Too Many Chefs, Not Enough Cooks
With dynasty startup drafts in full swing, fantasy football enthusiasts are looking for an edge that will bring them a championship this upcoming season.
To get that edge, would you draft a wide receiver who is the clear number one wideout on his team? One who is tied to a top young quarterback and who has had over 1,000 receiving yards in four out of his past five seasons. Of course you would want this wide receiver on your fantasy team! However, it would probably surprise you that this wide receiver is currently being drafted as the WR 44 in dynasty startup drafts and is being shown no love at all in the fantasy community. It seems like many fantasy football fans and analysts have forgotten about this player’s past production and success.
Well … who is this forgotten WR1? Who is this mysterious player who will propel you to a championship? It is none other than new Houston Texans wideout, Brandin Cooks.
NUK SIZED HOLE IN THE TEXANS OFFENSE
When Houston Texans general manager Bill O'Brien shocked the football world this past March by trading away Deandre “Nuk” Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, he left a production void in the Texans offense. The Texans then proceeded to trade for Brandin Cooks a few weeks before the 2020 NFL draft. He enters a Texans offense where he is now in a prime position to absorb the void left by Nuk.
In 2019, Hopkins had 150 targets, that led to 104 receptions, 1165 receiving yards and 7 TD's. Over the past 4 years, Brandin Cooks has averaged 119 targets, 77 receptions, 1149 yards and 7 TD 's per year. In comparison, those numbers are remarkably similar.
Cooks averaged 13.9 yards per reception last year, whereas Hopkins averaged 11.2. If Cooks maintained his yearly average of 104 receptions, that would translate to approximately 1500 yards this upcoming season in a Texans uniform.
The fact that Hopkins is being drafted as the WR4 and Cooks as the WR44 (DLF ADP) is absolutely ridiculous. Why is there such a late ADP attached to this former productive wideout?
IS COOKS INJURY PRONE?
There seems to be the stigma around Brandin Cooks that he is injury prone, but he has only missed two games in the past four years! We cannot ignore his concussion history (two last year and four altogether within the last two years) which is clearly factoring into his absurd ADP. However, on a team with a great young quarterback in Deshaun Watson and with 150 vacated targets (due to the Hopkins trade), he can produce as a WR1 in the Texans offense in 2020. I don't expect Cooks to absorb all of the 150 targets vacated by Nuk. The Texans signed former Cowboys and Packers wideout Randall Cobb this offseason. As well, I expect fellow Texans wide receiver Will Fuller to be at full health this year and to play more than the 11 games he did last year. Then again, Fuller has not been a beacon of health since he was drafted by the Texans in 2016 (hamstring, groin, ACL tear in his knee). Fuller along with Cobb will cap the ceiling on Cooks targets. Despite this, Cooks being drafted 40 spots after Hopkins screams value!
A WR1 AT A WR 4 PRICE!
All Brandin Cooks has done since he entered the league in 2014 is produce. He has played for three different teams in the last six years, yet, he has produced elite numbers in four of those years. Cooks will be the clear number one receiving option for Watson and he will regain his WR1 status this upcoming season.
In recent dynasty startups, my strategy has been to pass on wide receivers in the first few rounds and to secure top players at the running back and quarterback positions. I will gladly wait on the wide receiver position and draft a player like Brandin Cooks in the later rounds who has WR1 potential. Drafting players in the later rounds who can massively outperform their ADP is THE EDGE that can propel you to a championship!
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Edited by: Joe Simonetti (@joesimonetti77)