Give Some Love to Brandin Cooks
by Tim Lazenby
If there’s one thing you can say about sports fans in general, it’s that everyone’s got an opinion. This is further extrapolated when it comes to fantasy sports. And if we dive deeper into the realm of dynasty football, I don’t know if there are heavier opinions to be had. Everyone seems to love or hate any number of players based on any number of reasons, but there are some players who are fated unkindly. For those chosen few, they seem to be hindered by an opinion that just doesn’t make any sense. One of these unfortunate few is none other than Houston Texans wide receiver, Brandin Cooks.
For whatever reason, Brandin Cooks is not a name that brings excitement and fevered discussions among the dynasty manager’s table. But I’m here to tell you that we’re being deceived into thinking Cooks isn’t a marquee name. Fortunately for you, I’m going to let you in on a couple secrets about the former first round selection from Stockton, California.
Houston, we have a problem?
Part of this deception may be playing for the basement dwelling Houston Texans, but that’s not as bad as it seems. Looking into our crystal ball for 2022, this is a team that is quite improved. Featuring one of the oldest running back rooms in the history of the game last season, the addition of Marlon Mack and newly drafted Damion Pierce should allow Brandin Cooks to sneak in some new routes, as he won’t be the sole offensive piece anymore. We also can’t overlook Kenyon Green’s ability to give Davis Mills time to make the best throw possible.
The arrival of John Metchie is also stirring doubts into the confidence of Brandin Cooks for some, but you should know that Brandin Cooks excels at sharing the field with other talent. Whether it’s Marques Colston, Willie Snead, Michael Thomas, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods or Will Fuller, to name a few, Brandin Cooks has proven time and time again that he doesn’t need to be the sole alpha and will still succeed.
And lastly, if you aren’t more confident in the Texans with the newest additions on defense, namely Derek Stingley Jr, you should take another look. I have no doubt that the Houston offense will not only be on the field more, but with better situations playing out. If anything, it can’t get much worse. Last season, the Texans ranked 2nd last against the run and yards allowed. They also ranked 6th worst in points allowed in 2021. I’m sure that defense will improve and that’s good for Brandin Cooks’ ability to be on the field doing his thing.
A history lesson. Shall we?
It’s important to know just how consistent Brandin Cooks has been in the NFL. At only 28 years old, Brandin Cooks has already played for four teams and six starting quarterbacks. And while receiving from legends Drew Brees and Tom Brady is enough to get anyone excited, it can’t be easy starting over again and again. I’m sure it’s also frustrating trying to build chemistry with new offensive linemen, coaches, offensive coordinators, and you get the picture. Despite all that, he’s been fantastic.
Here are his fantasy finishes each season in the NFL:
2014 - 24th with 139.3 ppr points (13.9 ppg)
2015 - 13th with 253.6 ppr points (15.8 ppg)
2016 - 10th with 246.3 ppr points (15.4 ppg)
2017 - 15th with 221.2 ppr points (13.8 ppg)
2018 - 13th with 243.2 ppr points (15.2 ppg)
2019 - 62nd with 117.5 ppr points (8.4 ppg)
2020 - 17th with 232.0 ppr points (15.5 ppg)
2021 - 20th with 231.8 ppr points (14.5 ppg)
Importantly, in 2014 he was a rookie and only played ten games. We also have to note the terrible 2019 season; and while I don’t have a good excuse for this aberration, everyone has a bad season, so I can excuse this. If you do the math, like I have, even with that terrible season, he still averages out to 14.06 ppr points per game in his career. Brandin Cooks has been one of the most consistent wide receivers year in and year out.
In fact, just for fun, here are the players he finished right before or after in each of his years, excluding his rookie year and the dreaded 2019 season:
2015: 11th - Demaryius Thomas
12th - Calvin Johnson
13th - Brandin Cooks
14th - Eric Decker
15th - Jeremy Maclin
2016: 8th - Doug Baldwin
9th - Davante Adams
10th - Brandin Cooks
11th - Larry Fitzgerald
12 - Michael Crabtree
2017: 13th - Golden Tate
14th - Davante Adams
15th - Brandin Cooks
16th - Demaryius Thomas
17th - Mike Evans
2018: 11th - Robert Woods
12th - Keenan Allen
13th - Brandin Cooks
14th - TY Hilton
15th - Odell Beckham Jr
2020: 15th - Amari Cooper
16th - JuJu Smith-Schuster
17th - Brandin Cooks
18th - Marvin Jones
19th - Robbie Anderson
2021: 18th - DJ Moore
19th - CeeDee Lamb
20th - Brandin Cooks
21st - Amon-Ra St. Brown
22nd - Marquise Brown
You have him ranked where?
When you look at the stats and see who he is finishing better than or just below, it’s shocking to see how many experts have Brandin Cooks ranked in dynasty. Here are a few ranks, without showing which sites they are from:
Site #1 - 42nd WR
Site #2 - 39th WR
Site #3 - 29th WR
Site #4 - 46th WR
Site #5 - 40th WR
Site #6 - 43rd WR
Site #7 - 31st WR
Site #8 - 35th WR
If we’re honest with ourselves here, it seems unwise to rank Brandin Cooks in the 40s. The man is only 28 years old and, with the exception of one season, has always been a beast. Truthfully, I was just as insane once, but I’ve come to see the light. If I’m being honest, it’s sad that only two sites have him around 30. If we open our minds a bit, we should come to the conclusion that Brandin Cooks is worth your time and he’s got tons left in the tank.
In a world where the dynasty community sees Cooks as nothing more than a WR4, be the savvy manager and give him a better home where he will be appreciated. Take advantage and bring your dynasty team one step closer to championship gold.
Tim Lazenby just joined Dynasty Pros, after writing for a few years elsewhere, and is passionate about all things fantasy football. Tim has been playing fantasy sports for over twenty years now and takes his love of the game to every article he writes. Although he’s played a variety of fantasy football, he is especially in love with dynasty football. If you ask him for advice, whether you’re just joining or you’ve been playing for years, he wants nothing more than to help you succeed, than to keep that fantasy gold to himself. A lover of the game and ultimate competitor, Tim is just trying to spread the good news of fantasy football to all.