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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fantasy football: How far has Peyton Hillis' 2011 draft stock plummeted?

Peyton Hillis was a revelation in 2010, and it had nothing to do with the fact he was the first white running back to rush for 1,000 yards since Craig James in 1985.

He was undrafted in many fantasy leagues, yet he entered Sunday ranked second at running back for the season in most point-per-reception leagues. That happens about as often as the aforementioned James isn't annoying during an ESPN college football broadcast.

For the season, Hillis has rushed for 1,164 yards through Week 16, scored 13 touchdowns and caught 60 passes for 474 yards.

Then there's this:

-- He has zero TDs in his last four games.

-- In that span, he's rushed for 259 yards and averaged 4.0 yards per carry.

-- He has 14 receptions for 60 yards in the four games, and has averaged 79.8 total yards per game -- down from his season norm of 109.2.

-- In Weeks 14 through 16, when the majority of the fantasy leagues hold their postseason, he had 202 rushing yards and 38 receiving yards.

-- In Weeks 15 and 16 (fantasy semifinal and championship week), he had 26 carries for 94 yards and three catches for 28 yards.

-- In Week 16, he matched his season lows with 35 yards rushing and one reception.

All of which makes us wonder how far he will slip on draft day in 2011.

Prior to the last few weeks, it could have assumed Hillis would be drafted among the top seven running backs -- likely after Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew.

Now, he probably won't go before Steven Jackson, and would you take him over Darren McFadden? Jamaal Charles? How about Michael Turner, Frank Gore, Rashard Mendenhall and/or Matt Forte?

Obviously, we have a long time to answer that potential dilemma. But it's an interesting subplot looking ahead to 2011 -- which is all we can do at this point after the 2010 fantasy season had another wacky ending (see Tim Tebow, David Garrard and Carson Palmer).

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