League Winning Upside: Brandin Cooks

WR Brandin Cooks

Brandin Cooks seems to not be getting enough love heading into 2020 fantasy football drafts. Obviously there are a few concerns regarding the wide receiver, but also so much to like about the Texans new wide receiver. Let’s address the biggest questions surrounding the receiver and what his potential is this season.

History

The biggest quandary with Cooks seems to be a perceived injury history. There is no denying he has dealt with multiple concussion issues during his career but this is a player who is consistently suited up. Cooks played 16 games for 4 consecutive seasons seeing 114 targets or more in each season.

His 72 targets over 14 games last season is stuck in the minds of some but this will help us take advantage of their recency bias on draft day.

If we go beyond the perceived injury concerns, some may worry about Cooks heading to a new team for 2020. That shouldn’t be a major issue as Cooks has made the switch to new offenses in the past and continued to produce at a high level.

After leaving New Orleans and heading north to New England Cooks produced 1082 yards and 7 touchdowns on 114 targets. The following season, his first with the Los Angeles Rams, he tallied 1204 yards and 5 touchdowns. Why Cooks is constantly jettisoned to other teams is another question but his ability to produce shouldn’t be.

2020 Outlook

So what can Cooks do in 2020? Let’s start with the opportunity he will be walking into. The Texans have the 4th most vacated targets or targets that went to players no longer in Houston heading into this season with 167.

The vast majority are due to DeAndre Hopkins and his 150 targets were shipped to Arizona during the offseason. Hopkins averaged 162 targets per season over the past three seasons in Bill O’Brien’s offense.

If Cooks can get 80% of those looks we are looking at 129 targets for year one. Based on career production rates that would net him 83 catches, 1,200 yards and 6 touchdowns. These numbers would have been a Top-15 wide receiver in half point PPR formats a season ago.

Draft Day Cost

Currently, per Fantasy Football Calculator Cooks is being drafted in the mid to late 7th as WR 34. In Scott Fish Bowl drafts Cooks is coming off the board as wide receiver 33 on average.

Some other wide receivers going in his range include his new teammate Will Fuller who has played a total of 28 games over the past three seasons and hasn’t played more than 11 games in any one season. Other options include Tyler Boyd and Michael Gallup who are at best the second option in their offenses.

If you are looking for a wide receiver with league winning upside, look no further. I would be comfortable drafting him as early as the 5th round or around WR20. Remember, that is where I would start to target him. You know your league better than anyone. Waiting as long as possible only adds to his potential profit.

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