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How to handle Brandin Cooks’ injury in Week 1 fantasy football

Cooks’ Houston debut looks iffy due to an apparent quad injury.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks during practice at at The Grove. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE 6:45 p.m.: Brandin Cooks will be ACTIVE, per Ian Rapoport. There is no word on any kind of snap limitations, but if he’s active, this is a solid matchup. The big concern is an aggravation of the injury.

UPDATE 11:00 a.m.: Brandin Cooks is a game-time decision, but Tom Pelissero is reporting there is optimism he’ll play. Pelissero’s source said “so far, so good,” and Cooks will test it out in pre-game workouts.

The Houston Texans attempted to fill the massive void left by the now-Cardinal DeAndre Hopkins by bringing in Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks. Unfortunately for the ex-Ram, his health continues to be an issue.

Throughout this final week of practice, Cooks has flip-flopped between limited, DNP, and limited due to a quad injury. He is listed as questionable for the Texans Week 1 opener vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. If the Texans’ first game wasn’t on Thursday night, Cooks would have had a few more days to get his health in a solid spot. But that’s not the situation at hand, so tread lightly if you are considering Cooks at all.

Fantasy football analysis, Houston Texans WR Brandin Cooks

As Houston matches up against the high-powered defending champions, Deshaun Watson will need all weapons at his disposal. Will Fuller V has an opportunity to emerge as a serious fantasy point-getter this season, and Randall Cobb will seemingly sit in the slot. If Cooks gets the green light, we should see him sharing WR3 duties with Kenny Stills.

Since the Texans are getting nine points against the Chiefs, they are expected to play catch-up by relying on the arm (and legs) of Watson. The season’s first installment of Thursday Night Football is projected to be the highest scoring (O/U 54.5 points) of the week. With that in mind, putting stock in Houston’s receiving corps lends itself to a positive game script scenario. Considering the uncertainty swirling around Cooks’ injury status, though, it would be safe to look elsewhere for target share.