Sunday, August 14, 2011


The Washington Redskins have gone through a massive reconstruction of their running game since head coach Mike Shanahan got into town.  Out went Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, and Willie Parker and in came Ryan Torain the second half of last season and former Arizona Cardinals back Tim Hightower.  Going into training camp, it was widely believed that Torain would be the starter after some impressive outings last season in place of Portis.  However with Torain hurting again, Hightower seized the opportunity to start the Redskins' first preseason game Saturday and he responded by running for 44 yards on 10 carries and catching one pass.  It wasnt the best game we ever saw but afterwards, both Hightower and Shanahan made it clear that for now he will be the starter.  So with that being said, lets take a look at why I think Tim Hightower makes for a solid fantasy football sleeper this season.

The first thing that needs to be discussed is the fact that Hightower carries much more value in PPR fantasy football leagues than those in TD heavy formats.  In fact Hightower might very well be the best pass catcher out of the backfield in the NFL as he had some nice seasons in that regard while with the Cardinals with the topper being the 63 balls he caught in 2009.  So Hightower will be much more impressive in those formats without debate but he is also no slouch running the ball which makes him that much more intriguing.

During his three years in Arizona, Hightower also served as the goal-line back and he did his job very well with seasons of 8. 10, and 5 touchdowns.  Sure his career high in rushing yards was the 736 he put up last season but that was because Hightower was ceding much of the load to Beanie Wells.  He showed his ability there by putting up averages of 4.2 and 4.8 yards/carry the last two seasons.  So Hightower no doubt has what it takes to get things done on the ground.

The most exciting aspect though about Hightower could be the fact that Shanahan is his coach.  We have seen Shanahan work his magic with many no-name runners in the past such as Olandis Gary and Mike Anderson and there is no doubt he can do the same for Hightower.  Throw in the fact he can catch the ball as well as any runner around, and it seems clear that Hightower can be a huge fantasy football weapon this season at a very cheap price. 

2011 Projection:  1,020 8 TD 51 catches 2 TD

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