NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Mailbag: Taysom Hill Outlook; Sad Kyle Pitts Owners
Getty Images. Pictured: Taysom Hill (left), Kyle Pitts (right).
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Fantasy Add-Drop Questions
Can P.J. Walker Save My 1-4 Team?
@WendiEarley from Twitter asks: “Hi, Sam! In a two-quarterback league, I have [Justin] Fields and Matt Ryan. Would you drop either for P.J. Walker? I'm desperate! 1-4. Ugh Jimmy [Garoppolo] is my other QB. I don’t know how the heck this happened.”
Samantha: First, I am sorry you are 1-4 like my hapless Panthers, but I am happy you have not given up yet. There is so much football left and you are doing the right thing by:
1) Staying diligent on the waiver wire.
2) Being willing to pivot/cut bait with players you drafted.
I would probably hang on to the guys you have over Walker. The former XFL star has only two NFL starts, so there is not a ton to go off.
His first was in Week 11 of the 2020 season against the Lions in which he completed 24-of-34 attempts for 258 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions — not dreadful, but not great either.
Walker’s second start was in Week 10 of the 2021 season against the Cardinals. He completed 22-of-29 attempts for 167 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. He was promptly benched for Cam Newton the following week.
Assuming Christian McCaffrey is still on this team (which is a big “if” at this point), I predict he will continue to be the focal point of the offense. McCaffrey did not play in Walker’s first start for the Panthers due to injury, but he did in Week 10 last year and saw 23 touches for 161 scrimmage yards.
D.J. Moore and Robbie Anderson seem to be significantly less matchup proof, however, and combined for 61 receiving yards in that contest. Anderson’s touchdown in the game came from Newton — not Walker.
The Panthers will also have a defensively minded head coach with Steve Wilks versus Matt Rhule, who was dismissed this week. This could result in even more conservative play-calling.
As a side note, I do think further patience is warranted with Fields.
He is coming off of his best game of the season from an accuracy standpoint. He completed 15-of-21 attempts for 208 yards and one touchdown and added 47 yards on the ground against the Vikings.
Fantasy Tight End Questions
Is Taysom Hill A Week-To-Week Starter?
@MRVBM from Twitter asks: “Given the state of the tight end position this year (really every year), has Taysom Hill reached every week start status (where he's TE-eligible) for those of us who don't roster [Travis] Kelce or [Mark] Andrews? I'm thinking [Kyle] Pitts has lost his starting TE spot to Hill on my fantasy roster.”
Samantha: It is a sad testament to the state of the tight end position that we are earnestly discussing benching Pitts – who you probably had to drop a third-round pick to draft – for Hill, but here we are.
The short answer is yes, Hill is approaching week-to-week starter status.
He absolutely exploded in the Saints’ Week 5 win and recorded 112 yards and four touchdowns – three on the ground and one through the air on his lone passing attempt of the day. He tallied 34 fantasy points in half-PPR scoring and even eclipsed Travis Kelce’s four-touchdown performance on Monday night.
Hill’s usage is erratic, though he seems to be getting more consistent — especially at the goal line — with Andy Dalton under center versus Jameis Winston.
His role in this revamped Saints offense may be evolving past mere novelty, and, as such, he offers a ton of upside in light of his unique usage as a running back and quarterback. I would not hesitate to start Hill this week at home against the Bengals.
Taysom Hill Over Kyle Pitts?
@jake_2themoon from Twitter asks: “Trying to pluck Taysom [Hill] off waivers to start over [Kyle] Pitts until he shows signs of life, am I crazy?”
Samantha: You are not crazy. I would be doing the exact same thing if I were in your position.
I am officially out of excuses for Pitts.
The Year 2 tight end started the season with back-to-back two-catch, 19-yard games — not exactly the production you were hoping for. He gave us a glimmer of hope in Week 3 against the Seahawks' porous defense and caught 5-of-8 targets for 87 yards, finishing as the TE6 in half PPR. He followed that up with a complete dud against the Browns in which he caught 1-of-4 targets for 25 yards and finished as the TE41 for the week.
It was almost a gift to fantasy managers that he sat out this past week due to injury.
The harsh reality is this: Pitts was the TE21 through four weeks, he has not found the end zone since Week 5 of 2021 and his target share does not mean much when quarterback Marcus Mariota only throws the ball 20-25 times a game.
The Falcons' passing attack has ranged from subpar to horrendous this season, and until head coach Arthur Smith decides to either use Pitts more or make the switch from Mariota to Desmond Ridder, Pitts is not a trustworthy start.
I still would not drop him outright in hopes that he can turn things around, but I would absolutely start Hill over him until I see improvement.
Trade Darren Waller Or Kyle Pitts?
@ACSnow22 from Twitter asks: “Traded away [Ja’Marr] Chase and AJ Dillon for [Darren] Waller, [D’Andre] Swift and DeVonta Smith [in a half PPR], 16-team league.
Also have [Kyle] Pitts. Do I try and trade Waller or Pitts? My team is now: [Jalen] Hurts, [Christian] Kirk, Smith, JuJu [Smith-Schuster], Pitts, Waller, Swift, [Miles] Sanders, [Kareem] Hunt. Only a three player bench.”
Samantha: You can try to trade Pitts, though I am not sure how much you will get for him one-for-one at this point — not to mention you would be selling at his absolute nadir.
I have actually been asked about dropping Pitts in smaller leagues (10 or 12 teams). In a 16-team league, he is definitely worth hanging on to for now with the hopes that he and Arthur Smith can turn things around.
We could see 2022 first-rounder Desmond Ridder sooner rather than later, which could be good news for Pitts. I might wait a week or two in hopes of a good game, which you could capitalize on and then send trade offers.
The glaring issue with trading Waller is that you would be stuck starting Pitts, and unless you can get Taysom Hill off waivers, I really would not feel comfortable with the Florida product being the only tight end on your roster.
One option you could roll with is to make a package trade with Waller and a player you are willing to part with for a slightly worse tight end (say, Zach Ertz, Pat Freiermuth or Dallas Goedert) and a better position player. The only reason I do not love that idea is you would still have two tight ends and a very small bench.
Another possibility is you could send Pitts plus another player for a better non-tight end. Personally, I am a big fan of two-for-one trades. This way, you would free up a roster spot and at least get something in exchange for Pitts.