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Hillis starts strong, limps to finish line

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Posted Dec. 27, 2010 @ 1:34 p.m. ET
By Michael Blunda

If you're someone who picked up Peyton Hillis early on, odds are you had a great regular season. Unfortunately, you also likely had a quick playoff exit.

A fantasy juggernaut for most of the campaign as he consistently generated rushing yards, receiving yardage and TDs, the Browns' newfound star did not exactly excel when his owners were counting on him down the stretch.

Dealing with a knee injury and defenses that were going all-out to contain him, Hillis was held to fewer than 60 yards on the ground in three of his past four contests, running for only 35 on 12 carries Sunday vs. the Ravens. Although it wasn't completely his fault, the bulldozer did not deliver any knockout blows during title week.

While it would have been nice if Hillis had been able to finish with a flurry, the fact that he had so much value for the season's first three months is still incredible. Few players were as consistent as he was, and that's a big plus for him heading into 2011. While Montario Hardesty (torn ACL) will be back next year to challenge for carries, Hillis is still the lead dog in the Cleveland backfield and deserves to fly off the board early in fantasy drafts.

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