Layups are perfectly fine. They are gimme points, easy to come by. It would be foolish to pass them up.
And virtually anyone can hit a layup: me, you, the goofy guy from accounting who stumbles every time he gets out of his chair — even he can hit a layup.
So when you see that Saints tight end Jared Cook likely could miss this week’s game against Arizona, don’t fret. There still is someone behind him who can be this week’s goofy guy from accounting, able to cash in on the fantasy layup the Cardinals’ defense routinely provides opposing tight ends.
That goofy guy is Josh Hill, New Orleans’ starter if Cook can’t go.
Yes, we know. That didn’t work last week with Evan Engram, who inexplicably had his worst game in his best matchup. Sure, the weather was bad, but so was the game plan. Despite what should have been an afternoon of raking in yardage, the Giants targeted Engram a season-low five times. That is what many would call mismanagement of resources. And the goofy guy from accounting concurs.
On the flip side, secondary tight end Rhett Ellison had his first double-digit fantasy outing of the season — two catches for 33 yards and a score (11.3 PPR points, good for 10th among tight ends for the week. So there’s that.
And the only other week this season when the Cards held opposing tight ends in check was Week 5, against the Bengals’ Tyler Eifert and C.J. Uzomah, neither of whom has topped five fantasy points since Week 2. So we can chalk that up to Cincinnati’s scheme not allowing contribution by the tight ends. (How’s that working out, Cincy?)
Let’s look at the other five games, involving T.J. Hockenson, Mark Andrews, Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, and Austin Hooper. In those five games, tight ends scored 11.46 more than their weekly averages against the Cardinals. For the entire year, Arizona ia allowing 11.4 points more per week than the league average. And opposing tight ends average a weekly ranking of 6.9, and they have finished in the top two five times in seven games.
Before you start worrying that Hill won’t succumb to the same type of coaching blind spot Engram and the Bengals pair did, understand: Michael Thomas is the only valid receiving threat the Saints have, and Alvin Kamara (ankle) still might be limited, so the offensive weapons are minimal. The Saints coaching staff is revered for its offensive ingenuity, — unlike, say, the Bengals and Giants.
Also, Hill had three total targets in three starts with Drew Brees at quarterback. In four games with Teddy Bridgewater, who is expected to start once again while Brees continues to recover from a thumb injury, Hill has gotten fewer than three targets and 29 yards just once, and last week he scored a touchdown.
Hill is barely owned, so don’t be afraid grab him and start him ahead of Gerald Everett, Jimmy Graham, Vance McDonald or either Colts tight end. Sometimes, it is best to just shoot the layup.
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