We are nearing the end of the regular season when it comes to fantasy football. Fantasy football managers are trying to make last-minute decisions to make sure their teams have the best chance at making the playoffs. Matchups and injuries are two things that play a big role in choosing who to play.
For example, let’s take a look at Brandin Cooks and Quentin Johnston to see which receiver should be in your lineup.
Should You Start Brandin Cooks or Quentin Johnston This Week?
In the Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer, our Consensus Rankings say that Cooks is the player to start. His projected 9.0 points include four catches and 44 receiving yards. That projected stat line barely outperforms the consensus projections of Johnston (8.6 points).
I’m going with the Optimizer on this, as this feels like a potential big week for Cooks after a breakout game against the New York Giants.
Fantasy Outlook for Cooks This Week
Cooks had nine catches for 173 yards and one touchdown in the win against the Giants. Entering the game against New York, Cooks only had 17 catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Cooks ended the game with eight more yards than he had all year entering the game.
When the Cowboys brought Cooks over, it seemed like he would be a perfect fit in Dallas. He has been successful on some bad teams, and going in as the second or third option on Dallas seemed like a match made in heaven. While it hasn’t been the case yet, is Sunday a sign that things could be turning around?
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Cooks is going up against a Panthers team right now that ranks well against the pass. Carolina is currently sixth in the NFL against the pass, allowing only 176.4 yards per game.
While that could be enough to scare you off, Cooks and the Cowboys’ passing attack is on a different level than the majority of the Panthers’ opponents. Look for Cooks to have another big game, and don’t be surprised if he has another 100-yard game.
Fantasy Outlook for Johnston This Week
It has been up and down this year for Johnston, but the rookie from TCU is starting to play his best football of the season. He has 18 catches this year, and 11 of them have been in his last three games. While he is starting to become more involved in the passing game, should fantasy managers think this is a sign of things to come?
The issue is that he is the third target at best, as Keenan Allen has had five games this year with at least eight catches. As he has continued to get healthy, running back Austin Ekeler is getting more and more involved in the offense. He has averaged 102.6 total yards in his last three games and has scored four of his five touchdowns during this stretch.
The Chargers’ next two games come against the Green Bay Packers and the Baltimore Ravens, two of the better defenses against the pass this year.
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer, Start/Sit Optimizer, and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!