Player Profiles

Projected Points 123
Brandin Cooks

Brandin Cooks WR - HOU

Experience: 6 YRS  
Height: 5'10"  
Weight: 189 
Bye: 8

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Recent Shark Bites

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Texans WR Brandin Cooks (quad) is active for today’s game against the Ravens. He played just 53% of the offensive snaps last week and remained limited in practice this week, so Cooks isn’t a recommended fantasy starter.

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The Texans expect WR Brandin Cooks (quad) to play today against the Ravens, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. He's listed as questionable but appears to be about the same as last week -- when he played through a questionable tag. Cooks only caught 2 balls in that game and gets probably an even tougher matchup with Baltimore. We'd try to go in another direction if you can.

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Texans WR Brandin Cooks (quad) was limited in practice this week and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Ravens. He shouldn't be in fantasy lineups until we see that he's at least close to 100%.

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Texans WR Brandin Cooks (quad) is active for tonight's game against the Chiefs. There's a good chance he's limited after missing time in training camp and this week with the quad injury, so try not to use Cooks in Week 1 fantasy lineups.

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NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that Texans WR Brandin Cooks "is a true game-day decision" with his quad injury. "But he has improved the past 24 hours, and there's optimism he'll play" in the Thursday night opener, Pelissero adds. In most cases you should still skip over Cooks for your fantasy lineup. Even if he plays, Cooks would likely be at an elevated risk for re-injury, and there have already been murmurs about the Texans limiting his Week 1 role. If Cooks doesn't play, Kenny Stills would likely start in his place. Treat Stills as merely a DFS option, though, outside of deep leagues.

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Injury Predictor

Brandin Tawan Cooks will be 27 in September. He was born in Stockton, California, and unfortunately, his father died of a heart attack when he was only six, leaving him and his three brothers to be raised by their mother. Cooks attended a local high school where Cooks played football, basketball and ran track. He posted impressive numbers in high school, and as a senior, he caught 66 passes for 1,125 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was ranked as the 26th best wide receiver in the country and initially committed to play at UCLA, but eventually changed his mind to Oregon State University

Playing under head coach Mike Riley, Cooks played in 12 games as a freshman catching 31 passes for 391 yards and 3 touchdowns. In 2012 he caught 67 passes for 1,151 yards and 5 touchdowns and also ran the ball 19 times. In his senior season, he caught 128 passes for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns, adding 30 rushes for 217 yards and two more scores. This impressive season caused him to win the Biletnikoff Award.

Cooks measures 5’ 9 ¾” and weighed 189 pounds running a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Wow, that’s fast! Cooks was selected with the 20th pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. The Saints traded up from the 27th spot for first and third-round picks to the Arizona Cardinals to draft Cooks.

Even though Cooks has been in the league for six years, I feel like it’s been an eternity. He spent his first three seasons with the New Orleans Saints, and in his rookie season, only played in ten games catching 53 passes for 550 yards and 3 touchdowns. The season ended prematurely for Cooks after a broken thumb. He posted an impressive sophomore campaign with 84 catches for 1,138 yards and 9 touchdowns.

In 2016 Cooks finished with 78 catches for 1,173 yards and 8 touchdowns. Despite his targets dropping from 129 to 117, he still ranked 6th in the league with 10 yards per target at that time. Despite such a solid season, New Orleans traded him to the New England Patriots for a first-round and third-round pick.

Cooks excelled in New England, catching 65 passes for 1,082 yards and 7 touchdowns, averaging an impressive 16.6 yards per catch. He was the definition of a field extender.


Unfortunately, his time in New England was short, lasting only one year. Cooks again was traded, this time to the Los Angeles Rams along with a fourth-round pick for first and sixth-round picks. At that time, Cook signed a five-year $81 million extension with the Rams. Cooks played in all 16 games of his 2018 season, catching 80 passes for 1,204 yards and 5 touchdowns. He became the first player in NFL history with 1,000 receiving yards in three straight seasons with three different teams.

Brandin Tawan Cooks will be 27 in September. He was born in Stockton, California, and unfortunately, his father died of a heart attack when he was only six, leaving him and his three brothers to be raised by their mother. Cooks attended a local high school where Cooks played football, basketball and ran track. He posted impressive numbers in high school, and as a senior, he caught 66 passes for 1,125 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was ranked as the 26th best wide receiver in the country and initially committed to play at UCLA, but eventually changed his mind to Oregon State University

Playing under head coach Mike Riley, Cooks played in 12 games as a freshman catching 31 passes for 391 yards and 3 touchdowns. In 2012 he caught 67 passes for 1,151 yards and 5 touchdowns and also ran the ball 19 times. In his senior season, he caught 128 passes for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns, adding 30 rushes for 217 yards and two more scores. This impressive season caused him to win the Biletnikoff Award.

