The final major move in the arms race between the Rams and the Eagles was the Rams' addition of Brandin Cooks. You might think adding a receiver who has posted three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons would be a major one in terms of Fantasy impact, but it's hard to not be frustrated by it from our perspective.

We just saw this Sean McVay offense steamroll through the NFL on the shoulders of Todd Gurley and a spread-it-around passing attack. While the offense was prolific, it was by no means a dream for pass catchers not named Gurley. No wide receiver topped 100 targets or 900 yards. Will Cooks arrival change that? I wouldn't bet on it.

One of the reasons no receiver topped 100 targets was because the starting offense sat out Week 17, as Cooper Kupp finished just six short. Another reason is that the teams' best receiver on a per game basis (Robert Woods) only played 12 games. Kupp was on a 16-game pace of 66-927-5 on 100 targets; Woods' pace was 75-1,041-7 on 113 targets. Both would have still fallen short of Sammy Watkins' team-leading eight touchdowns.

This equality in targets is nothing new for McVay. In 2016, when he was the offensive coordinator for Washington, he had four different players finish with between 89 and 114 targets. In fact, in his four seasons as an offensive coordinator and head coach, McVay has never had a player top 114 targets. That's great for offensive efficiency, but not so good for elite receivers. 

*Rankings expressed below are in terms of expected Fantasy points. This is a part of our actual Fantasy Football rankings but not a direct correlation to my rankings. Things like injury risk, upside, etc. factor into rankings but they're not being talked about here. This is simply an expectation as the team is currently constructed.

PLAYER

EXPECTED FP

POS. RANK

EXPECTED PPR FP

POS. RANK

Todd Gurley

272.3

#1

303.7

#2

Brandin Cooks

133.8

#22

194

#38

Robert Woods

125.5

#35

198

#31

Cooper Kupp

123

#38

190

#38

Jared Goff

303.6

#18

303.6

#18

Breaking down the touches

McVay's three-year averages include two years when he was the offensive coordinator under Jay Gruden and there is some disagreement between the play distribution last year and when he was in Washington. One is obvious: they ran the ball a lot more (454 attempts) in 2017, which is explained by their winning. Another is a little bit more subtle: they threw the ball to their tight ends a lot less. I'll shade my expectations to last year's numbers, but won't completely disregard McVay's two years prior. 

Rams touches
Player RuSHARE RuATT ReSHARE TGT REC TD
Todd Gurley 
65% 28616% 856214
Brandin Cooks0% 019% 101607
Robert Woods0% 0 21% 111725
Cooper Kupp 0% 0 19% 101665
Tyler Higbee 0% 0 9% 48272
Gerald Everett 0% 0 8% 42222

Of note: 

  • Both Higbee and Everett have genuine upside but one of them is going to have to win a larger share of the tight end targets to have any Fantasy relevance. 
  • It's possible that Cooks gets a much larger share of the targets but that can't be the expectation given the way McVay has spread the ball around in the past.
  • Goff has elite weapons, but I would expect small regression from last year's touchdown rate (5.9 percent). If his volume stays low that could mean trouble for his Fantasy standing.

The Leftovers

You would be hard pressed to find a worse landing spot for John Kelly. Gurley saw a huge chunk of the team's work in 2017 and he's still young enough we don't expect that will change. So Kelly, an extremely physical back who also excels in the passing game, is nothing more than a handcuff to start his NFL career. He's still worth a third or fourth round pick in rookie drafts and I wouldn't mind a late-round flyer in best ball leagues.

I'm still a fan of Josh Reynolds' upside and an another injury to Woods could give us a chance to see it. Reynolds was not involved as a rookie but I believe in the way he uses his size and his ability to win in the red zone. I wouldn't be cutting him loose in Dynasty leagues any time soon.