Fantasy football waiver wire: Is it finally time to embrace Saints’ Taysom Hill?

He may be the most reviled player in fantasy football, even though he's only on the field for just a handful of plays per game.

But New Orleans Saints backup quarterback Taysom Hill has been the object of so much ire because he's frequently taken scoring chances away from high-profile teammates — for no other reason than coach Sean Payton seemingly just wants to show off. 

Well, now that starter Drew Brees is going to miss at least the next two games, Hill could be in position to repay fantasy managers as a pseudo-cheat code in leagues where he has dual position eligibility. 

Wait. What?!? 

Recommended bids based on a free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) of $100 for the season.

Saints quarterback Taysom Hill has 34 carries and five pass attempts through the first 10 weeks of the season. He could see more work now that starter Drew Brees is out with fractured ribs. (Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)

League of his own

QB/TE Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints ($19). OK, hear me out on this one. First of all, Payton hasn't announced whether Hill or Jameis Winston will start in place of Brees this week against Atlanta. Logic says it will be the veteran Winston, who spent the last five seasons as the Buccaneers' starter.

However … there's a decent chance Hill will be on the field at some point. Perhaps more than usual. And if he does take snaps at quarterback, it will likely be on plays designed to give him the option to run or pass. Presumably near the goal line. 

Here's where the cheat code comes in: Leagues such as ESPN have Hill eligible as a tight end, as well as a quarterback. Normally, that's not such a big deal, but tight ends have been horrible this season in terms of fantasy scoring. (In Week 10, Rob Gronkowski was the only tight end to reach double digits in standard scoring, and he led the position with just 13.1 PPR points.)

Against a Falcons team that has yielded the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season, having Hill playing any meaningful role at QB would give him the potential to outscore just about any other tight end.

It's an advantage that may not last long, but wins carry a great deal of importance at this point in the season.

FYI. In light of the Brees news on @ESPNFantasy Taysom Hill has been given QB eligibility, effective immediately. He currently qualifies at TE. If Hill plays primarily at QB, using snap count data & our team sees that continuing, we reserve the right to remove his TE eligibility.

Best bets

RB Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts ($15). There aren’t many impact players left on the waiver wire this time of year, but if Hines is still available, he could be. Though he excels in the third-down role, Hines looked more like a lead back on Thursday. He had more carries (12) than anyone else on the team, turning them into 70 yards and a touchdown – to go along with five receptions and a score. As Jonathan Taylor and Jordan Wilkins fade, Hines is stepping forward.

WR Jakeem Grant, Miami Dolphins ($12). In addition to his playmaking abilities as a return specialist, Grant is now seeing more work on offense. He scored for the second consecutive week, catching four passes for 43 yards and a TD.  

WR Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars ($10). Speaking of return men, Cole had a pair of touchdowns at Green Bay – one on a 91-yard punt return and another on a 12-yard reception. Cole runs hot and cold, but the Jags have a favorable four-game stretch upcoming.

RB Devontae Booker, Las Vegas Raiders ($8). Booker may not be able to duplicate his 81 rushing yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, but his productivity backing up Josh Jacobs should earn him a few more touches going forward.

WR Michael Pittman, Indianapolis Colts ($8). After missing three games because of a leg injury, Pittman has gradually worked his way into Philip Rivers' circle of trust. The rookie caught a season-high seven passes for 101 yards and also had a 21-yard rush. He's a fantastic under-the-radar pickup in leagues where he was cut.


QB Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints ($8). If you had Brees as your starter (or are concerned about Teddy Bridgewater's availability), then Winston offers the highest upside of any current backup. He's a high-risk, high-reward play against the Falcons (see above), but his greatest value will likely be for those who have WR Michael Thomas and other Saints pass-catchers because Winston isn't afraid to take chances downfield. 

RB Salvon Ahmed, Miami Dolphins ($6). Myles Gaskin is still on injured reserve, Matt Breida is still not 100% and the Dolphins just released Jordan Howard. Perhaps they are comfortable with Ahmed being the lead back after he rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries in Week 10.

RB Alex Collins, Seattle Seahawks ($5). Carlos Hyde should be able to return from his hamstring injury this week, but with the Seahawks playing on Thursday night, it's not a given. Collins had 11 carries for 43 yards and a TD on Sunday, seeing more snaps (32)  than DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer combined. 

For additional players who could still be available in your league, check out last week's waiver wire picks. And follow Gardner on Twitter @SteveAGardner

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