Off the Field
While the allegations levied against Tyreek Hill are serious, from a fantasy perspective we have to evaluate what we know.
- The courts are no longer investigating Hill
- Per the NFL Personal-Conduct Policy, Tyreek Hill can still be suspended, whether or not he is charged with a crime
- Precedents from recent cases, such as Ezekiel Elliott, have shown that the NFL will suspend a player despite the lack of a police conviction.
When the league hands down judgment a minimum of 4-game suspension is expected, should he receive one? From a fantasy perspective, where do we turn if Ty-Freak Hill is sidelined?
Option One: Demarcus Robinson
The first option, Demarcus Robinson, was on the receiving end on the no-look pass that is shown above in the video. He has been a Chief for all three of his NFL seasons, but has yet to showcase his full set of skills. He has found himself buried on the depth chart, and has been limited to 13 starts in 48 games with the Chiefs.
Robinson’s sample size is truly reflective of his limited opportunities. However, his career totals (43 receptions, 500 yards receiving, and 4 touchdowns) are misleading. Robinson ran 16.1% of his routes from the slot in 2018, per playerprofiler.com. Considering Hill was a slot receiver on 35.1% of his snaps, Robinson stands to double his weekly numbers. Granted the expanded opportunity in the past, Robinson has been able to deliver. So with Tyreek assumed unavailable, look for Robinson to have an expanded role out of the slot. Catching dimes from MVP Mahomes, and playing on the explosive Kansas City Chiefs offense.
Option Two: Mecole Hardman
Georgia rookie Mecole Hardman is another name for people to consider on draft day. Even before Kansas City’s minicamp was underway, Hardman was impressing his coaches during OTA’s.
“Watching him in college, you could see the burst and the explosiveness after he catches the ball and separates from quality players.”Chiefs Special Teams Coordinator, Dave Toub
Hardman is the best candidate to replace the speed missing with Tyreek Hill’s absence. Hardman ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. This ranked third among all offensive players. His time is similar to Hill’s, who clocked in an average speed of 4.27 on his Pro Day. In fantasy drafts, Hardman should cost little-to-nothing with a player of his caliber. FantasyPros’ composite rankings currently place Hardman as the 64th ranked wide receiver this season.
Option Three: Travis Kelce
The most obvious choice for replacing Tyreek’s production is tight end Travis Kelce. The Chiefs’ tight end’s targets have gone up each season since turning pro. He has maintained elite fantasy numbers in each of the last 3 seasons, with his 2018 season being a career year. He managed 103 catches for 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns. He did his damage utilizing a whopping 150 targets. This placed him as a top-8 pass catcher through his 9.4 targets per game last season. And remember that those targets came with Tyreek Hill on the field.
Fantasy Pros cites his average draft position (ADP) at 15th overall. They also rank him the 14th best player at this time. So while landing Kelce will cost far more than Robinson or Hardman, Kelce’s steady production, opportunity, and MVP-Caliber quarterback, are hard to pass up. If Kelce is going to see another 150+ targets this season. It’s a slam dunk of a pick.
Written by: Dan Lyon (@ThePlasteredOne)