Mythbusting Tyreek Hill's Critics

A detailed analysis of Tyreek Hill's fantasy prospects for the 2020 season. 

This article is about a 13-minute read.

Don't Believe (Most) of the Criticism, Hill is A Truly Elite Fantasy Option

Tyreek Hill is one of the league’s best receivers and is a consensus top-5 receiver this year. He’ll be off the board by the end of the second round in nearly every league. The question you’ve got to answer is whether Hill should be an aggressive target, versus other players likely available in the same range. There are three common complaints as it relates to drafting Hill as a No. 1 receiver:

  1. He lacks consistency and is a boom-or-bust player
  2. The Chiefs spread the ball around too much
  3. He’s an injury risk

Two of those three concerns are baseless, and the other – while legitimate – isn’t enough to discount Hill versus other players coming off the board in the late first or early second rounds. Tyreek Hill is a complete, dynamic, SAFE fantasy option, and can be a cornerstone of a championship contender.


Something We All Agree About…He’s One of the League’s Best

Tyreek Hill is one of the league’s best receivers, by any measure. A colleague recently made the comparison to Steve Smith, and it’s well regarded. Hill, like Smith, is relatively small (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) but has blazing speed, great hands, and has evolved into a precise route runner. Hill had an above-average success rate on every route on the tree last year, according to Yahoo!’s Matt Harmon. He’s also equally adept at beating man and zone coverage; he can do it all.

Yards per Target (Active Receivers)

Rank
Player
From
To
Games
Targets
Yards
Yds/Tgt
1
2019
2019
16
84
1051
12.51
2
2017
2019
46
271
2700
9.96
3
2016
2019
59
414
4115
9.94
4
2015
2019
79
386
3838
9.94
5
2015
2019
69
322
3181
9.88
6
2017
2019
41
179
1760
9.83
7
2008
2019
155
1067
10,420
9.77
8
2011
2019
126
1252
12,125
9.68
9
2017
2019
42
283
2730
9.65
10
2013
2019
107
501
4699
9.38

Yards per Game (Active Receivers)

Rank
Player
From
To
Games
Starts
Yards
Yds/Game
1
2011
2019
126
125
12,125
96.2
2
2016
2019
63
57
5512
87.5
3
2014
2019
75
71
6511
86.8
4
2010
2019
131
103
11,263
86.0
5
2014
2019
90
89
7260
80.7
6
2011
2019
111
111
8907
80.2
7
2013
2019
110
110
8602
78.2
8
2013
2019
86
82
6405
74.5
9
2012
2019
118
97
8598
72.9
10
2016
2019
59
42
4115
69.7

Catch Rate (Active Receivers)

Rank
Player
From
To
Games
Tgts
Recs
Catch %
1
2016
2019
63
602
470
78.1%
2
2015
2019
79
386
276
71.5%
3
2015
2019
72
358
256
71.5%
4
2012
2019
118
556
386
69.4%
5
2014
2019
90
466
323
69.3%
6
2017
2019
39
283
196
69.3%
7
2011
2019
120
758
525
69.3%
8
2009
2019
141
796
547
68.7%
9
2018
2019
29
185
127
68.6%
10
2015
2019
70
534
365
68.4%
11
2013
2019
86
766
524
68.4%
12
2016
2019
59
414
281
67.9%

Fantasy Points per Target (Active Receivers)

Rank
Player
From
To
Games
Tgts
Recs
Yards
YPR
TDs
FPTs
FPTs/Tgt
1
2019
2019
16
84
52
1051
20.2
8
205.1
2.44
2
2018
2019
29
185
127
1687
13.3
17
397.7
2.15
3
2016
2019
59
414
281
4115
14.6
32
884.5
2.14
4
2015
2019
79
386
276
3838
13.9
27
821.8
2.13
5
2017
2019
39
283
196
2596
13.2
21
581.6
2.06
6
2017
2019
46
271
179
2700
15.1
17
551.0
2.03
7
2015
2019
69
322
197
3181
16.2
23
653.1
2.03
8
2016
2019
63
602
470
5512
11.7
32
1213.2
2.02
9
2013
2019
107
501
299
4699
15.7
36
984.9
1.97
10
2017
2019
41
179
103
1760
17.1
12
351.0
1.96

Misplaced Concern #1: He’s Not Durable

In four seasons, Hill has played in 59 of 64 regular-season games. His 92.2% active rate compares favorably against other early-round fantasy receivers and is above their collective average.

