Daily Dr. Roto — July 2, 2018
Fantasy Football Overrated: Rams WR Brandin Cooks
Just three years ago in 2015, Mrs. Roto and I adopted Brandin Cooks Roto to be part of the Roto family. At the time, Brandin was playing for the New Orleans Saints with Drew Brees as his QB, and his speed on the Superdome turf helped him find separation from the stickiest of opposing cornerbacks. He was young and had his whole future ahead of him as one of the top wide receivers in the game.
Last year, Mrs. Roto and I were taken by surprise when Cooks was traded to the New England Patriots. How could the Saints have given up on their top speed receiver? The move to New England playing with Tom Brady was only supposed to increase Cooks’ value for his Fantasy owners. In fact, in many drafts in Las Vegas, Cooks was a late first round selection. Sadly, Cooks was a major disappointment. He went from 78 catches in 2016 to 65 catches in 2017. His receiving yards dropped as well, and he scored one fewer TD. It seemed like Cooks never really clicked with Brady, as Brady had with Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman, and his other receivers.
Now in 2018, Cooks is once again on the move, this time to the Los Angeles Rams. I like this move for him as a player, but I wonder how successful he will be for his Fantasy owners. Head Coach Sean McVay is an offensive genius, and I believe that he will design about two or three deep pass patterns per game for Cooks. This might lead to Cooks having the highest yards per reception of his entire career. What I am more worried about, however, is the lack of targets (and catches) from Cooks this season. The Rams have loads of talent: Todd Gurley proved that he could be a weapon out of the backfield. Cooper Kupp is a sure-handed receiver who runs exceptional routes, and Robert Woods upped his game such that he looked every bit the part of a WR1. With this much talent, where exactly does Cooks fit in? To me, it looks like Cooks will be a Ted Ginn-type downfield threat and little more.
When drafting, it is imperative to balance the player’s projected statistics with the round he gets selected. Even though I still love Cooks as a player and I think that he will fit in beautifully in the Rams offense, I need to ask myself whether he is worthy of a fourth round selection. I would argue no. I think that Cooks will be a much better real-life player than Fantasy player this season. So, while I would love to have him on my team if I was a Rams fan, I refuse to spend a fourth round pick to get him on my Fantasy team.
Projections for Brandin Cooks: 63 catches for 1002 yards and 7 TDs
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