Beware: Stephen Hill Is Getting ‘It”
From ESPN New York
A year ago, Hill had a tendency to turn his shoulders on vertical routes, causing him to lose speed. On Tuesday, Hill kept his shoulders square, something Lal pointed out with two different camera angles — upper and rear views. “His body plane was parallel and he didn’t lose any form,” Lal said. “I tell the players it’s like track. You’d never run 60 meters with your shoulders pointed sideways.”
Hill, coming off a disappointing rookie year, is one of the most improved players in camp because he has refined his fundamentals. Because of his college background in a triple-option offense at Georgia Tech, he arrived with little knowledge of a pro-style passing attack.
Hill acknowledged, “I feel like a different receiver,” saying he feels quicker in and out of his breaks…”He’s starting to understand his body,” Lal said. “He’s starting to understand what he can do with his tools.”
If you’ve been following Stephen Hill‘s career through the Rotoviz lens, you’ve received some differing opinions. Matt Freedman is down on his long term prospects and thinks that there is a pretty low probability that he hits. while Jon Moore thinks that he is a hold in dynasty leagues.
Those two represent the far end and the median of the spectrum. I, on the other hand, am completely bullish on Hill’s prospects as a wide receiver, as long as Geno Smith becomes the starter. I wrote extensively about Geno’s ability to throw the ball down the field, Mark Sanchez‘s inability to do so, and how the combination of Hill and Geno’s skills would create a dependent relationship of fantasy goodness.
These stories coming out of Jets camp are exactly what you want to hear if you believe that market share numbers and measureables make a receiver worth monitoring. The reason that so many big, athletic receivers fail is that they can never transition their raw talent into useable traits (or maybe the coaching staff just fails to put these talented players in positions to succeed. Either way, they don’t get to produce fantasy points).
The Douche posted a great article about qualitatively evaluating players and I think that it probably applies to Hill. He has elite measureables, is clearly the most physically advanced pass catcher on the roster, is the only player on that roster who could be considered a ‘red zone weapon’, can be had for almost nothing, and has a highly pedigreed quarterback (most likely) throwing to him. Not many wide receivers that you can select in the double digit rounds of redraft leagues boast those attributes, and no receiver with Hill’s pedgree is so inexpensive in dynasty leagues. Many of the players going in Hill’s redraft range are rookies, aging possession guys, players suffering/recovering from injury, or just generally have low ceilings. Hill is the classic high ceiling, low floor type player, but this is exactly the type of news that you want to hear if you are targeting Hill as a sleeper, or a cheap buy in dynasty formats.
As camp progresses, stories on Hill’s progress as a route runner and his chemistry with Geno should be monitored closely by dynasty and redraft fantasy football players alike.