Now that I got your attention I'd like to take a closer look at the Colts second-year receiver T.Y. Hilton. A lot of fantasy owners and sites alike have been hyping Hilton's fantasy progression throughout the offseason. I've seen him go as high as a WR3, with his ADP as a seventh-round pick to prove it.
I'm not here to say he won't have any value and you picking him up was a waste of a pick. But after doing some fantasy research, I'm going to tell you why I think Hilton isn't going to live up to the expectations that many owners have put on him. Here are a couple reasons why:
New Offensive Coordinator, New Offensive Scheme
In 2012, then OC Bruce Arians had first-year Andrew Luck pass 627 times. The vertical scheme was up-and-running and worked as Luck had a tremendous first year, while Reggie Wayne looked like the Wayne of younger years. Hilton was also one of the beneficiaries as he completed his first year with 50 catches, an average of a little over 57 yards a game and 7 touchdowns. Not bad for a kid who went undrafted in a lot of leagues in 2012.
In 2013, it's out with the old and in with the new. Arians took his vertical attack to Arizona and now OC Pep Hamilton will be calling the offensive plays. Unlike Arians, Hamilton will run more two tight end sets with Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. Much like the Patriots had done with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. He will also use a two wide receiver base formations for many of his plays. Wayne and Darrius Heyward-Bey will benefit, but where does that leave Hilton? Hilton will still get some value when the team uses three receivers, but he's not going to get as much playing time as he did last year when Arians used him as the No. 3 behind Wayne and Donnie Avery. There is still value there when Hilton is on the field, but it's going to be inconsistent.
And why is Heyward-Bey still the starter ahead of Hilton? That's reason No. 2.
Heyward-Bey Is A Much Better Blocker Downfield
Say what you want about DHB's lack of stardom as a Raider. But now that he's with the Colts, he is the No. 2 guy for one specific reason: his blocking abilities. Hilton comes in at 5'8, 183 pounds. DHB? 6'2, 210. That's a big size difference when Ahmad Bradshaw or one of the tight ends is looking for a block downfield. Hilton might be a speedy receiver with a lot of offensive upside, but he's just too small to block a corner or a safety. I don't see the Colts coming close to as many passing plays as they had last year. Bradshaw was signed for a reason. If they were, Vick Ballard would have been a feasible starter like he was last year.
I haven't drafted Hilton in any of my leagues so far. I certainly don't think, as of this writing, that he will be anything more than a flex option because he's not going to be on the field consistently every week. There was a time where I thought owners who did take Hilton made an excellent pick. Now? I'm not as sure as I was. The chances of him putting up week-to-week numbers are slimmer than many should expect because the playing time won't be there like it was in 2012. However, there is good news. The Colts Defense doesn't exactly scare anyone at the moment. So the offense could wind up having to go with three-receiver sets to play catch up. But if it came down to someone like Hilton or Bills WR Stevie Johnson, I'd feel comfortable going with Johnson because I know he will be on the field much more than Hilton will this year.
What are your thoughts? Am I too low on Hilton? Have I swayed you into rethinking his value for 2013?