Should you draft Cooper Kupp or Tyreek Hill in 2023: Fantasy Crossroads


Our Fantasy Crossroads series come to an end with a matchup between two of the top four wideouts in all of fantasy football. 


Cooper Kupp is looking to stay healthy and continue to dominate, while Tyreek Hill is coming off an incredible first season in South Beach. Both Hill and Kupp will anchor your fantasy rosters in 2023, but who should you select on draft day?

Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

The Case for Cooper Kupp

Cooper Kupp only played eight full games last season, but if he stayed healthy, he likely would have once again finished as the WR1 in fantasy. Kupp averaged 22.4 PPR points per game last year, the most in the league. And over the last two seasons, he is flirting with 25 fantasy points per contest. Dating back to the 2021 season, Kupp has seen double-digit targets in 20 of his last 26 games, while sporting target shares of 31% and 31.7% over the last two seasons. 

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This past season, he averaged just under 12 targets per game, and entering the 2023 campaign, there isn’t really anything that can stop him from seeing a 30% target share once again. His competition for targets consists of Van Jefferson (sleeper alert, y’all), Tyler Higbee and Tutu Atwell. Meanwhile, this Rams defense should be the worst we’ve seen at least since Kupp has been in the NFL, which should lead to a healthy pass rate from Matthew Stafford and company. Even in a descending offense and entering his age-30 season, Kupp remains a top-three fantasy option who could contend for the league-lead in receiving. 

The Case against Cooper Kupp

The only thing that can stop Kupp is the same thing that stopped him last season – injury.

Kupp only played eight games due to an ankle injury last year and hurt his hamstring earlier in camp this season. But Stafford has also dealt with back, elbow and toe injuries over the past two seasons, while playing only nine games in 2022. There have even been some retirement rumors circulating Stafford, who is now entering his age-35 season in the NFL 

Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins

The Case for Tyreek Hill

Tyreek Hill was traded to Miami last offseason, leaving the best quarterback and best offense in all of football in Kansas City. Many, including myself, wondered how much of a drop-off there would be after the move.

What drop-off?

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All Hill did in his first season without Patrick Mahomes was set career-highs in targets (170), receptions (119) and receiving yards (1,710). He also posted career-highs in target share (30%) and targets per route run (32%), all of which ranked top-three in the NFL. According to Sports Info Solutions, Hill ranked second among wideouts in targets (33) and routes run (34) out of pre-snap motion, which helped him get so many easy, open looks. Mike McDaniel’s motion-centric offense helped get Hill a ton of schemed targets, as the Dolphins used pre-snap motion at the highest rate in all of football last season at 67%. 

For defenses, that is frustrating enough, but when you are trying to follow Hill and Jaylen Waddle across the line of scrimmage, it is a completely different challenge. You simply couldn’t play man defense against the Dolphins because of the confusion and speed they could hurt you with. And for the most part, teams didn’t. Miami faced man coverage just 20% of the time last year, the third-lowest rate in football. But if you do try playing man coverage, good luck keeping up.

Miami also transformed into a pass-heavy offense under McDaniel, which makes sense given the personnel. McDaniel was aggressive in his first season in Miami. The Dolphins finished eighth in the league in neutral-script pass rate (59.8%) and ninth in passing rate on early downs (55.9%). And the Dolphins didn’t take their foot off the gas when they were ahead. They led by eight-plus points for 153 plays last season, sporting the league’s second-highest pass rate in those situations at 59.4%. Miami ultimately finished the year seventh in pass rate over expected, as they relied on their explosive passing attack for much of the season.

The Case against Tyreek Hill

Hill was amazing last season, averaging 20.4 fantasy points per game and finishing as the WR2 in all of fantasy. Like Kupp, however, Hill’s quarterback also has some health concerns, as Tua Tagovailoa dealt with concussions for much of last season. In the games with Tagovailoa sidelined last year, Hill was still great, averaging 15.4 fantasy points, 9.8 targets and 6.4 receptions per game. However, he finished with fewer than 60 receiving yards in three of the five games without Tagovailoa. 

The Verdict

Outside of injury, you really can’t go wrong with either star wide receiver. Both will average 20-plus fantasy points per game this season, while both have some concerns regarding the potential health of their starting quarterback. However, I am banking on Kupp staying healthy and being the best player in all of fantasy football, which is essentially what he’s been when on the field over the last few seasons. If you are worried about his age and health, I absolutely understand drafting Hill. Again, both are absolutely amazing players and should be drafted in the top-five of most fantasy drafts.

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