For 2015, if there is one receiver to target it’s Brandin Cooks. Out of any receiver currently ranked in the early twenties he has arguably the greatest shot at a top 10 season.
2014 was a difficult year for the first round pick, injuries limited him to only 10 games, but he still managed 53 catches, 550 yards, and three touchdowns.
Despite the down rookie year, let’s not forget what he did in college, and oh yeah, he ran a 4.33 at the combine.
In his senior year at Oregon State, Cooks caught 128 catches for 1730 yards, and 16 touchdowns. He can flat out play, and has some of the greatest highlights you’ll see form anyone in college. He also beat out Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins for the Biletnikoff Award (nation’s top receiver) in 2013
Forgetting his down rookie year, the Saints need him to step up in a big way. Jimmy Graham is gone, Kenny Stills is gone, and the Marques Colston we once knew is gone. Aside from talent at running back, the Saints skill position players just isn’t what it once was.
Over the past two season Jimmy Graham accounted for 268 targets, someone is going to reap the rewards, and it’s most likely Cooks.
Surely fantasy owners can expect a nice season from Josh Hill, but Cooks will be the key weapon that the Saints can lineup all over the field. He’ll play in the slot, on the outside, and probably have a few snaps from the backfield. If anything, Cooks closely resembles Percy Harvin.
Currently, Cooks is ranked as the 20th receiver, per FantasyPros.com. That’s behind receivers such as DeSean Jackson, Julian Edelman, Keenan Allen, and Andre Johnson. No doubt Cooks should be drafted ahead of those receivers.
On another note, it’s obvious the Saints are focusing more on the run game as Drew Brees‘ career somewhat winds down, but this is still Drew Brees. Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller are two dynamic runners with their own styles, but the offense still runs through number nine.
Without a doubt, Brees will be looking Cooks’ way early and often seeing as there is no one close to his talent on the roster. As the offseason trudges along I’d expect Cooks to rise up draft boards, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him closer to the top 15.
If you’re the type of owner that waits on receivers, Cooks is a great number one option this year, and his outlook is only going to get better.