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Taysom Hill

When will the nightmare end?

There was a story this week about Taysom Hill being deployed in the backfield during OTAs for the Saints. This is neither surprising nor particularly worth even stating; of course he is. It's just confirmation that for yet another year he'll be a controversial annoyance for fantasy football.

Every offseason in every league, for years now, there's the issue of what his eligible position should be. The Saints are currently listing him as a quarterback, and to me, the easiest thing for fantasy leagues to do is to also list him as a quarterback -- cut down on debates and arguments. Or should anyway: "Hey, it's not my call; the Saints call him a quarterback, so he's a quarterback."

Unfortunately, other than a couple of brief stretches of games in the past, the Saints never actually start him or play him very much at quarterback. They've apparently come to realize that quarterback is a difficult position to play and be good at, presumably in the time since they signed him to the ridiculous 4-year, $40 million contract he's currently operating on. (Which actually doesn't seem like much these days, but did a few years ago.) They use him far more often as a tight end (which some fantasy leagues give him eligibility at) or running back (which they don't). Sure he lines up at quarterback, but very rarely is it to pass the ball; it's mostly to bull his 221 pounds into the end zone, depriving Derek Carr, Alvin Kamara or whatever other running back the team might put on the field from getting credit for those scores.

By this point you've probably realized I don't have a lot of fondness for Hill. Maybe he's a nice guy, but he caused an awful lot of controversy in a couple of my leagues in the past, including an experts league where a guy who drafted him hoping to use him as a tight end was quite disappointed that we were only giving him eligibility as a quarterback. There were hard feelings, understandably, and I don't blame the guy. Just an unfortunate situation.

Assuming you're in a league where he does have eligibility as a runner or a receiver (which is the only reason to talk about him; he ain't playing quarterback any time soon), I'm forced to grudgingly admit that he has some value. And last year more than ever.

Career-wise, he's been very hit or miss. Looking at the past four seasons (removing the handful of games in 2020-2021 where he actually started at quarterback), I came up with 51 games where he was in his runner/receiver role. In nearly half of those games (24), he was a worthless dead spot in your lineup, scoring 5 points or fewer in PPR leagues. I guess it's that, in addition to the positional controversy, which is one of the reasons I feel some animosity for the guy. I don't like low-floor players.

But 2023 wasn't a great year for us Hill naysayers. Especially the second half of the season. Hill finished with double-digit points in PPR leagues eight times in his last 11 contests. I may not like him, but I'm forced to concede that if he had TE-eligibility, he helped you down the stretch last year. And if that usage holds in 2024 (no promises), he'll be a viable option this season, certainly in best-ball leagues, and also in lineups where it can be hard to find a tight end who will get you double-digit points 70 percent of the time. There are only a few Kelce, LaPorta, and Andrews types out there.

Bottom line, if you draft either Kamara or Carr, seems like you'll be losing out on the occasional touchdown opportunity again this year.

Hill's game log over the past four seasons (not counting ones he started at quarterback) is presented below. Games he scored at least 10 points in PPR leagues are in bold.

TAYSOM HILL AS NON-QUARTERBACK, 2020-2023
YearOppRunRuTDNoRecReTDPassTDPPts
2020T.B.13011403805.6
2020at L.V.80000000.8
2020G.B.60110001.7
2020at Det.60180002.4
2020LAC131000007.3
2020Car.60000000.6
2020at Chi.35023010014.5
2020at T.B.540121048010.9
2020S.F.450000004.5
2020K.C.31000006.3
2020Min.18111908011.1
2020at Car.4111500011.6
2021G.B.10000300.3
2021at Car.160000001.6
2021at N.E.321000009.2
2021NYG28222609019.85
2021at Was.001110002.1
2021Atl.400003302.1
2021at Ten.23011501105.4
2022at Atl.8111200015.3
2022T.B.140000001.4
2022Min.211000008.1
2022Sea.112300022134.3
2022Cin.3900001604.7
2022at Ariz.9013148010.6
2022L.V.6101110208.3
2022Bal.600001301.3
2022at Pit.10000000.1
2022LAR5201801407.7
2022at S.F.130170003.0
2022at T.B.100235121013.55
2022Atl.30000080111.0
2022at Cle.5610000011.6
2022at Phi.461110024013.8
2022Car.240110003.5
2023Ten.40000000.4
2023at Car.7501-10808.8
2023at G.B.120190003.1
2023T.B.1001701303.4
2023at N.E.190110003.0
2023at Hou.2074904012.3
2023Jac.18145000016.8
2023at Ind.632114044022.9
2023Chi.52041313120.7
2023at Min.602170004.3
2023at Atl.26025500010.1
2023Det.59121500015.4
2023NYG10140001.5
2023at LAR20000000.2
2023at T.B.10230111011.7
2023Atl.51042800011.9

--Andy Richardson

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