The Cleveland Browns overhauled their roster in the offseason with moves that included trading for wide receiver Amari Cooper, who made his team debut in Week 1. The passing attack for the Browns remains in flux, affecting his fantasy ceiling for the time being. After assessing his Week 1 performance, we determine whether the Browns receiver is a start or sit in Week 2.
Fantasy Football analysis: Browns WR Amari Cooper
Cleveland opted to run the ball more than throw in their Week 1 win over the Panthers, totaling 39 rushing attempts versus 34 passing attempts. Cooper finished with just 4.7 PPR fantasy points, an indication of how often Cooper saw the ball look his way. But a more surprising stat was that he did not lead the Browns receivers in targets. He saw six targets and hauled in three catches for just 17 yards, which was fewer than the 11 targets for Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Cooper would have a chance to bounce back in better fashion for Week 2, but there’s a great chance that Jets rookie cornerback “Sauce” Gardner will be covering him throughout the majority of the game. Gardner had a strong debut, seeing 34 coverage snaps while allowing just one catch (eight yards) and forcing one incompletion. If Gardner shadows Cooper throughout Sunday’s game, then it could potentially be to the benefit of the other Browns receivers.
Start or sit in Week 2?
Until Deshaun Watson makes his regular season debut for the Browns, it means Cooper’s fantasy potential will be up and down on a weekly basis. The fact that Cooper was out-targeted by Peoples-Jones in Week 1 isn’t a promising sign either, and the hesitancy only rises with Gardner covering Cooper on Sunday. Until we see Cooper’s targets and volume look more promising, he remains a sit for this week’s matchup.