T.Y. Hilton Fantasy: Should You Start or Sit the Colts WR in Week 7?

T.Y. Hilton

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Optimal Lineup

– Captain: T.Y. Hilton ($16,500) – Andrew Luck ($11,400) – Corey Davis ($7,800) – Taywan Taylor ($5,400) – Nyheim Hines ($4,800) – Adam Vinatieri ($3,400) There are a variety of ways to approach the optimal lineup, but also unique approaches to take in order to be different than the field. Although Derrick Henry has an elevated price due to his impressive recent stretch, I still think he's going to have decent ownership. In turn, not using him in the optimal creates a different approach. Each lineup created typically has some focus on a certain game flow while also covering on some level in case that game flow doesn't completely go as planned. In this one, I'm pegging the Colts to put points on the board and likely force the Titans to play catch-up a bit. Obviously, with the Titans at home in a crucial game, this could go a variety of ways, but this is one approach. With that focus, stacking Andrew Luck with T.Y. Hilton provides the high-upside pairing. Although the Titans have been good against opposing quarterbacks, Luck has been incredibly good this year with the exception of a few games. Over the first 15 games, the Colts signal-caller has thrown two or more touchdowns 12 times. He's also reeled off three or more on eight occasions. As for Hilton, he has an appealing matchup and has a chance to be the highest-scoring player on the slate. The Titans pass defense isn't horrible by any means, but they have allowed 2,489 yards and 18 touchdowns on 192 receptions this year to opposing wide receivers. To finish off the Colts side, I opted to go with Nyheim Hines, who I believe will have a fair amount of ownership, but nothing over the top. The team's backup running back will get the bulk of the pass-catching work and see touches regardless of game flow. But if for some reason the Colts don't get a lead, Hines could see an expanded workload which is nice as he's seen 25 targets in the past four games.

Titans Wide Receiver Pairing

On the Titans side, there's exposure to be had in a few places, and while I'm somewhat bullish on the matchup against a solid Colts secondary, if they're playing from behind it won't matter. I don't trust Blaine Gabbert very much, but of the 72 passes he's thrown this season, a decent number of them have gone to Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor. Specifically, Davis has seen 17 targets from Gabbert while Taylor has picked up seven. With both players locked into large workloads, they'll provide a solid floor. The upside for both is certainly apparent as well, considering Davis is the clear-cut top target and Taylor had six catches three weeks ago and topped 100 yards the week prior. There's some risk with the Titans side of the ball and specifically their passing game. The Colts have allowed just 1,920 yards and 13 touchdowns to opposing wideouts. Those numbers aren't off-the-walls incredible but are still worth mentioning. Next up is the 150-max lineup which offers a mixture of high upside plays and some risk as well.

It’s Week 7 of the NFL season and after Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton missed two games, he’s set to return Sunday. Time to rejoice, right? We may want to hold the phone on that. While fantasy football owners are surely locking Hilton into their lineups, there’s a lot to be considered in this spot.

It will be tough to leave the Colts wideout on your bench, largely due to the fact that you almost certainly used a high draft pick on him. But between the return from injury and his matchup, there’s an argument to be made on the “sit” side of the start-sit debate.

Let’s take a look at the situation and break down whether Hilton is a name to start Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.


Key Stats and T.Y. Hilton’s Fantasy Outlook

I’ll break down the matchup, recent production and a few other key numbers for Hilton ahead of Week 7. All information on fantasy points and statistics for defense vs. position are from ESPN.

  • Buffalo Bills vs. wide receivers in 2018: 81 receptions, 885 yards, five touchdowns (No. 7 fewest fantasy points per game)
  • Hilton expected to draw coverage from Tre’Davious White for much of the game
  • Over the first three games of this season, Hilton saw double-digit targets every game

Tre’Davious White. That’s what fantasy owners should be scared of. White is a brutally tough matchup and there’s no reason to believe he won’t shadow Hilton for the bulk of the game. On the positive side, the numbers above actually show the Bills aren’t terrible against receivers, so it may be more than the Colts’ No. 1 receiver who has a tough time.


Should You Start or Sit T.Y. Hilton?

One thing worth noting is that the Colts coaching staff likely wouldn’t bring Hilton back unless he was 100 percent. And assuming that’s the case, then he should see a normal workload which will almost certainly consist of double-digit targets, even with White shadowing him.

Now, whether or not Hilton can get loose a few times for big gainers is the million dollar question. I’m not going to confidently bet on that, but if you’re playing in a 14-team league or larger, it’s unlikely there’s a waiver option better than Hilton, at least in terms of upside. I’d start the 28-year-old in all large leagues, and he’s a fine flex play in 12-team leagues if you’re left with no other realistic choices, but I don’t love it.

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