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What You Need to Know:
- Hilton struggled without Andrew Luck last year, finishing 27th among WRs in PPR points.
- With a mostly healthy Luck from 2013 to 2016, Hilton turned in 4 straight top-23 PPR finishes, including a pair inside the top 12.
- He turns just 29th in November and remains the clear #1 option in the Colts’ passing game.
Hilton’s 2018 fantasy value is tied strongly to the right arm of Andrew Luck. Ongoing shoulder problems have kept Luck sidelined since the 2016 season finale.
No Luck in 2017
That crushed Hilton’s production last year. His 57 catches and 966 yards were his fewest since his 2012 rookie season. His 4 TDs were a career low. Hilton finished 27th among WRs in PPR points and 25th in non-PPR.
QB play was mostly to blame. Under Jacoby Brissett, the Colts ranked 30th in passing yards, 31st in TDs, 29th in completion rate and 24th in yards per attempt. Hilton easily paced the team in receiving yards and tied for the lead in TDs. His 8.86 yards per target looks a lot better when you consider the rest of the Colts’ pass-catchers mustered just 5.98.
Hilton still managed to finished 38th among 117 WRs in Pro Football Focus’ 2017 receiving grades. So it doesn’t appear his game took a significant step back. Hilton turns just 29 in November.
With Luck from 2013 to 2016, this guy was dynamite. Hilton averaged 81 catches, 1,250 yards (15.4 YPC) and 5.8 TDs across those 4 seasons. And he was efficient, ranking 21st in yards per target among 151 WRs who saw 100+ looks. Hilton’s PPR finishes in those 4 years: 19th, 11th, 23rd and 5th.
The knock against Hilton’s production has always been the lack of consistency. He ranked outside the top 40 WRs in PPR points in 22 of 63 games (34.9%) from 2013 to 2016. But Hilton also provided week-winning upside, finishing as a top-10 PPR WR in 15 of those games (23.8%).
He’ll return to a similar role in 2018 as the clear top dog in the Colts’ passing game. Indy cut ties with WRs Donte Moncrief and Kamar Aiken, who finished 3rd and 4th on the team in targets last year. Free-agent addition Ryan Grant has totaled just 84 catches across 4 NFL seasons. The draft brought only late-rounders Daurice Fountain and Deon Cain.
The Colts did add Eric Ebron in free agency. He joins Jack Doyle to form 1 of the better TE duos in the league. But neither will take a big bite out of Hilton’s volume. He averaged 140 targets per season from 2013 to 2016 and should settle in around there this year.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
Hilton goes as Andrew Luck’s right shoulder goes. With a mostly healthy Luck from 2013 to 2016, Hilton turned in 4 straight top-23 PPR finishes, including a pair inside the top 12. With Luck sidelined all last year, Hilton sunk to 27th.
Luck returned to practice in June, but his 2018 status remains murky. We’ll keep a close eye on him this summer and adjust Hilton’s spot in the WR rankings accordingly.