Cooks measures 5’ 9 ¾” and weighed 189 pounds running a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Wow, that’s fast! Cooks was selected with the 20th pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. The Saints traded up from the 27th spot for first and third-round picks to the Arizona Cardinals to draft Cooks.

Even though Cooks has been in the league for six years, I feel like it’s been an eternity. He spent his first three seasons with the New Orleans Saints, and in his rookie season, only played in ten games catching 53 passes for 550 yards and 3 touchdowns. The season ended prematurely for Cooks after a broken thumb. He posted an impressive sophomore campaign with 84 catches for 1,138 yards and 9 touchdowns.

In 2016 Cooks finished with 78 catches for 1,173 yards and 8 touchdowns. Despite his targets dropping from 129 to 117, he still ranked 6th in the league with 10 yards per target at that time. Despite such a solid season, New Orleans traded him to the New England Patriots for a first-round and third-round pick.

Cooks excelled in New England, catching 65 passes for 1,082 yards and 7 touchdowns, averaging an impressive 16.6 yards per catch. He was the definition of a field extender.


Unfortunately, his time in New England was short, lasting only one year. Cooks again was traded, this time to the Los Angeles Rams along with a fourth-round pick for first and sixth-round picks. At that time, Cook signed a five-year $81 million extension with the Rams. Cooks played in all 16 games of his 2018 season, catching 80 passes for 1,204 yards and 5 touchdowns. He became the first player in NFL history with 1,000 receiving yards in three straight seasons with three different teams.

In 2019 Cooks had a down season, he caught 42 passes for 583 yards and only 2 touchdowns despite playing in 14 games. These were his lowest total since his rookie season. The Rams shipped him and their fourth-round choice off to Houston for their 2020 second-round selection (57th overall). Los Angeles selected Van Jefferson with that pick.

Cooks is now on his fourth team in five seasons. For someone who is so talented and has posted four consecutive seasons of over 65 catches and over 1,000 receiving yards, why does Cooks seem like he is not wanted?

Let’s review some of Cook’s injuries. If you look at the games played by Cooks, he has played in nearly every game in every season of his career, except his rookie season where he only played in 10 games after breaking his thumb and then missed two games in 2019.

Review Cooks’ injury history shows several injuries even though he remains in the line-up. He fractured his left thumb in his rookie season, ending his season prematurely. However, the continuing concussions are the most concerning to me (Dr. Morse).

Cooks has three documented concussions over the past five years, and this may be significantly under-reported. It is unclear how many concussions he has suffered throughout his football career, but I would bet that it is more than three.

Let’s discuss concussions as that is Cooks’ main issue, and why I am so concerned about his playing time despite serving as the potential number one option for a Deshaun Watson-led Houston Texans team.

A concussion is a traumatic injury to the brain where there is a force that causes the brain to smash up against the skull causing a brain injury. Concussions are unbelievably complicated, here’s an article if you’re interested.

Concussions once were graded; grade one, grade two etc. This is no longer the case, as now the concussions are now described as how long the person takes to return to their baseline. All concussions are serious. Unlike a knee or shoulder injury, which usually responds well with certain types of treatments and, if necessary, can be replaced. Unfortunately, the brain is not replaceable.

Repetitive concussions tend to build on one another. Whereas one concussion may only take one to two weeks to return to normal, someone experiencing their fifth or sixth concussion may take several weeks to months to feel normal again.

The most common symptoms of a concussion are headache and fatigue. But no two concussions are alike, even if someone has suffered multiple in the past.

Symptoms can include irritability, nausea, hypersensitivity to sound or light, mood instability, sleep disturbances, memory loss, as well as balance issues. While I was in fellowship, I evaluated 10-15 concussions per week, sometimes on professional players.

Something you do not want to do is send a player back to the field before they are 100% back to normal. You do this by a combination of physical testing, including balance testing (BESS), and computerized testing that helps to evaluate things that cannot be identified with a simple physical exam, like reaction time and memory recall.

Traditionally the players take a computer test (ImPact is the most common) before the season starts to get an evaluation and a baseline for them. If a player suffers a concussion, this baseline can be used as a comparison.

These tests can guide a clinician to the appropriate management back to a healthy life. Unfortunately, certain people can have worse side effects of concussions as compared to others. While most people associate ‘getting knocked out’ with a concussion, that is not the case, as only 11% of concussions result in loss of consciousness.

The minimum return to play concussion protocol is five days. That’s the fastest it can technically happen through the proper protocol. This clearance must be completed by an independent neurologist, as to prevent any biased decision making, sending the player back before they are truly ready.

Why would sending a player back to the field before their symptoms have entirely resolved to be such a big deal?

