Jared Cook's Fantasy Football Upside Points to Potential Top-5 TE Season

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - AUGUST 09: Jared Cook #87 of the New Orleans Saints during a preseason  game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on August 09, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints | Chris Graythen/Getty Images

After teasing a breakout a few times earlier in his 10-year NFL career, Jared Cook finally came up big in 2018, setting career highs in just about ever receiving stat by turning 101 targets into 68 receptions, 896 yards and six touchdowns.

An unrestricted free agent after that breakout year, he decided to leave the Oakland Raiders and join a far more proficient offense, signing with the New Orleans Saints.

Cook has more competition for targets in New Orleans than he did in Oakland, but so far he seems to be fitting in very well with Drew Brees and company.

It's been a while since we've seen the Saints have a tight end that's as good a receiver as Cook, but the team has a pretty solid history at the position. Jimmy Graham spent years fighting with Rob Gronkowski for the top spot at the position, and even after Graham left the team got viable production out of Ben Watson (TE7 in 2015) and Coby Fleener (50 receptions in 2016).

A distinct upgrade over both Watson and Fleener, Cook could be a very interesting piece in this offense.

Cook also joins an offense that should have a fair amount of volume available for him. Ben Watson is gone after finishing third on the team in targets in 2018, and even without a full-time starter at the position, TEs accounted for 17.4 percent of the Saints' targets last year.

Competition for fantasy football relevance isn't exactly difficult at the tight end position either, as things drop off very quickly after the top tier (Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and George Kittle). Cook finished with the fifth-most fantasy points at the position last year, scoring 32.5 more than Trey Burton, who finished sixth.

Despite his move to greener pastures, Cook is being drafted well below where he finished, with an average draft position (ADP) of TE8. His efficiency could go way up with Drew Brees throwing him the ball, and with positive reports coming out of training camp, that may not come with much of a drop in volume either.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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