Commentary

Answer Guys: Is Peyton Hillis a must-start?

Updated: December 6, 2008, 2:20 PM ET
By Dave Hunter | ESPN.com

Okay, I understand the matchup facing the Chiefs, but I'm just not buying into Peyton Hillis like everyone else is this week. Is the fullback really going to run wild on Sunday? I don't want him sitting on my bench, racking up touchdown after touchdown when I have Brian Westbrook and Marshawn Lynch in my lineup doing nothing. I don't think I'll start Hillis this week, but I wanted to get a second opinion anyway. Is the matchup that good or is Hillis some kind of wonder back that I have no clue about? Please help. JF McGowan

Dave: There's no denying that Hillis has a terrific matchup this weekend facing the Chiefs. Only the Lions stand behind the Chiefs as the worst rush defense in the NFL, allowing 20 rushing touchdowns over the season and 164 yards per game. So, I expect Hillis to have a good game Sunday. He's normally a fullback, but obvious injury circumstances have led him to the halfback role. And he's been handling the duties very well. What I like most about Hillis is his versatility. He's an excellent receiver out of the backfield, which only adds to his value this season. He has strength, can break tackles and has good balance. Hillis is also a great athlete, which has enabled him to succeed to this point. As his starts have progressed, Hillis has received more carries with each start, which is a sign that Mike Shanahan's confidence in him is building.


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