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WR Brandin Cooks - New England Patriots

5-10, 189Born: 9-25-1993College: Oregon StateDrafted: Round 1, pick 20

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Week 21: at Atlanta Falcons

All WR vs ATL

Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. Tom Brady has posted a phenomenal set of records during his post-season performances - for example, Brady is the all-time leader in Super Bowl completions (164), passing yards (1,605) and passing touchdowns (13) - but he comes into this Super Bowl with several of his targets ailing - Martellus Bennett (knee, ankle), Malcolm Mitchell (knee), Danny Amendola (ankle) and Chris Hogan (thigh) were all limited during practice Friday, January 27 - keep an eye on how the various receivers progress/don't progress in their recoveries this week. So far during the 2017 playoffs, Brady has thrown 18/38 for 287 yards, two TDs and two interceptions vs. Houston (with two sacks taken for -8 yards and several other hits/pressures), followed by a stong 32/42 for 384 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions thrown (with two sacks taken for -10 yards) against the Steelers two weekends ago. He threw to three main targets against the Steelers - Hogan (12 targets for 9/180/2 receiving), Julian Edelman (10 for 8/118/1) and Bennett (five for 5/32/0) - Mitchell (four for 1/5/0) and Amendola (two for 2/12/0) were sparingly employed during the Conference Championship game. Brady has found enough offense to win both games by comfortable margins, and his talents as a quarterback remain formidable. The Falcons' pass defense has averaged 238.0 net passing yards allowed per game, with five passing scores given out vs. three interceptions and five sacks generated during the 2017 post-season. Russell Wilson managed 17/30 for 208 net yards passing, with two TDs and two interceptions thrown at Atlanta in the Divisional round (three sacks taken for -17 yards), while Aaron Rodgers managed 27/45 for 268 net yards passing, three TDs and one interception thrown (with two sacks taken for -19 yards) at Atlanta two weekends ago. Atlanta was ranked 28th in the NFL averaging 266.7 net passing yards allowed per game, with a whopping 31 passing scores given out during regular season (vs. 12 interceptions and 34 sacks generated). Over the final three weeks of regular season, Atlanta averaged 19.8 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks (13th-most in the NFL); 21.8 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers (14th-most); and 8.2 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends (17th in the NFL during that time span). The Falcons have played stronger during the post-season in this phase of the game, though, as the 28.7 net passing yards allowed per game drop in their post-season average demonstrates. Brady is one of the all-time best players at his position, and he has a wealth of post-season experience. The Falcons are a young, brash defensive unit that has improved over the course of 2016-17 - but they are still suspect against the league's top talents, as Aaron Rodgers showed us two weekends ago. Advantage, New England.

Recent Stats and Projections

17 at ATL 55 0 0 0 6 3 19 0 0 1.9

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 17 vs ATL (6 / 3 / 19 / 0 rec)

Cooks' first reception came on New Orleans' second drive, running a short crosser from the left boundary for 12 yards. His second reception came on an identical crosser from the opposite side of the field, but this time tight man coverage limited the gain to four yards. Cooks' third reception was very similar to his first two, another short crosser that gained only three. Brandin Cooks injured himself on an incomplete deep route up the right sideline late in the fourth quarter, a possible head injury as his head slammed directly into the turf. It was a fairly nondescript day to end the season for the young speedster

2016 Week 16 vs TB (9 / 5 / 98 / 0 rec)

Cooks ran an intermediate crosser for his first catch of the day, settling in behind the LBs for 20 yards. He ran a comeback route midway through the second quarter, timing his pivot for 13 yards up the left sideline. Cooks committed a drop shortly later on the drive, costing his team a crucial first down. He ran another comeback route after the two-minute warning in the same spot for 14. Cooks stayed involved into the second half, running a quick hitch midway through the third for nine yards. He gained 43 yards down the left sideline late in the third quarter, selling an outside route before putting on the burners inside to gain separation for the deep pass. Another effective day for Cooks, who made his presence felt with speed and precise route running at all three levels.

