Brandin Cooks: Cooking Up Fantasy Points
The Draft Director / @ChrisMiles1017
Hey guys, I’m here today to talk about one of fantasy’s greatest underappreciated assets, Brandin Cooks. Cooks currently has a redraft ADP of WR35 in full PPR scoring. There are a few reasons for this, so let’s lay them out. One reason is that he is on a new team, another reason is that he has injury concerns from having multiple concussions. Lastly the target share for the Texans will be ambiguous. First, I will break down why each of these concerns is nothing to worry about. Then I’ll tell you why Cooks will easily finish as a top 24 WR, and smash his current ADP.
First up is the “wide receivers don’t produce on a new team” narrative. The Houston Texans will be Cooks’ fourth team in his seven NFL seasons. You might be thinking, “he must not be good if he can’t hold a job”, but that is certainly not the case. Cooks started his career in New Orleans and after three seasons the Patriots traded a 1st round draft pick to acquire him. In his first (and only) year with the Patriots, Brandin Cooks managed a stat line of 65/1082/7, which totals up to 215.2 fantasy points. That year Cooks finished as the WR15 in PPR scoring, so on a new team he clearly produced well and had a great fantasy year. Next Cooks is traded to the Rams for a package of 1st and 6th round draft picks. So we can already see that Cooks is being acquired by teams that want him and that is why he has moved around so much. Anyway in 2018 and his first season with the Rams Cooks has an even better season and posts a statline of 80/1204/5 (also making catches for a whopping 70 first downs). This translates to 230.4 PPR points and a WR13 finish. So again we see Cooks moving to a new team and performing exceptionally well. Therefore, him being on a new team does not concern me. Especially when his new team lost their number one WR who was averaging 160 targets a season.
Next is the matter of Cooks’ injury concerns. Brandin Cooks has suffered five total injuries in his six year career. Of these five injuries only one caused him to miss any games, and the number of games missed was only two (credit: PlayerProfiler.com). Yes he has had a few concussions but only one has ever caused missed games. Plus five injuries in six years, four of which did not cause any missed games, leaves no concern for me. Cooks is almost always on the field. I am not worried about his injuries and you should not be either.
The last big concern for Cooks in 2020 is the unknown of this Texans offense. The WR group was completely reshaped with the loss of Hopkins, and the additions of Cooks and Randall Cobb. However ambiguity can be a great thing in fantasy WR groups especially when the highest ADP of the group is Will Fuller at the low cost of WR34. J.J. Zachariason has looked into how to find players that smash their ADP and for WRs it happens to be an ambiguous group that doesn’t have a player being drafted in the top 20. Of this group I fully expect it to be Brandin Cooks, I will dig more into that in just a bit. So, at this point I feel as if each of Cooks’ main concerns have been officially debunked. Now let’s look at 2020 and why he will absolutely smash his ADP of WR35.
Brandin Cooks has been one of the most consistent players in fantasy over the last five seasons. From 2015 to 2018 his average finish was WR13, and he averaged a statline of 119 targets, 77 receptions, 1150 yards, and 7 TDs. That comes out to 234 fantasy points on average over those four seasons. Last year the Rams offense as a whole suffered and greatly underperformed so I left that out of the calculation. Just think about it, a guy that’s been a consistent top 15 WR, switches teams constantly and still produces, and on a new team looking for a new number one wide receiver. Brandin Cooks is that guy, and he will absolutely finish as a top 24 WR in 2020. Cooks can run every route in the book and is overall just a fantastic WR.
He has great hands, great routes and a great football mind. Will Fuller is just a deep threat and Randall Cobb hasn’t seen 100 targets in five years. Cooks will cement himself as Watson’s favorite target in no time. In your drafts I would personally recommend looking at Cooks starting at about WR24. Current ADP (FantasyPros.com) has WR24-WR33 as D. Parker, TY Hilton, T. McLaurin, S. Diggs, J. Landry, M. Brown, AJ Green, T. Boyd, M. Gallup, and J. Edelman. I am 100% taking Cooks over every single one of those guys I just listed besides McLaurin and Hollywood Brown. You can safely “reach” for Cooks at about WR26 in your drafts. That’s basically his absolute floor, and he carries top 12 upside. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your draft without him. If you’ve already drafted I’d go trade for him before it’s too late.
That will do it for me today, another film for your pleasures added to my collection.
Draft Director signing off.