Are Veteran WRs Undervalued In 2020: Cooper Kupp, DeAndre Hopkins, Amari Cooper
by Alan Seslowsky
During the RosterWatch podcast (#266), our co-founder Alex Dunlap talked with a special guest, Jason Moore, of “The Fantasy Footballers.” Their conversation took a deep dive into a few veteran WRs that have not received off-season buzz. It has been well documented that with an irregular off-season and shortened ramp up to real NFL action that rookies could stall early. In this article, we examine a few veteran WRs and the storylines around them from a fantasy perspective.
Over the past three seasons, Woods and Kupp have been one of the most productive WR tandems in the NFL when healthy. Their 2020 ADPs are grouped closely. Kupp is getting drafted first as the WR15 and Woods shortly after as the WR18. Their receptions and yards in 2019 were similar with around 90 catches and approximately 1150 yards each. The major difference was Kupp scored 10 TDs, while Woods had only two TDs. Sharp fantasy football minds are projecting “positive TD regression” for Woods who has averaged closer 5.5 TDs over the last couple of years. The RosterWatch WR/CB cumulative projection matchup tool shows a tough schedule for Woods who projects as the “WR1” in the Rams offense. However, defensive attention could shift to Kupp when the Rams get into the RedZone. Those fading Woods because of his low TD totals in 2019, need to remember Woods is going to walk into 130 targets, and in PPR leagues that is extremely valuable.
DeAndre Hopkins‘ Immediate Impact
DeAndre Hopkins is arguably the best pure WR in the NFL. From a fantasy perspective during his career, he has routinely been among the league leaders in targets, receptions, and TDs. He has been a “safe” first-round pick for the last half-decade. Now in Arizona, with a shortened off-season and lack of time to develop chemistry with new QB Kyler Murray, there is reason to question if Hopkins may get off to a slow start. His sportsbook total of 93.5 receptions suggests otherwise. It should be noted that no Cardinal WR had more than 75 catches in 2019. It begs the question; Will Hopkins be the dominant target hog he has been for his career? Or will Arizona continue to spread the ball around? Early drafters are unsure, and Hopkins’ ADP is now in the second round of 12 team leagues.
Amari Cooper: Is he a WR1 for Fantasy?
Some of the most experienced fantasy football players are split on if Amari Cooper is a locked-in top 12 WR for fantasy. It is a tough question to answer because we have seen Cooper explode and win a fantasy week for you. However, we have seen enough inconsistency from Cooper, on a game to game basis, to be concerned. He can completely disappear at times. Cooper’s fourth-round ADP seems to fairly price in the risk. Dallas projects to be among the top 10 teams in passing attempts. Cooper is armed with a new contract and is locked in as Dallas’ primary target. The market perception that rookie CeeDee Lamb will hurt Cooper’s target share. There are enough vacated targets from Randall Cobb and Jason Witten, to conservatively allocate targets to Lamb without affecting Cooper’s volume.