2016 Week 15 vs ARI (8 / 7 / 186 / 2 rec)

Cooks' big day started on New Orleans' first drive, with his first reception coming on an out route near the left sideline for ten. He came back to the football early in the second quarter, running a comeback route to the right sideline for seven. Later in the period, Cooks reeled in an easy 65-yard TD on a deep post route. He easily crossed the face of an overmatched SS in a zone defense, and proceeded to stride into the endzone for the uncontested score. Following the two-minute warning on the next drive, Cooks ran a shallow crosser out of a three-receiver bunch. He proceeded to turn upfield, following the right sideline with explosive speed into the endzone for a 45-yard TD. Midway through the third, Cooks ran an intermediate crossing route, finding space behind the LBs for 13 yards. He stayed involved into the fourth quarter, running his trademark speed out against Patrick Peterson for ten yards. Cooks ran uncovered on the following play, escaping poor zone coverage on a deep crosser for 36 more. The young speedster is always capable of reaching this catastrophic upside, and today he took advantage of an overmatched Arizona secondary in a big way at all levels of the field.

2016 Week 14 vs TB (10 / 5 / 61 / 0 rec)

Cooks ran a speed-out on his team's second offensive drive, gaining eight underneath a defensive cushion. He picked up seven on a short crosser from the slot to start the next drive. Cooks beat his man across the field on a deep post, but Brees uncharacteristically overshot him to rob the speedster of a long TD. He caught a screen in the left flat midway through the third quarter for just three yards, but followed it up the next play by settling down in open space through the middle against a soft zone, earning five yards and a new set of downs. Two plays later, Cooks ran a double-move from the right slot, manipulating his speed to gain separation and haul in a 38-yard pass. He appeared to score a go-ahead TD later in the same possession, settling down in a shallow area of the endzone, but the call was reversed on review as the ball clearly fell through his hands. The frustrating drop would significantly changed the contest, but it was still a decent day for Cooks, who caught passes at all levels of the field.

2016 Week 13 vs DET (9 / 7 / 73 / 0 rec, 1 / 4 / 0 rush)

Cooks got his first touch early in the second quarter, an end-around off left end for a gain of four. His first catch of the day came on New Orleans' two-minute drive to end the first half, a quick hitch from the right boundary for a gain of four. On the following play, Cooks turned what would've been a quick punt into a potential scoring drive. He gained 39 yards by utilizing his speed with a double-move up the right sideline before making an impressive diving catch. Cooks caught a short out-route to the right boundary on the first play of the final quarter for five yards. He almost found the end zone on the subsequent down, running a short crosser that took a long time to develop before being tackled at the one for an eight-yard gain. Cooks padded his statline in New Orleans' final garbage-time drive, catching a trio of short hitches for seven, three and seven near the right boundary. It was a decent bounce-back performance after being shut out last week that was boosted by the added volume on the final drive.

2016 Week 12 vs LA (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

With New Orleans' offense operating on all cylinders, Cooks surprisingly did not draw a single target. Cooks played 49 of 74 snaps, close to his usual workload. Evidently, his sky-high ceiling is matched with an equally low floor.

2016 Week 11 vs CAR (8 / 7 / 42 / 0 rec, 2 / 7 / 0 rush)

Cooks opened the game with two consecutive targets, dropping the first screen pass but running a short out-route from the right slot on the second play before turning it upfield for 12 yards. He ran a comeback route up the right sideline to begin the second drive, coming back to the football for 11 yards. Later in the series, Cooks took an end-around off left end for four yards. He gained four more on a shallow crossing route on the very next play to set up third-and-short. He ran a very short out-route from deep in his own territory late in the first half, gaining five yards to escape the shadow of his own end zone. His next reception occurred midway through the third period, a swing pass for a single yard to the right flat in which no blockers came to his aid. Cooks ran a short out later in the series, finding space near the right sideline for six yards and a fourth-down conversion. He got the handoff on another jet sweep later in the drive, taking the ball off RT for three yards. Cooks ran a short hitch late in the fourth period, settling down in front of the defense for a quick three yards. Carolina limited New Orleans' offense down the field with zone coverage, but Cooks remained involved underneath the defense for a nice PPR day.

