Amari Cooper is entering his eighth season in the NFL and his first as a Cleveland Brown. Amari Cooper was traded from the Dallas Cowboys to the Cleveland Browns for a 5th-round pick before the NFL Draft. Cooper is expected to be the number one option on a run-heavy Kevin Stefansky offense. The uncertainty surrounding Deshaun Watson’s suspension case vs the NFL is the number one question surrounding Cooper entering this season. His fantasy football outlook will depend on if Watson serves a short or long suspension.
READ MORE: Devin Singletary Fantasy Outlook
Update: The Deshaun Watson suspension is official.
Amari Cooper Fantasy Football Outlook 2022
Cooper finished as WR27 in 2021 while having an up-and-down season. This was Cooper’s lowest finished season since 2017 when he was still on the Oakland Raiders. Cooper missed two games in November due to COVID-19. His production in 2021 was a product of the pace of each game. In week 1 he had 17 targets vs Tampa, in the next four weeks he totaled 18 total targets because of run-heavy game plans. The Cowboys led the NFL in yards per game and points per game in 2021.
Top-10 WRs at generating step or more of separation vs. single-man coverage in 2021 (min 70 routes)
73% Mike Evans
67% Keenan Allen
66% Michael Pittman Jr.
65% Amari Cooper
65% A.J. Brown
64% Cooper Kupp
63% Jaylen Waddle
62% Marquise Brown
62% Brandin Cooks
62% Justin Jefferson
— Dwain McFarland (@dwainmcfarland) August 3, 2022
Although the Cowboys boasted the best offense in the league they spread their targets around. The Cowboys had three players with over 100 targets and 3 other players with at least 60 targets. This had something to do with Cooper’s inconsistency when it came to his targets. He only received double-digit targets three different times in 2021 in those games he averaged over 28 PPR points per game. Amari Cooper had only two 100-yard games in 2021 but six games with under 50 yards. Cooper was overshadowed by teammate CeeDee Lamb (fantasy football outlook for 2022) who was the more consistent player in 2021.
The Amari Cooper Factor
Cooper enters this season as a member of the Cleveland Browns. He was traded in the offseason for a fifth-round pick. The Browns cut Odell Beckham Jr during the 2021 season and released Jarvis Landry in the offseason. Trading for Cooper made sense as the wide receiver was their biggest need during the offseason. As a team fit this wasn’t the best fit for Cooper going to a run-heavy offense that plays outdoors. Cooper is notorious for struggling in cold weather games. In Amari Cooper’s career, he has played 23 cold weather road games from November-January. In those games, he has averaged 10.4 PPR points per game including three different games with zero yards. Cooper will play in 13 outdoor games in 2022 with the Browns including the Browns division games. These concerns can be alleviated if Deshaun Watson serves a minimum suspension.
Deshaun Watson to Amari Cooper on the slant. 😤#Browns
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) August 10, 2022
This is a long shot of actually happening but it’s Cooper’s best path to fantasy success in 2022. Over Watson’s career, he is a top-six fantasy quarterback, so he will have a huge impact on whether Cooper is successful or not. Browns backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett is a solid back up but in his opportunities to start, he hasn’t been good for fantasy receivers on his teams. He is under 7 YPA for his career and has only 36 passing touchdowns in 60 career games. If Brissett plays most of the season Cooper is facing a huge downgrade in a quarterback and also passing efficiency and opportunities.
Cooper is currently going as WR22 at the end of the fifth round. This is a bad value for both sides, given the situation Cooper has the lowest upside for any team’s number one receiver this season. Cooper is going ahead of Courtland Sutton, Michael Thomas, and JuJu Smith-Schuster who all have better quarterback situations and more target opportunities this season. If Watson faces a short suspension then this is an okay spot to grab Cooper but without knowing it is a risk that can cost you in the long run. Even with Watson, Cooper is a question mark with his history in cold weather and also the sheer lack of targets he will see in this Browns offense.