Extra Yards 2022: The Running Receiver
Everyone has their own tips and tricks for getting ahead in fantasy football. Some players have ‘their guys’. One group will listen to the experts, while others trust their gut. But could there be any other methods that hold weight? This series continues an old set of articles from years past, and examines players who can contribute those extra yards, and fantasy points, in other areas.
This installment looks at the running receiver. Who adds those extra points in the ground game?
After the 2020 cross-platform controversy, it’s a risk to include Taysom Hill at the head of the list. But PFF has him listed as a Tight End, so there is justification in putting him up here!
Passing and Receiving
Receiving: 12 targets, 9 receptions, 76 yards and 2 touchdowns
Passing: 19 attempts, 13 completions, 240 yards and 2 touchdowns
Not a lot to write home about with the receiving and passing stats. You might see this level of stats with a backup player! But really you should consider these as his extra points in 2022, as the ground game stacks up better…
Rushing: 96 attempts, 575 yards and 7 touchdowns
There’s no doubt about it. This is where the success lay for anyone who played Hill (most likely in their FLEX spot). 10 of Hill’s 18 games saw five carries or more. And that Taysom touchdown return will have absolutely helped fantasy players win a match-up or two in 2022. The particular success against the moribund Seahawks run defense allowed Hill to bag a hat-trick of touchdowns in Week 5.
And what is more impressive? That Hill only played 172 snaps all season. Over half those snaps saw Taysom carry. And only 45 of those snaps didn’t have him involved in an offensive play. A concentrated return for anyone who took a chance on him in 2022.
But will Taysom return in 2023? If the hybrid deal he signed in November 2021 still holds up, then we should see Hill working his magic in black and gold in 2023.
The San Fran man has been a long-standing contributor to the Niners ground game. But did CMC whisk Deebo out of the Running room?
Receiving: 87 targets, 56 receptions, 632 yards and 2 touchdowns
Overall, a decent return considering we were worried about Deebo featuring at all! The off-season rumours fizzled out to nothing, and Samuel contributed solidly. He finished fourth behind new boy McCaffrey, as well as George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk. But his rushing ability added that extra dimension…
Rushing: 42 carries, 232 yards and 3 touchdowns
The wide receiver ended up adding more touchdown value on the ground than he did in the air. But all five touchdowns came in different games, so he was able to spread those fantasy points out across the season. And two of his three fumbles came in the first two games of the season, so the extra carry practice could have helped clear up the issue later on.
Will he continue it in 2023? The contract signed between the Niners and Samuel in August 2022 keep the Wide Receiver in the Bay for three years. With two seasons remaining, we will have at another dose of San Fran-Deebo in 2023.
One of my favourites after his stint at the Panthers, the wide man keeps putting in the ground work on his groundwork.
Receiving – 87 targets, 64 receptions, 655 yards and 4 touchdowns
Ron Rivera knows how to use Curtis Samuel. The two go way back to the Carolina days and Rivera has given Samuel that chance to develop chemistry with Taylor Heinicke. And the young Quarterback sent the ball out Curtis’ direction the second-most of any Washington player in 2022. Only Terry McLaurin saw more targets and yards – and you wouldn’t want to mess with Scary Terry. Samuel also came away with a decent share of the season’s receiving touchdowns (third highest after McLaurin and Jahan Dotson).
But neither of those players contributed on the ground to the extent that Samuel did.
Rushing – 38 carries, 187 yards and 1 touchdown
All eyes were on Brian Robinson and his miraculous recovery (and harsh Comeback Player of the Year snub). But Samuel carved out a niche role for himself on the ground, and one that saw a boost with the mid-season injury to J.D. McKissic. The volume translated to several carries a game. But they were (on the whole) quite effective runs and helped keep the offense moving.
Can we see Curtis continue the trend next year? A three year contract signed in March 2021 seeing Samuel with the Commanders until at least the end of the 2023 season. So this could be the last year Ron uses his skill piece in those important ground game plans.