Is Taysom Hill a Starting Fantasy Quarterback? (2020 Fantasy Football)
Taysom Hill offers a unique blend of productivity from the quarterback position. Is he worth the risk at a generally deep position?
Taysom Hill is probably the prototypical Swiss army knife football player: he plays quarterback, tight end, running back, wide receiver, special teams, and he’s probably logged some defensive plays as well. Sometimes his usage seems forced, but he’s clearly a guy that has shown that he deserves the ball in his hands at least occasionally.
As far as I’m aware, Hill now only has quarterback eligibility across all fantasy platforms, which is how it should be, since he is, you know, the starting quarterback for the Saints. As such, we’ll be looking at Hill’s outlook strictly as a quarterback.
Prior to his first start of the season in Week 11, Hill was 4/5 passing on the season for 86 yards – not all that surprising since he has always been a gadget guy. In his first NFL start, Hill threw for a solid 233 yards, with 18 completions on 23 attempts. He also added 51 rushing yards on 10 attempts and added two rushing touchdowns.
To me, Hill is reminiscent of a more accurate Tim Tebow: athletic phenoms that can do as much damage running as passing, though they don’t jump off the page in either category. Here’s a wild stat for you: Hill has thrown one interception in his career on 41 pass attempts, throwing an interception on 2.439% of his passes. Tim Tebow threw nine interceptions on 361 attempts in his short career, and he threw an interception on 2.493% of his passes – a difference of .054%. They had to switch the “3” and the “9” in each so that we didn’t catch on, but I’m on to you, NFL. Or the aliens. Whoever is in charge here.
To be honest, we haven’t seen a ton of Hill as a passer. Historically, we’ve seen him be accurate and conservative, but those sample sizes were so small that it’s hard to assume that’s the norm. If last Sunday was any indication, that seems to be the trend in Taysom Hill’s identity as a quarterback: solid-yet-average passer with the ability to run – and run well – at any time.
State of the Offense
The Saints seem to be finally healthy, except for, you know, Drew Brees, which is why we’re here. Michael Thomas is back at full strength, and Alvin Kamara is having a career year. They have a few nice complementary pieces in Emmanuel Sanders and Jared Cook, plus guys like Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris, and Latavius Murray can all produce on any given play.
In short, the Saints offense is good. They’ve been good for a decade, and they’re still good. Moving on.
To this point, the Saints offense has been very Kamara-centric, as mentioned above. In Hill’s first start, however, Kamara fell into the background, though he did score a rushing touchdown. Hill’s first start was the first game in Kamara’s career where he failed to record a reception. On the other hand, Michael Thomas took his first real step in returning to the elite wide receiver pantheon, having easily his best outing of the season with nine receptions for 104 yards on 12 targets.
I think there’s room for Kamara and Thomas to succeed together, as they usually do, so I’m viewing this as more of an anomaly for Kamara.
This is a fun one. Hill’s fantasy value is tied to his rushing production, which provides for a high floor but also can leave you out to dry if he doesn’t find the endzone. He likely won’t be throwing 40-50 times per game like we’ve seen historically in the Saints offense, so that rushing productivity is key to him being a reliable fantasy option.
Hill has a slew of good matchups on the horizon with trips to Denver and Atlanta over the next few weeks, both of which have been a paradise for opposing fantasy quarterbacks.
I like Hill and I think he will find a way to be productive in one of the league’s best offenses, though he is firmly a mid-range QB option until we get to see more of him as an every down quarterback. Since the position is so deep, he isn’t really worth more than a few Free Agent Auction Bidding (FAAB) dollars, and I wouldn’t use a high priority waiver on him.
He’s a good streaming option if you need someone for the next few weeks, but don’t put any stud QBs on the sidelines in order to get some use out of this shiny new toy.
Sean Payton would never do that.
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