Matthew Stafford Injury: Shaun Hill Is Sneaky Fantasy Play If QB Misses Any Time

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor ISeptember 25, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 25:  Shaun Hill #14 of the Detroit Lions drops back to pass against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter of an NFL pre-season football game at Coliseum on August 25, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

I bet you never thought you'd hear these words again: Shaun Hill is a solid fantasy play for next Sunday.

That is, of course, if Matthew Stafford and his faulty hamstring stay on the sideline, but according to head coach Jim Schwartz, that sounds like a legitimate possibility (via Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett):

Jim Schwartz on Stafford: "I don't have any comment" on how his MRI went. Said he'll make a determination on Friday

— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 24, 2012

The Lions are being pretty hush-hush about the exact details of the injury, but if they are waiting until Friday to even make a "determination," then I would say it's probably safe to get your Shaun Hill cheering pants on. 

And don't act like you don't have a pair. 

To be clear, the Lions have a bye in Week 5, so even if Hill gets the start next Sunday, that will likely be his only one. Unless Stafford goes around jumping on trampolines, he'll be back by Week 6. 

But, oh what a start it will be. 

Hill is hardly a sexy option. He's spent his 11-year NFL career jumping around between three teams. His best season came in 2010 when he started 11 games—the most he's ever started in a season—and threw for 2,686 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

He was filling in for Matthew Stafford. 

Despite the underwhelmingly underwhelming career, Hill certainly has one characteristic that makes him a hero in fantasy owners' eyes.

He throws the ball down the field. 

For whatever reason, Matthew Stafford has been more conservative this year. His completion percentage is at an all-time high, but his yards per attempt (7.07) is more than a half-yard below what it was last year.

Considering his receivers, it's incredibly frustrating to see Stafford reel it back in.

Luckily for fantasy owners, Shaun Hill clearly isn't prepared to do any reeling. In about five minutes of playing time last Sunday, he completed 10-of-13 passes for 172 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.

No big deal, just a QB rating of 157.9. 

Hill likely won't be nearly as perfect should he get the start next Sunday, but against a Minnesota secondary that has let Blaine Gabbert, Andrew Luck and Alex Smith do pretty much whatever they want through three weeks, he'll be very productive. 

I'm no mathematician, but I know that a quarterback who enjoys tossing the ball deep down the field plus a high-octane offense plus an elite receiving corps plus a beatable secondary equals a fantasy stud.

Without Matthew Stafford, Shaun Hill will be a fantasy stud in Week 4. Yeah, I said it.