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Browns WR Amari Cooper injury: What status means for Week 17 vs. Jets

Amari Cooper is dealing with a heel injury for Week 17. We break down what it means for fantasy football and betting.

Amari Cooper #2 of the Cleveland Browns runs across the field during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on December 24, 2023 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Inactives update: Amari Cooper is OUT. He tested his heel in pregame warmups, but didn’t stay out on the field for long and now he is officially out. Get him out of your fantasy lineups. This hurts Joe Flacco as well, but should give Elijah Moore, David Njoku and Cedric Tillman a boost.

Game-day update: Cooper should be able to go as long as all goes well in warmups, per Mike Garafolo. He remains a fantasy start in most leagues despite the tough matchup and injury concerns, but he likely will have a big step down from his huge Week 16 performance against the Texans.

The Cleveland Browns host the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football to open Week 17 and will clinch a playoff berth with a win. They’ll look to secure that victory while dealing with some uncertainty around their biggest playmaker. Wide receiver Amari Cooper is listed as questionable for the game.

Cooper is dealing with a heel injury that popped up this past week. He was listed as a DNP at practice all three days due to a heel injury. It’s unclear how serious the injury is because the Monday and Wednesday sessions were walkthroughs and his injury designation was an estimate. Additionally, he was listed as resting player, so it’s unclear how much each one contributed to the DNP.

On Thursday morning, NFL Network reported Tom Pelissero tweeted that Cooper, “is hopeful he can play tonight ... but his status remains up in the air.” Pelissero added that Cooper and the Browns will “get a better sense closer to kickoff.”

Amari Cooper injury

Fantasy football analysis

The Thursday kickoff means fantasy managers will know Cooper’s status before having to make any other decisions. It seems a good bet he’ll be active. Cooper had a monster game last week catching 11 passes for a franchise record 265 yards and finding the end zone twice. The Jets defense has given up the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, but if Cooper is active, you have to start him. Fantasy managers drafted Cooper as a core option on their roster and in these championship weeks, you don’t sit him.

NFL DFS analysis

Cooper is the most expensive player for TNF showdown this week. Given the pricing ($16,800 as captain, $11,200 as flex), you would either use him as a flex or not at all. David Njoku offers a bit more intrigue in this matchup against a Jets defense that is more middle of the pack against opposing tight ends.

Betting analysis

Cooper’s receiving yards prop sits at 57.5 yards. He has exceeded that number nine times this season, but again, this is a strong Jets defense. Given the heel is a bit of an issue, consider the under a little stronger on the short week.