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Tyreek Hill Injury Fantasy Football Impact

Sep 9, 2019

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Tyreek Hill was one of several players to go down Sunday in the matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars.

The latest news has him missing at least a few weeks, if not a more extended amount of time:

Given the news of Hill’s multi-week absence, we’ve asked our writers to provide the fantasy impact of Tyreek Hill’s injury and the effect it has on his teammates. First, let’s take a look at the injury from Matt Miraglia, DPT (@DocMiragz):

After being tackled by Jalen Ramsey on Sunday, a hit Andy Reid said, “I’m not sure that was one of the cleanest plays,” we learned that Tyreek Hill dislocated his SC joint (sternoclavicular joint). For a little background on the injury itself, first off, these injuries are RARE, representing only about 3% of all shoulder injuries. The location and mechanism of this injury is key on the timetable for Hill to return to fantasy lineups. Many may wonder why Hill was carted off with a shoulder injury and why he had to go to the hospital for what may have initially been assumed to be similar to Nick Foles’ clavicle fracture?

Hill’s injury occurred at a VERY stable joint that takes a lot of force to dislocate (the joining of the sternum and clavicle). Additionally, when the injury occurred, the clavicle dislocated backward pushing into an area of MAJOR arteries, veins, and nerves which actually made this a considerable life-threatening event. This is the reason for such conservative measures on the field.

Looking at a potential timetable for Hill’s return to the field, considering how rare this injury is, there is no agreed-upon set timetable for return. That being said, there is a precedent for a return from this exact injury. In 2012, Danny Amendola was able to return five weeks after suffering his dislocation. In his case, he had no setbacks and was cleared for return to play after having no symptoms, full shoulder motion, full shoulder strength, and a complete ability to perform football-specific tasks without pain or difficulty. Hill will likely be in a sling to protect the joint and allow for healing for at least a month, therefore, considering the severity of the injury and relatively unknown nature of injury recurrence after this type of injury, I would set Hill’s timeline at five-to-eight weeks. The obvious reaction would be to assume that since Danny Amendola returned in five weeks, Hill will do the same. From all accounts, Amendola’s rehab went perfectly with no setbacks, and while we would love to see that for Hill, no two injuries are exactly alike!

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What is the fantasy football impact of Tyreek Hill’s injury?

It’s obviously devastating news for Hill owners to lose an elite WR1 option, but the loss of Hill is clearly a boost to the fantasy stock of other pass-catchers on the team. Travis Kelce was already the overall TE1, but Sammy Watkins, Damien Williams, and LeSean McCoy stand to benefit the most while Hill is out of service. Watkins was the biggest surprise of the weekend, and he exploded for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Despite some health issues and inconsistent play throughout his career, the man can flat out ball. If given the green light as Kansas City’s No. 1 option, he could certainly produce WR1 numbers on a regular basis. Williams and McCoy combined for seven receptions, and without Hill, there will be plenty of targets to go around. Patrick Mahomes didn’t seem bothered by losing his best wideout as he completed 25-of-33 pass attempts for 378 yards and three scores. With so much talent and so many gifted receivers at his disposal, Mahomes will remain an elite QB1, even sans Hill. Despite his talent and preseason hype, Mecole Hardman isn’t fantasy relevant yet. He didn’t record a single catch in Sunday’s win, and there are too many mouths to feed in this offense.
– Zak Hanshew (ZaktheMonster)

The vast majority of the fantasy impact of this injury relates to two players: Hill and Sammy Watkins. Hill is a huge loss for fantasy owners who were counting on him as their WR1, especially if the injury ends up being even more severe than anticipated. As for Watkins, he already had some low-end WR2 appeal before Hill’s injury but now should be able to come pretty close to the fantasy numbers we’ve come to expect from Hill. Watkins suddenly looks like a bonafide WR1 in favorable matchups and no worse than a high-end WR2 even in tough ones — as long as he can stay healthy himself. The opportunity is also there for another Kansas City receiver to approximate the WR2/3 value Watkins was providing before, whether it be Demarcus Robinson or rookie Mecole Hardman. Both are interesting stashes in the short term. Hill’s injury obviously isn’t great news for Patrick Mahomes, but it isn’t going to single-handedly derail his fantasy value, either. He’s still a top-five quarterback option every week until further notice. The absence of Hill may be a slight plus for Travis Kelce, but he was already getting all the volume he could handle anyway.
– Andrew Seifter (@andrew_seifter)

