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2019 Dynasty Price Check - Amari Cooper


The Dallas Cowboys were lambasted for giving up a first-round pick for Amari Cooper last year, and they showed how smart they were with the strong finish to the season that he had. His 13 receptions, 171 yards in two playoff games was the cherry on top of an impressive second half.

As someone that had and traded him in both dynasty and season-long formats, I saw Cooper's value go from nothing to a top-20 wide receiver in fantasy football in just a few weeks.

Cooper heads into the 2019 season as an interesting player to evaluate. He's had instances of dominance in his young career, but he's also been rather inconsistent on a year-to-year basis. If he can put together a consistent season, he can be one of the best commodities in dynasty football. Not only is he still relatively young, as he turns 25 this summer, but he's still highly talented.

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Overview

Amari Cooper
Team: Dallas Cowboys
College: Alabama
Height/Weight: 6'1", 210 pounds
2016 NFL Draft: Round 1, Pick 4

 

The Case to Buy

The case for Cooper is a pretty straightforward one at the end of the day. He's a talented young receiver in an offense that's getting better with time, and he's the best wide receiver on his team right now. He showed a connection with quarterback Dak Prescott last season that allowed them to make a push towards the playoffs when they looked dead in the water heading into the playoffs.

Cooper had his best game as a pro with the Cowboys last season when he had 10 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns. That connection with Dak helped both he and the team to establish a new identity later in the year. They were slightly more high-flying with more of a balance between passing and running, when it was more running prior to the trade. One major benefit of being in Dallas is looking at his fellow skill position players. He, Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Gallup and Prescott are all 25 or younger.

Prior to the arrival of Cooper last year, the Cowboys finished with less than 200 passing yards in five out of seven games. Afterwards, he finished with under 200 yards in just three out of the 11 games they played including the playoffs. Cooper is also a very sure-handed player, as he caught 70.1 percent of the catchable balls thrown his way last year per NFL Next Gen Stats.

The Cowboys offense balanced out more down the stretch, as evidenced by the lack of high rushing yardage marks after the arrival of Cooper. They had three games with over 160 yards before he got there, but they only had two games that hit that mark over their final 11. The NFL is moving more towards a passing league, and that only further boosts the future value of Cooper.

 

The Case to Sell

Two. That's his longest stretch of games with at least 100 yards in his career. He's done it twice. He's also never had more than 1,153 yards in a season. Teams and fantasy players expect their number one wide receiver to put up huge numbers. They hope that he falls more in the 1,300-1,400 range, but that's just not the ceiling that Cooper has with the way he plays.

Cooper is a great route runner, and he has good speed, evidenced by his 4.42 40-yard dash time. However, he struggles to generate consistent separation at a good level. He generated just 2.9 yards of separation last season on his catches. Cornerbacks are getting better and better, and that makes his job even more difficult. He'll receive a high volume, but they can look in other directions when he can't gain the separation needed to complete passes.

In addition to the inconsistencies that Cooper has in his game, the inconsistency of his starting quarterback, Prescott, limits what he is able to do on a consistent basis. Outside of his rookie season when he and the team took the league by storm, he has yet to put together any semblance of consistency since then. He doesn't push the ball down the field with a semblance of elite arm strength, and he can disappear for multiple games in a row.

 

The Final Verdict

At the end of the day, you're going to have to deal with the inconsistencies that come with Cooper if you want him on your roster. He can give you well over 100 yards in any given week, and, as the clear number one receiver on his team, he's going to get a good amount of volume.

At a young age, he still has a long time left in the league, but he's too inconsistent to be relied on as a regular starter. If you can sell him with some high value after a strong finish to the season, that's what I would be doing.

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