by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
According to Josh Katzenstein of The New Orleans Times-Picayune (click here for the article):
Tight end Josh Hill played a career-high 61 snaps (80 percent), surely earning a bigger role as the offense leaned on the run game. Coby Fleener played 26 snaps (34 percent), his lowest mark of the season.
It’s been a steady decline in usage for Fleener, who has totaled 6 targets over the past two weeks. It is possible that matchup/game flow played a role in his reduced usage, as they did face two of the better defenses at stopping opposing tight ends (Seattle Seahawks & Kansas City Chiefs) and in Week 8 ultimately went with a run heavy approach. He had also been targeted 7+ times in three of the four games prior to this stretch.
This week will be telling, as the team has a much more favorable tight end matchup in the San Francisco 49ers (while there are also six teams on bye, limiting the potential replacements). As it is, even with the limited snaps he was the tight end target:
If the team continues to limit his opportunities, then moving on to an alternative would make sense. This will be the telling game to determine his outlook for the second half. Stay patient for one more week, given his upside in this offense, but don’t get too attached.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
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