Fantasy Football 2018: Brandin Cooks is a WR1

Brandin Cooks is being drafted as a top-30 wide receiver when he will be a top-10 wideout this season.

Not many pass catchers can say they’ve played with two of the best quarterbacks in the game. But, that’s what Brandin Cooks can put on his resume. However, he will begin the 2018 season in Los Angeles with Jared Goff as his quarterback. Despite that, Cooks will finish the season as a top-10 wide receiver.

Cooks averaged 953 yards and six touchdowns per season in three years with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. He was then traded to the New England Patriots with Tom Brady under center. He finished last season with 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns. There were a lot of mouths to feed in New England, but Brady was able to feature the speedy wideout.

Many fantasy experts are already calling Cooks a bust. Yes, there may be a decline in performance when a player goes from having Brees and Brady throwing them the ball compared to Goff but there won’t be much of a decline.

Goff improved greatly in his first full season with the Rams. In his first seven games of his career, he finished with 1,089 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions. Last season, Goff threw for 3,804 yards, 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Goff ranked third in YPA last season (8.0), sixth in stretch vertical YPA (15.2) and 12th in stretch vertical pass percentage (12.7 percent of his aerials traveled 20 or more yards downfield). He was throwing the ball downfield and doing it well, despite the lack of a true stretch option.

The Rams still have Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, two receivers who fit the offense better as the No. 2 and 3 receivers. Plus, having Todd Gurley in the backfield will force defenses to be honest, giving Goff some time in the backfield.

Brandin Cooks is being drafted as a WR3 in ESPN leagues. His current ADP is 66.1, a seventh-round pick in standard 10-team leagues. That is an insane value. He is being selected after Jarvis Landry and Golden Tate. I’d rather have Cooks over those two.

With the NFC West powerhouse defense no longer a thing, Seattle lost a lot of members of the Legion of Boom and the Cardinals no longer have Tyrann Mathieu. Brandin Cooks should be able to light up the stat sheets this season.

If Cooks falls past the third round in your league, you need to draft him. His value is low based on a perception that his performance will decline. That will not be the case with Goff at quarterback and Sean McVay running the team.

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