Draft This, Not That: Pass On Tyreek Hill, Draft Kelvin Benjamin?!

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There’s a lot of hype being bestowed upon the Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill, and it makes sense considering the numbers he posted late in the season (final 8 games):

  • Receiving – 39 catches for 359 yards and 2 TD
  • Rushing – 16 carries for 222 yards and 3 TD

He found his niche, and the Chiefs exploited it.  The question is if he can consistently make these types of big plays, especially with opposing defenses now being able to focus on him.  Gone is Jeremy Maclin, meaning the only receiver that could draw defenses attention is tight end Travis Kelce.  Instead opposing defensive coordinators will scheme ways to contain Hill, and whether he can produce despite that remains to be seen.

Fantasy owners are drafting him with the thought that he can, with an average ADP of 48.0.  Does a fourth round investment make sense given the risks?  He’s an explosive player, and one that could still have some monster performances throughout the season.  At the same time you could argue that he’s going to be somewhat boom or bust, something he showed even late in the year:

  • December 18 vs. Tennessee – 0 receptions on 3 targets
  • December 25 vs. Denver – 0 receptions on 5 targets

He got free running the football, breaking runs of 68 and 70 yards, in those games but that’s not something you can assume will happen regularly.

Instead why not wait nearly four rounds to draft a player who has his own significant upside, but at an extremely lower cost.  Enter Kelvin Benjamin, who currently carries a 77.3 ADP and has drawn positive reviews thus far.  The key for him is his weight, though reports are he’s down 30 lbs. from last season.  According to NBC Sports’ Darin Gannt:

“According to Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer, Benjamin weighed in at 243 pounds when he checked into camp. While that might seem big for a wide receiver, it’s actually a good number for the 6-foot-5 Benjamin, who weighed 240 at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine.”

Benjamin, who missed the 2015 season due to a torn ACL, has consistently shown that he can find the end zone with 9 TD in his rookie season and 7 TD last year.  Think about it, despite battling weight issues and working his way back from a significant knee injury Benjamin posted the following line in ’16:

63 receptions for 941 yards and 7 TD

Sure there are QB concerns, but Cam Newton has more upside than Alex Smith (who is still expected to start for Kansas City).  Could Hill outproduce those numbers?  Perhaps, but there will be some frustrating weeks along the way and it’s hardly a guarantee.  Considering the draft day cost, is there really a doubt who brings better value?

Sources – ESPN, Fantasy Pros, NBC Sports

Make sure to check out our early 2017 Rankings:

Fantasy Throwdown: Amari Cooper vs. Michael Thomas: Which Is The WR To Target?


  1. Andy says:

    Hi RP,

    Will you keep Tyreek Hill or Doug Martin in keepers league ? I already keep David Johnson, Bell and Thomas .
    David Johnson (Round 1)
    Levon Bell (Round 2)
    Doug Balwin (Round 5)
    Michael Thomas (Round 12)
    Tyreek Hill Last round


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