Cooks in New England: Sizzle or Fizzle?

Big-play receiver Brandin Cooks has landed in New England, the NFL’s fourth most prolific passing offense of the 2016 regular season. New Orleans, from where he departed, ranked first. Cooks finished seventh in the league in receiving last season and has enjoyed back-to-back 1000 yard campaigns catching darts from Drew Brees. This writer became a money league champ with Brandin Cooks in 2016. Does his star rise or fall with his arrival in New England?  Is Cooks now a legitimate WR1?

Cooks joins PPR star Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan (17.5 YPR) and late season waiver wire tease Malcolm Mitchell.  Danny Amendola and Michael Floyd round out New England’s talent-rich receiving corps. Tom Brady– who turns 40 in August — likes to spread the ball around in an offense that thrives on exploiting mismatches. Tight End Rob Gronkowski and newly-acquired insurance policy Dwayne Allen are sure to get their share of touches.

Still, Cooks gave the Saints 15 Yards Per Reception and can score from anywhere on the field. Is there any doubt that Tom Brady has enough left in the tank to work the deep ball effectively? The question is, will this bacon sizzle or fizzle on the griddle? We’re still a long way from fantasy draft day, folks.  At this writing, we forecast Cooks running effective clear outs and decoys, peckish for targets while Brady works relentlessly underneath.  Cooks will get just enough targets and TDs to carry reasonable value as a high-end WR2 in standard leagues and a top WR3 in PPR formats.

— Shep Marino

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