Brandin Cooks is heading into his third season with the Houston Texans, coming off another fantastic performance in 2021. He’s finished at WR20 or higher every year but one since 2015, and the lone exception was thanks to an injury. The 28-year-old isn’t slowing down anytime soon as he’s racked up over 1,000 receiving yards in six of his eight seasons in the league.
He recently signed a two-year extension with the Texans, keeping him in Houston at least until 2024.
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Receiving: Cooks saw a career-high 90 catches from 134 targets in 2021 with the Texans, totaling 1,037 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 11.5 yards per reception.
Rushing: His running stats were unsurprisingly minimal, with two carries and 21 yards last season.
Fantasy: Cooks came in as the overall WR20, with 231.8 PPR fantasy points through 16 games, averaging 14.5 points per game.
Texans offseason moves
Obviously, one of the best moves they made was extending Cooks’ contract by two years, worth $39.6 million. Cooks is objectively their best receiver, and new head coach Lovie Smith wanted to make sure he stayed in a Texans uniform for the foreseeable future. The biggest move Houston made this offseason was trading QB Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a slew of draft picks. It was a great move for the Texans to finally offload Watson, who has the potential of missing his second season in a row due to a host of sexual misconduct allegations. Davis Mills looks to be the starter for Smith’s squad come Week 1 as the second-year QB will get another chance to prove himself.
2022 best case scenario
Cooks’ best-case scenario involves a top-10 WR finish overall in the league, combined with another paramount season that sees him break 1,000 total receiving yards for the seventh time. His career high is 1,204, but considering his new contract, a fresh start for Mills, and all the confidence in the world heading into 2022 as Houston’s top receiver, he could end up crushing that record as he shows he still has plenty of gas left in the tank.
2022 worst case scenario
In the worst case, Cooks could find that he just doesn’t gel with the offense, whether the starting QB job stays with Davis Mills or falls to someone else like Kyle Allen. Last season he was targeted more than twice as much as the second-most targeted player, who was Nico Collins with 60 on the season. If for some reason Cooks sees a huge dip in his target share, his numbers could take a dive real fast.
I don’t think the worst case scenario is too plausible at this stage, as Cooks is easily Houston’s top receiver heading into next season. His floor continues to stay relatively high, so even if he has an “average” season, that means he’ll still finish in the top 20 of all receivers in the league. With the weight of the Watson saga finally off the Texans’ shoulders, Cooks could be poised for a legitimate breakout season this year.