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Time to Buy: Cooper Kupp

It would be a bit of an understatement to say that the rookie wide receiver class of 2017 did not live up to the hype it had accumulated during the NFL Draft process. The speedster John Ross who broke the record for the 40-yard dash, finished injured and actually delivered negative fantasy points for the entire season. Clemson standout, Mike Williams was plagued with injury all season long and couldn’t ever get anything going. Same goes with first-rounder Corey Davis who didn’t really flash his true potential due to injury until the playoff game against the New England Patriots. Even with all that disappointment, we still got to see two stars emerge and be essential pieces in the cogs of their respected offenses, and that was USC Trojan wideout, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Eastern Kentucky’s most polished receiver to ever come out, Cooper Kupp.JuJu Smith-Schuster was considered the biggest breakout star and stepping up in a huge way due to some games missed by Antonio Brown. He led the pack with 917 yards on only 58 receptions. Based on yards, he was the 22nd best receiver, 19 spots ahead of his 2017 MyFantasyLeague ADP. Second on the list of rookie wideouts was Cooper Kupp, only a few places behind Smith-Schuster. Based on yards, he was the 24th best receiver, 24 spots ahead of his ADP. Both receivers ended up being low-end WR2’s last year. What’s the difference you may ask? In a dynasty fantasy perspective, JuJu is really hard to obtain as far as value is concerned. The 2019 wide receiver class holds the most clout and prestige as far as pure athletes that could become a WR1 instantly since the 2014 class that brought us names like Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins. To get Smith-Schuster, you may have to give up a first in that class, or have to even dip into your veteran pool of players and trade two away to get the ascending Pittsburgh Steeler.

With Cooper Kupp, he’s being undervalued and under-appreciated and that’s due to the perception of the outlook of the Los Angeles Rams. Most see the arrival of Brandin Cooks and his contract extension, and the success that Robert Woods had last year with 785 yards in receiving before going out with an injury, as “too many cooks in the kitchen.”  But this in true honesty helps Cooper Kupp become the diamond in the rough he is and stay such a great value. Brandin Cooks is a good WR, he’s a burner and very fast to get down the field. There’s a reason Sean McVay and company jumped at the chance to wrap him up long term, but his quarterback is not future Hall of Famer’s Tom Brady and Drew Brees that he’s had the privilege of playing alongside in the beginning stages of his pro career. Cooks eventually got passed by then-rookie Michael Thomas in targets before leaving New Orleans, and during his time in New England, he had no Julian Edelman and a hurt Rob Gronkowski to contend targets with. He now catches passes by a new up-and-comer, Jared Goff.

Now Goff is no one to laugh at, and now with a great coaching staff and system can now show off why he was the first pick in the NFL Draft. However, Goff has already had a year of rapport and chemistry with his favorite slot receiver, Cooper Kupp and only a couple months to start figuring out what he and Cooks are capable of. Even Kupp and his girlfriend moved in with Goff this past offseason and has been billed as “something special” by beat reporters in the LA area as far as brotherhood on and off the field. With Brandin Cooks receiving his 5-year extension, the Rams paying Todd Gurley the money he’s deserving at the running back position, and trying to pay handsomely their top defensive player, Aaron Donald, the cap space is starting to run dry for Los Angeles.

Both Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods play on the outside at the wide receiver position. Both use their quickness to separate from defenders quickly. Even as good as both can be, and three-wideout sets are possible a lot more than not, in time this season, Cooks’ and Woods’ production might just eat into each other on some plays. Not to mention due to that limitation of cap space looming, they might not be able to keep Woods later down the road unless there are some pay cuts or they actually cut one of the bigger names their now stacked defense holds. Kupp is still on his rookie contract for at least a few more years, being a value as far money for the team, just like he is as a sneaky consistent WR2 week in and week out. So he won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, is the main focal point Jared Goff targets, getting 94 of them the previous season and collecting 858 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns,and other second-year receiver Josh Reynolds still being the distant 4th option receiver as Kupp continues to show why he’s so polished and why McVay wanted to pair him in the first place with their future QB.

So now knowing how secure Kupp truly is on this star-studded team, it’s time to buy in on him and get him for the value that he is. He’s considered a WR3 according to current redraft league ADP’s, and according to Fantasy Football Calculator he is currently the 5.10 in startups in dynasty, a full 2 rounds lower than Brandin Cooks at 3.10. So at that round, he could easily become attainable with trading away a second-round draft pick for this year or next since most in the dynasty community hold their draft picks dear to them. My favorite move is finding a team in contention of winning this year with Kupp, offering them a veteran that could help get them to a championship game such as an Emmanuel Sanders with great upside this season, for example, and seeing if a trade straight up like that could work. Either way, I highly suggest taking a look at Cooper Kupp and his sure hands, and getting him on your team so you can enjoy his production for many years to come. I hope you enjoy this article as I will be doing more “Time to Buy” and “Time to Sell” series of articles in the near future. Until then, catch you next time my fellow dynasty nerds!

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