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Can Brandin Cooks keep Cooking down in Houston?

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 12: Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) celebrates his touchdown which was later recalled during the NFL football game between the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans on December 12, 2021 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire)

I’ll admit I’m a bit biased with this post. Brandin Cooks is a great football player and one of my favorite players and people. The dude spits out 1,000 yards seasons like it’s nothing despite a flurry of changing environments. What WR do you know that has been traded multiple times for firsts and seconds? The only one I know of is Cooks. Aside from his rookie year and injury-plagued 2019 season, Cooks has crossed 1,000 yards every time in his eight-year career. This is his second season in the Texans’ offense, and Davis Mills is his QB. He quickly proved to be the favorite target of Mills, which is always good for fantasy.

Many thought the Texans would trade Cooks, but they extended him on a two-year deal worth $39+ Million. This established Cooks as the main focus of the Texans’ rebuilding offense with second-year QB Mills at the helm.

2021 Season Recap

Cooks had another great season as per typical in 2021. Due to the lack of talent on offense around him, Cooks got a career-high 134 targets. He caught a career-high 90 passes as well. He had 1,037 yards and six touchdowns. This made for a WR2-tier finish which was way higher than anyone expected. He was being valued as a WR3/4 but outperformed that. He added 21 yards on the ground too. His yards per reception was an abnormally low 11.5. That’s likely because of the new offense he’s in with little to no established talent. He stayed healthy, appearing in 16 games. He rarely left the field as he was in on 83% of the snaps.

2022 Season Projection

With Cooks in his second year with the Texans, expect more diversity in the play calling. While the Texans did replace their head coach with Lovie Smith, the offense should look similar. Pep Hamilton should use a similar system for Cooks and company in 2022. After the horrible news that rookie WR John Metchie will miss the 2022 season due to Leukemia, the Texan’s offense will consist of Cooks, WR Nico Collins, RBs Marlon Mack and Dameon Pierce, and TE Brevin Jordan. This means that the heavy workload in the passing game will fall upon Cooks’ shoulders once again.

My projections for Brandin Cooks in 2022.

Cooks will set a new career high in targets and receptions this year. At least, that’s what my projections say. Davis Mills should start all 17 games, which means a lot of targets for Cooks. I see him getting over 1,000 yards again with a decent number of touchdowns. Cooks should finish in the late-WR2 tier again. I project him to play in 16 games and average 15.1 PPR ppg. That’s plenty for your WR2/3 in dynasty. He’s a strong asset this season.

Buy or Sell Cooks this season?

Cooks is nearing the end of his prime as he’s 28 years old. Due to that, if your dynasty team is rebuilding, I’d sell him. Sell Cooks for an early second or a couple of seconds. I doubt you could get a first. Maybe in-season, you can get a first, but doubtful. Cooks has no place on a rebuilding squad. He’ll score too much for your team. He isn’t young enough to hold onto. Plus, he does have some injury history to worry about.

If you have a contender, absolutely acquire Cooks. He’s the best WR3 a contender could ask for. I’d gladly offer up a second and/or a third for the aging but talented WR. Offer it sooner than later as his price will rise in season. There’s no reason not to try for Cooks. Unless you have four WR1s or something, try for Cooks. Not only will he help your team, but he won’t be available for another contender.


Cooks is a talented WR and produces every year. His dynasty value took a hit going to the Texans, but he proved everyone wrong with another 1,000+ yard season and top-24 WR finish. With his future secure in Houston, expect multiple more strong seasons for Cooks. I foresee another top-24 finish this season. Suppose you have the chance to acquire him as a contender, do it. Cooks is great for a win-now team. Not so much for a rebuilder. Don’t doubt Cooks this year.

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As always, May the Force be with You…

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