Player
Potential Games
Games Played
% Active
64
64
100.0%
16
16
100.0%
64
63
98.4%
64
63
98.4%
64
62
96.9%
32
31
96.9%
64
62
96.9%
48
46
95.8%
64
61
95.3%
64
61
95.3%
64
60
93.8%
32
30
93.8%
64
59
92.2%
32
29
90.6%
Average
89.1%
64
57
89.1%
64
57
89.1%
64
56
87.5%
48
42
87.5%
48
42
87.5%
64
56
87.5%
64
53
82.8%
48
39
81.3%
64
52
81.3%
64
51
79.7%
64
49
76.6%
64
48
75.0%
64
46
71.9%

Misplaced Concern #2: He’s Not Consistent

The most common reason fantasy analysts give for downgrading Hill is a perceived lack of consistency. Even many of his supporters speak about his weekly volatility, as though it’s problematic. Yet, the data tells a different story. Let’s compare Hill’s weekly fantasy output against a basket of other top fantasy receivers, as measured by current ADP.

Percentage of Weeks with a Top 36 Finish (2016-2019)

Player
Games
Top-36 Weeks
% Top 36
63
48
76.2%
61
45
73.8%
57
42
73.7%
62
44
71.0%
60
39
65.0%
52
33
63.5%
49
30
61.2%
48
29
60.4%
42
25
59.5%
64
38
59.4%
59
35
59.3%
39
23
59.0%
Average
57.3%
56
32
57.1%
16
9
56.3%
56
31
55.4%
29
16
55.2%
53
29
54.7%
57
31
54.4%
42
21
50.0%
62
31
50.0%
31
15
48.4%
61
29
47.5%
46
21
45.7%
46
21
45.7%
51
22
43.1%
63
27
42.9%
30
11
36.7%

This is a floor measurement for a starting fantasy receiver in a 12-team league. You can stomach a top-36 finish on off weeks; it’s only excruciating when your starters deliver a fantasy score that’s outside of the baseline. Hill has been a top-36 receiver 35 times in 59 games (59.3%). While that’s a far cry from the likes of Michael Thomas (76.2%), Julio Jones (73.8%), and Davante Adams (73.7%), it’s still above average among the basket of top receivers. On average, this group of “must-have” fantasy receivers finishes inside the Top 36 57.3% of the time. The worst thing you can say about Hill is he’s slightly better than average in terms of delivering a baseline score.

Percentage of Weeks with a Top 24 Finish (2016-2019)

Player
Games
Top-24 Weeks
% Top 24
57
39
68.4%
63
39
61.9%
62
36
58.1%
61
34
55.7%
60
33
55.0%
48
23
47.9%
39
18
46.2%
59
27
45.8%
29
13
44.8%
56
25
44.6%
Average
43.9%
42
18
42.9%
42
18
42.9%
49
21
42.9%
57
24
42.1%
52
21
40.4%
53
21
39.6%
56
22
39.3%
64
25
39.1%
61
23
37.7%
16
6
37.5%
31
11
35.5%
62
22
35.5%
51
18
35.3%
63
21
33.3%
46
14
30.4%
46
14
30.4%
30
9
30.0%

This is your good enough measurement when a projected star gives you at least a WR2 score for the week. Hill has delivered top-24 value 45.8% of the time. No one can touch Davante Adams (68.4%) in this metric, but Hill ranks above average among this basket of top receivers.

Percentage of Weeks with a Top 12 Finish (2016-2019)

Player
Games
Top-12 Weeks
% Top 12
57
24
42.1%
60
24
40.0%
61
23
37.7%
16
6
37.5%
59
22
37.3%
63
23
36.5%
52
18
34.6%
62
21
33.9%
48
15
31.3%
29
8
27.6%
56
15
26.8%
Average
26.7%
61
16
26.2%
42
11
26.2%
39
10
25.6%
49
12
24.5%
62
15
24.2%
64
15
23.4%
57
13
22.8%
42
9
21.4%
51
10
19.6%
46
9
19.6%
46
8
17.4%
53
9
17.0%
30
5
16.7%
56
9
16.1%
63
10
15.9%
31
2
6.5%

This is why you draft receivers in the first two rounds; to get a top-12 weekly finish. These are the weeks when you smile at your box score, knowing your draft pick performed up to expectations. Not surprisingly, this is also where Tyreek Hill starts to shine. He’s been a top-12 receiver 37.3% of the time, which is dramatically higher than the basket’s average (26.7%).

