Tarik Cohen Fantasy Outlook Jumps in PPR Leagues With Wide Receiver Role in Week 1

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears
Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears / Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears offense may not have given us much to be excited about in their season-opening 10-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. From a fantasy football standpoint, though, Tarik Cohen's usage was very intriguing, especially if you're playing in a PPR league.

Cohen didn't see a single carry in the crowded Chicago backfield, but the team only handed the ball off 12 times, and Cohen's involvement in the passing game more than made up for a lack of rushing volume.

Only Allen Robinson (13) saw more targets than Cohen's 10, and thanks to the short-yardage nature of the looks he got, Cohen led the team with eight receptions.

Lining up almost exclusively as a wide receiver, we get some early confirmation that Cohen can absolutely co-exist with whichever of Mike Davis or David Montgomery leads the team on the ground. Cohen was always expected to be the primary passing-down back, having received 91 targets in 2018, but this WR usage is a new wrinkle that makes his workload even safer.

We know he has big-play ability, having finished 2018 as one of only five RBs that averaged double-digit yards per reception (min. 20 receptions), so even if his usage remains concentrated on short routes, he should still offer some solid weekly upside. His PPR floor is what becomes really exciting as a slot WR though. Short targets lend themselves to higher catch rates, meaning that even an inefficient game from Cohen should leave him with a reasonable fantasy score.

We saw exactly that in Week 1, when he only managed to turn his eight receptions into 49 yards, contributing 12.9 fantasy points in what was a fairly weak showing. A floor like that isn't always exciting, but pairing it with plenty of upside could make Cohen an incredibly valuable fantasy asset.

This WR role could be matchup-dependent, so it's worth keeping an eye on moving forward, but the team's willingness to open the year with him in that role is a great sign. He still got a couple of RB snaps as well, so we shouldn't expect his rushing volume to stay at zero throughout the season 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.