Alex’s Pick: WR Brandin Cooks, ADP of 7.05 (As of August 18, 2020)
Yes, Cooks has been passed around the league like a virus for the past few seasons, having been ousted by three of the best organizations in the league (New Orleans, New England, and now Los Angeles). Before he hit his rough patch last season, Cooks was coming off of four consecutive seasons with 100+ targets and 1,000+ receiving yards. Though Cooks has been known to run hot and cold as a No. 1 option in a team’s passing attack, the fact that he will find himself paired with Deshaun Watson leads me to believe that he will once again reach the 1K receiving yardage threshold, as he steps into the shoes of the departed DeAndre Hopkins. With Hopkins vacating 150 targets from the offense, Cooks should have an easy road to 100+ this season if he can stay healthy, which as we’ve seen in the past has been a one-way ticket to 1,000 yards receiving.
At this stage in his career Cooks is such a proven commodity that betting against him is simply unwise. He’s only 27 years old and when he’s on the field there are few players with his combination of speed, strength, and ball-tracking ability. While he’s certainly a few notches below Hopkins, the situation Cooks finds himself in with the Texans is about as ideal as it gets. When it comes to value he’s an absolute steal in round 7 as a potential WR2.
Angel’s Pick: RB David Johnson, ADP of 3.08 (As of August 18, 2020)
I know, I know, David Johnson has been hyped up for two seasons now and each time he’s fallen flat. But just hear me out: 2020 could be his season.
He’s not going to return to his overall RB1 status, but he should be a serviceable low-end RB1 or a high-end RB2 this season. Running behind a much improved Houston offensive line, the former Northern Iowa running back should find more open lanes than he did last season in Arizona. The Texans are set to have plenty of speed on the field as well thanks to the addition of Brandin Cooks and the continued presence of Will Fuller, something which would open up the underneath for David Johnson.
What about his age? While he is 28, Johnson only has 781 career carries, far from the number of carries it usually takes for a running back to wear down. His AFC South schedule should prove plenty favorable as well, with the Jaguars and Colts being home to less than average defensive lines (Jaguars 31st against the run, Colts 19th) while the Titans have been forced to trade away Jurrell Casey due to cap concerns.
Lastly, after trading away DeAndre Hopkins for a second and Johnson, O’Brien will want to make sure Johnson is put in the best possible spot to succeed. With Hopkins’ departure there are 150+ targets that have to be distributed and it is almost a certainty some of those will go to David Johnson. With a third-round ADP and an offense full of potential, David Johnson may prove to be the ideal RB2 for fantasy managers this season.