Percentage of Weeks with a Top 5 Finish (2016-2019)

Player
Games
Top-5 Weeks
% Top 5
16
4
25.0%
59
12
20.3%
61
12
19.7%
60
11
18.3%
62
11
17.7%
57
10
17.5%
56
9
16.1%
63
10
15.9%
52
8
15.4%
42
6
14.3%
51
7
13.7%
61
8
13.1%
Average
12.2%
49
6
12.2%
42
5
11.9%
57
6
10.5%
48
5
10.4%
39
4
10.3%
46
4
8.7%
62
5
8.1%
63
5
7.9%
56
4
7.1%
29
2
6.9%
31
2
6.5%
64
4
6.3%
46
2
4.3%
53
2
3.8%
30
1
3.3%

Boom! Outside of A.J. Brown’s monstrous rookie season (four top-five finishes in 16 games), Hill sits atop the rankings. No other receiver has delivered more top-five finishes; he’s done it 20.3% of the time. This is what wins fantasy championships.

In summary, Tyreek Hill is no more likely to fall short of baseline expectations than other top receivers, yet he’s among the most likely to give you a game-winning weekly performance. There’s a perception that you have to take the bad with the good, but the reality is you have to accept the average with amazing.

Legitimate Concern: He has a target ceiling

This is the one commonly held concern that holds up to scrutiny.

Targets per Game (Active Receivers)

Rank
Player
From
To
Games
Targets
Tgts/Game
1
2014
2019
75
755
10.07
2
2011
2019
126
1252
9.94
3
2010
2019
131
1283
9.79
4
2016
2019
63
602
9.56
5
2013
2019
110
1048
9.53
6
2014
2019
90
835
9.28
7
2011
2019
111
1026
9.24
8
2004
2019
250
2263
9.05
9
2014
2019
96
857
8.93
10
2013
2019
86
766
8.91
11
2014
2019
72
632
8.78
12
2010
2019
143
1186
8.29
13
2014
2019
86
694
8.07
14
2012
2019
118
946
8.02
15
2012
2019
102
814
7.98
16
2015
2019
70
534
7.63
17
2015
2019
77
584
7.58
18
2017
2019
42
315
7.50
19
2009
2019
143
1067
7.46
20
2012
2019
63
462
7.33
21
2017
2019
39
283
7.26
22
2016
2019
53
379
7.15
23
2018
2019
25
176
7.04
24
2014
2019
88
618
7.02
25
2016
2019
59
414
7.02
26
2018
2019
31
217
7.00
27
2013
2019
100
699
6.99
28
2009
2019
131
902
6.89
29
2008
2019
155
1067
6.88
30
2010
2019
144
982
6.82
31
2017
2019
42
283
6.74
32
2010
2019
148
989
6.68
33
2017
2019
38
253
6.66
34
2016
2019
56
369
6.59
35
2018
2019
32
208
6.50

Hill ranks just 25th in targets per game among active receivers. Fortunately, Hill is hyper-efficient on a per-target basis, but he needs a higher target rate, and share of Patrick Mahomes II throws to compete with Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, and Davante Adams for the top spot.

STATS AND PROJECTIONS

Season
Projector
Games
Rushes
RuYards
RuTDs
Targets
Recs
ReYards
ReTDs
FumL
2017
Kansas City
15
17
59
0
105
75
1183
7
2018
Kansas City
16
22
151
1
137
87
1479
12
2019
Kansas City
12
8
23
0
88
58
860
7
Season
Projector
Games
Rushes
RuYards
RuTDs
Targets
Recs
ReYards
ReTDs
FumL
2020
15.8
7
31
0.1
85.0
1335
9.3
0.8
2020
15
10
55
0.0
78.0
1200
9.0
1.0
2020
15
10
40
0.0
82.0
1275
9.0
0.0
2020
16
10
59
0.2
82.5
1178
8.5
0.9

Final Thoughts

Tyreek Hill is one of the best receivers in the NFL, full stop. He's a precise route runner, he has great hands, he dominates against man and zone coverage with equal aplomb, and he has game-breaking speed. He also plays for the reigning Super Bowl champions on the league's best offense, with the league's best quarterback. The depth chart has alternatives, but none figure to eat into Hill's existing role. While many of you will happily draft Hill at the end of the first round or in the early second round, plenty more will opt for someone else because of a series of worries; most of which are unfounded. He's doesn't lack durability -- he's been more durable than most star receivers. He doesn't lack consistency -- he's as likely to deliver a baseline weekly performance as most fantasy starters but gives you the week-winning upside more often than anyone else. The only real concern about Hill is his lack of target share versus other potential top-5 fantasy receivers. That's why it's logical to consider the likes of Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, and Davante Adams over Hill. But don't mistakenly pass on Hill for anyone else at the position, particularly if you're basing your reluctance on faulty logic.


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