It takes no fantasy or dynasty genius to explain that having elite talent on your team is the key to winning your leagues. That makes it important to jump on any elite options that have slid in value due to overreaction to a down performance in the previous season. This article will explain why you should buy Amari Cooper and Allen Robinson now before their value, once again, reaches an appropriate level.
Amari Cooper is a perfect illustration of how wildly the value of players can fluctuate in very little time. Throughout the entire 2017 offseason he was in discussion as the number one overall pick in startup dynasty leagues. This valuation wasn’t the product of uninformed hype or less serious players chasing a narrative, but was pushed by the biggest names in the industry.
One example is a mock draft hosted by Rotoworld published on May 17, 2017 in which Amari Cooper went sixth overall ahead of the likes of Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and DeAndre Hopkins. This offseason, Cooper is ranked by the consensus of experts at FantasyPros as the 10th best wide receiver and 18th overall. While this certainly doesn’t mean Cooper can be had for free, he has seen a fairly steep drop in value and is someone to target aggressively as a result.
For one, and most simply, Cooper is just 23 years old (he will be 24 for the 2018 NFL season). For perspective, Corey Davis, John Ross, Mike Williams, and Calvin Ridley are all 23 and have had little or no proven success at the NFL level. Meanwhile, Cooper has two 1,000 yards seasons to his name. To sum it up, he’s accomplished a lot in the NFL and is still one of the youngest elite receivers in the league.
Not all was lost for Cooper in the 2017 season. Many were distraught about his inability to perform well near the end-zone, yet he increased his target share in the red zone by 10% from 2016 to 2017. He still wasn’t all that efficient around the end-zone which is an area he’ll need to improve to be elite. Other contextual factors — Jordy Nelson in and Michael Crabtree out, as well as the health of Derek Carr — could also work in Cooper’s favor this season.
The drastic swing in valuation paired with Cooper’s age and already proven production combine to make him one of the best high-end receivers to target in dynasty leagues this offseason.
Touting Allen Robinson is a fairly popular thought this offseason, but comes with risk as he is coming off an ACL injury that caused him to miss the entire 2017 season. Plus,he changed teams this offseason, moving from the Jaguars to the Bears. Given that, he is well worth the offseason discussion he has received.
After finishing eighth in fantasy points per game among wide receivers in 2016, Robinson has already shown he has the ability to produce as one of the elite fantasy receivers. Two seasons later, including one season in which he failed to produce and one season lost to injury, there is some risk to investing heavily in Robinson. However, his move to Chicago should provide optimism. There, he is the clear number one receiver which could lead to him, once again, being a 150 target receiver.
Perhaps more importantly, his quarterback situation should be greatly improved. Much was made of Robinson’s frustration with Blake Bortles. From a more statistically driven angle, in his rookie campaign Mitchell Trubisky managed to best Blake Bortles’ completion percentage in the three seasons he was throwing to Robinson and posted a higher yards per attempt mark than Bortles’ in two of his of four seasons. Now, he will join a Bears team that is looking to make a fast ascension that some have compared to last season’s Rams.
It takes some faith to invest in Robinson. The Bears were a horrible offense last season so the hype around him is more narrative and belief driven than for other young and elite receivers like Michael Thomas or Amari Cooper. However, his price has dipped enough (he’s currently the 14th ranked wide receiver according to FantasyPros consensus ranks) that now is the best time to buy in before his bandwagon is full again.
In case you missed it, last week I featured Joe Mixon and Jay Ajayi as running backs to target.