Amari Cooper will make his Dallas Cowboys debut on Monday night leaving fantasy owners with questions on what to do with the wide receiver in their lineup. The answer to whether you should start or sit Cooper depends on your roster situation.
Under normal circumstances, you would keep Cooper on your bench as you see how the Cowboys will utilize him in the offense. With so many teams on bye in Week 9, you may not have that luxury. Cooper is in the WR3 territory for this week, so if you have more stable options go with them.
All is not lost if you need to start Cooper as the Cowboys are expected to utilize him right away. Dallas gave up a first round pick to trade for Cooper showing just how much they wanted to snag the wide receiver from the Raiders.
Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan noted the team does not plan to ease Cooper into the gameplan. Cooper will start for the Cowboys against the Titans.
“He’s going to be starting at wide receiver and playing a significant amount of snaps,” Linehan told Dallas News. “How many those are we’ll determine that a little bit more the day before the game. We’re not really easing him into the situation. He’s got a pretty big workload and we’ll just keep an eye on him and see where he is and how much he plays in some situations. Right now there is no limit with what we do with him.”
With Cooper, it is not just a question of workload, but there is also the issue of getting familiar with a new offense. Cooper and Dak Prescott will be trying to get their timing down on the fly. It does help the Cowboys are coming off a bye week, so the wide receiver has had a little bit more time to try to get up to speed with the offense.
Prior to the Cowboys, Cooper has had a disappointing fantasy season with just two fantasy-relevant games. Cooper’s lack of production has a lot to do with the dysfunctional Raiders offense, and his long-term value should go up as he immediately becomes the Cowboys WR1. Cooper had eight receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown in Week 5. He had 10 receptions for 116 yards in Week 2.
“The quick twitch,” Prescott told the USA Today. “The quick twitch and then that transition to the explosiveness he has. He’s a guy on the line, his releases, you just kind of shake your head like, ‘Dang.’…He’s a quick-twitch guy who has a lot to offer. He’s a threat. You can throw him a slant, a quick screen or whatever and he can turn that into a home run. I’m excited to get out there in the live action.”
Cooper is a WR3 for this week, but should be a WR2 for the rest of the season. If you are in a pinch, it is okay to start Cooper, but if you have more stable options you would be wise to start them for Week 9. Be sure to check out my top starts and sits for Week 9.