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Chiefs sign RB Hillis

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By PFW staff

Updated March 15, 2012 @ 1:35 a.m. ET

The Chiefs have signed free-agent RB Peyton Hillis, the team announced on Wednesday.

Hillis will be reunited with Brian Daboll, the Chiefs' new offensive coordinator, who was the Browns' coordinator in 2010 when Hillis rushed for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Hillis signed a one-year, $3 million deal.

Last season was a rocky one for Hillis. He battled injuries, switched agents and had reported contract disputes. On the field, Hillis rushed for 587 yards on 161 carries, averaging almost a full yard per carry less than in 2010. He had only three rushing touchdowns.

In his breakout year in 2010, Hillis added 61-477-2 receiving. He had 22 catches for 130 yards last season. Hillis began his career with Denver.

Hillis will be a complement to the electric Jamaal Charles in the Chiefs' backfield next season. Charles is coming off a torn ACL.

 

Fantasy spin

Now a Chief, Peyton Hillis suffered through the Madden Curse with the Browns in 2011. His new contract is a one-year deal for $3 million, and that means he should play at 150 percent for his 2013 contract.

He's back with his old offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who was the offensive coordinator for the Browns in 2010 under then-head coach Eric Mangini. It was Hillis' breakout year as he totaled 270-1,177-11 rushing and 61-477-2 receiving on 77 targets. That's a per-game average of 20.7 utilizations for 103.4 yards from scrimmage and 0.81 TDs in 16 games.

Injuries and contract distractions in 2011 resulted in only 161-587-3 rushing and 22-130-0 receiving on 34 targets in 10 games. That's a per-game average of 18.3 utilizations for 71.7 yards from scrimmage and 0.3 TDs. Once healthy in Weeks 15 and 16, he averaged 26.5 utilizations for 110 yards from scrimmage and 0.5 TDs, showing great promise for 2012.

He will share time with Jamaal Charles, who is returning from an ACL tear and will be at offseason workouts and ready to go in 2012. I've always stated it takes two years for a running back to return to pre-injury form, but can Charles break that mold? He's unique enough to be able to, but regardless, the team will lean heavily on Hillis as they bring Charles along slowly.

Hillis makes a solid flex position back with upside, and in PPR (point-per-reception) leagues he could be a low-end No. 2 fantasy back, depending on what we see once the season begins.

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