Fantasy Player Rankings

Brandin Cooks Fantasy Value in New England

Brandin Cooks Fantasy Value

Talk about a spoiled wide receiver, Brandin Cooks is going from Drew Brees to Tom Brady. Someone better pinch Cooks so he realizes he isn’t dreaming. Even though it’s a real life dream situation for Cooks, people are torn on his Fantasy Football value for 2017.

Impact on Patriots

The addition of Cooks is great for the Patriots offense as a whole, but I believe the move only dramatically impacts one player in that offense in a positive way, that player is Tom Brady. Brady has never played with this many weapons and his fantasy value is getting bump early in quarterback rankings for 2017.

The addition of Cooks mainly impacts the other wide receivers on the Patriots roster but especially Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan. Last season Cooks had 78 receptions, 1,173 yards, and eight touchdowns on 117 targets. The last time the Patriots had a pass catcher not named Julian Edelman or Rob Gronkowski have more than 117 targets in a season was Brandon LaFell. That season Edelman had 134 targets compared to his 159 last season. With another mouth to feed in New England, this will lead to a small decrease in everyone’s numbers across the board.

To see how Cooks impacts the Patriots players around him, check out Gridiron Experts Top 100 Rankings.

Brandin Cooks Fantasy Value

I understand that Brandin Cooks has gone to a better football team and will play for (arguably) a better quarterback in Tom Brady, but. as I stated above, this is Fantasy Football, not real football. The Saints have a more pass friendly offense which leads to more opportunities for wide receivers to score points. Last season Brees lead the NFL in pass attempts(673), passes completed(471), and passing yards (5,208). The Patriots will not pass as much this season, in fact, Brady’s career high for passing attempts is 637 and has passed for 5,000 yards only once. While Brees has gone over 637 pass attempts six times and has thrown for 5,000 yards five times.

To fully understand Cooks value we will need to be able to read Bill Belichick’s mind. Good luck with that, you have a better chance of guessing a perfect March Madness bracket. The reason why it is so difficult to predict, is because no one really knows whether Cooks will be the first, second or third option for Brady in this offense? The Patriots offense is built on timing and knowing the playbook. Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski know the offense and built a rapport with Brady which leaves me to believe Cooks will be the third option. In Brady’s entire career he has targetted three receivers more than 100 times only twice, 2011 and 2014.

  • Aaron Hernandez 2011: 113 targets, 79 catches, 910 yards, 7 touchdowns
  • Brandon LaFell 2014: 119 targets, 74 catches, 953 yards, 7 touchdowns

If you take those two seasons, it comes out to 116 targets, 77 catches, 932 yards, seven touchdowns. Now I understand Cooks is a different type of player so his numbers would be different, but, let’s look at Cook’s stats for his career. He has a catch rate of  68 percent, 13.3 yards per catch, and a catch/touchdown ratio of 11/1. So if Cooks gets 116 targets with the Patriots his numbers would look like, 79 catches, 1,057 yards, seven touchdowns. Those would be his worst numbers since his Rookie season where he played in only ten games.

Final Verdict

The hype surrounding Cooks joining the Patriots is extremely high because he joined “the Patriots.” Pick any player in the NFL and add him to the Pat’s and suddenly the Fantasy Football community is overly intrigued. With this being said, Cooks will have a high price tag on draft day that in my opinion, won’t be worth the investment. The Patriots have a large list of quality receivers which worries me what Cooks’s target share will be. Cooks and the Patriots have upgraded in real football but for fantasy football Cooks’ stock has dropped.

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