Amari Cooper to start Cowboys training camp on NFL’s PUP list

With the news that Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper will open training camp on the NFL’s physically unable to perform (PUP) list, fantasy football managers will have immediate concerns. What does this news mean for the fantasy value of Cooper, as well as his Cowboys teammates, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup?

Amari Cooper’s fantasy value after being placed on the PUP list for Dallas Cowboys training camp

At first instinct, the news that Cooper is on the NFL PUP list is somewhat frightening for his fantasy value. However, the PUP list in training camp and the regular season are very different. If Cooper were going on the in-season PUP list, that would mean he was guaranteed to miss a portion of the season. Being on the training camp PUP list is somewhat less significant. At any time, the Cowboys can move Cooper back onto the active roster.

Should there be concerns about selecting Cooper at his current fantasy ADP?

Cooper is currently being selected at an ADP of 41.9 in 1QB formats and 58.9 in superflex formats. He is currently going off the board somewhere between the 15th and 20th wide receiver selected. This news does not change his outlook significantly at this stage. The fact the injury is lingering to the point that Cooper will start the Cowboys’ training camp on the PUP list is a concern, but there is still a lot of time before Dallas begins the year on September 9.

As it stands, Cooper is still a player that should be comfortably selected as a top 20 WR, which is where he falls in Pro Football Network’s consensus fantasy WR rankings for 2021. Cooper has missed a total of just three games in his career since the Raiders drafted him in 2015. He has played 16 games in each of the past two seasons with the Cowboys. In terms of his presence on the field, there have not been many more reliable receivers in the past six years.

Fantasy impact for CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup

Both Lamb and Gallup would figure to see a boost in their fantasy value if Cooper was to miss time. The biggest beneficiary would likely be Gallup, who would be promoted from the third option to second. Gallup is being selected in the ninth round in 1QB formats and the 12th round in superflex.

Gallup has been a fairly consistent option in terms of targets over the past two years. He saw 113 in 2019 and 105 in 2020. However, his yards per reception per target dropped significantly in 2020 compared to 2019. Gallup will likely see a slight rise in his ADP from the news that Cooper will open Cowboys training camp on the PUP list. That increase could hurt the value that he has at his current ADP.

Lamb is already being selected in the third or fourth round of most fantasy drafts. If this news pushes his ADP even higher, then it is hard to invest that much. There are a lot of talented options at the WR position for fantasy in 2021. Lamb started his career in the NFL with 935 receiving yards on 74 receptions. He should be in line for a similar — if not better — season in 2021.

If Cooper were to miss significant time, Lamb could be a top-10 WR in 2021. Still, the news that Cooper is missing the start of the Cowboys’ training camp does not mean he should be selected significantly earlier in fantasy drafts.

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Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.