With Mike Bell now in Philadelphia, and Pierre Thomas absent from New Orleans as he seeks a new contract, running back Lynell Hamilton could be in line for a larger role in New Orleans. And that role could be as the short yardage and goal line back for the world champions.
"We've seen him now for two seasons," New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. "We've really not hesitated putting him in short yardage or putting him in goal line, and we do have a confidence level in what he can do."
Hamilton's best game as a Saint was the 2009 season finale against Carolina, when he got extended playing time as the team was resting their regulars for the playoffs. He rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. He also scored a touchdown against Arizona in the playoffs.
Last season, Mike Bell had 654 yards and five touchdowns as the short yardage/goal line back for the Saints. While that didn't make him a fantasy star, Bell provided some useful games to owners (143 yards against Detroit, 86 yards and a touchdown against Philadelphia, and 75 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay). Right now, Hamilton is at 45 in 4for4's rankings. If he can match Bell's production, he'll might be worthy of some spot starts, but Pierre Thomas will still be the best Saints back as long as his contract situation is ironed out.