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Kevin Hanson

EDSFootball
Featured Pros: Brandin Cooks Trade Impact
Thu, Apr 5
Featured Pros: Brandin Cooks Trade Impact
What can we expect for Brandin Cooks' fantasy value after the trade?
Jared Goff played well in Year 2, but going from Brady (or Brees) to Goff is clearly a downgrade for Cooks as he fills the void left by Sammy Watkins. Not only did the Rams (518 PA) throw it less than the Patriots (587) in absolute terms, they had a much lower pass-play percentage (55.83%, 23rd in NFL, to 59.78%, 10th). Meanwhile, defensive upgrades could lead to even more game scripts that favor Todd Gurley and the ground game. Even though Cooks should post better overall numbers than Watkins (39/593/8) did last year, lower year-over-year production with greater week-to-week volatility should be expected for Cooks.

Who is impacted the most from a fantasy perspective in New England after the trade?
With Cooks gone (and Danny Amendola before him), 190 wide receiver targets depart from the 2017 roster. Julian Edelman has 532 targets in 55 games since emerging as Brady's go-to receiver in 2013 and I expected him to lead the receivers in targets with or without Cooks on the roster. While Edelman gets a small boost with Cooks gone, Chris Hogan gets a bigger boost by the departure of Cooks if he can stay healthy. Before missing nearly all of the second half, Hogan had 33/438/5 over his first eight games last year.

How does the trade impact your fantasy expectations for Jared Goff? Where will he sit in your QB rankings?
Overall I view the replacement of Watkins with Cooks as a positive for Goff's outlook, but I don't expect an increase in pass attempts as the team's outlook has improved. Given his lack of rushing (67 career yards), his fantasy production is almost exclusively derived from his passing numbers. Despite the lack of volume, Goff finished as fantasy's QB12 in 2017 and I expect him to settle into the QB10-12 range in my 2018 fantasy rankings.

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