Cooper Kupp Fantasy Value Rising Following Massive Sunday Night Football Performance

Dan Israeli

Coming into the season, there was a lot of buzz surrounding Cooper Kupp as he prepared to make his return from a torn ACL suffered in Week 10 of the 2018 season. Despite the injury occurring fairly late, Kupp was fully on track to start in Week 1, and had reportedly displayed better agility and quickness than he had even before the injury.

Through three weeks, those reports look to have been accurate, as Kupp has racked up 23 catches for 268 yards. The third-year wideout from Eastern Washington flashed his full potential against the Cleveland Browns in Week 3, catching 11 balls for 102 yards, scoring his first two touchdowns of the season — both on red zone targets.

Kupp showcased his enhanced athleticism on his first touchdown, putting a move on cornerback T.J. Carrie before finishing an out route in the end zone. On the second, Kupp was lightning quick out of his breaks once again, taking a small bump off a Browns' defender and scoring on a quick slant.

Despite their 3-0 start, the Rams' offense has not been as prolific this season as they have in previous years. Jared Goff has continued his late-2018 regression, as he is averaging just 246 passing yards per game with four touchdowns to three picks. The running game has also been less effective, as they failed to crack 100 yards on the ground against Cleveland with Todd Gurley continuing to see a reduced load to start the year.

Despite the offensive shortcomings, Kupp has established himself as Goff's number-one option in the passing game. His 31 targets lead the team, clearly ahead of fellow wide receivers Robert Woods (23) and Brandin Cooks (22). Kupp was well on his way to a big season in 2018, and managed 40 receptions for 566 yards and six touchdowns in just eight games played.

While the Rams like to shuffle their wide receivers around in formation, Kupp did most of his damage out of the slot against the Browns. His adeptness at interior route running and great hands have him looking like one of the league's premier slot receivers, and he should continue to be Goff's go-to guy out of the slot as long as he is healthy.

The week-to-week consistency of the Rams WR trio is still hard to nail down, and unless Goff's production really picks up there won't be many weeks in which all three can eat. With such a big edge in volume, though, it doesn't look like Kupp will often be the odd man out in this passing game, and he's opened 2019 ranking 12th at the position in standard scoring fantasy points.

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