Tomorrow’s Newspaper: Marquez Valdes-Scantling and waiver wire prescience for week 5

by Ray Marzarella ·

I would put the Player Rankings & Projections at PlayerProfiler up against any in the industry. That said, I don’t rely only on the rankings to determine which players to stash based on their advanced stats, metrics, and analytics profiles. Stashing upside at the end of your bench isn’t about deciding between Brandon Marshall and Robby Anderson as your WR5. It’s about taking gambles on players whose situations could vault them into fantasy relevancy. Tyler Boyd, 2018’s most successful pickup to this point, was ranked #192 in the World Famous Draft Kit. As the starting slot receiver in an improved offense, he’s scored 20-plus fantasy points in three straight games.

There are certain truths that you don’t need sets of player rankings to help you uncover. One is that we need to always be watching for players who are sliding into roles on high-powered offenses. All four of the players being discussed this week fit into that description. One of whom you’ve heard about already. All four of whom are playing in Week 5 contests with point totals exceeding 50. Owners with deep starting lineups, or who need to swing for home runs, can justify starting any of them.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Packers

With Green Bay’s starting receivers banged up, all three of the team’s rookie wideouts have the chance to contribute. But only one is listed in the Player Profiler seasonal rankings, and it’s Marquez Valdes-Scantling. He’s the only one of the three to have played in a game this season. And Randall Cobb being ruled out for Week 5  guarantees Scantling a decent Target Share. With Geronimo Allison also likely out and Davante Adams playing hurt, the fifth-rounder could see his role expand further.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

At the time he was drafted, Marquez Valdes-Scantling wasn’t as highly regarded as his fellow rookie receivers around here. J’Mon Moore and Equanimeous St. Brown may have represented more theoretical upside. But Scantling is the one who has been on the game day roster every week. His coach talking him up in the media is also generally considered a good sign. Though 206-pounds is light for a 6-4 receiver, he combines elite speed with an above-average Catch Radius. In other words, he’s the Robby Anderson of the NFC North. Don’t think that Aaron Rodgers won’t want to take advantage of that in a likely shootout against Detroit. Davante Adams drawing the coverage of Darius Slay further strengthens the argument to start Scantling in a pinch.

Tre’Quan Smith

For the second time this season, Tre’Quan Smith finds himself gracing the pages of Tomorrow’s Newspaper. We were hyping him in advance of Week 1 mostly due to his potential. Cameron Meredith‘s uncertain role as he worked his way back from injury also contributed t0 the Tre’Quan excitement. As it turns out, slot receiver Austin Carr ended up seeing more early-season playing time. With Ted Ginn already ruled out for Week 5, this time it’s actually wheels up for Tre’Quan.

The same reasons for recommending stashing Tre’Quan Smith in advance of Week 1 apply for this week too. He has a potentially fantasy football league-winning combination of college production, physical measurables and NFL landing spot. And now Ted Ginn, his main obstacle towards extended playing time, is out for Week 5 and dealing with a knee injury. Even if the Week 6 bye helps Ginn return in time for Week 7, Tre’Quan is still worth stashing in case Ginn’s age is starting to catch up with him. You can do worse for a deep-league, desperation dart-throw start in Week 5.

Josh Malone, WR, Bengals

Sticking with the Bengals offense, John Ross has been ruled out for Week 5 with a groin injury. A groin injury might as well be a fantasy death sentence for a speed receiver. Alex Erickson played more snaps than Josh Malone last week, but he looks more like a slot receiver. And Tyler Boyd doesn’t look to be giving that role up anytime soon. Malone is worth a pickup purely based on the probability that Ross misses more than one game.

Josh Malone boasts a 114.0 (95th-percentile) Speed Score, nearly identical to John Ross‘ 115.3 (96th-percentile) score. Malone also recorded a 19.4 (91st-percentile) College YPR, besting Ross’ 18.0 (86th-percentile) mark. He’s a  legitimate field stretcher who projects to be a one-for-one replacement for Ross. And we haven’t even yet mentioned that he outweighs last year’s first-round pick by 20 pounds. You know what to do.

C.J. Uzomah, TE, Bengals

Tyler Eifert continues to be the most snake-bitten tight end in the NFL when it comes to injuries. The Bengals offense has been much improved from 2017, and his usage was ramping up by the week. But as we pour one out for the LRTE OG, we must focus on finding the next man up. Last year in this situation, little-known Tyler Kroft‘s number was called. He ended up having an efficient fantasy TE2 season that saw him score seven times. This year, the next man up appears to be C.J. Uzomah.

C.J. Uzomah Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Even before Tyler Eifert‘s injury, C.J. Uzomah was carving out a role for himself in this Bengals offense. Granted, Eifert’s role was increasing in every game. Though he doesn’t yet have enough targets to qualify, which will change, Uzomah’s Target Premium would rank eighth among tight ends and his Production Premium would rank third. His athletic profile leaves a bit to be desired, but he has the size we look for in our streamers. His weight-adjusted speed, favorable schedule and newfound starting role should put him on your radar. Stash him in advance of a game against a Miami team that’s prone to being gashed by opposing tight ends.