As an update to our March 10 release covering this topic, we’ll delve into what has changed since and if any of it affects the fantasy football value of New England’s Brandin Cooks.
A few items off the bat to update:
- Cooks’ 2018 contract option was picked up, which buys the Pats time to work out a long-term pact — and an easy out if Cooks stinks or gets hurt.
- New England added precisely no one in the NFL draft at wideout or tight end to interfere with potential looks.
- Danny Amendola restructured his deal and appears likely to stick around after all. Not that it really impacts Cooks, but Julian Edelman signed an extension.
- Rob Gronkowski has looked great during OTAs. Staying healthy for the remainder of the calendar year is the real test.
- Cooks has been lining up all over the field, suggesting he will be used in a number of creative ways.
Conventional thinking says New England didn’t trade a first-round pick only to mix Cooks into the fold as “just another guy.” He will be a focus of the offensive gameplan, largely at the expense of Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan, as previously mentioned.
Previously, the thought was Cooks is a safe WR2 — a risky WR1 with a floor no lower than being a third receiver … quite the range. While this mindset hasn’t drastically changed, it is fair to note gamers will need to spend up to acquire him on draft day, if his ADP is any indication. Cooks is currently going as the 12th receiver, usually in the early third round.
The Patriots version of Cooks may not miss a beat, but there is real risk in assuming that will be the case. Understand what you are buying as a fringe WR1. He is a prime target for gamers looking to go WR-WR if they spent a top-three pick on a running back in Round 1.