The King’s Advance Scout: Cooper trade, waiver suggestions and more
Published reports out of Dallas indicate that Jerry Jones gave up a first round pick for Amari Cooper because he had enough after watching Washington’s defense focus most of their attention on burying Ezekiel Elliott on Sunday. Even if Cooper remains inconsistent as a Cowboy, he will command defensive respect, and that can only help Elliott, as he will not face such maximized defensive attention going forward.
There are certainly no guarantees that Cooper won’t continue to be inconsistent in Dallas, but from Fantasy perspectives, the move does offer hope for his owners. Dak Prescott has certainly started to pick up his play recently, and can offer more of a potential boost to Cooper’s outlook than Derek Carr did. But Cooper will remain a primary focus of opposing secondaries, which means there still could be some frustrating outings for him. He does not have enough around him at wide receiver to take pressure off him. But the presence of Elliott does provide him a dimension defenses have to account for that he was not paired up with in Oakland.
So, ultimately, the trade must be viewed as a positive through a Fantasy lens. Cooper will be playing with an improved QB situation, and may be a bit more of a missing piece, than a featured performer with a lot of pressure like he was with the Raiders. Sure, Cooper will still generate a lot of defensive attention, but he is no longer the perceived No. 1 offensive threat on his team. Cooper goes immediately from a very disappointing Fantasy WR4 type to a WR3 with some renewed hope for more of a higher tag than that. Anything above that sort of the WR3 rating will have to be earned first. Dallas has a bye week to start getting Cooper involved in the offense, and using him in Week 9 will come with some caution, because he will still be new to his surroundings. But Jerry Jones certainly will want to see some return on his significant investment right away, so he’ll likely be an intriguing flex play for that week.
Hopefully, as the Dallas Morning News reminded its readers on Monday, this latest WR deal for Jones will turn out better than the Joey Galloway and Roy Williams ones did. Cooper could be a quality piece for Fantasy playoff runs once he is totally within the flow of the Cowboys offense.
The Raiders without Cooper
Suddenly, the Oakland offense, which managed three points in a loss to Seattle in London before their bye this past week, looks even more limp, and should be a frequent streaming target for Fantasy defenses. If you picked up the Colts this past week to use them against the Bills, you may want to think about keeping them for Week Nine to start them again in their matchup against the Raiders.
Jordy Nelson, who had Fantasy WR4 status before this deal, with not much upside, now has a more bleak outlook as a clear top focus of opposing secondaries. Perhaps Oakland may now get Martavis Bryant more consistently involved in the passing game, so he is worth a waiver flier, especially if you need receiving depth.
The Cooper deal also appears to confirm Jalen Richard will be the Raiders RB to own going forward, especially in PPR formats. Carr cannot fully trust the WRs he has left, and game flow should often dictate he will see action over Doug Martin as he plays from behind.
Waivers and Week Eight Insights
-Danny Amendola has reappeared since Brock Osweiler started filling in for Ryan Tannehill. Take a WR flier on him if you need some help during the bye weeks, but remain aware that health has always been an issue for him.
-Much like the Bengals flamed out at Kansas City, I could see Denver doing the same in Week Eight. They still have a QB issue, and the Chiefs defense has started to play at a more respectable level. Just because game flow may point to potential catch-up points does not mean you can bank on it at all with some teams. The Chiefs defense may be a sneaky good start this week. I would not confidently use any Broncos outside of Phillip Lindsay and Emmanuel Sanders.
-Chris Herndon of the Jets is an intriguing waiver add. He has scored in two consecutive games, and Sam Darnold has looked his way enough since the preseason. The rookie also has an opportunity to contribute frequently with injuries decimating the Jets WR corps.
-I will be taking the under (49.5) on Seattle-Detroit this upcoming week. The Seahawks have been playing better defense than some expected, and the Lions now like to slow things down and lean on the running game for a higher emphasis on offensive balance than in the past. The Seahawks have reverted back to being run heavy. It will be a lower-scoring affair. Don’t expect too much Fantasy wise for this game, although each team may be worth some contrarian DFS stacking if you are employing multiple lineups.
-Add and stash Kapri Bibbs, who won’t get a lot of waiver attention yet. Chris Thompson is having trouble staying healthy, and as impressive as Adrian Peterson is looking, he has been getting banged up, too. If either Thompson or Peterson miss more time, Bibbs will have more opportunities for touches as a receiver, runner and possibly both if injury issues become extreme.