Heading into the 2017 NFL season, fantasy football owners who are drafting near the end of the first, or start of the second round are going to have a tough decision on their hands. That decision could very well be based around a player with tremendous upside in Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.
While Hilton is an exceptional player, there’s one major concern about potentially drafting him, and it’s about his quarterback, Andrew Luck. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that he’s heard rumblings of Luck potentially starting the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. If this were the case, he’d have to miss six games, which would certainly leave some level of impact on Hilton’s fantasy stock right out of the gate.
Even still, Hilton has consistently produced in impressive fashion over the past few years, and that’s hard to overlook. He totaled 91 receptions for 1,448 yards and six touchdowns while seeing an impressive 156 targets. Those types of numbers are clear-cut No. 1 wideout numbers, and place him in consideration to be one of the first few wideouts taken off the board.
*Before we jump into what round to draft Hilton, it’s worth noting that this is based on a 12-team league, with standard rosters and full point-per-reception scoring.
When to Draft T.Y. Hilton
Consensus: Very late first round, early second round
Hilton is somewhere in the WR7-WR9 range. I’d place him just above Dez Bryant, but behind the likes of A.J. Green, Mike Evans and Michael Thomas. This would place him somewhere around the No. 11-No. 14 picks overall more than likely, depending on the scoring that your specific league offers.
With that said, if you have picks No. 10 or No. 11, trying to hold off on getting Hilton until the picks circle back to you may be tough. He’s going to be a guy that many people fall in love with due to his pure upside, so that alone will likely push him into the first round for me. Picking him in the first and then trying to grab a running back like either Devonta Freeman, Jordan Howard, Jay Ajayi, DeMarco Murray or Melvin Gordon would make a lot of sense.
Statistical Expectations for Hilton in 2017
Obviously, much will come down to what happens with Luck, but as George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin reported, the expectation is that Luck will be off the PUP list before the season begins. With that said, expecting Hilton to push the 90-100 catch mark once again doesn’t seem crazy. He also has the ability to hit go the distance every time he touches the ball, which is something you can’t say about every player in the NFL.
Hilton hasn’t failed to top the 1,000-yard mark in four-straight seasons now while floating between the 5-7 touchdown mark in each of those years. This year, expect him to fall somewhere around 1,400 yards, but for to score a few more touchdowns than he has in recent years, and wind up with eight. That alone should make him worth being selected as a late-first round pick.
Hilton may be the player who makes you fantasy team and winds up pushing you to a real contender, but he also seems to have a very, very high floor, which is something to target when looking at a late first round selection.