Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: Hang on to Tyreek Hill?

Eric Hardter

Welcome back to the DLF Mailbag, the preeminent mailbag in all the dynasty fantasy football land. As a reminder, there are multiple ways to pose your burning questions! I’ll be soliciting weekly feedback via X/Twitter (look for a new pinned tweet each Monday), and you can also reach out using our Discord channel, or the old-fashioned way (via our online webform).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – we’re smack dab into the “signal and noise” portion of the off-season. If you believe some of the speculation of the past week, Saquon Barkley could be this year’s Christian McCaffrey, the Falcons offense will be playing much faster and potentially providing more opportunity for players like receiver Drake London, and Cooper Kupp will have the potential to cap Puka Nacua’s continued ascendance. As always such prognostications should be taken with a glacier of salt, but we shouldn’t ignore them either – even if overblown, potential good news is better than bad. And while I don’t have the answers as to whether these scenarios will actually pan out, I’m filing them away as I consider potential moves during the coming weeks.

Let’s get to it!

From the Old-School Webform…

A Hill to Die On?

For a contending team in a PPR league, how long should you hang onto Tyreek Hill? – Tom in Minnesota

When it comes to dynasty fantasy football, the overarching goal is to figure out where you stand in your league hierarchy and then take the appropriate steps accordingly. Unlike in seasonal leagues, where the endgame is to win at all costs, dynasty pathways are multifold. If you’re in your window of contention, roster moves may take more of a short-term approach to best enhance opportunities in the current and immediately subsequent year. Conversely, if you find yourself more towards the middle or rear of the pack, a longer view may be advisable; this doesn’t inherently preclude the buying and selling “short-term” assets, but these moves come with a heightened risk profile if you’re unable to enact your exit strategy in a timely manner.

In a micro sense, these assessments and associated activities will occur on a player-by-player basis. Here again, the goal is to maximize value in accordance with the direction you’ve chosen for your team. Value can take many forms, including but not limited to points in your weekly lineups, assets with projected appreciation, futures gambles (e.g., draft picks), or trade currency. Misidentification and/or mistiming of roster moves could result in buying or selling too early or too late, then yielding only a fraction of the maximum theoretical value.

One recent example would have been trading away (or conversely, failing to buy) a player like Nico Collins prior to his third-year breakout season. Worst-case scenarios would be ridding your roster of studs like Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase too early, or failing to get out on aging veterans before the bottom falls out (future examples may include Austin Ekeler and Alvin Kamara). Then of course there are the unpredictable occurrences such as injury, which torpedoed values for players like Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins just last year. In totality, there are a myriad of moves that have the ability to both add to and remove value from your roster.

All told the overarching purpose of this preamble is to say that questions like yours represent the types of crucial thinking that needs to be done, particularly in the off-season when roster construction is more fluid. And given his now 30 years of age, coupled with a receiving profile predicated on speed, it’s understandable why Hill is being queried. So, what might a potential pathway forward look like?

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Based on the Miami receiver’s prolific history, it would be impossible to assert that we should ding his value based on predicted production. Just last year, Hill set a career-high in seasonal PPR points (378.4), and finished as the overall PPR WR2 for the second year in a row and third time overall. All told he has six finishes as the PPR WR8 or better, with only his rookie season and an injury-marred 2019 campaign failing to produce WR1-level finishes (in the latter he was still the PPR WR10 in terms of points per game).

Given this, the intersection of his fantasy and dynasty values becomes rather interesting.

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As shown by the last two years of dynasty ADP, and following some initial trepidation on what Hill could do without quarterback Patrick Mahomes throwing him the ball, Hill’s dynasty value has been fairly sticky. He has tended to peak in-season and then fall off slightly in the off-season, which is more or less par for the course for veteran players, particularly when fresh new crops of highly touted rookies become available. But while losing a few spots of ADP matters more in the first and second rounds of a startup draft, Hill falling from a December 2023 value of 7.8 to a current value of 12.8 is essentially akin to breaking even.

This begins to highlight how much of a unicorn Hill truly is. But with many fantasy football paradigms, there is a double-edged sword, and an argument could be made that a drop-off in production could lead to a disproportionately larger ADP tumble.

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When considering the top 25 players per the current DLF 1QB ADP, we can immediately glean that one of these things is not like the others. And while firm lines in the sand such as “30 years old” are not the black-and-white cutoff points imagined by some, it at least helps set context – to that point, Hill is the only player listed above who has crossed over to the dark side of the age threshold, with the next closest players at 28. An argument could be made that running back Christian McCaffrey’s “city miles” render his 28 years of age as much closer to Hill, but the simple fact is the next player in the ADP over 30 is Davante Adams with an ADP of 42.8.

Of course, every NFL player is a man unto himself. Generalities exist for a reason, but ultimately they won’t directly influence a player’s future, but rather exist as intangible guardrails when considering the likelihood of future viability. When it comes to older receivers, Jerry Rice will go down as a massive anomaly given how good he was for how long, but even just last year 30-something players such as Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, Adam Thielen and Adams were all still playing well.

Summing this up, there’s absolutely no reason to think Hill’s production is set to drop off anytime soon. He’s unlikely to appreciate in value, and holding steady into 2025 would be his best bet – but as shown over the past two years he’s been able to tread water in the ADP. Given the more recent claims that he’s not in fact seeking to retire after his current contract ends, it’s also fair to wonder just how long he can keep it going at his exceptional pace.

So if you find yourself as a higher-tier team in your league, I’d have a hard time getting rid of Hill unless it was to acquire players with an ability to score similarly. Given that Hill had the second-highest weekly average, that will be hard to come by, especially since players who scored similarly are younger and even more highly valued (e.g., CeeDee Lamb and Amon-Ra St. Brown). But there could be potential pivots where you’re able to receive multiple starters in return, providing similar production while removing some of the risk associated with Hill’s age.

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In this trade, the Hill seller still incurs some age risk with Evans, but significantly less so given he’s already a more lowly regarded player in terms of dynasty value. It would also net DJ Moore, who was a PPR WR1 just last year. A similar scenario is shown below with Tee Higgins and Adams – again there is something of an age-swap of similar players in the latter and Hill, but additional upside is realized with Higgins. Given his current future uncertainty, it could also represent a buy-low opportunity.

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These are just examples, as undoubtedly there are other deals that could be leveraged across contending teams. If there’s an eye towards rebuilding, Hill should still be able to provide significant return, with one example shown below.

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All told though if I feel like I have a shot, I’m not terribly likely to get rid my team’s (probable) best receiver. If things start going south early in the year, then you can begin to have informal conversations with your league-mates with what I would refer to as the “if X then Y” premise – more specifically here, “if my team continues slipping, then Hill might be available.”

This is showing that you’re not looking to have a fire sale, but rather that you’re being a responsible dynasty owner and considering all your options. Just like a delicious meat, deals may be better if left to marinate longer – organic discussion can happen over days to weeks, as there still won’t inherently be a rush if Hill is still producing. I’ve partaken in many of these deals myself, where each weekly result nudges both owners towards finding an agreeable common ground. And if there still isn’t a deal, and if Hill continues producing as he should be able, you’ll have another shot come 2025.

Follow me on Twitter @EDH_27.

eric hardter