Considering just how good Brandin Cooks has been throughout his career, it’s surprising he’s of the more well-traveled receivers in the league. After voicing his extreme displeasure over being part of a rudderless Texans franchise in a post-Deshaun Watson era, Cooks requested a trade last year – a request that was ultimately left ungranted. However, he finally got his wish this morning as the speedy receiver was traded to Dallas in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2023 and a sixth-round pick in 2024. The Cowboys get the receiving help they needed and the Texans will continue to rebuild around what is bound to be a rookie quarterback next season. Let’s reset the dynasty value landscape after this long-anticipated deal.
Brandin Cooks, WR DAL
Over his nine seasons in the NFL, Cooks has made stops in New Orleans, New England, Los Angeles (Rams), and Houston. He’s been productive at every spot, posting 630 career catches for 8,616 receiving yards, and 49 touchdowns, showing a capability to make big plays along the way. Dallas is now getting a proven veteran receiver with six different 1,000-yard seasons and also one used to being not just a WR2 (as he will be in Dallas), but as a team’s top target. In short, this looks like a pretty solid addition.
There are some risks in dynasty leagues and for Dallas moving forward, First, Cooks will turn 30 prior to the season and for someone who relies on his long speed, that’s an issue. Second, and more importantly, Cooks has had no fewer than five documented concussions and there are legitimate concerns over his long-term health.
If Cooks can stay healthy, he looks poised to have a nice season moving forward. While he likely won’t get the 100+ targets he’s used, Dak Prescott is more than capable of keeping him viable as a fantasy option and Prescott’s value should be solidified with this as well. While Cooks is not likely to be a weekly starter in fantasy leagues, he should be a pretty solid bye-week fill-in at the very least. If CeeDee Lamb was to ever miss time, Cooks could be a dominant player in this offense, too. His ADP should stop suffering from this point forward.
CeeDee Lamb, WR DAL
Lamb has made steady progress in each of his three seasons in the league, culminating with a 107/1,359/9 season last year that’s moved him squarely into the conversation of “top five dynasty asset.” The addition of Cooks really shouldn’t affect him too much. In fact, Cooks should help shield him from teams that used to roll massive coverage his way and attempt to double-team him. Lamb has finally broken through and there’s little chance of him regressing because Cooks is in the fold now. Your time to buy on Lamb has passed.
Michael Gallup, WR DAL
Hmm. Gallup returned from a torn ACL last season and simply didn’t look the same player. In 14 games played, he posted just 39 catches for 424 yards and four touchdowns. We really haven’t seen greatness from him since his magical 2019 season and while it usually takes a full season to recover from an ACL tear, patience was clearly wearing thin with him in Dallas. The addition of Gallup is more than likely going to eat into his targets and while there’s still hope he can return to form, this move isn’t great for his dynasty value. While Dallas isn’t exactly throwing in the towel on Gallup, they’re at least looking for it in the laundry room.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR ARI
The Cardinals have been rumored to be shopping Hopkins this off-season and the Cowboys were easily the most rumored destination. With the addition of Cooks, it looks like that’s just not going to happen. Hopkins is still likely to be dealt, but Dallas would have been a pretty exciting destination. We’ll hold tight on changing his value until we see what happens.
Odell Beckham, WR FA
Speaking of rumored receivers in Dallas, we now get to Beckham, who reportedly had a pretty impressive workout for teams last week. Dallas had long been rumored to be the most interested in him, but it seems that just isn’t going to work out. At this point, it really looks like OBJ could join Aaron Rodgers in New York.
Robert Woods, WR HOU
In Houston, the newly signed Woods suddenly finds himself in a pretty good spot when it comes to targets. With the Texans inevitably going with a rookie quarterback and likely trailing in a lot of football games next season, Woods could see a pretty good usage rate. He’s been a bit of a disaster the past two seasons, but he looks like a decent addition for contending teams next season. Remember, this is a player who was a staple in dynasty lineups not that long ago. He’s aging, but this is a pretty good opportunity for him in 2023.
Nico Collins, WR HOU
Free Nico! With Cooks out of the way, Collins looks poised to take another step forward this upcoming season. After a solid Sophomore season featuring a 37/481/2 line, we could see a pretty solid third year leap coming from Collins, who is a sneaky good pickup in dynasty leagues. It really wouldn’t be a shock to see Collins end up being the Texans’ top target next season, pending what they do in the NFL Draft and the rest of free agency.
John Metchie, Noah Brown, WRs HOU
Dynasty owners shouldn’t forget about these two. Metchie’s future is really unknown after he battled leukemia last season. Brown showed some flashes last year as well. With Cooks out of the way, both of these players should see an uptick in value.