FLAFFL FEUD: Are You Dying on the Hill?

Welcome to the third article in our FLAFFL Feud series. If you listen to the FLAFFL House podcast (Available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/flaffl-house-podcast/id1084230452 ) then you know not everyone at FLAFFL agrees all the time. To be fair, the guys on the podcast do so well together because they really hate one another. [Editor’s Note: Steve loves everybody, Sal hates everybody and Kevin only hates Sal]

In our last installment Derek McCreath battled it out with Corey Snyder in a discussion over the value of the Browns polarizing running back, Isaiah Crowell.  I’m going to give the nod to Derek on this one as I don’t believe the Crow is quite worth the price people are paying for him these days. The back end of the third round (in 12 team leagues) is far too steep for a guy that could end up being a low end RB3. Given the sub-par offense which will be around him and the fact he may be one of the only weapons on the field I think the RB14 rating he currently has is his absolutely ceiling.  You made some good points Corey but better luck next time.

For this installment we move along to the AFC West to discuss a player that burst on to the scene last year as fast as he runs the 40 yard dash.  That’s right, Steve Klasskin and Rob Schwarz are in their respective corners ready to defend their position on the talents of one Tyreek “The Freak” Hill.  While this is a guy who I don’t plan to ever have on my own roster let’s see if Steve can sway the rest of you. 

Tyreek Hill – The Freak Remains

By  Steve Klasskin (@klazk)

Tyreek Hill is certainly a polarizing player this offseason, especially after Jeremy Maclin was released and he became the presumed number one receiver for the Chiefs.  I’m going to present to you why I think Hill will be more TyFreak than TyFluke in 2017.

I’m sure most of you remember the last scene in 8 Mile?  Well I’m about to do my best Rabbit impression and dispel all of Rob’s points regarding Tyreek Hill before he can even make them.

1.       Tyreek Hill is a Tavon Austin like gadget player and not a real WR receiver.

My philosophy has always been to get out of the way and reference people smarter than me to prove a point when necessary.  In this case, there is no reason for you to take my word for the fact that Tyreek Hill is a capable of being an NFL receiver when I have Matt Harmon on my side.  In Harmon’s Reception Perception (full report available here), Harmon finds that Hill “largely passed the Reception Perception Test with flying colors.”  (And for the gadget plays that will be run for Hill, I’ll take Andy Reid over Jeff Fisher all day, every day).

2.       Hill will not be successful against top corners and when facing double teams.

There was a stretch during 2016 when Maclin was unavailable and Hill put up his best numbers of the season.  While it is debatable whether he was acting as the true number one receiver those games, what is not debatable is that Maclin was not there to draw any attention away from the other receivers.

Three of those games (weeks 9-11 against Carolina, Tampa Bay and Denver) were against the #11 , #6 and #4 teams in terms of passing efficiency according to Warren Sharp (https://www.sharpfootballstats.com/2017-strength-of-schedule--off-.html). 

Hill’s receiving line in those games?  A combined 18 catches on 21 targets for 160 yards and two touchdowns.  A small sample size for sure, but it certainly looks like Hill can hold his own against the better pass defenses in the league.  Going up against Marcus Peters in practice every day won’t hurt him in terms of gaining experience against top corners, either.

And the potential double teams?  I’ll let Evan Silva answer that one for me. 

3.       Hill’s success in 2016 was based predominantly on big plays that can’t be counted on to repeat and unsustainable efficiency.

I am not going to argue Hill was wildly efficient in 2016 and it is not sustainable.  His big plays cannot be denied either.  However, Hill only played 41% of the snaps in 2016.  He finished as the WR24 (WR32 in ppg) in 2016 and he played less than half of his team’s snaps.

The Chiefs and Reid have already made comments this offseason about making him a full-time offensive player in 2017.  The two “full-time” WRs for the Chiefs in 2016 were Maclin and Chris Conley.  They played 80%+ of the snaps in games they were active for the Chiefs in 2016.

