by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Amari Cooper has been one of the bigger disappointments over the first few weeks of the season, but he exploded last night to the tune of 11 receptions, 210 yards and 2 TD. Obviously the quick call will be that “he’s back”, but should fantasy owners be that quick with the declaration?
It was a monster performance against Kansas City, erupting for both TD in the first quarter of Thursday’s game. Obviously looking at the pure numbers it’s impressive, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a red flag or two. The real key number…
Yes, he saw the ball head his way 19 times. All of the other wide receivers and tight ends combined for 23 targets, with Jared Cook and Michael Crabtree getting 7 each.
His 11 catches on 19 targets represents a 57.9% completion rate, which isn’t that much better than his season line (29 receptions over 58 targets). Obviously he wasn’t purely workload dependent, because he scored early and often, but can we expect him to see that many targets again or for the Raiders to throw the ball 52 times consistently?
Will he be able to carry his strong performance over into future contests? Or is it really if he can translate a strong first quarter, where he was targeted 4 times and delivered 3 receptions, 95 yards and 2 TD? Yes he still produced 115 yards over the final three quarters, but if we saw 0 TD and 8 receptions on 15 targets would we be as excited?
The easy answer is to say that Cooper is “back”, and this performance clearly helps to improve his outlook moving forward. He’s going to remain a viable option, but we wouldn’t put him in the WR1 range as he could easily be volume dependent. What happens next week if his targets drop back down to 8-10? Given the completion percentage you are looking at 4-5 catches and no guarantee for a score… Where does that actually fit?
Be optimistic, but do so with great caution.
Source – ESPN
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