Fantasy Football Outlook: Brandin Cooks to the Texans

Can Brandin Cooks come in and replace DeAndre Hopkins as the WR1 for the Texans and a WR1 for fantasy owners?

Brandin Cooks, Rams
USA Today Images

Leaving aside the wisdom (or lack thereof) of Bill O’Brien, the Houston Texans have essentially swapped DeAndre Hopkins for Brandin Cooks as their No. 1 wide receiver.

Hopkins is leaving behind the following target totals and shares from the last five seasons.

2019: 150 targets; 28.9 percent
2018: 163 targets; 32.9 percent
2017: 174 targets; 33.7 percent
2016: 151 targets; 26.2 percent
2015: 192 targets; 31.3 percent

Houston signed Randall Cobb in free agency, so he will step into a prominent role and replace chunk of the targets Hopkins is leaving.

Prior to last season, when concussions cost him two games and he never got a prominent role back, Cooks topped 1,000 yards in four straight seasons. He also topped 100 targets in all four campaigns, with at least seven touchdowns in the first three.

So naturally, Cooks fantasy finishes in full-point PPR went like this from 2015-18.

2018: WR13
2017: WR15
2016: WR10
2015: WR13

Cooks is getting an upgrade at quarterback from Jared Goff to Deshaun Watson, and an easier path to a big role. Will Fuller has to prove he can stay on the field, and Kenny Stills is not much more than a nice complementary receiver.

Of course the biggest question with Cooks is health. Last year’s pair of concussions are the fourth and fifth documented concussions of his six-season career.

In Fantasy Pros’ current rankings (full-point PPR), Cooks comes in at WR46. Fantasy Football Calculator’s current ADP is a little kinder (WR35, pick 7.08 in 12-team full-point PPR).

In Fantasy Pros’ standard scoring rankings, Cooks sits at WR40. In FF Calculator’s ADP, he climbs to WR26 in standard scoring (pick 6.02 in a 12-team league).

Cooks has a wide range of outcomes for 2020. He has legit high end-WR2 (or eve low-end WR1) upside, but last year (WR5 territory) is an injury-driven floor that can’t be forgotten.

His ADP will be interesting to keep an eye on going forward. But if you can get Cooks in WR3 or WR4 range come draft day, the risk goes down substantially.


Elevation5280Sports.com is a platform for sports & lifestyle talk accompanied by blogs and videos. We are elevating internet sports talk.”