One of the biggest disappointments of the fantasy football season has been Amari Cooper.
Each year, Cooper is talked about as having the potential to finish as a top 10 wide receiver, and each year he’s drafted ahead of Raiders teammate Michael Crabtree. It looks like Crabtree will finish ahead of Cooper for the third straight season. With Week 5 in the books, Crabtree is currently ranked No. 15 in point-per-reception leagues, and he missed one game with a chest injury.
Cooper is the 74th-ranked wideout in PPR, catching only 13 of the 33 balls thrown his way for 118 yards. He only has four catches for 23 yards in his last three games.
The window to buy low on Cooper has never been more open, especially with the uncertainty of quarterback Derek Carr, who will be back soon. EJ Manuel is not as good as Carr and was only able to connect with Cooper once last week. Cooper is not this bad, but the question is: Do you want him? If you have three or four wideouts producing right now, then you have no need for Cooper and can deal him for some running back depth. Despite the poor performances of late, Cooper still has name value and there are people out there who want him because of his upside.
Cooper still has the Broncos and Giants on the schedule, but if you are sitting pretty in the standings, he’s a great addition for a playoff run. Oakland plays Kansas City in Week 14, Dallas in Week 15 and Philadelphia in Week 16. All three of those matchups during the fantasy playoffs are juicy for Cooper. Some owners out there will take whatever they can get at this point. If you had Giants superstar Odell Beckham Jr., you’ll need to upgrade at the position. Cooper may even be dropped in shallow leagues, and if that’s the case, grab him.
There’s a chance to buy low on Ezekiel Elliott this week. He’s having a much better season than Cooper but he’s only scored in two of his five games. Dak Prescott is throwing more and Elliott isn’t a sure red zone bet, like last season. With Dallas on a bye this week and the uncertainty of the appeal process on his suspension, Elliott may be available for the taking. He’s certainly worth the risk as he’s a lock for 20-plus touches each week. He’s also been involved more in the passing game in his second year.
Now is also a good time to buy low on Giants tight end Evan Engram with Beckham and Brandon Marshall done for the season. There’s not a lot left for Eli Manning in the passing game. Manning was already looking toward Engram as the tight end entered Week 5 with the second most targets at the position. He did not catch any of the four balls thrown his way last week, but that is an outlier. His usage is about to go up.
Aaron Jones was pretty impressive for the Green Bay Packers last week against the Dallas Cowboys. Filling in for an injured Ty Montgomery, Jones put up 125 yards on the ground and found the end zone for the second straight game. If you are desperate for wins and Jones is an RB2 for you, then hold, but if he’s your third or fourth capable back on your team, then see what you can get, assuming you don’t own Montgomery. There is likely an 0-5, 1-4 or 2-3 team out there in need of a win this week and Jones could help them out. The time to sell Jones is now before Montgomery returns and takes his job back. There’s a chance Montgomery won’t get the full workload he once had when he returns, but he’ll be involved, and Jones won’t be as involved.
Perhaps you could get Joe Mixon. Mixon finally scored his first rushing touchdown last week, and while his numbers were underwhelming again, he dominated the touches in the backfield for a third straight week. With the Bengals on bye this week, Mixon is yet again available for the taking.