WR Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For his whole career coming into 2019, Perriman was considered a one-dimensional deep threat with no real upside in TDs in the red zone. The Ravens drafted him in the first round in 2015 as a speedster, while owning excellent size (6’2” and 215 Lbs.). Over three seasons with Baltimore and Cleveland, he caught 59 of his 126 passes for 916 yards with five TDs in 37 games.
As the third option at WR for Tampa this season, his path had the same feel (11/139/1 on 32 targets) with a weaker catch rate (34.4). After a flash in Week 13 (5/87 on six targets), the Bucs turned to Perriman against Indy in the second half when Mike Evans went down with an injury.
This Sunday vs. the Lions, as a starting WR2, Perriman had a hidden gem feel for a day. He caught five of his six targets for 113 yards and three TDs. His rhythm and timing with Jameis Winston have been exceptional and dynamic over the past three games (13/270/4 on 17 targets).
Fantasy owners may have missed his ride over the last two games, but they will run to the computer this week, hoping for the closing piece to their Fantasy team with Chris Godwin also going down with an injury and two home matchups against Houston and Atlanta. Tampa can’t help but give him more targets per game going forward, but he should draw a better CB in coverage. On the positive side, both the Texans and the Falcons have risk in the secondary in 2019.
RB Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals
Heading into Week 15, Drake had the look of a RB ready to lose his playing time after gaining 239 combined yards over the previous four games with no TDs and 17 catches on 67 touches. Over the disastrous stretch, he gained only 3.4 yards per rush and 4.1 yards per catch.
His playing time slipped to 65 percent in Week 14 with David Johnson making a play for a TD and receiving a few more snaps (37 percent).
In a favorable matchup against Cleveland, Drake delivered the best RB performance of the day (146 combined yards with four TD and one catch on 23 touches). The Cardinals had him on the field for 75 percent of their RB plays.
Drake looks to be the future RB for Arizona with a couple of years in hand over David Johnson. Drake turns 26 late in January while Johnson celebrates his 28 birthday today (12/16).
The commitment to Drake almost ensures that David Johnson will play elsewhere in 2020, despite a couple of years on his contract.
In the Fantasy world, Drake had two tough starts on the road vs. the Seahawks and the Rams. Over six games for the Cardinals, he gained 547 combined yards with five TDs and 22 catches or 17.78 Fantasy points per game with most of the damage coming in two home games (28.20 and 39.60 FPPG).
RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
With the Cowboys facing a must-win at home against the Rams, Elliott delivered his best game of the year. He gained 160 combined yards with two TDs and three catches on 27 touches while heading to the showers early in a blowout game. Over the last two games, Elliott has four TDs.
In the championship rounds of the playoffs, Fantasy owners need their star players to shine brightly in order to take home big prizes. Elliott scored 54.30 Fantasy points over the last two weeks while extending his success and consistency to 22.58 FPPG over his previous five games.
Next week, Dallas has a much win matchup against the Eagles on the road. The cold weather in the northeast requires Elliott to play well to push Dallas into the playoffs.
RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings played their best overall game in 2019 on Sunday when the dominated the Chargers in a 39-10 win. Unfortunately, they lost Dalvin Cook to a shoulder injury. During the game, he gained 43 combined yards with three catches on 12 touches. After leaving the game, the Vikings picked up a pair of rushing TDs via their third-string RB.
His injury crushes Fantasy teams in their league playoffs and delivers almost a no chance blow to the owners looking to make a push toward an overall title.
The Vikings play Green Bay next week at home, which is for first place. Minnesota needs a win or a Rams loss to clinch a playoff berth. Their playoff success relies on a healthy Cook, which points to a couple of games of rest at the very least.
From 1967 to 1985, the Raiders were considered one of the top franchises in the NFL after making the playoffs in 15 seasons with three Super Bowl wins. Over the past 35 years, Oakland struggled to find their identity leading to only seven playoff appearances and one Super Bowl appearance (2002). The Raiders played in the postseason only once since 2002.
With Oakland set to move Las Vegas in 2020. The Raiders had a real chance at the playoff this season after starting the year with a 6-4 record. They’ve lost four straight games while being outscored 116 to 33 coming into Sunday.
The Raiders’ fans desperately wanted a win in their final game of the team’s history in Oakland. At halftime, they led 16-3 over the Jaguars while leaving plenty of points on the table after settling for three field goals on their last three scoring drives before the half.
Their defense struggled to get the Jaguars off the field over the last third of the game, which led to Jacksonville gaining 203 yards on 32 plays. After Chris Conley scored two TDs over the final 5:15 minutes, Raiders fans had to watch their loved team leave town with a loss and another season without a playoff appearance.
QB Kyle Allen, Carolina Panthers
Allen helped ease the pain of the Cam Newton injury after winning his first four starts in 2019. Over this span, he passed for 901 yards with seven TDs and no Ints. His success led Panthers’ fans to believe they could move on from Newton.
After a loss and a win, the Panthers have lost six straight games with Allen at the helm. Carolina attempted about 41 passes per game over their losing streak with Allen seeing a bump in passing yards (281 per game), but he gained only 6.8 yards per pass attempt with ten TDs and 12 interceptions.
His lack of success in TDs and his mistakes lead to job loss risk after the 2019 season. The Panthers have the best RB in the game, and D.J. Moore is on the verge of a 100-catch season (86/1174/4).
Cam Newton looks to be headed out of town, but he would be a better option if he regains his health. The path of Allen points to a backup role in 2020, which means no big payday.