A key to the success of the Tomorrow’s Newspaper series is not being afraid to go to the same well more than once. It would’ve been easy to see Washington pulling the plug on Case Keenum after being blown out at home against the Bears on Monday Night Football. While that hasn’t yet happened, there are rumblings that Jay Gruden’s job is on the line this week. The Giants winning and running Gruden out of town could ultimately lead to the Dwayne Haskins era being ushered in sooner than expected. Similarly to how we handled Lamar Jackson last year, sometimes we have to stash players such as Haskins before the team has a chance to name them the starter. We just may have been a week early.
This week’s edition of Tomorrow’s Newspaper will see two players make their second appearance in 2019. It will also see the return of an old series favorite. With 14 regular season weeks remaining, there’s still plenty of meat to pick from the proverbial fantasy football bone. Using advanced stats, metrics and analytics, we can freely stash the next potential breakout player before they have the chance to break out.
C.J. Prosise, RB, Seahawks
For years, the fantasy community has been waiting for Seattle’s passing offense to finally be unlocked. C.J. Prosise truthers have hoped to see him stay healthy for long enough to see this come to fruition. Not only have both events been realized simultaneously, it comes at a time where Chris Carson has developed a fumbling problem and Rashaad Penny is nursing a hamstring injury. Have the proverbial stars finally aligned for the much-maligned Prosise?
A third-round pick by Seattle in 2016, Prosise looked like the satellite back-plus of the future. A 22.3-point performance against New England in his rookie year certainly illuminated his upside. However, he fractured his shoulder the next week and missed the rest of the year. Since then, an avalanche of lower-body injuries have limited him to 10 games played over the last two years. Now healthy, the converted wide receiver with feature back size (6-0, 220-pounds) looks to earn a meaningful role in this offense after out-snapping Carson last week. If Penny sits again, feel free to start Prosise in deeper leagues against Arizona’s “defense” in a game with shootout potential.
John Hilliman, RB, Giants
Wayne Gallman deserved a priority waiver claim and/or healthy portion of our FAAB budgets. It’s rare that a player who projects to be a primary back on a functional offense for an extended period becomes available, and it’s up to us to act accordingly. That said, he won’t be walking into a 100-percent Opportunity Share. Which makes UDFA John Hilliman a sneaky stash candidate in deeper leagues.
Just grabbed Hilliman in @FFPC Main Event.
Ran 4.43/4.49 at 5’11/216 at Pro Day. Good enough receiver.
Right now Hilliman & Wayne Gallman only 2 healthy true tailbacks on #Giants roster.https://t.co/WE5uD3NML3
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 28, 2019
Though Gallman has a decidedly average prospect profile, the 5-11, 216-pound Hilliman isn’t a world beater by any means. He’s best comparable to the equally average Paul Perkins. Though, like Perkins (and Gallman at the pro level), he’s proven to be an above-average pass catcher, evidenced by a 9.0-percent (67th-percentile among qualified running backs) College Target Share. If Daniel Jones can continue to elevate the play of those around him, it will make any running back seeing significant backfield opportunity worth a stash. How the Giants use these backs in Week 4 against Washington will let us know if we need to continue stashing Hilliman.
Indianapolis Colts Wide Receivers
T.Y. Hilton is doubtful to suit up for Week 4 after re-aggravating a quad injury that he entered last week’s game nursing. The fact that this injury is a re-aggravation should lead us to believe that the absence could last more than one week. Though the offense is more likely to run through Marlon Mack and/or Jack Doyle during Hilton’s absence, Jacoby Brissett has still shown us enough to believe that he can support one of the team’s auxiliary receivers fantasy-wise. Which one will it be?
The smart money is on Parris Campbell being the main beneficiary of Hilton’s absence at the wide receiver position. The second round pick set season and career highs in Snap Share, routes run, catches and receiving yards last week, though you’ve hopefully already rostered him. If not, Deon Cain also set season-highs in all of the aforementioned categories last week, and projects to draw the coverage of Player Profiler’s 122nd-ranked cornerback in Trayvon Mullen. Zach Pascal, who should be matched up with Player Profiler’s 121st-ranked cornerback in Keisean Nixon, is also worth a look being that he caught a touchdown in the first quarter while Hilton was still in the game. Chester Rogers, despite being the most experienced of this bunch, is the option with the lowest ceiling. Which isn’t what we’re looking for with our end-of-bench stashes, though he’s as likely to put up a big performance as any of the others.
