Amari Cooper was placed on the COVID-19 list on Friday, which is bad news for fantasy football managers everywhere. How long will Cooper be out, and what does it mean for the Cowboys’ offense as they continue their march towards the playoffs?
Amari Cooper COVID-19 timeline
Cooper is out for Dallas’ Week 11 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, but he could also miss their Thanksgiving game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
It’s truly horrible timing. Cooper being placed on the COVID-19 list will also force him to miss their Thanksgiving matchup with his former team, the Las Vegas Raiders, due to him being unvaccinated. ESPN has confirmed his vaccination status.
Players that are vaccinated can return to team activities if they test negative twice more than 24 hours apart. Players that are unvaccinated must isolate for 10 days, after which they can return to team activities if they are asymptomatic.
Cooper will now miss at least two games, which hurts fantasy managers just weeks before the fantasy football playoffs.
What are the fantasy impacts on CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup?
From a fantasy perspective, those that have invested in CeeDee Lamb should see more of the same. Since Week 6, Lamb has out-targeted Cooper 35 to 30. Lamb has 378 yards and 4 TDs over those four games to Cooper’s 265 yards and 1 TD. Lamb has already taken over as the Cowboys’ WR1. He could potentially see an uptick in targets without Cooper, but I’m not sure there’s much more room to increase those numbers.
Where this gets particularly interesting is for Michael Gallup, who returned last week from injury and was operating as the team’s third wide receiver. He now looks to benefit from slotting in as the second receiving option on the team and should benefit from more looks. Cedrick Wilson could also see more work as long as Cooper is out.
Week 11 fantasy expectations for Dallas players
Week 11 is a juicy matchup for Cowboys skill players as they face a Chiefs defense that has been quite beatable this season. Kansas City has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Dak Prescott should have plenty of talent around him to continue to feast, even without Cooper.
Lamb will unquestionably be the team’s best receiving option and is a locked-in WR1. Fantasy managers should consider Gallup and Wilson as flex plays. Additionally, Dalton Schultz is a must-start tight end option for Week 11 (and 12, for that matter).
The Cowboys will be just fine. The people that suffer the most from this news are those who roster Cooper. They will look to push towards the fantasy playoffs four weeks from now without one of their top WRs available.