Fantasy Reaction: Tyreek Hill Traded to the Dolphins
Here we go again with another blockbuster trade in the NFL. News broke early Wednesday morning that Tyreek Hill may be traded, with the Dolphins and Jets as the possible destinations. The trade ended up happening rather quickly after the news broke. Hill will now be wearing a Dolphins uniform in 2022, saying goodbye to one of the NFL’s most lethal connections in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes.
Chiefs are trading six-time Pro-Bowl WR Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins for five draft picks: a 2022 1st-round pick (No. 29), a 2nd-round pick (No. 50) and a 4th-round pick, as well as 4th- and 6th-round picks in the 2023 draft, sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2022
Tyreek Hill is Now the Highest-Paid Receiver
And Tyreek Hill will get a new contract, making him the NFL’s newest highest-paid WR one week after Davante Adams had set the mark. And Hill now has agreed to a new contract with the Dolphins, per @DrewJRosenhaus, @JasonRosenhaus and @NFLrecord. pic.twitter.com/r75Gz8IVv4
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2022
Tyreek Hill Stats
Tyreek Hill has been a dominant fantasy asset over the last five years, finishing with four top-12 finishes in that stretch. Hill is a great receiver, but it does help that he was attached to Patrick Mahomes for the last four seasons. Below is a chart showing Hill’s production throughout his career thus far.
Hill Without Mahomes
With the downgrade in quarterback play that Hill will receive in Miami, some may question how productive he can still be. I will dive more into his 2022 outlook later, but let’s look at how Hill has done without Mahomes as his quarterback.
In the first two years of Tyreek Hill‘s career, he played with Alex Smith under center and played well, finishing as the WR19 in 2016 and the WR8 in 2017 in PPR leagues. We also had a two-game stretch in 2019 when Mahomes was injured as a sample. In those two weeks, Hill played well with Matt Moore under center, finishing with 76 and 140 yards while banking WR23 and WR5 weekly finishes.
|Week||Targets||Receptions||Yards||TDs||PPR Points||Week Rank|
2022 Outlook – Dolphins
This off-season, the Miami Dolphins have made some big moves, starting with hiring offensive guru Mike McDaniel as their new head coach. With the addition of Tyreek Hill, the hype for the Dolphins’ new offense is rapidly growing.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa seems to have the team believing in him finally. The previous two seasons had all kinds of rumors about Tua being replaced, but now he has his best opportunity yet to cement himself as the Dolphins franchise quarterback. For fantasy purposes, Tua receives a slight bump in 2022 QB rankings. He finished 23rd in points per game in 2021, so there is plenty of room for improvement with arguably the NFL’s most dynamic playmaker in Tyreek Hill now in Miami.
If Mike McDaniel carries over an offense similar to the 49ers, we may not see top tier passing volume from Tua, but the offense should focus on getting the ball out of his hands quickly while emphasizing yards after the catch from Hill, Waddle and Mike Gesicki. The 49ers ranked 29th in passing attempts in 2021 with 514 attempts. There’s a definite possibility that McDaniel doesn’t implement the same 49ers offense, but I don’t think Tua will be unleashed completely. For reference, Jimmy Garoppolo finished 16th in PPG among quarterbacks in 2021. A similar outcome is certainly possible for Tua to finish as a mid range QB2 for fantasy purposes this season.
Tyreek Hill will join Jaylen Waddle, adding another dynamic speedster to the Miami offense. NFL defenses will have a tough time defending this duo. Hill is a known elite deep-threat who can take the top off of the defense. According to PlayerProfiler.com, Tua was 30th in deep ball attempts (28) in 2021 but was 1st in deep ball completion percentage (50%). Adding an elite deep-threat like Hill will only help the efficiency for the offense. Tua isn’t known for his strong arm, so it will be interesting to see how many deep-shots Tua takes in 2022. I think Hill has a good chance to finish as a top-12 wide receiver in 2022. His potential as a top-5 receiver is far less than it would have been in Kansas City, though, so he takes a hit in value. Hill has shown enough with other quarterbacks to prove that he can remain an elite fantasy asset without Mahomes in the Chiefs offense.
Hill’s arrival will impact the other pass-catchers, Jaylen Waddle and tight end Mike Gesicki. According to PlayerProfiler.com, Waddle had a 24.8% target share in 2021, ranking 17th. He was a PPR monster last season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Waddle more towards the 20-22% target share range in 2022, but that does not mean he won’t be fantasy relevant. Waddle can also take the top off the defense, but he wasn’t used that way in 2021, and he was mainly an underneath and short-yardage option. If people shy away from Waddle in 2022 due to the arrival of Hill, he may be of great value in drafts come August.
Mike Gesicki likely remains a spot-start, inconsistent tight end for those who lose out on the top tight end options. Some expect him to take the George Kittle role, but he’s simply not Kittle. Gesicki will have his moments, but he like most fantasy TEs, he’s unlikely to be a consistent fantasy asset in 2022.
2022 Outlook – Chiefs
The Chiefs now have a significant hole in their offense after losing Hill. Mahomes now has Travis Kelce and recently signed JuJu Smith-Schuster as the primary pass-catching options. The Chiefs will likely add a wide receiver in the draft with one of their two first-round draft picks. Some top-tier prospects such as Treylon Burks, Drake London, and Garrett Wilson might be gone. Jameson Williams may be a target for the Chiefs should he slide in the draft due to the ACL tear he suffered in the National Championship game. Kansas City may have to trade up to get one of the better prospects, but they now have some ammunition to do so.
Travis Kelce had been the overall TE1 for five consecutive years before being dethroned as the top fantasy tight end in 2021. He still finished as the TE2 on the season. Kelce is 32 years old and will turn 33 in October, early in the 2022 season, and he likely has at least this year before we start seeing his age catch up to him. Now, he will be the unquestioned first option in the Kansas City passing game. As players get older, there is always a risk that production will go down, but if Kelce still has it in him, he will likely be re-crowned as the TE1 in fantasy football in 2022.
JuJu Smith-Schuster becomes even more interesting now that Hill is gone. In my opinion, JuJu should be considered a high-end WR2 type of ceiling. With new information, this opinion could change, such as Kansas City taking one of the top receiver prospects listed above. There is no guarantee that any receiver that Kansas City takes in the Draft will be a hit. JuJu will likely be a good option in fantasy lineups in 2022 with a high weekly upside due to his elite QB play and high volume passing offense.
Mecole Hardman will likely see a bump in hype once again this off-season, but this hype should at least be questioned. With Tyreek Hill on the roster, Hardman hasn’t been able to prove he can be a consistent fantasy option for our rosters. He has shown some flashes but hasn’t been able to do anything with the opportunities given to him to be a consistent factor in the Kansas City offense. With Hill gone, he’ll likely have an easier path to consistent playing time and opportunity. What he does with the opportunity remains a question mark. Certainly, we should expect some blow-up games, but he likely won’t be someone you can trust in your fantasy lineups on a consistent basis.
Mahomes’ value takes a slight hit, but he should still be considered a top-5 quarterback for fantasy. Without Hill, the explosive plays may be limited, but the Chiefs will continue to operate at one of the highest pass rates in the league, helping Mahomes put up fantasy points thanks to an elite passing volume. Expect Mahomes to continue to be a consistent option at the quarterback position for fantasy.