The pass-happy NFL has changed the way we look at receivers. Last season, there were 23 receivers with 1,000 receiving yards, while only 13 running backs hit 1,000 rushing yards. What’s more,15 receivers had double-digit receiving touchdowns, while just two backs ran the ball in for a score at least 10 times (DeMarco Murray and Marshawn Lynch). Yes, backs can also help out in the passing game, but the days of thinking you can sneak by with mediocre receivers in your fantasy league are over.
Another important aspect of fantasy leagues is how many starting receiver spots you have. If you only start two in a standard league, you can possibly get away with not going with a receiver in the first two rounds. On the other hand, three-WR leagues almost force your hand to grab one in the first 30 picks.
Hill matched McDonald’s sack output with 5.5 of his own last season. He also managed to intercept a pass just like McDonald did in 2013. Not too shabby for a backup defensive tackle, especially since Hill ended up missing three games during the regular season. Stats don’t come close to explaining Hill’s performance last season. He didn’t even start the season in McDonald’s role. That job went to former Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams, who signed with the Seahawks in the offseason last year. It made sense. Williams may be on the down side of his career, but he’s played three technique for a long time. He’s always been a good pass rusher inside.
Everything changed when starting nose tackle Brandon Mebane got hurt and was put on the injured reserve in Week 10. Williams moved into the starting defensive tackle role. That gave Hill a chance to show what he could do filling in as a spot duty pass rusher in Williams’ former role. That’s why those 5.5 sacks all came in the last six games of the season.