The main reason is the second impact/concussion syndrome. In this situation, a person suffers a second concussion before the symptoms of an earlier concussion have resolved. When this happens, usually, there is swelling around the brain, which could be fatal. Yes, you can die from a concussion. Now you understand why the NFL takes concussions so seriously, as do I.

The other thing I want to discuss here is something called post-concussion syndrome (PSC). PSC is a diagnosis when a person has one symptom that has not gone away after at least two weeks, but most clinicians use one month. If Cooks suffers another concussion he could struggle with PSC, and this is my biggest concern with him.

Cooks is at increased risk for PCS because of his history of concussions. Patients dealing with post-concussion symptoms have persistent symptoms, usually grouped into four different categories, including issues with thinking and remembering, physical problems like headache and balance issues, emotional and mood stability, including depression and anxiety, and sleep disturbance.

Read those symptoms again. Imagine dealing with daily headaches; your balance is off, you’re depressed and aren’t sleeping well - all because of a concussion. How eager are you to get back to playing football?

My primary concern with Cooks if he suffers another concussion. If he only misses one game, great. However since he has several experiences in the past, what if he misses six weeks? Season-ending? A genuine question when dealing with someone with his significant concussion history.

Cooks can’t do much to prevent future concussions. There's some limited data that shows that taking daily fish oil has been shown to have preventative and protective effects. Trying to avoid any direct and significant injuries would also be a good idea as well.

I will leave you with one last piece of information. A recent study demonstrated that players might struggle for up to two years after a concussion, so there is a chance that Cooks is still not back to 100% even though his last known concussion was over eight months ago.

The surprising aspect of his movement among the league is he has finished as a top-15 fantasy commodity in four of the past five years. Over time, Cooks has produced 402 receptions for 5,730 yards and 34 touchdowns.

Cooks is primarily used as a deep-ball threat and has ranked no lower than ninth in yards per target before his 2019 campaign. At 26, Cooks is still in his prime years but will have to battle Will Fuller V, Randall Cobb, Kenny Stills, and Keke Coutee for volume. Isaiah Coulter was a fifth-round selection.

It was not the best of seasons for Cooks in 2019. He only brought in 42 passes (T-92nd) for 583 yards (70th) and two scores (T-105th). A total of 112.3 points and 8.02 per game. He also missed time again with concussions. Sean McVay also changed the offense on Cooks reducing his targets from 7.5 to 5.1 and going from 11 personnel to 12.

Cooks came to Houston through a trade. He will be involved in the 150 vacated targets when the Texans shipped DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for running back David Johnson.

The floor for Cooks isn’t too far from his production in 2019 unless he misses more games, which could be the situation if he suffers another concussion. Cooks’ ceiling could be a career year. In 2015 with the Saints, he put up an 84-1,138-9 stat line. Close to 100 receptions, over 1,000 yards, and double-digit touchdowns are reachable.

The Houston offense will take a step back without Hopkins, but his absence won’t kill Watson’s capability, it will only harm it. The defense also will continue to struggle; therefore, the offense will be on the field more than most.

Final Prognosis:

Sports Injury Predictor is not overly concerned about Cooks heading into 2020 as they calculate he has a 39.9% chance of injury. The calculation sees him missing less than one game this upcoming season. This score will likely change after his concussion from 2019 is added.

My risk score for him is 6 out of 10.

Currently, Cooks is the WR34 in PPR leagues, as the 82nd player overall. If he can stay healthy and play all 16 games, I see no reason why he can’t catch over 80 passes and over 1,000 receiving yards, like he has done four times in his NFL career. Now that you understand his risk, you can decide whether he is a player you want to invest in or not.

Concussions will be a concern for Cooks and any owner. However, if he does stay healthy, he has an excellent chance to take over many of the vacated targets left by Hopkins. At his current ADP, Cooks is an excellent buy for a player with WR2 upside.

Injury Risk: Moderate. 6/10.

Projected Missed Probability of injury per game ? Probablity of injury in the season ?
0.80 2.5% 33%
3
1
Date Injury Analysis
Oct 27, 2019 Head Cranial Concussion Grade 1 Cooks suffered a concussion injury in the first quarter in Week 8's game against the Bengals. He missed two games
Feb 4, 2018 Head Cranial Concussion Grade 1 Cooks left in the 2nd quarter of the Super Bowl after suffering a concussion.
Dec 9, 2015 Head Cranial Concussion Grade 1 The Saints added Cooks to the injury report Thursday for a concussion. (Not clear when it happened.) He returned in time for Sunday's game.
Nov 16, 2014 Hand Metacarpal Fracture Cooks fractured his left thumb in Week 11 and was placed on IR, missing the rest of the season.

Injury analysis powered by Sports Injury Predictor

Sports Injury Predictor

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