Football season never really ends. It just morphs into different forms throughout the calendar year. Kinda like that jug of milk that got pushed all the way to the back of the fridge. If you're patient enough, it might turn into cheese*. You'll just have to go though a whole bunch of other phases first.
So while we wait for curdification to happen on our way to a gloriously dairy-filled new season, let's try to figure out some of the best culinary pairings that could spice things up during the upcoming free agent period.
I probably shouldn't have written this on an empty stomach.
Anyway, I have a list of some of the top fantasy-relevant free agents heading into the March 16 contract negotiating period based on Around the NFL's list of the top 101 free agents (each player's ranking in the top 101 is in parentheses next to their name). Bookmark this page and mock me over how terribly wrong my predictions are. Or just accept this as my own personal wish list and live a much happier, healthier, online existence. Your choice.
*Editor's note: Marcas has no actual idea how cheese is made.
Amari Cooper (2)
After being traded by the Raiders to Dallas, Cooper took off as a major playmaker for the Cowboys offense. Now it's time to pay the piper with the soon-to-be 26-year-old ready hit free agency. Having just given Ezekiel Elliott a big extension and with Dak Prescott looking to get paid, this could get tricky for Jerrah and company. Nonetheless, Cooper is the top wide receiver free agent available and appears to be hitting his prime, which means there could be plenty of suitors if the 'Boys can't figure something out.
Best fit: There are probably places where Cooper could go and produce pretty well. But if we've learned anything in the past season and a half, it's that a Cooper-Prescott partnership can pay huge dividends. If Dallas decides to franchise tag Dak, they could likely find the money to keep Cooper around and keep this train rolling for at least another year.
A.J. Green (12)
Last season was a lost year for Green as he dealt with a foot injury. For weeks, the Bengals teased the world with Green's perpetually imminent return, although as the season dragged on, the teases became less believable. No one was surprised when Green was placed on injured reserve in Week 17. When healthy, Green still has the ability to be one of the league's most dangerous receivers. The issue has been that injuries have started to creep in over the past few years. Since 2016, Green has played more than 10 games just once.
Best fit: During the season, the speculation was that Green might end up in New England whether by hook or crook. That appears to have subsided. The Bengals not trading him last year while waiting so long to put him in IR suggests they'd like to sign their veteran to a longterm deal. How Green feels about it is a bit of an unknown. What could sweeten the pot is the chance to play with presumptive No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow. If Burrow is the franchise quarterback many believe he is, Green and the Cincy offense could be interesting to watch next year.
Robby Anderson (35)
Plenty of people had Anderson pegged as a sleeper WR candidate before the start of the 2019 fantasy season. But like everyone that wore a Jets uniform last year, his production never really woke up. Aside from a handful of games, Anderson wasn't consistent enough for fantasy managers to rely on him. That doesn't mean he can't make an impact in the future. He's still a speedster who can contribute to big downfield plays in the passing game. It's just a matter of whether he'll be doing that in New York or somewhere else.
Best fit: Judging by what happened to a handful of players who got away from Adam Gase and how they performed after, I'd like to see Anderson find his way out of Gang Green. The Eagles tried to bring back DeSean Jackson to add a deep threat to their offense. Unfortunately, Jackson wasn't on the field much in 2019 as he dealt with myriad injuries. Anderson could be the lid lifter Philly missed last season and might be the thing that helps Carson Wentz get to the next level.
Emmanuel Sanders (39)
At some point last season, both the Broncos and Sanders decided that a parting of the ways would be the best thing for everyone involved. That thought wasn't wrong. Sanders was traded to San Francisco where he took off as a veteran presence in a wide receiving corps desperately in need of one. Back in Denver, Sanders' departure opened the door for Courtland Sutton to assert himself as the Broncos' top receiving target.
Best fit: Manny's numbers weren't always eye-popping during his time with the 49ers but he did things that enhanced Kyle Shanahan's offense. There might be other places where Sanders could show his wares and be relatively productive but it makes the most sense for him to say with a dynamic playcaller and a young(ish) quarterback on a team set up for a lot of near-future success.
Breshad Perriman (78)
No one who had Breshad Perriman on their fantasy roster at the end of the 2019 season will forget the magical run he went on. The former first-round pick never panned out with the Ravens and was utterly forgettable in his only season in Cleveland. Even his opportunity with the Buccaneers last season came after both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were lost for the season. His three quality games at the end of the year helped him somewhat shake his reputation as strictly a deep threat but it's probably not enough to get wary fantasy managers overly excited about his 2020 prospects.
Best fit: Taking into account my best wishes for players looking to escape an Adam Gase offense, the Jets do still need to field an offense and Robinson could be a nice replacement if Robby Anderson decides not to return. The Packers aren't normally known as big spenders in free agency but adding Robinson could add some competition to a receiver group that hasn't offered much beyond Davante Adams.
Randall Cobb (88)
Fantasy folks might not have paid close attention but Randall Cobb had one of his best seasons in years. He topped 800 receiving yards for the first time since 2015 despite starting just six games. The biggest problem is that in Dallas, he' will always be (at best) the third option in the passing game. That's not likely to get a lot of fantasy managers fired up.
Best fit: Denver appears to be done with the DaeSean Hamilton experiment and could target a receiver in a WR-heavy draft. However, if Denver decides for forgo that -- or just wants to add depth -- they could make a run at Cobb as a short-term answer at WR2. But more than likely, Cobb returns to Dallas. Let's just plan on that, shall we?
Devin Funchess (97)
A couple of seasons ago, the Panthers moved Kelvin Benjamin in order to open up more opportunities for Devin Funchess. That didn't exactly go as planned. Funchess had an unremarkable 2018 campaign then played just one game last season for the Colts before breaking his clavicle and ending up on IR. After five NFL seasons and a couple of major injuries in recent years, it's hard to imagine Funchess as anything more than a depth receiver and likely without a lot of immediate fantasy relevance.
Best fit: Maybe the Colts totally remake their wide receiver room this offseason. Or maybe they try to see what they can get out of Funchess, considering he came with minimal financial risk last year. It's likely Indy can sign him with even less risk this time around. It's worth a shot.