While there are still a few months until the 2022 NFL season gets underway, it is never too early to start prepping for your Fantasy Football draft. There are still things that can change between now and Week 1, especially with the NFL Draft still a few weeks away, but it can’t hurt to start preparing some rough draft boards.
This offseason there has already been a lot of player movement that will result in players moving up and down draft boards. One player that people should already be buying stock in this offseason is Amari Cooper.
Cooper is coming off of a 2021 season that saw him fail to reach the 1,000 receiving yard plateau for only the second time in his career. He did catch a career-high-tying eight touchdowns to offset the lack of yardage. But, that came with CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson competing for targets along with tight end Dalton Schultz on the Dallas Cowboys.
This season, Cooper will be suiting up as the unquestioned No. 1 wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns. Cooper was a cap casualty in Dallas, but lands in a much better spot to produce for fantasy football owners.
Cooper has very little competition for targets as things stand right now. Rashad Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones are behind him on the depth chart. That could change, especially if the Browns dive into the free-agent market again for a veteran, such as Antonio Brown. Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Sammy Watkins and Will Fuller V are a few other veterans that could be added to help as well.
None of the aforementioned players would be a threat to unseat Cooper as the No. 1 target in this passing offense; they would be used as a complementary player opposite him. Leaving a quarterback of Dak Prescott’s caliber would normally be seen as a negative, but the Browns’ made another big splash by acquiring Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.
Going from Prescott to Watson, as long as he is cleared to play this season, isn’t a downgrade. While Cooper likely is a tier below someone such as DeAndre Hopkins, his production as Watson’s No. 1 target during their time together on the Texans gives a good idea of what we can expect from Cooper as his go-to target.
Even in one season without Hopkins, Watson tore it up through the air in 2022. He completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 4,823 yards and 33 touchdowns compared to only seven interceptions. Brandin Cooks and Fuller were his top targets that season and Cooks reeled in 81 passes for 1,150 yards and six touchdowns.
Another 1,000-yard season is certainly attainable for Cooper this season with the Browns, especially if Watson is cleared to play the entire season. His No. 1 receivers always produce gaudy numbers and it should be more of the same with Cooper in 2022.