The uniqueness of Taysom Hill extends beyond the gridiron, creating serious debate among fantasy football players.
Hill, a quarterback who’s been used as a gadget player with the Saints over the past three-plus seasons, started under center for New Orleans on Sunday in Drew Brees’ absence. The 30-year-old received the nod over fellow Saints backup QB Jameis Winston in a rather surprising move that had huge fantasy implications.
You see, ESPN listed Hill as a tight end prior to him being named the Saints’ starting quarterback for their Week 11 matchup with the Atlanta Falcons. As such, Hill retained TE eligibility while also gaining QB eligibility ahead of New Orleans’ eventual 24-9 win.
So, those who owned Hill in ESPN fantasy football — his ownership skyrocketed after he was named New Orleans’ starting QB — were free to deploy him either as a tight end or a quarterback, with the former path offering a significant matchup advantage: Quarterbacks typically accumulate far more points than tight ends (or any other position).
In other words, if you owned Hill, you essentially were able to start two quarterbacks Sunday, even in single-QB leagues. And, predictably, Hill rewarded those fortunate enough to be in such a position of strength by totaling the second-most points among all TE-eligible players, trailing only Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce.
This obviously delighted some fantasy owners (those with Hill), while simultaneously ticking off most other fantasy owners (those without Hill). Overall, it created quite a bit of outrage on social media, with some wondering why ESPN would allow Hill to retain TE eligibility while serving as New Orleans’ starting QB.
Now, it’s quite possible this issue will be rectified before long, as ESPN reserves the right to modify Hill’s status as his playing situation becomes more clear. And based on Hill’s performance Sunday against the Falcons, it’s hard to imagine Saints coach Sean Payton suddenly changing course and going with Winston at quarterback in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos.
Hill will be arguably the top tight end option in fantasy for as long as he maintains TE eligibility, because, again, the potential for points is much greater for those playing quarterback.
If Hill loses TE eligibility moving forward, based on ESPN’s determination, his value will drop significantly, although one could make the case he’s still worth a roster spot even as nothing more than a QB.
Hill completed 18 of 23 passes for 233 yards and added 10 carries for 52 yards with two touchdowns Sunday. He ranked third among quarterbacks in total fantasy points, trailing only Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers.
All told, Hill is a player you must keep tabs on, whether it’s between the lines or while assessing weekly fantasy lineups down the stretch.