When Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp tore his ACL in week ten last season against the Seahawks, it took a hefty toll on the team’s passing offense. After his injury (not including the legendary Rams-Chiefs game), quarterback Jared Goff struggled. In his last five games of the regular season, he saw his touchdown percentage decrease (from 6.8% in his first 11 games to 3.3%) and his interception percentage increase (1.6% in his first 11 games to 3.3%).
The Rams did manage to get to the Super Bowl, albeit controversially, but against the Patriots, the offense didn’t look the same. It didn’t help that Todd Gurley was hiding an injury that may eventually prevent him from ever becoming a bell cow running back again, but Kupp’s absence took away the glue that kept the passing offense intact.
In eight games in 2018, Kupp had 40 receptions for 566 yards, 14.2 yards per reception, and six touchdowns, on pace for 80 catches, 1,132 yards, and 12 touchdowns.
One additional stat to keep in mind is that he caught eight third-down passes that moved the chains, and would have been on pace for 16 on the season, which would be tied for 22nd amongst all receivers. Considering he missed a large chunk of the Denver game in week six, it’s very likely he would have been on pace for more.
Cooper Kupp’s role is vital for how good the Rams offense has been in the Sean McVay era. Brandin Cooks offers success as a vertical receiver but isn’t the most versatile playmaker in the league. Robert Woods isn’t sensational anywhere but he’s an extremely consistent, all-around threat. Kupp is a little similar to Woods in terms of skill set, but he offers a third receiving threat that makes the Rams passing attack that much more difficult to shut down.
That’s something the Rams could have used in the Super Bowl. And that could justify why you need Kupp on your dynasty rosters, as he is one of the best slot receivers in the league. But due to his ACL tear, I’d wait on drafting him until using a later pick, perhaps a mid-round selection.