Old Face, New Place: Changing Teams Again, Will Brandin Cooks Rebound In 2020?

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by Ray Kuhn

Talk about being in demand. When it comes to Brandin Cooks, we can look at things from multiple perspectives…

He was selected in the first round of the 2014 draft… He has also been traded three times as he joins his fourth team (Houston) in 2020, but that also means three teams have given up on the wide receiver. Admittedly things are not that simple,as four teams have given up real value to acquire him.

As with many things the answer is always somewhere in between, but we have to get out in front of this. Cooks is not going to replace DeAndre Hopkins. This is to no fault of Cooks’ as there are few, if any, receivers who are capable of filling Hopkins’ shoes.

Last season, was not Cooks’ best work. We don’t want to simply pass the buck and blame things on injuries, but that was the case. Despite playing in 16 games in each of his last four seasons, he was hindered by his fifth career concussion in 2019 and his performance suffered for it.

Last season was the first time since his rookie campaign in which he didn’t eclipse the 1,000 yard mark (42 catches for 583 yards and 2 TD). While we don’t want to just write it off as an aberration, the fact that it was his fifth concussion also has to give some cause for concern.

That track record, right? Entering last year Cooks had over 100 targets in each of his prior three seasons while averaging between 15 and 16.6 yards per receptions from 2016 to 2018. He is fast, versatile (Cooks can line up anywhere in the formation) and a downfield threat, but there are also some other questions to be answered.

Since catching 9 TD in his second season, his scoring production has decreased in each subsequent year. Additionally he hasn’t proven to be the most efficient. Last season he had a 59.2% catch rate along with a 5.6% drop rate. In the past it hasn’t truly held him back from a fantasy perspective, but it has also kept Cooks moving to new cities while limiting his upside.

Targets are available in Houston’s offense, but Will Fuller and Kenny Stills are still in town and Randall Cobb was also added. At this point Cooks isn’t going to be the clear go to option for Deshaun Watson, but we know that he will be quite involved in Houston’s offense.

Entering June Cooks is the 40th wide receiver coming off the board with an ADP of 107. That puts him squarely in FLEX territory, and as he looks towards a rebound from last season, there could be some value to be found.

Make sure to check out all of our 2020 prospect rankings:

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PositionLast Updated
Catcher04/13/20
First Baseman--
Second Baseman04/15/20
Shortstop04/17/20
Third Baseman04/20/20
Outfield04/24/20
Pitcher--

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