Welcome fantasy friends and foes to the breaking news recap of Amari Cooper Traded to Cleveland Browns.
The Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Cowboys kept the NFL offseason hot with a trade that will carry significant fantasy implications.
The Browns acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper for a 2022 5th Round pick, and the two teams will also swap sixth-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
How will the loss of Cooper affect the Cowboys' offense? Will Baker Mayfield develop chemistry with Cooper? How does this trade adjust the draft needs for each team?
Find out the answers to those questions and a whole lot more as I analyze Amari Cooper Traded to Cleveland Browns.
Amari Cooper Traded to Cleveland Browns
Cooper's Career with the Dallas Cowboys
Amari Cooper was initially drafted fourth overall by the Raiders in the 2015 NFL Draft. The Dallas Cowboys traded a first-round pick (27th pick) in a mid-season trade for Cooper in 2018.
Cooper will be 28 at the start of the 2022 season. The former Alabama wideout has caught 292 receptions for 3893 yards and 27 touchdowns over his four seasons with the Cowboys. He has never had fewer than five receiving touchdowns in a season.
His production declined with 68 receptions for 865 yards after catching 92 passes for 1,114 yards in 2020. However, his touchdowns increased from five in 2020 to eight scores last season.
Cooper is an elite route runner with big-play ability. He has been over 70 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards five times in his career.
Fantasy Impact on the Cleveland Browns Offense
The Cleveland Browns had to improve at wide receiver with a WR group that has to be one of the worst in the league. The offense averaged just 195.3 passing yards per game last season, which was sixth-worst in the league. They couldn't pass up the opportunity to obtain Cooper, who even a down 2021 season outproduced every current Browns wideout.
Cleveland is a run-first team that relies on running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and the offensive schemes of head coach Kevin Stefanski. Adding a top-end WR and elite route runner in Cooper, who has scored 21 touchdowns the past three seasons, can open up and upgrade the Browns offense.
The biggest question in the Browns offense will be the health and production of quarterback Baker Mayfield. Everyone knows about the Odell Beckham Jr. drama, which has been played out ad nauseam. Mayfield will need to develop chemistry with Cooper quickly and be more accurate this season. It is a make-or-break season for Baker.
Mayfield and the Browns offensive coaches will need to get the most of Cooper's talent. He will see a larger share of targets with the Browns than he ever saw with the Cowboys. Another 1,000-yard season is in store for Cooper, and he will be a fantasy monster in PPR formats in 2022.
The Browns have a dilemma on who is starting opposite Cooper. Once the team traded for Cooper, Jarvis Landry was granted permission to seek a trade with both sides not able to agree on a restructured contract. Jarvis Landry is highly regarded in Cleveland and the Browns locker room. Landry was the heart and soul of the team.
The Browns' offense should be vastly improved next season. They can bring back Landry and pair him up with Amari Cooper, along with bringing back play-making tight end David Njoku, and adding those weapons with that running game could be lethal.
If Landry does move on, Cleveland will look to draft a wide receiver with their 13th pick in the NFL Draft to pair with Cooper, which still provides drastic improvement.
Fantasy Impact on the Dallas Cowboys Offense
The Cowboys will not be better off without Cooper. The chemistry between Prescott and Cooper has been a launching point for the Cowboys' offense. Prescott is better with Cooper on the field. They developed into a tremendous QB-WR duo.
This season, the playcalling of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore emphasized employing a variety of receivers and weapons in the passing game and probably too much reliance on the running game. This led to tight end Dalton Shultz and Tony Pollard, along with Cedric Wilson, as integral parts in the passing game.
Without Cooper, 2020 first-round pick CeeDee Lamb will take over the WR1 spot in the Cowboys offense. Lamb led the team with 79 catches and 1,102 yards last season. Overall, he produced solid numbers but didn't connect consistently with Prescott. He will be the main focus of the passing attack and opposing defenses. He will need to be even better next season. Let's see if he can elevate his game.
The Cowboys will need to bring back Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson Jr. Gallup is rehabbing from a torn ACL, and all signs point to Michael Gallup not hitting free agency and signing with the team. Wilson scored six touchdowns last season and should be an essential target for the Cowboys to bring back due to his chemistry with Prescott.
The Cowboys are a weakened offense due to their cap management issues. They will need to draft a wide receiver or bring in an inexpensive veteran to compensate for their loss of offensive weapons.
Which team won the trade?
The Cowboys were forced to move Cooper due to their appalling cap management. The recent dump of tight end Blake Jarwin and kicker Greg Zuerlein will save almost $6.5 million. Another attempt to save cap space to resign some of their players, including wide receiver Michael Gallup. The r $18.22 million salary obligation to running back Ezekiel Elliott has been an albatross, and poor contract management made this a necessary move. Still, you would think they would receive better draft compensation for Cooper.
It seems pretty obvious why the Browns jumped at this opportunity. The Browns were in desperate need of a legitimate wide receiver. It is a low-risk, high-reward move for a receiver who has recorded five 1,000-yard seasons. His contract has no guaranteed money beyond the 2022 season. The Browns could release him and not incur a dead cap hit. The Browns own extra picks in both the third and fourth rounds, so giving up a fifth-rounder like some defensive back from Oklahoma to get Cooper is a no-brainer.
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