The rumors of Amari Cooper’s departure from Dallas have come to fruition, as the Cowboys have traded the wide receiver and a sixth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth- and a sixth-round selection. This deal has to sting for Cowboys fans, as the team traded a first-round pick to the Raiders for Cooper in 2018.
Cooper, who finished as the WR27 last season, will now be the No. 1 wide receiver in Cleveland. That’s the good news. The bad news? He’ll be in a run-based offense that statistically neutered former star Odell Beckham Jr. and is not at all wideout friendly. In fact, the most fantasy points a receiver has averaged in Kevin Stefanski’s offense is Stefon Diggs. The current Bills playmaker averaged 14.2 points from 2018-2019 while he and Stefanski were with the Vikings.
That’s now a best-case scenario for Cooper, who is a middling No. 3 wideout from a fantasy football standpoint. The move also hurts Jarvis Landry, who has more competition in the passing game, as well as Donovan People-Jones as a late flier.
In Dallas, the Cowboys are expected to retain free agent Michael Gallup after this move. If he remains with the team, Gallup will see an uptick in value as Cooper’s 104 targets and 6.9 targets per game will be up for grabs. His absence also means CeeDee Lamb will be the unquestioned top option in the Cowboys’ pass attack. I now see the third-year wideout as a player who could truly bust out in the stat sheets for fantasy fans.
The move also means tight end Dalton Schultz should remain heavily involved in the offense after being franchised by the team. With the release of Blake Jarwin, Schultz could end up being a top-five fantasy tight end for the second straight season.
If there’s one concern in Big D, it could be with quarterback Dak Prescott.
In 44 regular-season games with Cooper, he averaged 297.4 passing yards, had a 2-to-0.6 touchdown to interception ratio and a passer rating of 103. In 41 regular-season games without Cooper, Prescott averaged 219.5 passing yards, with a touchdown to interception ratio of 1.3-to-0.6 per game and a passer rating of 95.
Prescott will remain a No. 1 fantasy quarterback, but those stats are worrisome.
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Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy† You can follow Michael on Twitter† facebook† YouTubeand Instagram for your late breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!