How crazy is it that we're talking about Tim Hightower as a potential late-round pick in Fantasy? Almost as crazy as seeing him come out of nowhere last season to rumble for over 500 total yards and four touchdowns in basically four games for the Saints. It's unlikely Hightower will unseat Mark Ingram for many snaps per game, but he is a dynamite insurance policy for him in Fantasy, one most people won't chase if they don't have Ingram. Look for Hightower starting in Round 12 or 13.
Hightower rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and added 41 yards on five catches in Sunday's win over Atlanta. Prior to November, Hightower hadn't played in a competitive football game since 2011. After the kind of production he put together to close the season, there may be plenty more games in his future. Hightower averaged 114 total yards and a touchdown during the season's final four games for a Saints backfield riddled by injuries. Hightower will be 30 by the start of the 2016 season, but his ability to pound the line of scrimmage and catch the ball out of the backfield should be good enough to earn him a supporting role next season.
Hightower ran for 122 yards on 27 carries with two touchdowns and caught all three of his targets for 47 yards in Sunday's 37-28 win over the Jaguars. Over the last three games, Hightower has touched the ball quite a bit, and has been extremely productive, especially for a player that was out of the league for three seasons. In fact, his 76 touches over the last three weeks is more than injured starter Mark Ingram (shoulder) ever got in any three-game span this year. The veteran RB has another favorable matchup in the season finale at Atlanta in Week 17.
Hightower rushed 13 times for 54 yards and caught three passes (on four targets) for 31 yards in Monday's loss to the Lions. Hightower once again enjoyed the bulk of the Saints' backfield work, but with the Saints behind big early Monday, he wasn't afforded anywhere close to the 28 carries he saw in Week 14. Nonetheless, Hightower's 4.2 yards per carry Monday marked an improvement, and he also made a contribution in the passing game with three catches. Given that involvement, Hightower figures to maintain commendable late season value heading into Sunday's game against the Jaguars.
Hightower received a "Mark Ingram-like snap count" in the Saints' win in Tampa Bay on Sunday, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Hightower assumed the role of the Saints' featured tailback, playing 58 of the team's 82 snaps (71 percent) against the Buccaneers, while C.J. Spiller remained in his sparse role with 15 snaps (18 percent). Hightower only averaged three yards per carry against a stout Tampa Bay run defense, but his usage was sky-high, as he toted the ball a whopping 28 times. Although the Saints' Week 15 opponent, Detroit, has played pretty well defensively over the last month, as the de facto bell cow running back in New Orleans, Hightower should merit starting consideration in many fantasy leagues.
Hightower gained 85 yards on 28 carries and secured his sole target for 10 yards in Sunday's 24-17 victory over the Buccaneers. Amazingly, Hightower toted the ball a career-high 28 times in only his third game back after a three season-plus absence from the NFL. While he found tough sledding against a Tampa run defense that was the stingiest in the league in yards per carry allowed (3.5), he showed outstanding stamina and toughness throughout the afternoon. He also notched his first reception since October 2, 2011 versus the Rams, and certainly had to give the Saints some peace of mind that he will be able to take over the every-down backfield duties that Mark Ingram handled before his season-ending shoulder injury. Hightower will look to find some roomier running lanes in a Monday night home tilt against the Lions in Week 15.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/18||@New York Giants||26||20.38|
|4||10/02||@San Diego Chargers||30||21.50|
|7||10/23||@Kansas City Chiefs||4||13.44|
|9||11/06||@San Francisco 49ers||32||22.88|
|12||11/27||Los Angeles Rams||23||18.50|
|14||12/11||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||16.88|
|16||12/24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||16.88|
|3 Year Avg||96||375||4||12||129||0||73|