Spiller may be more involved this year, but it doesn't look like he's going to take a Darren Sproles-type role in the offense. We would use Hightower as the handcuff to Ingram given the way the veteran finished the season. Hightower averaged 24.0 touches for 114 yards and 1.0 TD over the final four games last year.
“We’re going to get a chance to see more now,” Sean Payton said. “I think the training camp injury set him back some, and then it’s just a matter of the confidence and the explosion off that knee. He’ll play a significant role, as will Tim Hightower and even (Marcus) Murphy.”
Hightower was released after a strong training camp, and re-signed Nov. 4. He hadn’t played prior to this season since 2011, when he suffered a knee injury and his recovery was slowed by complications.
“Through training camp, we got a chance to see him run," Payton said. “He finally got some touches in a regular-season game against Washington (11 carries, 46 yards). He’s competitive, he’s tough, he’s been in that spotlight and I think that, for him, it’s the confidence that the injury and the leg is 100 percent. I’m excited to see him play just like I am with C.J. It’ll be a good opportunity.”
Said Brees: “You hate to lose guys that mean so much to your offense, but it’s the next man up mentality and Tim Hightower is a guy that has been looking for an opportunity for a while and he will get that, and C.J. Spiller as well and then Marcus Murphy.
It's interesting that Brees mentioned Hightower first when discussing the situation. Hightower may serve as the team's primary ball-carrier, but Spiller should see more carries as well, and may see an increased role in the passing game if he can earn the team's trust in pass protection. It's entirely possible that he fails to do so, and Hightower takes most of Ingram's snaps and touches.
Veterans C.J. Spiller and Tim Hightower are next in line for the New Orleans Saints now that starting running back Mark Ingram has been placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. But it’s hard to get excited about either one of them in terms of fantasy football.
For one thing, I don't expect either guy to step into a No. 1 role like Ingram has had. But there will be a ton of snaps available.
I'd love to say this will finally provide Spiller an opportunity to play a big role with the Saints as a runner and receiver, which seemed like an exciting possibility back when he signed in March. But Spiller has barely played for the Saints, and not just because Ingram was in his way. The Saints could have used Spiller a lot more already, but his snaps have decreased as the season goes on. Spiller played only five snaps in last week’s 41-38 loss to the Panthers and has just four touches the past two weeks.
The only explanation coach Sean Payton has given is that the Saints prefer Ingram as a pass protector in passing situations. Spiller said he has never been given a specific reason, but he has never complained about his lack of touches.
Hightower, meanwhile, could replace Ingram in base packages as more of a first- and second-down type of runner -- perhaps getting some goal-line looks. So far, Hightower has just 48 yards on 12 carries since signing last month.
This is about what we're expecting. Spiller has more upside, but the team doesn't seem to trust him in pass protection, and that limits his snaps on passing downs (where he's most effective as a receiver). Hightower is a good pass protector so he may play more than people think.
C.J. Spiller is the obvious candidate to pick up Ingram's work, but he has only out-touched Tim Hightower 14-to-12 over the last three games. It's likely that the duo would form an uninspiring committee, though Spiller would be worth a pickup in PPR formats if he's sitting on the wire. The Saints may have no choice but to play him. The Saints upcoming schedule is not favorable (TB, DET, JAX).
We'll see how this plays out, but Ingram owners should make other plans for Week 14, at least. C.J. Spiller is the obvious candidate to pick up Ingram's work, but he has only out-touched Tim Hightower 14-to-12 over the last three games. It's likely that the duo would form an uninspiring committee, though Spiller would be worth a pickup in PPR formats if he's sitting on the wire. The Saints may have no choice but to play him. The team is not generally forthcoming with injuries, so we'll have to monitor Ingram's practice activity to try to gauge his chances of playing this week. The Saints upcoming schedule is not favorable (TB, DET, JAX).
Friday, December 4, 2015, 6:28pm
Saints RB Mark Ingram (shoulder, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 13. Ingram was probable with the shoulder injury last week and handled 15 touches against the Texans.
Thursday, December 3, 2015, 5:56pm
Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 6:12pm
Friday, November 27, 2015, 6:20pm
Saints RB Mark Ingram (shoulder, probable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is probable for Week 12. No worries here. We like Ingram as a strong RB1 given his high workload.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 6:15pm
Mark Ingram has received the majority of the snaps all season long, but his workload jumped significantly during the Saints' 34-28 loss Sunday. Ingram played in 88 percent of the offensive snaps with 67 snaps. C.J. Spiller played just six snaps.
This meant the workload for Spiller dipped with Spiller playing only eight percent in the loss. The running game struggled mightily against the Titans, but Ingram was also used in a bunch of passing situations either as a blitz protector or a receiving option.
They did more of of that Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, when Spiller finished with a season high 10 touches from scrimmage. Most of his six catches for 32 yards and four carries for 16 helped set a stage for Mark Ingram's big game.
"Like I told them Saturday night, they hadn't played a backfield like us yet," Spiller said Tuesday during an NFL Play60 event at J.C. Ellis Elementary in Metairie. "We wanted to go out there and showcase what we were able to do and fortunately we were able to do that."
The Saints' 36 carries for 183 yards were both season highs, as Khiry Robinson rushed for two touchdowns and Ingram for one, and the Saints beat the Colts 27-21. Spiller has been frustrating to fantasy owners who were counting on him being more involved in the passing game. He could finally be trending that way and may be worth an add in PPR leagues if you're hurting at the position.
Friday, September 25, 2015, 7:02pm
Saints QB Drew Brees (right shoulder, out) missed practice Friday after taking limited reps Thursday and is out for Week 3. Luke McCown will get the start in a bad matchup against the Panthers. The Carolina defense is the biggest beneficiary of this news, as the entire Saints offense is likely to take a step back without Brees under center. Even Mark Ingram is looking like a dicey play now that the Panthers can load up and stop the run.
- Page 1