Brandin Cooks is coming off an injury-plagued 2022 season in Houston. Now, he’ll go across the state to Dallas to serve as the team’s new WR2. Cooks is a proven competitor. He’s a deep-threat wide receiver that can take the top off any defense. He’s only a year removed from consecutive 1,000+ yardage seasons. However, in a new home in Dallas, can he still compete? Will Cooks remain a dynasty asset while on the Dallas Cowboys?
2022 Season Recap
In his third year with the Houston Texans, Cooks had his worst season since 2019, when he played in just 14 games. This past year, he appeared in just 13 games on a team that was awful. He saw 93 targets and caught 57 of them for 699 yards. Cooks had a measly three touchdowns and seven rushing yards on two attempts. It was an unfortunate way for him to end his Texans career, especially since this was the team he’d been with longest in his career since 2014-16 with the Saints.
Cooks did maintain a good 12.3 yards per catch. His 61.3% catch rate is a misnomer due to the Texans’ lack of quarterback play. He’ll return to his much higher rater of 65.4% or higher of catch success. Cooks wasn’t highly favored by advanced metrics. This made sense considering the team he was on and how few snaps he played. Still, some give praise and hope to the future. He was eighth in contested catch rate, 13th in target separation vs. man coverage, and 27th in route win rate. These three stats show he still has plenty left in the tank to help your fantasy team.
2023 Season Projections
Cooks is on a new team yet again. This year, it’s with the Dallas Cowboys. They’ll be passing more this year due to Ezekiel Elliott being released and the fact the team truly only has three playmakers on the offense. Two of these are wide receivers in Cooks and CeeDee Lamb. Mike McCarthy wants to push the ball down the field. There aren’t many better at that than Cooks. He’s a lethal downfield threat, though age and injuries are starting to catch up with him. Cooks is entering his age-30 season and hasn’t played a full season since 2018. That made me give a projection of him playing 15 games this year. Dallas can’t lose him for any game, but he likely misses at least 1-2 games.
Thanks to the fact that the Cowboys truly just have Cooks, Lamb, and Pollard as terrific options for Dak Prescott, expect plenty of targets to go Cooks’ way. He will see the second most on the team. He’ll have the second-most receiving touchdowns and yardage. Cooks will see fewer double coverages, thanks to Lamb. That’ll allow him space to get open. He’s set up for his best year since 2021. Cooks is a terrific WR3 in dynasty this year. He’ll put up WR2 numbers often, but can be had for the price of a WR3. If you’re contending, make sure you have Cooks on your roster.
Long-Term Dynasty Outlook
Brandin Cooks is a long-term WR3. He’ll put up WR2 numbers often, but due to many games missed and the lack of long-term stability, he’s valued as a high-end WR3. That makes him affordable in dynasty, especially as a contender. I just acquired him for an early and mid-second-round picks. He’s a terrific WR3/flex player for your contender. He won’t win you a championship, but he will certainly be one of the pieces to get you there. If you’re rebuilding, there’s absolutely zero reason to hold onto him. He’s already into his age-30 season. Sell him for a couple of seconds and be done with it. Don’t risk the injury.
Brandin Cooks is set up for a strong season in his first year with the Dallas Cowboys. However, due to health, security, and age, his dynasty future is a mixed bag. He’s a strong WR3 for the next two years for a contender.
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