasy owners don’t seem to think he can replicate that performance in 2018, though, as they are taking him as the 13th receiver off the board in the third round on average. So it seems all those risks are being baked into his price. Hill could be maddeningly inconsistent as a combination of better teammates, a new coordinator, and a new quarterback cloud the outlook. If you're a risk taker, Hill is worth the risk in the third round, because the changes could be a net positive for a player who was already at top-10 receiver last year. If you're risk-averse, there are higher floor players better suited to your team-building methodologies.


Other Thoughts from Around the Web

Mike Tagliere of FantasyPros fame thinks Hill might be a bit rich at his ADP:

"The idea when drafting your fantasy team is to have equity with each of your picks outside the first-round. Of the 50 wide receivers who finished top-10 over the last five years, there were just five who did it with less than 120 targets. It’s not a guarantee that either player bests their ADP, but with Watkins, you are investing much less. My advice would be to draft Doug Baldwin over Hill, who is being drafted as the No. 13 wide receiver. My 2018 projection: 102 targets, 66 receptions, 917 yards, 6 touchdowns, 78 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown."

Thoughts from the Shark Pool (Footballguys Message Board)

Here is what the Shark Pool recently had to say about Hill in a post with a poll about drafting him or Watkins:

"I voted Hill by a little. If Mahomes is what people are making him out to be there should be lots of deep throws with these two guys this year. I think come draft time, which ever is the cheaper will be the one to draft. I'm hoping recency bias will keep Sammy's price low.

Its a little early for projections but my initial thoughts are

Hill - 92/64/880/7 21/168/1

Watkins - 84/55/900/8

Kelce - 113/71/920/5

Right now, at this point, he's a bargain."