Valuing Tyreek Hill
When we first discussed the Tyreek Hill situation, we were under the impression that Hill’s punishment would be swift and severe. That punishment has been slow in coming, as his outlook for 2019 is even murkier now than it was on day one. Part of the issue is (and ignoring the moral implications of what he was accused of) is that his value has the kind of range among fantasy experts that we haven’t seen since the early days of Josh Gordon’s suspensions.
Unlike former Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt, who’s release from the team was so quick it gave fantasy owners whiplash, Hill’s status, although still “suspended from team activities” is far more difficult to ascertain. Pundits have discussed the possibility of an extension, which may be the most telling detail in all of this.
Assuming you’re willing to undertake the risk that is Tyreek Hill the fantasy football asset, it’s important to note that we expect he’ll be in a Chief’s jersey whenever he does return to the field. With the investigation into the child abuse allegations far more complex than what befell Hunt, it’s unlikely we’re going to see any real resolution, which could lend itself to both the idea that his suspension will drag on, or that he’ll be reinstated until more details emerge.
Either way, we’ve adjusted our own rankings to reflect the idea that Hill will remain with the Chiefs, and thus be an elite fantasy wideout as soon as he returns to the fold. If he misses fewer than 4 games, then his value from the end of last season remains virtually unchanged; he’s an elite player on an elite offense with a focus on exposing secondaries with Hills speed and Mahomes accuracy down the field.
If he misses 4-8 games (which I still expect to be the case) he’s still worth a stash (unlike the aforementioned Hunt who will operate as a 1B at best behind Nick Chubb when he returns) in the middle rounds.
Again, we’re not commenting on the moral quandry that folks may feel when considering Hill on draft day; that’s a topic for a different kind of blog. Instead, we implore you to re-evaluate your overall rankings for Hill, as we did, and monitor the situation to see just how early you feel comfortable drafting Hill.
Our current WR ranking of 30th overall reflects that we expect some missed time, but we’d be comfortable drafting him somewhere in the 4-6 round range, or even higher if we feel he may avoid suspension all together.