Cooks brought in six of eight targets for 100 yards in Sunday's 24-20 AFC championship game win over the Jaguars. The speedster found some rare success against the Jags' pair of stalwart corners, doubling up his reception total from last Saturday's divisional-round win over the Titans in the process. Among his six catches, Cooks notched an 18-yard grab on a key early fourth-quarter drive, which was preceded by a game-long 31-yard reception on the second play of the contest in which he got loose from Jags linebacker Telvin Smith downfield. In between, Cooks served as a deep threat on multiple occasions, and as a pivotal component of the passing game once Rob Gronkowski was lost for the game in the first half due to a head injury. His eight targets tied with Dion Lewis for second on the afternoon behind Danny Amendola, and Cooks should once again see a prominent role in two weeks' time when the Patriots face off with the winner of the Vikings-Eagles NFC championship game in Super Bowl LII.
Cooks snagged five of 11 targets for 79 yards and a touchdown and added eight yards on three carries Cooks scooted past a pair of defenders that got caught up in a pick and hauled in a five-yard touchdown late in the second quarter. It was Cooks' second score in his last three games and the contest featured a matched season-high 11 targets. Cooks will get his next opportunity in the Division Round and he'll need to improve against quality opponents if he wants to aid in a deep New England run. In five games against teams that entered Week 17 in the AFC playoff picture, Cooks has averaged just three catches and 42 yards this season.
Cooks caught two of his five targets for 19 yards and carried once for six yards in Sunday's 37-16 win over the Bills. With scores of fantasy titles on the line, Cooks' quiet effort in Week 16 could not have come at a worse time, but the speedy wideout wasn't a big part of the game plan Sunday, with the Patriots' victory fueled by the ground game, which was paced by Dion Lewis' 129 rushing yards. Assuming the team is playing for playoff seeding Week 17, Cooks is a bounce-back candidate next weekend against the Jets.
Cooks caught four of seven targets for 60 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 27-24 victory over the Steelers. Cooks caught a 43-yard bomb on the opening drive but wasn't really heard from again until he found the end zone on a four-yard scoring strike in the third quarter, as tight end Rob Gronkowski dominated receiving work most of the game. This performance was definitely a step up from his previous two, but it's hard to ignore Cooks' recent slump is corresponding with poor play from quarterback Tom Brady, who's been on the injury report with an Achilles injury in recent weeks. Brady owns a 62.0 percent completion rate and 2:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio over his last three games. Meanwhile, Cooks has caught just 41.1 percent of his 17 targets while averaging 38.3 receiving yards during that window. He'll remain a high-risk, high-reward fantasy option in a Week 16 rematch with Buffalo.
Cooks caught one of seven targets for 38 yards in Monday night's 27-20 loss to the Dolphins. Cooks' lone reception didn't come until the Patriots' final offensive drive of the game, as he was locked down by cornerback Xavien Howard and drew plenty of attention in the absence of Rob Gronkowski (suspension). With just three receptions for 55 yards over the past two weeks, Cooks' recent slump couldn't come at a worse time for fantasy owners, and Sunday's matchup in Pittsburgh certainly poses a tough task as well. However, considering he still ranks in the top 10 league-wide in receiving yards (924) this season, owners should still be plenty aware of Cooks' ability to break out.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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