2016 Week 10 vs DEN (5 / 3 / 98 / 1 rec)

Cooks' first target came on New Orleans' fourth possession of the day, a vertical route up the left sideline that fell incomplete due to tight man coverage. He finally entered the box score early in the third quarter, running a subtle double move up the left sideline to gain a step on man coverage and haul in a 37-yard pass to bring the ball deep into DEN territory. Cooks ran a similar vertical route up the opposite sideline late in the fourth quarter, earning 29 yards through right coverage. He recorded the play of the day on a deep post route later in the same drive, showing impressive ability at the catch point to come down with the ball between two defenders. Cooks earned the 32-yard TD the hard way, somehow coming down with the ball through tight coverage. The volume wasn't there today, especially through the first half of the contest, but Cooks came up huge down the stretch to put his team in prime position to win the game. His undeniable speed and route-running ability remain a fixture of the NO offense.

2016 Week 9 vs SF (6 / 5 / 66 / 0 rec)

Cooks was flagged for OPI on the team's opening possession; it played a big role in forcing the team to punt on the drive. His first catch, midway through the first quarter, came on a swing pass to the left flat that was read immediately for a two-yard loss. He finally earned positive yardage early in the second quarter, running a deep PA crosser through the heart of SF's defense for 15 yards. Cooks ran a deep comeback up the right sideline late in the first half, using his speed to take advantage of a significant cushion for 17 yards before getting out of bounds. He ran a shallow out-route midway through the third for eight yards to set up third-and-short. Cooks ran a vertical route up the left sideline late in the third quarter on a crucial third down, gaining outside leverage before the ball was delivered perfectly in his hands for a 28-yard gain. He had an effective day at all levels of the field to cash in a fairly typical performance to this point in his season. He remains a talented weapon in an explosive offense worth penciling into fantasy lineups.

2016 Week 8 vs SEA (6 / 4 / 44 / 1 rec)

Cooks opened his receiving day late in the first period, showing impressive elevation skills to pluck a pass out of the sky and earn 14 yards up the left sideline. He ran an intermediate out-route shortly later, taking his customary route for seven yards to the left sideline. Cooks benefitted from a pick play run by Willie Snead early in the final period, running a quick slant underneath the pick for an easy two-yard TD. He converted arguably New Orleans' most pivotal play of the day, a third-and-five late in the fourth to keep possession and the clock running. It came via another pick from Willie Snead; this time Snead ran an out route and Cooks cut underneath on a slant, finding wide open grass for a 20-yard gain. It was a solid day for the young receiver, coming through in multiple clutch situations despite arguably falling to third in the offensive pecking order.

2016 Week 7 vs KC (9 / 7 / 58 / 1 rec)

Cooks got involved on his team's first drive of the day, breaking off a hitch route at the sticks and working back to the football for a 12-yard gain. He found the endzone on the following down with a wheel route up the left sideline from the backfield in which he beat man coverage from a linebacker for a nine-yard score. Cooks' next reception came early in the second period, a short hitch from the right sideline in which he picked up six. Cooks ran a short out-route to the left sideline early in the third quarter, dragging his toes for a three-yard pickup. He ran a very similar route with a bit more depth a few plays later, utilizing his speed to earn underneath separation near the left sideline for seven yards. His next touch came midway through the fourth quarter, a short hitch route up the right sideline for seven yards. The ball came back to Cooks two plays later on an intermediate dig route; he came underneath soft zone coverage for 13 yards in the no-huddle attack. Cooks' game remains predicated on a fairly limited route tree. The speedy wideout did not capitalize on a mammoth gain as he is capable of, but the volume of seven catches was certainly nice for owners in PPR leagues.

2016 Week 6 vs CAR (9 / 7 / 173 / 1 rec, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)

Cooks started his career day on the first play from scrimmage, running an out-route from the left slot for 10 yards. On the third drive, Cooks showcased his blazing speed by obliterating the cushion of Carolina CB Zach Sanchez before gaining significant separation and hauling in an 87-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline. He stayed busy on the following drive, catching a short out-route near the right sideline for a gain of four. His next reception came very late in the second period, a quick screen to the left flat for six yards. Cooks opened the second half very similarly, catching a screen to the right flat for a modest gain of two. He ran a shallow out-route from the left slot just as he did to begin the day, earning 11 yards to begin the fourth period. Arguably his most important play of the day, Cooks illustrated plus awareness by extending his route down the sideline to break open as Drew Brees kept the play alive and connected with Cooks on a 49-yarder. He caught a quick screen on New Orleans' final drive for six yards in the left flat. The young receiver has made owners aware of both his floor and ceiling this season, but remains an integral part of this explosive attack regardless.

