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FANTASY IMPACT: Tyreek Hill’s Indefinite Exoneration

The NFL announced on Friday that Tyreek Hill will not be disciplined under the league’s personal conduct policy – at least for now. While there will be no suspension for the time being, the NFL included in their official statement that “if further information becomes available through law enforcement, the pending court proceeding, or other sources, we will promptly consider it and take all appropriate steps at that time.” Now the football community is desperately trying to understand the decision and its fantasy impact.

Barring the release of any unforeseen information or evidence, Tyreek Hill should be good-to-go for the 2019 season. The addition of an elite talent such as Hill will undoubtedly send shock waves through fantasy football drafts and rankings. Many other players (besides Tyreek Hill) will feel the effects of the NFL’s surprising ruling.

Tyreek Hill and the Elite Receivers

First and foremost is the immediate jump in Tyreek Hill’s ADP. The only question is how high he ascends in the draft. I rank Hill somewhere in his own little WR1.5 tier – definitely after DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, and Julio Jones (and maybe Michael Thomas). By the end of August, we will see Hill consistently drafted before the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Antonio Brown.

This news could potentially change the scope of the entire first round. This year already has an impressive amount of reliable talent in the first two rounds and adding Tyreek Hill to the pile makes the talent pool that much bigger. This should add even more value to those drafting at the turn in 2019.

Travis Kelce

Having Tyreek Hill available for 2019 is an immediate upgrade for most Chiefs players. Travis Kelce is no exception. Adding another pass-catching threat to the Chiefs offense should take some attention off Kelce. People were already reaching for Kelce in the first round well before this Tyreek Hill news broke and I suspect that trend becomes more common in the next month.

Personally, I think taking Kelce in the first is a bit too rich for my blood; the fantasy football community has a mind of its own though. Just don’t be surprised when all your leagues start reaching for Kelce in the first round.

Patrick Mahomes

Just when you thought people couldn’t get any more excited about Patrick Mahomes this season. I believe that even with Tyreek Hill available, Mahomes is due for at least some regression towards the mean. It’s simply unrealistic to expect 50 touchdowns again this year. That being said, Mahomes is typically valued in the third or fourth round of fantasy drafts and even he could expect a slight bump. By the end of August, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mahomes drafted in the third more often than the fourth.

Sammy Watkins

Before Tyreek Hill was cleared by the NFL, people expected Sammy Watkins to be the Chiefs’ WR1 for at least a few weeks. Now that Hill is back, Sammy Watkins’ ADP will take a steep nosedive. Until Friday, Watkins was usually drafted in the sixth round of PPR mocks. It’s difficult to say just how far Sammy will drop in the next month but he will likely be a late-round flier pick or your unsexy-bye-week-fill-in type of guy. That sort of ADP makes sense given his skill set and past performances. I doubt anyone thought Watkins would be a weekly fantasy WR1 when he was picked in the sixth round anyway.

The fascinating thing about fantasy football is how quickly the community reacts to news like this. Draft boards, expert rankings, and ADPs will shift overnight. The stock market of players will adjust and adapt to the change, and in a few weeks’ time, many will forget that Tyreek Hill was ever drafted outside the first round.

About Ryan Kruse

Ryan is one of our summer guest writers. We hope you enjoy his perspective.