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Fantasy Football Stashes: Robert Tonyan, Jalen Tolbert, Donovan Peoples-Jones

Fantasy Football Stashes: Robert Tonyan, Jalen Tolbert, Donovan Peoples-Jones

Football is a violent, unpredictable sport where anything can happen. Injuries can derail a player’s season and dash any hopes you had for your fantasy football squad. The best way to protect yourself is always to have a plan B. That can be through acquiring your rostered players’ “handcuff” or having deep stashes on your bench in an emergency.

Week 10 of the NFL season is upon us, and the fantasy football playoffs are drawing near. As the cool fall air settles in, here are two TE handcuffs and a WR sleeper to warm your fantasy rosters and keep you in contention.

Week 10 TE & WR Handcuffs & Sleepers

Robert Tonyan (TE – CHI)

To the surprise of everyone except the Cole Kmet Club (shoutout #CKC), Bears TE Cole Kmet has been phenomenal this season. Many thought the signing of veteran bookend Robert Tonyan would hurt Kmet’s overall volume, but that has yet to be the case.

Tonyan has seen just 10 targets in 2023, logging seven catches for 58 yards. Kmet is second on the team in targets (56) this year behind free agent acquisition D.J. Moore and is tied for the team lead with five receiving touchdowns.

Heading into Week 10 as the overall PPR TE4, Kmet has been one of the lone bright spots for the Bears’ fans & fantasy managers alike. However, if he were to go down with an injury and miss some time, Tonyan would be a more than adequate fill-in. In Green Bay last season, Tonyan caught 53 of his 63 targets for 470 yards and two touchdowns.

Losing what amounts to your WR2 in production would be devastating for the Bears offense and your fantasy football squad. However, in the case of the Chicago passing attack, Tonyan can make it a seamless transition with his pass-catching acumen. As we approach the fantasy football playoffs, there may not be a more high-value TE handcuff on the market.

Jalen Tolbert (WR – DAL)

There’s no question that WR CeeDee Lamb is the primary target for QB Dak Prescott. He leads the team in targets (72), receptions (57) and receiving yards (827) to go along with three touchdown catches. However, after that, the Dallas pass-catching room gets a little murky.

Cowboys TE Jake Ferguson is second to Lamb in all three receiving categories this season while matching his three end-zone dances. Veterans Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup have been adequate, with both sitting around a 60% catch rate, and RB Tony Pollard has been underwhelming. Then there’s Jalen Tolbert.

The second-year WR out of South Alabama hasn’t seen much action in his first 16 NFL games, drawing just 18 targets in that span. 15 of those have come this season, amassing 120 receiving yards in 2023 on those targets. Last week, he saw his fourth game of the season with a 40% or better snap share to go along with three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown.

The 5-3 Cowboys are in the thick of the playoff race, but any hope they have of getting to the dance floor will rely on the offense finding a spark and coming through in big moments. Tolbert provides a dynamic downfield threat to complement Lamb, and if Gallup and Cooks don’t step up, Tolbert will get his shot in Dallas.

Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR – DET)

Looking at the Detroit Lions offense this season, you wouldn’t have imagined they would be buying pass-catchers at the trade deadline. However, they did just that, acquiring WR Donovan Peoples-Jones from the Cleveland Browns.

While it might not be immediately apparent, QB Jared Goff has lacked a deep threat in this Lions offense in 2023. His deep ball (throws of 20 or more yards) attempt percentage (7.2) is the lowest of his career. While his attempts may be down, his accuracy has been up, logging a career-best 57.1% deep ball completion rate. This is where Peoples-Jones comes in.

The Lions’ offense has been a juggernaut, but it’s mostly been through volume. Detroit averages 69.1 plays per game, tied for second in the league with the New Orleans Saints. Amon-Ra St. Brown has seen 64.6% of his targets (48) land under nine yards, and Josh Reynolds has seen 60% of his opportunities between 10 and 19 yards.

Peoples-Jones provides an outside deep threat for Goff and a team that lacks one, with Jameson Williams struggling to catch on. In 2022, lined up primarily out wide, he saw 20 deep looks, which accounted for 21.1% of his total targets. He hauled in six of those targets for 202 yards, an average of 33.7 yards per catch.

You should make this acquisition right now if you’re a contender. While his first week in Detroit was a down one, this team has championship aspirations. They will get Peoples-Jones worked in over the next few weeks, and he will have some boom week potential moving forward. If Reynolds, St. Brown or Kalif Raymond miss any time, he could be in for a sizeable boost in opportunity and fantasy value.

Nate Polvogt is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Nate, check out his archive and follow him @NatePolvogt.

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