In the preseason, I wrote that if you were looking for fantasy football value in the Kansas City passing game outside of Jeremy Maclin that you were, “doing it wrong.” I’m a big enough man to admit when I am wrong, and Tyreek Hill is getting me dangerously close to eating my words this weekend with the recent emergence of Hill and Jeremy Maclin likely being unavailable due to injury.
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Tyreek Hill is a hyperathletic freak who came on three games ago when Nick Foles came in for an injured Alex Smith and chewed up the awful Colts secondary. Hill was the main beneficiary of that productivity outburst, catching five-of-six targets for 98 yards and a touchdown. Many, myself included, expected him to build on that with Foles’ predilection for going deep and the Jacksonville Jags on the schedule. Unfortunately, Hill fell flat that game. Luckily for his rest-of-season prospects, he came back in a huge way last week, going for 89 yards on ten catches. The difference between Foles and Smith at the helm was perfectly displayed in the quality of targets (19.6 yards per catch with Foles versus 8.9 yards per target with Smith).
Still, his massive target volume last week is both encouraging and likely to continue this weekend as the Chiefs travel to Florida to take on the awful Buccaneers secondary. While the Bucs chewed apart Jay Cutler and the Bears’ passing game last week, the Chiefs’ attack is much more precise and regimented, and not prone to blowup games compared to Cutler and the Bears. That means a lot of short passes, a lot of screens, and a lot of manufactured touches for Hill. This precludes interceptions and makes it more likely that Hill busts a big one on a short touch against a bad secondary. The secondary, while terrible (second worst against wide receivers on the year), they’re middling against tight ends. That means that Travis Kelce won’t be the apple of Alex Smith’s eye. Instead, it should be Hill.
Hill is a newcomer to the scene, and has been good in two of his last three games. With Jeremy Maclin out this week against the Buccaneers, he promises to be a target monster. Target monsters do well against Tampa Bay, as every double-digit target wide receiver against the Bucs has gone for at least 14 fantasy points (except Michael Crabtree, who didn’t score, so he had only 10.8 fantasy points). He’ll be a high-upside WR3 this week, whose volume could find him easily in WR2 territory. Putting him in your lineup is a home run swing, but he should be getting enough volume to make him a decent floor play, as well.