Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said Wednesday that Cooper will be "the focal point" of the team's offense in 2018, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. "He has tremendous quickness. He's smart, versatile and he's a gamer," Gruden said of Cooper. "He likes the bright lights, and he'll be the headliner in our offense." During Cooper's first three NFL seasons, he and Michael Crabtree have largely acted as co-No. 1 receivers with both players tallying similar statistics, but Gruden's comments suggest the target share could tilt much more favorably in Cooper's direction during the upcoming campaign. While the Raiders plan to retain Crabtree in 2018, he'll turn 31 in September and is bound for free agency next spring, so the Raiders have plenty incentive to ensure that Cooper is up for handling heavier volume in the passing game. The prospect of increased targets -- even if starting quarterback Derek Carr fails to show much progression under Gruden's tutelage -- makes Cooper an appealing commodity coming off a disappointing season in which he supplied 48 catches for 680 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games.
Cooper caught three passes on six targets for 115 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 30-10 loss to the Chargers. He finishes up his 2017 campaign with 48 receptions for 680 yards and seven touchdowns on 96 targets in 14 games. Cooper's fantasy performance in Week 17 was salvaged by an 87-yard touchdown reception, marking his second 60-plus yard score in the last two weeks. The third-year receiver failed to surpass the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the first time in his career during the 2017 campaign, but he found the end zone seven times despite dealing with a variety of minor injuries throughout the latter portion of the season. The entire Raiders offense was a mess at times as they scored less than 20 points in 10 of 16 contests, but the core of quarterback Derek Carr, running back Marshawn Lynch, Cooper and fellow receiver Michael Crabtree is slated to return in 2018 during what will be a bounce-back effort.
Cooper (ankle) does not carry an injury designation for Sunday's game against the Chargers after practicing fully Friday. Cooper returned to action in Week 16's loss to the Eagles, logging a TD on a 63-yard deep ball, while finishing with three catches for 66 yards overall. The 2015 first-rounder has found the end zone six times in 13 games this season, so he has a shot to help fantasy players in Week 17, but note that he could draw shadow coverage from standout cornerback Casey Hayward.
Cooper (ankle) was a limited practice participant Wednesday, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. After sitting out two of the previous three games, Cooper suited up for Monday's 19-10 loss to the Eagles and provided the Raiders' lone touchdown on a 63-yard deep bomb. He was otherwise held in check, finishing with three catches for 66 yards and the aforementioned score on four targets while handling a limited snap share (64 percent). Wednesday's practice participation puts Cooper on track to play in Week 17, but he could draw shadow coverage from standout cornerback Casey Hayward, as was the case when Cooper caught five passes for 28 yards in a Week 6 loss to the Chargers. There's also no assurance Cooper returns to his usual snap share upwards of 90 percent.
Cooper (ankle) is listed as active Monday at Philadelphia. Cooper has missed two of the past three games due to a left ankle injury. Here's to hope he lasts longer than his last appearance Week 14 at Kansas City, where he was blanked on 15 offensive snaps. If so, Cooper could strike against an Eagles defense that has given up 182 receiving yards per game and six touchdown catches to wideouts over the last three outings.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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