2016 Week 4 vs SD (6 / 3 / 31 / 0 rec)

Cooks got involved much earlier than last week, running an out route to the right sideline on the game's opening possession for 11 yards. He ran a very similar route early in the second quarter, taking it a few yards deeper this time to secure 15 yards on a third-and-long. Cooks' final catch of the day came late in the first half, a rollout to the right sideline in which he picked up five yards. Cooks was targeted twice in a row midway through the third quarter, but a pair of impressive coverage plays kept the ball out of his hands. Brees spread the ball around again on Sunday, as no receiver caught more than four balls. Cooks' limited production is also due to the consistent coverage from San Diego CB Jason Verrett.

2016 Week 3 vs ATL (8 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)

Cooks took a jet sweep off right tackle for his first touch late in the first drive, earning six yards in the red zone. He ran a short slant route from the left slot for his first reception, earning nine yards underneath. Cooks took a pass from behind the line of scrimmage for a four-yard gain very late in the first half to set up a New Orleans field goal. In a day in which New Orleans needed to pass nearly every down to move the ball, Cooks was disappointingly absent when it mattered. Blanketed by Desmond Trufant on most routes, Cooks did not record a catch in the second half and Brees began looking elsewhere as the game evolved. He remains a primary option in the attack, but Monday's game shows Cooks still carries a concerning floor.

2016 Week 2 vs NYG (9 / 7 / 68 / 0 rec)

Cooks ran a short hitch route late in the first quarter, settling down in the middle of the field for five. His second catch came late in the first half, a near carbon copy of his first route for another short gain of five. Cooks got going early in the second half, running a short out route to the left sideline before turning it upfield for 11. He remained a primary target on the following drive, separating on an intermediate play-action crosser to gain 12. With New Orleans' passing attack heating up a bit, Cooks ran a short out-route three plays later for three yards. Cooks caught a screen pass in the left flat on the Saints' final possession of the game, following his blockers upfield for 14 yards. Later in the drive, he found wide open grass up the right seam for 18 crucial yards before taking a big hit yet holding onto the football and moving his team into field goal range. Cooks had to earn his yardage in Week 2 with significantly more effort than Week 1, but still produced a respectable line on a day in which the passing attack was held mostly at bay.

2016 Week 1 vs OAK (9 / 6 / 143 / 2 rec, 1 / 11 / 0 rush)

Cooks made his fantasy day spectacular on a very long touchdown in the second half, but his consistent production was one of many bright spots for an impressive New Orleans passing game. Cooks was targeted twice on New Orleans' first three pass attempts, but did not catch either. He recorded his first catch on a short out-route to the right flat, making the first man miss for a gain of four yards. Cooks caught another underneath target two plays later, gaining three yards but failing to reach the end zone from five yards out. Midway through the second quarter, Cooks showed great route-running ability by selling an inside move before cutting back outside in order to catch a wide open 16-yarder towards the right sideline. He later punctuated the drive with a 15-yard touchdown when he sold an inside move before breaking inside in a post route from the slot. Cooks was on the receiving end of a short-out early in the second half when Drew Brees rolled and dumped it to the young receiver for seven yards. His next catch, the first play of the following drive, was New Orleans' offensive highlight of the day. The opposing CB didn't attempt any jam at the line, so Cooks utilized his top-notch speed to run right by him up the left sideline, hauling in a perfectly thrown deep ball and taking it into the endzone for a 98-yard touchdown. On the following drive, Cooks took a jet sweep from the right slot for an effective 11-yard gain behind his blockers. He continued to make hay with his speed early in the final period, drawing pass interference on a questionable call for 17 yards.


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