Amari Cooper Butterfly Effect: Pick up Martavis Bryant in fantasy football

by Matthew M. Stevens ·

Amari Cooper is heading to the Cowboys in exchange for a first round pick. His target share is far from assured, especially since Michael Gallup recently emerged as a legitimate No. 1 receiver.

Michael Gallup: Breakout or Mirage?

Cooper may counterintuitively strengthen Gallup’s fantasy value. Dallas seemingly overpaid for Cooper, who struggled with drops and inconsistency over the past 14 months, but the move was necessary and his advanced stats and metrics-based talent profile is undeniable. Carrying a reputations as a true No. 1 wide receiver, Cooper will shield Gallup from opposing No. 1 cornerbacks similar to how Stefon Diggs shields Adam Thielen from the shadow treatment.

Gallup had back-to-back seasons of 1,200-plus receiving yards and scored 21 touchdowns in his time with the Rams. The Cowboys eased their third-round pick into the offense but he’s ready for prime time. His routes run have increased every week since Week 2 and his snap share the past two weeks (84.1-percent and 93-percent) confirms his arrival. That culminated in his first NFL touchdown, and most receiving yards (81) and fantasy points (17.1) against the Redskins. The score was a 49-yarder from Dak Prescott in which he blew past cornerback Greg Stroman.

Martavis Bryant and the Amari Cooper butterfly effect

Another player positively impacted by the Amari Cooper trade, Martavis Bryant’s efficiency and athleticism elevate him to the top option in what’s left of the Raiders passing attack. Bryant personifies explosive upside, evidenced by a 90th-percentile or better Catch Radius, Speed Score and SPARQ-x Score. Bryant has been a downfield playmaker since entering the NFL, and this season, his Yards Per Reception (YPR) again ranks in the top-20. He had three consecutive seasons in Pittsburgh with more than 500 receiving yards and scored eight TDs in 2014 and six in 2015. Deep plays are a specialty of Bryant’s: he had long plays of 94 yards in 2014 and 88 in 2015. His proven talent and ability make him, not Jordy Nelson, the preferred Raiders receiver.

Jakeem Grant rising

Having already carved a role in Miami’s offense, Jakeem Grant’s snap share and routes run increased in each of the past two games. He benefits from the absence of Kenny Stills (groin) and Albert Wilson (hip), which means more targets even with DeVante Parker returning. Given his +21.7 Production Premium and 1.96 target separation, Grant proves he’s capable of taking on a larger role.

Jakeem Grant Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Zooming out, Grant runs a 4.42 40-yard dash, generates an average of 5.3 YAC per target and boasts a 110.1 QB Rating When Targeted. His small frame (5-6, 165-pounds) detracts from his red zone appeal, but his speed and newfound opportunity more than make up for it.

Raheem Mostert’s explosive upside

Raheem Mostert’s touch and snap count spikes in each of the past three weeks signal the growth of his role in this offense. With Matt Breida injured and Alfred Morris uninspiring, Mostert took advantage in Weeks 6-7. He carried the ball 19 times for 146 yards for an average of 7.7 yards per carry, and caught all four targets for 19 yards.

Raheem Mostert Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

While Mostert did not command workhorse touches, even at Purdue, the undrafted rookie is definitely explosive, evidenced by a 4.42 (95th-percentile) 40-yard dash time and 134.0 (96th-percentile) Burst Score. Listed at 5-11 and 186-pounds, Mostert does not possess an every-down stature, but his six evaded tackles, three breakaway runs and 19.5-percent Juke Rate in limited action suggest he’s ready for a big role. He slides right into the lead back role should Breida, who’s battling ankle and shoulder injuries, miss time. Alongside Breida he’s the 1B but even in a timeshare he’ll produce enough to stay fantasy relevant.

Trenton Cannon firing

Metrically speaking, Trenton Cannon bests backfield mates Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell in every major category. That includes 40-yard dash, Burst Score, Agility Score and College Dominator Rating. At age 24 he’s the youngest back on the team (Powell is 30, Crowell 25). There’s not a large NFL sample size to grade him on, but Cannon’s 7.2 College YPC ranks in the 94th-percentile. His 11.3 fantasy points in Week 7 were the most of any Jets back as he caught 4 of 5 targets for 69 yards. Cannon only played 16 snaps prior to Week 7 but his recent usage and production are encouraging. The Jets would be wise to see how the sixth-round pick out of Virginia State handles a larger workload. Consider Cannon stash-worthy.