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Drafting Brandin Cooks: Not Fun, Probably Profitable

By Jared Smola | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT

This is a free preview of a 2021 player profile. Draft Sharks Insiders will have access to over 300 player profiles in mid-June.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Texans

What You Need to Know:

  • Cooks posted an 81-1,150-6 line in 15 games in his Texans debut last year.
  • He finished 17th among WRs in PPR points and 16th in non-PPR.
  • Among 84 WRs with 50+ targets last year, Cooks ranked 20th in yards per route run and 21st in Pro Football Focus receiving grade.
  • Cooks averaged 7.1 targets, 4.7 catches, 65.4 yards and .3 TDs over the first 11 games with Will Fuller. Over his final 4 games without Fuller, Cooks averaged 10.3 targets, 7.3 catches, 107.8 yards and .8 TDs.
  • Only Davante Adams and Stefon Diggs averaged more fantasy points over those 4 games.
  • Cooks' target share climbed from 21.2% with Fuller to 27.2% without him.
  • Fuller departed in free agency. That leaves Randall Cobb, Nico Collins, Keke Coutee and Chris Conley as Cooks’ competition for targets at WR.
  • Cooks has 5 career 1,000-yard seasons -- 4 more than the rest of those WRs have combined.
  • He’s caught passes from Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Jared Goff and Deshaun Watson as a pro.
  • With Watson’s Texans future looking extremely shaky, Cooks could be working with some combination of QBs Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills.
    • Taylor has thrown just 121 passes over the last 3 seasons and sports a career 7.0 yards-per-attempt average.
    • Mills is a 3rd-round rookie who made just 11 starts at Stanford.
  • The Texans hired David Culley as their new HC this offseason. Culley retained OC Tim Kelly, though, so the offensive scheme shouldn’t change much.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

The Deshaun Watson situation is a major concern for Cooks. QBs Tyrod Taylor and/or Davis Mills would be a massive downgrade -- and the worst QBs Cooks has played with as a pro.

The good news? Cooks was great last year, turns just 28 in September and should dominate Texans targets this season with Will Fuller gone.

The efficiency and TD chances will take a hit sans Watson. But even then, talent and volume should get Cooks to at least WR3 level. And if he gets Watson back, we’re talking about a likely top 20 WR.

Cooks is a strong value at his current WR41 ADP.

Jared Smola Author Image
Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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