Anything Hill loses in efficiency he should more than make up in volume this year.   If Hill is 70% as efficient as he was last year, but almost doubles his snaps, he will not only equal his 2016 numbers, but surpass them.  Don’t believe me? Just keep reading.

4.       Hill is being over-drafted and is not a good value at his ADP.

As of the writing of this article, FantasyPros ADP has Hill as the WR25, just behind Martavis Bryant and Golden Tate and ahead of Stefon Diggs and Julian Edelman.

My go-to for projections is 4for4.com.  John Paulsen has a proven track record over the years with projections, so I checked where he has Hill.  On 4for4, Tyreek is the WR 18 and is ahead of all four of the players surrounding him in ADP. 

Based on that, I could even argue that Hill is currently undervalued as opposed to overvalued.

If these aren’t the points that Rob makes, then I’ve won this Feud anyway.  And if they are …  Mr. Schwartz, why don’t you tell the people something about TyFreak they don’t already know about him?

Tyreek Hill – A Poor Man’s DeSean Jackson

By Rob Schwarz (@ChiRuxinDFS)

I am back again for a friendly FLAFFL Feud! This time I am going up against a guy with whom I am not as familiar. This means, I have no idea where he is going to take his argument, and why this will be more of a challenge. Besides, facing off against Tony was not a challenge at all. That was like arguing fantasy football with my 86 year-old grandmother who has not watched a football game since the 1980s.

Hill came on strong last season with his dynamic play making abilities. He is not a scrub and definitely has fantasy value. However, I am not looking to draft him at his current ADP. For me, Hill has to fall into the sixth round to consider him. Right now, Hill has an ADP of 59 and is WR25 according to FantsyPros ADP Consensus. That would put Hill at the back end of the fourth round in 12-team leagues.

If we look at some of the other receivers in his ADP range, I will list off guys that I would take over Hill in 2017. Martavis Bryant is the very next receiver and I would definitely take him over Hill this year. The same goes for Emmanuel Sanders, Larry Fitzgerald, Jamison Crowder and Willie Snead – all guys lower on the ADP list.

Now, let us breakdown why I am not sold on Tyreek Hill.

First…Hill has a below average quarterback throwing him the ball. Okay, maybe an average quarterback is more accurate. Alex Smith is the Jeff Fisher of quarterbacks. He is not great at anything and is just okay at most things. Unless Patrick Mahomes sees the field early I do not think Hill will surpass his numbers from last year. What’s that?  He had good numbers last year, you say?

Hill caught 73 percent of his passes last season. That is higher than your top receivers in the league. Hill should see higher volume though with Jeremy Maclin out of the way, right? I just do not think it matters. Hill saw 83 targets in year one. He should see over 100 targets in 2017 but his catch rate will likely fall into the 60 percent range. This means he will likely catch around the same amount of balls (61) as he did last season. He is already averaging 9.7 yards per catch. I think that might go up and he hits closer to 800 yards total this year, but that is not enough for me to draft him here.

When I look at the games he played last year he is very inconsistent. That could be Hill or it could be Alex Smith but either way I do not like that for redraft leagues. I will concede that I do like Hill for best ball leagues and at a certain value in dynasty leagues. However, from just a receiving perspective, Hill only had two games with more than six catches last year. He also only had four games with more than six targets. To top it off, he never surpassed 100 receiving yards.

Now, I fully expect my opponent to throw out that Tyreek Hill finished the season with 12 touchdowns. That sounds great, but three of them were on special teams and three were rushing touchdowns. Fantasy football players should know that touchdowns are fluky. Add in trick type plays and I just cannot expect the same output for Hill this season. Now, of course those touchdowns count but if it weren’t for those six additional scores Hill would look a lot less appealing.

To add more fuel to my fire Special Teams Coordinator, Dave Toub, has stated Tyreek Hill will not be returning kickoffs in 2017. He also stated they might limit his punt returns. Hill is in my opinion a poor-man’s version of DeSean Jackson. He has potential to break off week-winning games but he can also disappear. Hill is a WR3 with WR2 upside and I’d rather take my chances on the more consistent guys in the league!