Devonta Freeman will be sidelined with a foot sprain for likely the next couple weeks, setting the stage for Brian Hill to be the featured back. Unless you have two RB1’s on your roster, it is probably time to pick him up, if it isn’t too late. And if you plan on playing DFS this weekend, there is no better value at running back than his $4,800 price tag.
Hill ended up receiving 21 touches against the Saints and only averaged three YPC, but this was against one of the best run defenses in the NFL. He has reached the endzone in each of the past two weeks and will assume the load against a weak Panthers run defense. They are giving up an AVERAGE of 26.8 points per game this season to opposing running backs, and that’s in a half-PPR league. In two out of the past three weeks, they have given up over 150 yards and at least three touchdowns on the ground.
On top of this, the Falcons will likely have to use Hill some in the passing game. Russell Gage is still settling into the third receiver spot. But most importantly, Austin Hooper is set to miss around a month, and won’t be out there against Carolina. Many people don’t realize that tight ends usually are negatively correlated with pass-catching backs due to the cannibalization of short targets. The loss of Hooper will open up a ton of the target share, and Hill should be apart of that to some extent.
The long-time practice squad player can also play. Hill has impressed more than Ito Smith and perhaps should have been the primary backup from the start of the season. He has limited NFL work but averages five yards per carry in his career.
All of these factors compounded, along with the workload, should lead to a fruitful Sunday from Brian Hill. The only thing holding him back will be if the Falcons fall behind and stop running the football, but Atlanta is coming off by far their best week defensively, and I like Matt Ryan’s chances of outdueling Kyle Allen. So be sure to plug him in your lineup and stack some other positions.