Don't Be Fooled by the Mirage of Peyton Hillis as a Viable Fantasy Option

Kristopher KnoxFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 21: Running back Peyton Hillis #44 of the New York Giants runs with the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during a game at MetLife Stadium on October 21, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

If you watched the New York Giants defeat the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football, you might have noticed a familiar, yet seemingly forgotten player running the football for Big Blue.

I'm talking, of course, about former Madden cover boy Peyton Hillis.

If you also happen to play fantasy football, you might just be tempted to seek out Hillis for a little running back help.

After all, the Arkansas product is only a few years removed from one of the most surprising fantasy season in recent history. 

After two obscure years with the Denver Broncos, Hillis exploded with the Cleveland Browns. During the 2010 season, he amassed 1,177 yards rushing, hauled in 61 receptions for another 477 yards and scored 13 total touchdowns.

Hills was by no means dominant on Monday night. However, he did show some glimpses of his previous fantasy star form, including his ability to make plays in the passing game and to find the end zone.

For the game, Hillis produced 36 yards rushing, five receptions for 45 yards receiving and a touchdown.

So, is it worth gambling on Hillis in the hopes of another surprising emergence?

Probably not.

Hillis' stats must be taken with a grain of salt, as the Vikings have given up more fantasy points to opposing running backs this season in ESPN scoring.

One must also consider that Hillis is unlikely to receive playing time during the all-important fantasy playoff season.

Hillis was signed to provide depth for the Giants' injury-riddled backfield. He was not brought in to take over the starting role.

Peyton Hillis by the Numbers
Rush YDSAvg/GameRecRec YDSTotal TD
In 20101,17773.56147713
Since 201093238.8372375
through Week 7 of 2013 season

Veteran Brandon Jacobs ran very well against the Chicago Bears in Week 6 and would have gotten the starting nod against the Vikings had he not been held out with a neck injury. We will likely return for Week 8.

Jacobs, himself, was only brought in as an injury replacement after Andre Brown suffered a preseason leg injury and David Wilson suffered a neck injury.

Considering Brown will be eligible to return from short-term injured reserve in Week 10 and Wilson may be back in the coming weeks, it's difficult to see Hillis staying on the roster for the long haul.

Of course, if you are desperate for a bye-week replacement in Week 8 (guys like Matt Forte, Trent Richardson, Ray Rice and Chris Johnson are off), you could always pick up Hillis and hope that Jacobs is held out another week.

Just don't expect him to become an unexpected fantasy stud as he did three years ago.