Fantasy Reaction: Jared Cook Signs With St. Louis
Year after year, Jared Cook entices us with promises of long touchdowns and pots of gold at the end of rainbows. The speedy tight end has never been short on talent, but he has yet to deliver on his promise in the NFL. There have been the occasional offensive explosions, but they have all served to perpetuate the tease.
Now he signed a huge contract with the Rams and we’re all supposed to believe he will finally hit his fantasy stride. Let’s look under the hood and see what we might get.
In 13 games and 485 offensive snaps last season, Cook rated 34th among tight ends with at least 25 percent of all offensive snaps. His +0.3 overall rating indicated that he was simply average, and none of the individual ratings stuck out. Despite his notoriety as a deep seam threat, Cook’s yards per route run (YPRR) came in at 1.45, good for 16th in the league at tight end. Cook was targeted just five times on passes that sailed over 20 yards in the air. Kendricks fared worse, garnering just five deep-ball targets.
To put that in perspective, the man he will be replacing in St. Louis—Lance Kendricks—sported a 1.30 YPRR, not too much lower than his replacement.
Going farther down this rabbit hole, Cook’s aDOT in Tennessee was a decent 9.0, which ranked 14th in the league. Kendricks’ was an abysmal 7.4 with Sam Bradford at the helm. At least for the foreseeable future, Bradford will be throwing Cook the ball. Kendricks scored as many touchdowns as Cook did last season, though he did play three more games. Kendricks commanded just 57 targets to Cook’s 68 despite being on the field for three more games.
This could merely be indicative of Kendricks’ talent, or lack thereof. After all, there is a reason the Rams ponied up $35.1 million over five years to sign a tight end who doesn’t block. Then again, this could be a heaping, reeking pile of red flags about Cook’s fantasy value going into next season. Ironically, Cook scored 119.5 standard fantasy points, which ranked 19th at the position. Why was that ironic?
The man sitting in 20th was none other than Lance Kendricks. Tread carefully in St. Louis.