It was an underwhelming week for the Texans Brandin Cooks. He caught 5 of his 7 targets, which seems great until you realize he only produced 21 yards with that work. This was the 2nd time in 3 games where he produced 20-something yards, despite seeing the work to do more. Going forward, games like Sunday will happen with Davis Mills under center. The rookie QB is far from consistent. But games like his 9 for 89 and 9 for 112 are also within the range of outcomes. Cooks has only found the end zone once this season which came all the way back in Week 2. While he isn’t quite on Jakobi Meyers' level, it sure feels like TD regression is coming. Cooks has scored 5 plus TDs in every season but 2 thus far and both came in seasons where he missed time. We'll also see if Tyrod Taylor gets back under center.
After 2 down weeks, Cooks finished as the WR18 for PPR in Week 6, securing 9 of 13 targets for 89 yards.
Cooks has averaged 9.5 targets per game this season, which is good for 8th in the NFL. A bad Houston team figures to keep losing, and thus landing in positive game script for driving up passing volume.
Not surprisingly, Patriots HC Bill Belichick made it a point to contain Cooks in this one. And it worked. Cook finished with just 3 catches on 5 targets for 23 yards. All 3 marks were season lows.
There was a lot of good news to come out of this game for Cooks, though. Most importantly, QB Davis Mills played well, completing 21 of 29 passes for 312 yards and 3 TDs. And Houston had some other pass catchers step up. WR Chris Moore caught all 5 of his targets for 109 yards and a score. And WR Chris Conley hauled in 3 of 4 looks for 84 yards and a score.
If defenses have to at least think about some other Texans pass catchers, it’ll make life a whole lot easier on Cooks. He’ll remain the clear focal point in this passing game going forward and still looks like a volume-based WR3.
He gets solid matchups the next 2 weeks vs. the Colts and Texans. Cooks figures to see a bunch of Rams CB Jalen Ramsey in Week 8.
Although the Texans were shut out and nobody had a good offensive game for them, Cooks had a very respectable floor game. With Davis Mills under heavy pressure, he often didn’t have time to look for his top WR, and he only threw 21 passes. But as always, Cooks led the team with 7 looks. He had most of his 5 catches in the 2nd half when the game was out of hand.
Through 4 games and having faced a combination of different defenses, we’ve already seen that Cooks has an amazing weekly floor, as he’s been targeted at least 7 times in each game. In addition, the Texans line him up in the slot on over 40% of the snaps, which allows him to often avoid the top CBs and also keeps him away from bracket coverage. After being a primary deep threat earlier in his career, Cooks is now used on all types of routes and has become a versatile WR. Don’t be surprised if he ends the season as a top 25 WR despite his team situation.
Tyrod Taylor, Davis Mills … doesn’t matter. Cooks keeps on producing for fantasy teams thanks to a combination of talent and volume.
In Thursday night’s loss to Carolina -- Mills’ 1st career start -- Cooks caught 9 balls for 112 yards. He accounted for 47% of Mills’ completions and 67% of his passing yardage. Cooks’ 11 targets easily led the team and were 39% of the team total.
Through 3 weeks, Cooks has compiled 32 targets, 23 catches and 322 yards. Those marks rank 4th, 3rd and 3rd among WRs. Cooks has scored just once but is still sitting 6th at his position in PPR points and 8th in non-PPR.
His pace figures to slow from here. But it’ll be nearly impossible for Cooks to NOT produce as at least a WR3 the rest of the way on the kind of volume he’s getting.
Our very own Jared Smola put it best: The good news is Cooks saw a target on 9 of 18 attempts from Davis Mills last week. The bad is he only generated 4 receptions for 28 yards on those targets. Either way, Cooks is getting elite usage in this offense. In Week 2 he was the only player to get over 2 targets with 14. Cooks also led the team in slot production and deep targets as well. At the very least you can’t say that OC Tim Kelly isn’t doing everything he can to get his best weapon involved.
On a short week going up against the #1 defense according to Football Outsiders DVOA it might be best to take a wait and see approach with Cooks to see how he performs with Davis Mills.
Cooks caught 5 of 7 targets for 132 yards in the Texans' Week 1 win over the Jaguars.
He had 128 yards at the half but had just 1 catch in the entire 2nd half with the Texans up by multiple scores.
Cooks had a highlight-reel catch in the 1st half as he came down with a 52-yard bomb over 2 defenders to set up one of the Texans several TDs of the day.
This will likely go down as Houston’s best offensive performance of the season. But Cooks confirmed his place as the clear top option in the passing game and should return at least WR3 value in fantasy.