For those in dynasty leagues, or leagues with deep benches, Ashton Dulin is the long-game stash. News of his activation from the practice squad in advance of this week’s contest should lead us to believe that he at least has a chance to see some meaningful playing time. The pride of Malone University boasts a 99th-percentile College Dominator Rating with a 99th-percentile Breakout Age. Though it’s harder for small school receivers to make early-career impacts at the pro level, the success of this year’s rookie receiver crop should inspire confidence that Dulin has a chance to do so if given the proper chance.
Darius Slayton, WR, Giants
After dealing with a hamstring injury all summer, Darius Slayton saw the first on-field action of his career in Week 3 against Tampa Bay. He somewhat surprisingly saw a 43.6-percent Snap Share, hauling in three of his five targets for 82 yards. Including a key 21-yard grab that put New York into Tampa territory on their go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter. A clutch catch in a big moment that helped Daniel Jones pull off his first career victory. How that translates to future fantasy production is anyone’s guess, but it certainly can’t hurt his chances.
A fifth-round pick out of Auburn with 4.39 speed, Slayton could easily carve out a role as the team’s deep threat. With Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard around, and Golden Tate returning soon, consistent targets will be hard to come by. Luckily, Slayton’s skillset really only requires him to pull off one or two big plays in order to pay off. A favorable Week 4 matchup against Washington’s Aaron Colvin is next on the docket. Another big game, and/or a touchdown, should solidify his place in the offense. At worst, it should keep him from losing that role to Cody Latimer.
Dontrelle Inman, WR, Chargers
Time is a flat circle, as Dontrelle Inman once again finds himself featured in the Tomorrow’s Newspaper series. This time, it only took four weeks to get him there. Ironically, Inman first appeared in this series in 2016 as a member of the Chargers. Now with Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin both likely to be out for Week 4, it’s time for fantasy gamers to be reacquainted with Inman. Right in time for the best possible matchup against Miami.
Check out Dontrelle Inman on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:
Inman is a deceptively good athlete. The 6-3, 205-pounder boasts a 100.9 (72nd-percentile) Speed Score, 10.66 (98th-percentile) Agility Score and 10.23 (88th-percentile) Catch Radius. With 1,098 receiving yards and three touchdowns in four years at Virginia, he wasn’t what we like to call a productive collegiate receiver. Despite that, he’s managed to stick around for several years in the NFL. He’s always produced meaningful fantasy production when called upon, and this week should be no different. He makes for a great deep league spot start given the matchup.
Trent Sherfield, WR, Cardinals
Three weeks into the Air Raid experiment, we’ve learned a few things. One of which is that Damiere Byrd, when healthy, is the third receiver in this offense. Which is good for a team that leads the league in four-receiver sets by a wide margin. With Byrd ruled out for Week 4 with a hamstring injury, we can expect KeeSean Johnson to move into the number three role. That leaves Underworld favorite Andy Isabella and the underrated Trent Sherfield to battle it out for production from that fourth receiver slot.
Though Sherfield was an average college producer with average to above-average workout metrics across the board, Kliff Kingsbury has already gone on record saying that he will see more snaps in Byrd’s absence. Also working in his favor is that he displayed NFL-level efficiency in a far worse situation last year. He was one bad drop away from recording a big day against the Panthers last week. Though it’s easy to see Isabella being the one who breaks off a big play against Seattle this week, and becoming next week’s hot waiver add in the process, Sherfield should still be rostered for as long as he sees meaningful time in this offense.
Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Washington
Anything that Jordan Reed gives his real and/or fantasy teams at this point should be considered a bonus. He would’ve been a great Week 4 play against a Giants defense that has historically struggled to defend tight ends. The matchup makes Vernon Davis as good a play as any this week. Though he’s played well to this point in the year, it’s important to remember that Davis is 35 years old. If anything were to happen to him, little-known Jeremy Sprinkle would be the pickup.
Sprinkle has the size that we look for in our late round/bench stash tight ends. He has a 105.0 (79th-percentle) Speed Score. And though his 11.63 Agility Score is technically below average, it’s still impressive when adjusted for his weight. With Washington averaging 43.7 (No. 4) team pass plays per game, rostering pieces of the passing offense is recommended where possible. Especially given the likelihood that Dwayne Haskins becomes that starting quarterback sooner rather than later. Sprinkle vulturing a touchdown or two from Davis against the Giants wouldn’t be a surprise.