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Tyreek Hill Traded To Dolphins: Fantasy Football Takeaways & Implications (2022)

Mar 23, 2022
Tyreek Hill traded to Dolphins

The craziest NFL offseason in recent memory rolls on. Just a few weeks ago, word came out that superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill and the Kansas City Chiefs were discussing a contract extension that would make him one of the highest-paid wideouts in the NFL. On Wednesday morning, we learned that those extension talks had stalled and the Chiefs had given Hill’s agent permission to seek a trade. Just a few hours later, Hill was on his way to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a handful of draft picks, including a 2022 first-rounder.

What does Hill’s trade mean for the veteran wideout, his new offense in Miami, and the one he is leaving behind in Kansas City? Andrew Erickson and Pat Fitzmaurice are here to break down the fantasy football implications of the deal.

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Tyreek Hill has been traded to the Miami Dolphins for a boatload of draft picks that include a 2022 first, second and fourth to go along with two Day 3 picks in 2023.

The latest blockbuster move is just another signal that Miami is going all-in on third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa by providing him fantasy football’s WR7 in 2021 in half-point scoring.

Hill adds the most unique blend of speed and explosiveness to the Dolphins offense that will help take Tua’s game to the next level. The team tried to add a vertical speed threat last year to unlock the southpaw’s deep passing in Will Fuller, but that flamed out due to an injury.

As a result, Tagovailoa’s aDOT was 34th in the league (7.6). That number should rise some with Hill in the fold, but it’s not necessarily a requirement. Hill finished seventh in yards after the catch last season, so he’s a candidate to take full advantage of Tagovaila’s short game as well.

Yards after the catch will be a huge part of the Dolphins offense in 2021 as new head coach Mike McDaniel stems from the 49ers YAC-heavy passing offense. This move is a massive victory for Tagovailoa and makes him an extremely enticing late-round quarterback option. Tua was always at his best at Alabama when he was allowed to distribute the ball to superior playmakers, and he’ll do just that in Year 3.

However, it’s undeniable that going from Mahomes to Tagovailoa is a massive downgrade for Hill. Tagovaila has yet to show that he can properly fuel a fantasy WR1, so it’s hard to expect Hill to deliver a top-5 season with a lesser passer. Especially with a prominent running game and Jaylen Waddle also heavily involved in the offense game plan.

This move also makes it less likely that Waddle is the clear-cut No. 1 receiver in Miami, with Hill coming off a season where he commanded the league’s seventh-highest target rate per route run (27%). This moves Waddle down from a fringe WR1 to mid-range fantasy WR2 after seeing almost zero target competition last season.

As for the running backs, getting Hill is a boost. Better overall offensive efficiency will lead to more scoring opportunities for all the RBs in the offense. Also helps tight end Mike Gesicki operate as an underneath target.

As for the Chiefs, losing Tyreek Hill is a major loss for Patrick Mahomes. The duo ranks second in combined passing touchdowns (41) since 2016 – despite Mahomes not becoming the starter until the 2018 season. I won’t take him out of my top-5 quite yet – QB4 without Hill through the first five weeks of 2019 averaging 25 fantasy points per game – but there’s real concern about his top-tier weekly ceiling without Hill.

There simply isn’t a wide receiver that the Chiefs can acquire or draft that can replicate Hill’s production and on-field presence. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman will see their ADPs rise as a result of the trade, but Smith-Schuster is still the one I am most interested in.

He’s just one year removed from a WR17 finish in PPR in 2020.

JuJu also had an elite sophomore campaign – 1,400-plus receiving yards – and he is still just 25 years old. With Byron Pringle, Demarcus Robinson, and Hill all gone, 2022 will be a return to form for Smith-Schuster.

Smith-Schuster can operate from his natural position in the slot and benefit from playing with the best quarterback in the game.
Hardman will also see an expanded role, but too often he has failed to fire when asked to take a step forward in Hill’s absence. If and when the Chiefs add/draft another wide receiver will be telling of how they feel about Hardman. My advice is to not get overly aggressive drafting a player that has yet to rid the role of a gadget player since entering the league before the NFL Draft.
– Andrew Erickson

There are so many fantasy angles to this Tyreek Hill trade that my head is swimming. I’m still trying to process it all, but here’s a brain dump in bullet points:

  • Not long ago, the Dolphins were reportedly kicking the tires on Deshaun Watson, suggesting they weren’t entirely sold on Tua Tagovailoa. Looks like they’re all in on Tua now. If it turns out Tua doesn’t have the right stuff … yikes.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster has gone from being a second or third option in an offense quarterbacked by a dusty Ben Roethlisberger to being the de facto WR1 in a Patrick Mahomes-triggered offense.
  • This hurts Jaylen Waddle’s fantasy value. The Waddle enthusiasts will try to spin this as a positive — “He’s going to be facing worse cornerbacks now!” — but Hill’s arrival will cut into Waddle’s target total and keep his average depth of target lower than it should be.
  • It’s inevitable the Chiefs will spend a first-round pick on a receiver now, and man, what a choice landing spot.
  • I was enthusiastic about Cedrick Wilson based on his strong finishing kick in 2021. Wilson’s fantasy value just went up in a puff of smoke
  • I’ve had Mark Andrews as my TE1 all offseason. I’m now pivoting back to Kelce as the TE1.
  • I’m not dropping Mahomes from QB2 in my rankings yet, but the gap between Mahomes and QB1 Josh Allen just got wider.
    – Pat Fitzmaurice

And don’t miss the rest of our takeaways from all of the recent news:

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