The show must go on no matter who the star gets to throw to. Kansas City has been prepared for Tyreek Hill’s exit no matter what. They probably were not thinking it was going to be an injury, but nevertheless they have enough personnel to make up for his loss. They drafted a similar type of player in this year’s draft when they surprised many and took Mecole Hardman in the second round. Although Sammy Watkins has never lived to his hype, he now has the chance as the team’s big dawg receiver. And let us not forget the Chiefs have the most dominant tight end in the league, Travis Kelce. Combine those potential receiving threats with a backfield composed LeSean McCoy, Damien Williams, and rookie phenom Darwin Thompson, and you still have a formidable team to complement the best quarterback playing the game today, one Mr. Patrick Mahomes. I think their offense will do just fine without Hill and when he comes back it will be like the Patriots in Week 2 when they add Antonio Brown to the mix. If anything, we still should feel more worried about the KC defense. They allowed 26 points to a team that was led by a sixth-round rookie quarterback. Speaking of the Pats, doesn’t that seem to echo the past?
– Marc Mathyk (@Masterjune70)

Let’s be real about something here from the start. Tyreek Hill is going to miss around the number of games many of us assumed he would (should?) several months ago. While I’m impressed by Sammy Watkins’ performance in Week 1, the best ability is availability and the Chiefs’ wideout has failed on this front his entire career. The clock is ticking to the moment when Watkins limps to the sideline in the first quarter. Yes, he has a WR1 ceiling while healthy but realize the other shoe (foot) could drop at any time. Hill’s absence means an uptick in targets for both running backs Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy. Yet, I believe each of these running backs will cannibalize the upside of the other, and I’m selling both in all formats right now. Travis Kelce was the fantasy TE1 prior to Hill exiting the game on Sunday and this injury does nothing to change that fact. In a more contested game, Kelce sees more than the eight targets which came his way on Sunday. The real beneficiary of Hill’s absence will be either Demarcus Robinson or rookie Mecole Hardman. Before the season began, I banked on Robinson being the main beneficiary of any missed games from The Cheetah as demonstrated by the numerous shares on my early-draft season rosters. Yet, Hardman playing 78% of the snaps yesterday compared to only 63% from Robinson cannot be ignored. Rookie receivers can have an uneven first season from week to week which might land Hardman on the bench in a game that’s not over by halftime. If you want a higher ceiling with a lower floor go grab Hardman, but if you prefer the opposite scoop up Robinson.
– Josh Brickner (@joshbrickner)

Not even the most die-hard fan of the Chiefs would have told you going into the weekend that the Chiefs would put up 40 points against Jacksonville’s stellar defense without Tyreek Hill. It’s always a shame to see such a talented player go down to injury, but it does happen, and there are major fantasy implications. Let’s start off with the molten-hot arrival of Sammy Watkins. He boasted a stat line of 198 yards and a whopping three touchdowns on nine receptions. He looked absolutely electric breaking tackles and making defenders miss. With Hill absent, Watkins is a stud WR1. Next up, Travis Kelce. Kelce’s role in the offense was never in question, and if anything this will put more space between him and the other tight ends around the league. The other group of receivers will likely have work divvied up on a week-to-week basis, with each of them having surprise games here and there. It’s hard to imagine consistency among this group. Patrick Mahomes will find his open receivers and sling them the ball, but no one other than Watkins really stood out. The running back committee, on the other hand, should receive an uptick in work. If you’re a Damien Williams owner, this unfortunate injury will keep your second or third-round pick relevant. LeSean McCoy was by far the better running back on the ground, and his workload will likely increase as the season progresses. Where Williams truly shined was the passing game. He was able to get out in space and make the most of his touches. His 10 rushes for 18 yards won’t cut it, but his role in the passing game should increase and keep him relevant. He could be a monster in PPR leagues. The loss of Hill is obviously a hit to the offense, but expect the Chiefs to keep rolling on offense.
– Taylor Lambert (@TaylorSLambert)

