Spin Doctors: Is T.Y. Hilton or Alshon Jeffery more attractive for fantasy purposes?

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Spin Doctors: Is T.Y. Hilton or Alshon Jeffery more attractive for fantasy purposes?
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Entering their fourth seasons, Alshon Jeffery (24.5 ADP) and T.Y. Hilton (26.3) are largely considered WR1s in fantasy circles. Both should be 100-plus target assets for their respective teams, provided Jeffery's calf setback doesn't prove serious. However, Brad Evans and Scott Pianowski are divided on which one owners should target. Read their stances, ponder and declare a victor in the comments below. 

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Brad feeds the Bear: “Absurd.” “Too inflated.” “Completely ridiculous.” These are a few of the descriptions some fantasy ‘experts’ have used to paint Alshon Jeffery’s Round 2-3 value this draft season.

To those naysayers the Noise shouts “BLASPHEMY!”

With Brandon Marshall now catching soft spirals from Ryan Fitzpatrick in New York, Jeffery is the main man in the Windy City. Blessed with terrific long-range speed, length, athleticism and exaggerated cartoonish hands, he's an imposing physical specimen who should thrive as the No. 1. Last year, he logged an 85-1133-10 line (on 145 targets) for a wretched Bears team, the 12th-best output by a WR.

To some, the transition from Marc Trestman to Adam Gase is a negative, but it shouldn’t be. Essentially he’s Demaryius Thomas in Gase’s offense, a position that averaged 155.7 targets, 99 receptions, 1,494.3 receiving yards and 11.7 touchdowns per year since 2012. Considering Kevin White’s slow progress, Eddie Royal’s fixture in the slot and the Bears’ projected horrendous defense, he’s a shoo-in for 150-plus targets, 90 receptions, 1,200 yards and 11-13 TDs. Achieve that and he’ll comfortably finish inside the position's top-10. Yes, even with the most punchable face in the league, Jay Cutler, throwing him the ball.  

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Hilton is a marvelous talent in an air-friendly environment, but I’m expecting a slight downturn in his overall worth. Offseason additions Andre Johnson, Duron Carter, Philip Dorsett and Frank Gore present new mouths to feed. Combine that with a bevy of tight ends that combined for 98 catches, 1,287 yards and 18 TDs in ’14 and Pep Hamilton’s desire to script more four-WR sets, and a volume decrease for Hilton is in the cards. Andrew Luck will spread the love. It’s irresponsible to think the wideout meets or exceeds last year’s 82-1345-7 production. Shave roughly 5-10 receptions, 200-300 yards and a 1-2 TDs and you’re looking at his 2015 ceiling. In other words, bank on him reverting to 2013 (82-1056-5, WR21). Bottom line, T.Y. is more middling WR2 than back-end WR1 as his price point suggests.

Bear … UP! 

Scott tosses a Horseshoe: Obviously Jeffery is a bigger player, and projects to be far more involved in the red zone. Cheap touchdowns are a good thing in fantasy. But if you look at the players broadly, Hilton looks like the better football player.

Consider last year, when Hilton bested Jeffery by 212 yards despite playing in one fewer game. Hilton also had a better catch rate and a much better yards per reception (16.4 versus 13.3), and when you hash it all out, more fantasy points. Part of these advantages could be attributable to Hilton’s undertow at quarterback - Andrew Luck is a slam dunk over Jay Cutler - but it’s not like that’s changed. And heck, the global view of the Bears might be more conservative this fall, with John Fox overseeing the entire club. 

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No one expects Hilton to become a dynamic scorer inside the red area, but perhaps he’ll see a modest step forward in those spots, given his crisp routes and connection with Luck. Not every touchdown-gobbling wideout has to tower over the opposition. You can beat a defense moving laterally, too. 

I’ll ride with the yardage and efficiency winner from last year and I’ll ride with the better quarterback, of course. Reservation at the Hilton, please.

Follow Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) and Scott Pianowski (@ScottPianowski) on Twitter.


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