What is Tyreek Hill's Fantasy Value if Only Suspended 4 Games? - Roto Street Journal
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What is Tyreek Hill’s Fantasy Value if Only Suspended 4 Games?

Despite fairly damning audio evidence, Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill will reportedly avoid a major suspension regarding his child abuse allegations. He recently underwent an 8+ hour investigative interview with the NFL, which was deemed “successful” by “multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.” Hill reportedly presented a “massive amount of evidence to support his testimony,” and now seems likely to avoid major NFL penalty. Puke.

The criminal case, revolving around Hill’s son’s broken arm, was recently closed without any charges. Additionally, following this interview, “several Chiefs officials” expect Hill to face a “maximum of four games” suspension, with Hill expected to be welcomed into Training Camp right from the start.

Regardless of how scummy this may all feel, or our own feelings about the ruling, we still must reevaluate the fantasy values of Hill and the pieces around him. This was the No.1 WR in 2018 fantasy scoring, and is perhaps the most explosive weapon in the game, and his increased availability carries enormous fantasy weight.

Where to Draft Tyreek Hill now?

Last year’s top scoring WR, Hill is an absolute fantasy wrecking ball on the field. He’s the best deep-ball artist in the game, an impossible tackle in the open field, and can turn a small slant into a 90 yard TD in the blink of the eye. Simply put: no player is more capable of single-handedly winning you a game, and Hill rarely puts up complete duds.

Thus, even if you’ll be without Hill for a quarter of the season, he still must be considered a Top-35 overall prospect. 12 games of Tyreek are better than a full season of most players, especially with so many intriguing “Penny Stock WRs” available in the later rounds to patch a lineup together. In fact, two of the four games Hill would miss are against the Jaguars (2nd fewest FPs to WRs) and Ravens (fewest FPs to WRs), which may have been one or two of his annual duds anyways. Some patchwork options with easy early-season WR schedules include the 49ers (Dante Pettis), Steelers (Donte Moncrief), Eagles (DeSean Jackson), Broncos (Emmanuel Sanders), and Seahawks (DK Metcalf).

As of now, I have Hill at 33 Overall and WR13 on my latest 2019 Big Board and Rankingsright after Amari Cooper and ahead of the Vikings WRs, Julian Edelman, and Brandin Cooks. If the suspension is even lighter (i.e. 2 games), Hill will be right back into my Top-25 overall.

Mahomes Rising, Watkins Plummeting

1) Patrick Mahomes regains his own tier

Patrick Mahomes was already our QB1, regardless of Hill’s status. However, I had previously written Mahomes was “no longer in a tier alone” without his game-changing deep threat. Now that he’s likely to only be without Hill for four-games, Mahomes’ season-long ceiling is right back to “Cheat Code” status. In fact, Mahomes’ weapons cabinet may be even more stacked with burner Mecole Hardman added as a Hill insurance policy. The amount of speed this team can roll out wide between Hill, Hardman, and a healthy Sammy Watkins would be downright unfair, especially considering Mahomes’ cannon arm. He rises 8 spots and is once again far above all other QBs.

 

2) Sammy Watkins’ ceiling is far more capped, and he falls hard

Whelp, my “Sammy Watkins offers Limitless, Top-Five Fantasy Football Upside” article was short lived.

True, Watkins will be Mahomes’ top WR and field stretcher for however long Hill’s gone. He could be a huge edge-gainer to kickoff the 2019 Fantasy Season. As mentioned, though, two of these weeks will be against the toughest two pass defenses in the league. You’re not even guaranteed monster efforts even without Hill.

And then once Hill returns? Watkins goes back to his “third-at-best” position on the target totem pole, with even more competition for looks with Hardman now in the rotation.

Originally, Watkins’ awful health warts would have been easier to stomach, as the ceiling was astronomical if Hill was out for a substantial chunk of time. Now that Hill’s expected back far earlier, the reward is unlikely to be worth the risk here. He falls a brutal 46 spots down my Big Board, now at 85 overall.

3) Quick Hits

  • Mecole Hardman will undoubtedly make some splash plays in 2019, but his fantasy appeal is far lower. Without Hill, Hardman was looking at a potentially consistent target share in the league’s most explosive offense. Now, he’s likely to be far more effective real-life than fantasy. He takes a steep, -40 hit, going from one of my favorite Penny Stocks to one I’ll likely avoid.

 

  • Travis Kelce isn’t hurt much, if at all. Sure, he would’ve seen a slight bump in targets, but having Hill’s field-stretching presence is enormous for Kelce’s ability to roam free in the seams. Continue treating him like a first rounder.

 

 

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