So I ran a Twitter poll the other day:
All of these guys are the obvious number one receiver on their team (you can argue for Greg Olsen in Carolina, but whatever), and they’re all being drafted around roughly the same time – Allen – 15, Hilton – 17, Benjamin – 18, Maclin – 22 according to FantasyPros.
Keenan Allen won the poll with a surprising 71% of the vote, followed by Benjamin and Maclin at 14.5% each, and Hilton with…zero. I guess Allen should have won since he’s the highest ranked and has the highest Average Draft Position (ADP), but the thing that jumped out to me was T.Y. Hilton getting zero votes.
I think that’s just silly.
Please note now that Hilton’s full name is Eugene Marquis “T.Y.” Hilton.
Andrew Luck is ranked and being drafted as the number four quarterback. He’s in front of Drew Brees- who I love this year just like any other. Brees is a lock for 4,500 yards and 30 touchdowns every year, and those numbers would be his worst since probably 2007. If Luck is being taken ahead of him, which is fine, that means you’re expecting more than 4,500 yards and 30 touchdowns, which, again, I don’t have a problem with.
Last year, Colts quarterbacks threw for a combined 3,928 yards. Those numbers were split kind of evenly between Andrew Luck and the less efficient Matt Hasselbeck, with some other misfits contributing a few yards here and there. Of those 3,928 yards, T.Y. Hilton (who I will be calling Eugene for the rest of this article) had 1,124 of them – or 28.6%. For comparison, Antonio Brown had 38% of the Steelers receiving yards.
In a perfect world, Andrew Luck is healthy and plays all 16 games in 2016. If we give him 4,500 yards and Eugene had the same percentage of Colts receiving yards, Eugene would have 1,287 yards. That would have finished at a respectable ninth in the league in 2015.
In games that Luck played, Hilton averaged 9.29 targets per game. In games where Luck didn’t play, Hilton averaged 7.78. Ultimately, if Luck plays, Hilton is more involved – which is how it should be.
What else is happening in the Colts offense?
Well, their running back is Frank Gore, who has to stop being good eventually, right? He’s been playing since 1957 and only got hurt once that I remember. Maybe this is the year (which everyone says every year)?
Their third- and fourth-highest targeted receivers are gone in Andre Johnson (location unknown, possibly in the CFL after last year), and Coby Fleener (went to the Saints). Those two combined for 26.2% of the Colts targets in 2015, so that means more for Eugene (and Dwayne Allen and Donte Moncrief, as well).
I could do these projections and extrapolations all day, but I think you get the point (I also need to start working at my real job that is significantly less fun than fantasy football). Ultimately, Eugene is being drafted as the 17th receiver off the board, and it’s completely reasonable to see him as a Top 10 or Top 12 receiver – especially if you have faith in Andrew Luck. Value is what wins you fantasy championships.
A lot of people are down on the Colts offense after a very disappointing 2015 season. Fine. Let them be. Just scoop up everyone that sits out there too long and laugh in the stinky faces of your leaguemates.
Follow me on Twitter: @DonaldGibsonFF
Follow my esteemed colleague on Twitter: @FFMilkman
Follow FantasyFusion on Twitter: @FantasyFusionFF
Follow me on Twitter again: @DonaldGibsonFF