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RISERS & FALLERS: Week 11

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans

What an up and down ride 2019 has been for Brees. To start the season, many said that he wasn’t worthy of being listed with the top-notch guys at the position. Father Time was going to catch up to Brees well before he caught wind of Mr. Brady’s address. Then, Brees came out fiery hot in Week One. To follow things up, Brees put his thumb on backwards and missed roughly half the year. THEN, when he was questionable to play, he came out and stomped all over the Arizona Cardinals. LASTLY, just when we thought that Brees had it all figured out, he face-planted against one of the worst defenses in the league. So, in closing, if you can’t trust Brees against a team like the Bucs after a letdown against Atlanta, you’ll be hard pressed to find an opportunity to utilize him for the remainder of the year. 

Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota

Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. The theme that we’re tackling here is that some wide receivers need another elite option to help shoulder the load. With two studs on the roster, it’s impossible for defenses to key on one, leaving both on their respective islands. But that brings the chicken and egg question into play. What makes a true WR1 a true WR1? Does he need the circumstances to align completely in their favor to thrive? Or can a WR1 achieve greatness under any sort of circumstance? Given how Diggs has faired without Adam Thielen in the lineup, it’s looking like Diggs is a very dependent WR1. Can he flip the narrative and achieve full on “Stud” status or will his stat line resemble that of the Dallas game?

Randall Cobb, WR, Dallas

Speaking of wide receivers who can play off of each other, who is the next man up in the Cowboys’ receiving corp? There is zero questioning the fact that Amari Cooper is one of the nastiest wide receivers in the league. He can contribute on a high end level regardless of game script or defensive talent. The real question is if a cornerback is capable of keeping pace with Cooper, what wide receiver would be most likely to take over the game? Is it the big man on the outside in Michael Gallup 530 yards and 3 touchdowns or the slender slot man in Randall Cobb with his 380 and 2 scores? Cobb was a beast last week and looking like someone who needs an expanded role. A lot of this could depend on who the Lions decide to assign their defensive talent to but regardless, there’s a half-season’s worth of value on the line. 

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona

We’re going on record here in stating that we don’t approve of the new Cards’ offensive philosophy. We long for the days of Bruce Arians dialing up plays for David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald to thrive in. Instead, Kingsbury sharts his way down field with backup running backs and Christian Kirk overworking himself on far too regular of a basis. With David Johnson looking like an IR candidate and no capable of playing tight end on the team, one would think that Larry Fitz would at least be a popular target in the red zone. This week against San Fran, the young wide receivers aren’t simply going to be allowed to trespass into scoring territory. Could this be the week that the rookie coach and QB decide to get back to basics and re-integrate Larry Fitzgerald into this offense? 

Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia

Is Ertz back to being Ertz? By that we mean is he now the best TE in football? Evan Engram is hurt, again. George Kittle sounds like he’ll be sittting this next one out. Rob Gronkowski remains retired. If Ertz can go for 100 and a score again, there is a strong chance that he’ll regain top tight end status for the rest of the season. The only downside to all of this optimistic outpouring is the fact that Philly has to square off against the best defense in football run by the best coach in all of sports. Can Ertz get back on course and return to his once prominent, league leading status? 

About Patrick White

Have been with Sharks for seven years. Been printed and published. Have been copied by, faced off against, and beaten some of the fiercest competition and abbreviated outlets in football. If you read RnF and live by the old "If you're not first, you're last" mentality, you'll be just fine.