Philadelphia Eagles WR Riley Cooper went from being the most hated man in America last season, to becoming a fantasy football All-Star. He hauled in 47 balls for 835 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013, which were career-highs across the board. Needless to say, he had one of the surprising fantasy performances of the year.
While Cooper struggled to receive targets when QB Michael Vick under center, the wideout quickly became the favorite target of QB Nick Foles once he inherited the job. The two connected for seven of Cooper’s eight scores in 2013, including a jaw-dropping 139-yard, three-touchdown performance in Week 9. The chemistry only seemed to grow stronger between the two as the year progressed and they will be one of the most underrated one-two punches in fantasy.
Cooper is a very strong route runner and the fact that he runs such crisp routes made him a major factor in Chip Kelly’s offense from Week 1. He was always where he needed to be and his ability to quickly pick up the high-powered offense helped him stay in the lineup throughout the year. Cooper signed a big contract (5-year, $22.5 million) this offseason and the veteran appears to be in the team’s longterm plans.
Without the speedy DeSean Jackson spreading out the field, Cooper will find it much tougher to find room to work down field. Jackson instantly drew the attention of the safety over the top and Cooper will have now have to stave of more double teams downfield. Cooper isn’t the most physical wideout, so he will struggle at times to gain separation with the extra attention.
Cooper can easily be categorized as a one-hit-wonder. After three lackluster seasons in the league, Cooper came out of nowhere in 2013. The lack of a fantasy resume is somewhat concerning for Cooper and is something to consider when drafting the former Florida standout.
Cooper will be worth grabbing as a WR3 this summer, but the fact that he has only done it once will still make him a somewhat risky pick. Don’t feel like you have to reach for Cooper this season, because there may be more veteran wideouts out there.
Bye Week: 7
Projected Round: 10
Auction Value: $3