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Is Taysom Hill starting today vs. the Cowboys? Fantasy start/sit for Cowboys vs. Saints Week 13 Thursday Night Football

Is New Orleans Saints utility QB Taysom Hill set to start in Week 13, what should we expect, and what should fantasy managers do with him?

The New Orleans Saints have been unsure about the QB position the last few weeks, but will it be Taysom Hill or Trevor Siemian starting this week? Let’s take a look at what we have been hearing about Hill, how he performed as a starter in 2020, and whether he has fantasy football value as the starting QB.

Is Taysom Hill starting in Week 13?

It was reported on Monday (December 1) that the Saints were looking to turn to Hill as their starting QB this week. In Week 12, the offense stagnated, scoring just 6 points. Siemian has not been adding value to the offense since taking over during Week 8, so it’s no surprise the Saints were looking to move on.

Hill has been struggling with a plantar fascia injury and was listed on the Saints’ injury report this week. Had Hill been limited at all in practice, the Saints may have decided to stay with Siemian under center. However, Hill was a full participant all week and carries no injury designation into Thursday’s game.

How did Hill perform as a starting QB last season?

When you watch the film of Hill’s time under center in 2020, there are certainly question marks. Hill looked unconventional (and at times uncomfortable) in the role. Nevertheless, both his box score numbers and the advanced metrics indicate that Hill performed well within the confines asked of him as a QB.

Pro Football Network’s Offensive Value Metric, which grades players based on elements within their control, graded Hill as providing above-average value when passing the ball within what was being asked of him. In those four weeks, Hill threw for 834 yards, with 4 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a completion rate of 71.9%.

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Hill also brought value rushing the ball. He carried the ball 39 times for 209 yards and 4 touchdowns. That element of Hill’s game makes him tricky to judge (and defend) as a starting QB. Hill averaged just 7.0 intended air yards (IAY) per attempt throwing the ball in 2020. Nonetheless, an element of that is simply the Saints’ offense. Last season, starting QB Drew Brees averaged just 6.1 IAY per attempt.

So, with Hill set to start at QB for the Saints, what does that mean for his fantasy value?

What should fantasy managers do in Week 13?

Hill was actually reasonably successful for fantasy managers during his time as the starting QB. In that stretch, he averaged 21 fantasy points per game. During that stretch, his average was that of a borderline fantasy QB1 across the season.

From a weekly perspective, Hill was the QB3 in Week 11, QB13 in Week 12, QB8 in Week 13, and QB11 in Week 14. What that goes to show is Hill may not be the prettiest QB under center, but he can be effective for fantasy managers. This matchup with the Cowboys’ defense will have its challenges. Still, there should be an opportunity for Hill to be at least close to a borderline fantasy QB1 in Week 13.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.

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