Week 3 WR Recap

Brandin Cooks had himself another fine ball game on Sunday against the Vikings. He caught 8 balls on 10 targets for 74 yards. He now has two 70-plus receiving yard games in his first three professional games. He is averaging 8 targets per game through three weeks which is right where he needs to be. Cooks also has 49 rushing yards this season but don’t expect more than one rushing attempt per game from the rookie burner. Cooks is available in 3-40% of fantasy leagues.

I mentioned on this site after the 2014 NFL draft that Allen Robinson was a great pick up for the Jags while Marqise Lee was vastly overrated. Robinson caught 7 balls on 10 targets for 79 yards against the Colts in week three. He had 75 receiving yards last week on just 6 targets. Jacksonville will be on the road in San Diego in week four which means the Jags will be passing the ball a ton. Blake Bortles did look good today and had 2 touchdown passes while Chad Henne took three sacks in limited time. Allen Robinson cannot be trusted to be a consistent fantasy performer but his play certainly deserves attention at this point. He is available in 92-99% of fantasy leagues.

Welker Alternatives

Not only is Wes Welker battling concussion issues but he is also suspended(MDMA) for the first four games of the NFL season. If you drafted wisely the answer is already on your roster, but if not… who are the fantasy alternatives?

Analysis: Brandin Cooks is available in 15-25% of fantasy leagues. He is the fastest player Drew Brees has ever played with and he is the most polished rookie of the 2014 draft class. The Saints finished 2nd in passing yards last year and 4th in passing attempts. Cooks is a fine Wes Welker alternative.

James Jones is the number one wide out for the Raiders(for now). Oakland should be trailing in the second half of most games this year which means tons of fourth quarter junk yards for James Jones. Jones is available in 60% of fantasy leagues.

I don’t understand the Brian Hartline fantasy aversion. He has now compiled back to back 70 plus reception, 1,000 plus yard seasons. He isn’t a touchdown machine but expect a career high from Hartline as Ryan Tannehill breaks out this season with an improved offensive line. Hartline is available in 45-85% of fantasy leagues.

Round One Winners

Kelvin Benjamin and Brandin Cooks were the clear fantasy winners in the first round of the 2014 draft.

Analysis: Steve Smith, Ted Ginn and Brandon LaFell have all moved on and now Cam Newton has a shortage of aerial weapons. Greg Olsen is still in the mix but the addition of the 6’5″ 240 pound Kelvin Benjamin is most welcome. Yes, the Panthers are a run first team but Cam Newton has thrown for over 3,300 yards and recorded a passer rating north of 84 in each of his first three years in the league. Benjamin could be looking at a 60 reception, 900 yard, 7 touchdown rookie campaign with room for upside pending on how heavily targeted he is.

The Saints on the other hand attempted the fourth most passes in the NFL last year. Lance Moore is gone so it appears that Brandin Cooks will be the third passing option for Drew Brees behind Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham. The 5’10” Cooks ran a 4.33 40 at the combine(second overall) and also ran a 3.81 20 yard shuttle(first overall). Cooks has more natural playmaking ability than Kenny Stills and with Darren Sproles also gone Sean Payton is sure to find creative ways to get Cooks involved. Sproles recorded 71 receptions last year and Moore notched 37 in thirteen games… those receptions have to go somewhere.