When the Saints decided to use Taysom Hill as their starting quarterback, they sent shock waves through the fantasy football community. The decision by ESPN to keep Hill eligible at tight end for Week 11 created quite a stir, but that was rectified one week later and the community settled down.
But the owners of Alvin Kamara are still incensed with the Saints’ choice, and for good reason. Hill is costing Kamara owners a championship or, at least, a ticket to the fantasy playoffs.
Heading into Week 11, Hill’s first career start, Kamara had 11 touchdowns and was averaging 61 rushing yards and eight catches for 81 yards per game. In the two games since, Kamara has averaged 45 rushing yards per game and has just one catch for minus-2 yards. He does have a touchdown, but his role has diminished considerably while Hill has four rushing touchdowns in those two games.
In fantasy football, a touchdown vulture is instant death for running backs. Kamara’s value is already taking a nasty hit because a mobile quarterback like Hill doesn’t check-down to the runner when he can’t find a play downfield. But to have Hill poach all the goal-line work and take the touchdowns for himself makes it even worse. The hope is that Drew Brees will return in another week or two, just in time to save Kamara’s fantasy owners, but there are others headed to the playoffs whose situations won’t get any better.
Throughout this season, we’ve witnessed running backs on both New England and Buffalo lose touchdown carries to their run-happy quarterbacks. Neither Devin Singletary nor Zack Moss have seen an increase in their value this season, and Damien Harris joins the long list of Patriots runners who lose value with every Cam Newton touchdown rush. Even in Indianapolis, where Jacoby Brissett is now coming into the game at the goal line, the value of the team’s running backs is tanking.
If you’re making a playoff or championship run, you need to rid your reliance on these backfields. Some of you have no choice, but if you have depth and lineup decisions are being made each week, follow the vultures and make a different choice.
Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at Fantasy-Alarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy football advice.