Call me crazy but I’m still not ready to put all of my trust in Sammy Watkins just yet. Obviously the former Clemson star was exceptional in the wake of Tyreek Hill’s injury, leading the position by about 11 points in standard PPR scoring through Sunday’s action. However, the concept of “boom or bust” has been no stranger to Watkins in the past.
– Brandon Plutner (@bplutne1)

What a horrible way for the Chiefs to begin their season with this injury to Tyreek Hill. Until Hill can return, there is no doubt that his presence will be missed and the Kansas City offense will have to make a few adjustments moving forward. What is certain at this very point that fantasy owners can control? Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes are still amazing and if anything Kelce will get more of a boost from Hill being out. Sammy Watkins looked fantastic against a tough Jaguars’ secondary and even though there are concerns with his health, he is a must-start wide receiver every week. Fantasy owners should also consider stashing Demarcus Robinson. Everyone will be flocking to waivers for Mecole Hardman, since he is the next Tyreek Hill, right? Even if that is true, don’t forget about Robinson and his experience within the Chiefs’ organization. Finally, it will be interesting to see if Andy Reid involves more of his running back committee to fill to void left by Hill. Darwin Thompson could get more playing time with Hill sidelined.
– Andrew Liang (@whenpigskinfly)

Watching Tyreek Hill leave the field on Sunday was nothing short of pain and no matter how long I stare at my screen, he is gone for Week 2 and likely more. Early updates indicate that Hill’s injury is not too serious. While this injury will affect most fantasy rosters, the fact that Hill is only projected to potentially miss a few weeks is a win for him, the Chiefs, and fantasy owners. First and foremost, Sammy Watkins is nothing but an autostart. I do not care what the matchup is. I do not care if he has a lock-down corner shadowing him. I am starting Sammy Watkins everywhere. There is only upside for Watkins with Hill gone. If you are worried about Patrick Mahomes, he is still a fantasy stud that you must play. Travis Kelce only becomes more valuable for fantasy owners as well. Kelce was already a target magnet for this offense but with their second-biggest receiving weapon on the shelf in Hill, Kelce’s stock will go up. The running backs in Kansas City will also get upgraded a touch. It is tough to understand how Kansas City is going to use LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams rest-of-season, but there will certainly be more volume between the two. Rookie receiver Mecole Hardman will certainly be targeted in every league solely because he becomes a starter in the NFL’s best offense. Understand, Hardman’s fantasy-worth becomes less valuable the shorter Hill is out with an injury. For shallow leagues, I would avoid Hardman unless you have quality depth at receiver. At best, Hardman breaks out while Hill is gone and carves out a small role for himself once Hill returns in a few weeks. View Hardman is a temporary solution. For deeper leagues, Hardman is worth taking a shot on if you miss the priority waiver targets. Again, since Hardman will fill-in for a couple of weeks there are better waiver targets available who will be more reliable through 2019. Further, if Hardman does not perform in Week 2 against Oakland, I would have no problem dropping him for a more consistent waiver-wire target, unless Hill is expected to have an extended absence. Demarcus Robinson will also generate buzz for extremely deep leagues, but he will likely stay irrelevant for leagues with 12 teams or less.
– Garett Thomas (@GarettThomas)

Even with Hill sidelined, the Chiefs’ offensive power was on full display Sunday against the Jaguars. Hill owners will be looking for his replacement in the offensive juggernaut, but I wouldn’t blow my waiver on Mecole Hardman just yet as he didn’t record a catch even with Hill sidelined. Sammy Watkins should see the biggest boost and receive as much work as he can handle in the upcoming weeks, making him a must-start in all formats. Travis Kelce’s value increases as well, but he was already a TE1 before the injury. I think Damien Williams will get a bump in his target share with Hill sidelined giving him a nice floor in PPR formats as he was targeted six times out of the backfield.
– Tyson Thornton (@TysonThornton)

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