Hello Fantasy Faithfuls, I am excited to announce that the Wide Receiver Rankings are done for the year and will start to get published next week. As usual I do not rank any rookies since they have never played in the NFL and my numbers and projections in this article series is based on previous trends and patterns in the NFL. I have not decided on a final number on how many Wide Receivers will be included in the series but there will at least be above 80.
After receiving some feadback on the previous Head-2-Head article I decided to instead of focusing on players that finished close to eachother last year focus on players with similar ADP. I hope this will make the comparison more relevant for You the reader and provide better content. Let's dig in!
It is pretty interesting to see the massive targeting difference between the short left and right in comparison to the deep left and right. It would have been way more in line with other Receivers if he had a couple more targets to the deep left to have one side of the field be the dominant one.
However, if he had more targets to the deep left he probably would catch less balls because his best deep zone when it comes to catch rate is the deep right. Futhermore, Cooper manages to have his worst catch rates in the zones where he sees the most of his targets. This is something that can turn me away from a Receiver. If you are hammered with targets in one zone, shouldn't that zone be your best one?
With the yards per catch we found a truly amazing player and especially in the deeper zones. 36 yards per catch in the deep left is 7 yards above league average, 38 is 12 over and 30 is 2 over. Those are some monster numbers that instantly makes me interested in drafting him. The short left is on par with the league, short middle above and short right just 1 yard below the rest of the league.
If Cooper can raise his catch rate just a little bit and a bit more touchdowns (not talked about here, will be added in the Video format of Head-2-Head later in the year) he will be a beast!
In Cooks we have a left side Receiver that is used to being targeted in one side of the field much more. As said in previous articles this is very common and nothing that causes concern. However, since he has a new Quarterback again it will be something to keep an eye on. If Goff favors the right side of the field and Cooks is more used to catching balls to the left, there will be a missmatch. I will leave out Goff's numbers on purpose because I will have a Video on this subject in around 4 weeks, so call this a teaser.
He catches the ball way above my golden line of 60% in the shorter zones so no concern there. He also sports really high numbers in the deeper zones. where he is slightly above Cooper. All in all he outperforms Cooper in all catching related aspects and I expect him to help with Goff's completion percentage in 2018.
Cooks just as Cooper has monster numbers in the deeper zones! Cooks is slighly behind Cooper in the deep left and middle while being ahead in the deep right. The problem here is that the deep right has seen way less targets throughout his career which might continue in Los Angeles.
His shorter zones are lackluster and are behind the league average in the short right and middle while being on par in the short left. This is not a huge concern but makes him less reliable and more dependant on the big plays deep down the field.
They are very evenly matched when it comes to usability. Both had WR1 weeks on around 30% of the games they played last year. Where Cooks gets the advantage is the WR2 weeks, almost reaching 20%.
Cooper need to step up his game a bit more from week to week and not rely on the boom weeks. If you are finishing as a WR4 in 50% of the weeks you play you aren't really performing in a way that will help your fantasy team week to week. I know he had those games where he won you a game, but I rather have the guy that helps me win 6 weeks than the guy that wins me 1.
Seeing this chart really makes me wonder why people are drafing these two players next to eachother? They are now being drafted as Wide Receiver 8 and 9 and I can't believe my eyes. People are drafting Cooper just for the hope that he will be great while the people drafting Cooks are drafting the to me superior fantasy player.
Cooks averages more points at home, away, against the AFC, NFC and against below 500 teams. The only thing Cooper does better is the games against the above 500 teams.
I am not even sure what to write after this, if you are still considering drafting Cooper over Cooks, be my guest!
My Pick: Brandin Cooks easily even with a new team and new Quarterback. I will analyze him more in-depth 3rd week in May so we will know more about the Scheme Fit with the Rams but even without that knowledge I am going with Cooks every time.