This is it folks. There’s no more forecasting. No more guess-work. We want to spend the last playoff eligible week just simply asking a few questions. This is a simple “Short and Sweet” of who could potentially do enough to drive themselves up the boards this week for next season or see themselves completely played out.
Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo
The two biggest knocks that play against a starting running back are A) a lack of offensive talent, and B) a crowded backfield that leads to missed plays. There have been plenty of times in the past where a beyond capable player has failed to meet expectations due to at least one of these issues. So, where will Singletary land next season? Will Josh Allen keep up the pace? Will Frank Gore finally retire? Singletary is averaging 5.4 yards per carry and closing in on 1,000 total scrimmage yards. Can he cut up New England enough for Buffalo to count on him as a centerpiece moving into 2020?
Brandin Cooks, WR, L.A. Rams
MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY … MOOOONNNNEEYYY. It makes the world go around while also serving as “the make it or break it” factor for NFL franchises. The Los Angeles Rams have done a very poor job of spreading their money around. They paid to make Todd Gurley the highest paid running back in the league only to ground him. Then, in hilarious fashion, made Jared Goff the highest paid quarterback. They just paid Aaron Donald on defense and now they have to pony up the dough for Jalen Ramsey. So, what big money contract should be either voided or moved in order to ink the newly acquired young corner? How about Cooks? Cooks has all but one trick up his sleeve and seemingly wears out his welcome every two years. If Cooks doesn’t put up big this week, it could be lights out in La La Land.
Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore
Has there ever been a less integral seven touchdown contributor to any team in recent memory? Even Jeremy Maclin and Nelson Agholor with those types of totals with Philadelphia were actual commodities. Their teams needed them and the stats proved it. With Brown though, is he really to be considered as a needed contributor for his offense’s success? Baltimore can get by on just Lamar Jackson’s legs, Mark Ingram’s drive, and the team’s defensive strength. So, is a speedster like Brown something worth coveting moving forward? Is Brown a needed cog in this engine? A big game against an awful Cleveland secondary could have Brown looking like dynasty gold.
Will Grier, QB, Carolina
We all pretty much know what quarterback will be starting where in 2020. Save for New England, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas and Miami, teams are either committed by recently investing a high draft pick or by signing a guy to a big time deal. Teams like Jacksonville with Nick Foles or Chicago with Mitchell Trubisky would love to move one and forget about the past but they simply can’t do so. But, in Carolina, things are pretty much up for grabs. Cam Newton is all but gone, especially given the firing of Ron Rivera. With Kyle Allen failing to keep up his early season success, could Grier turn himself into a fantasy QB2 next season?
DeVante Parker, WR, Miami
Let’s point out the four very obvious positives regarding DeVante Parker. 1) He’s 26 years old. 2) He’s on the cusp of his first 1,000-yard season. 3) He has a chance to hit the double-digit scoring mark. 4) He’s spent the year playing on the worst team in all of professional sports.
So, if Parker were to have a true quarterback sign with the team, wouldn’t he see his stock soar? What if Jameis Winston decides to keep his Florida career rolling ahead with Miami? What if Miami gets a young quarterback in the first round and holds onto Ryan Fitzpatrick for another year as a stop-gap? Wouldn’t either of those two actions have Parker on the rise in the rankings?