As with any injured player, Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp’s value is inevitably going to be lower than if he were healthy. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth exploring the possibility of trading potential value for actual value. With that in mind, should fantasy football managers consider trading Kupp?
Should Fantasy Football Managers Trade Cooper Kupp?
The theory behind any trade is simple: If you think the deal makes your team better, do it. When trading healthy players, it’s a much easier evaluation to make. Of course, you won’t always get it correct, but at least you will be able to clearly evaluate the players.
When it comes to injured players, it’s much trickier. If you could trade Kupp for any other top-14 WR, you would obviously do it. If the best you were getting was a random WR3 like Michael Pittman Jr. or Courtland Sutton, that’s an easy pass. The challenge lies in figuring out the middle. What is the proper value to trade away the elite production you know a guy like Kupp provides when healthy?
In order to figure out the answer to that question, we first must draw our own inferences on Kupp. The challenge a Kupp trade provides is that we know, beyond any doubt, that Kupp is an elite WR1 when he’s on the field. So, you have to be getting enough back to justify giving up that upside.
The next step is determining how likely you think it is that Kupp actually returns in Week 5 when first eligible. The only thing we know for sure is that Kupp will miss the first four weeks. Just because he can return in Week 5 doesn’t mean he will.
Perhaps the main reason Kupp was falling to the latter part of the first round (before all this injury stuff) was because of concerns about his health. Kupp’s 2023 season ended prematurely due to a season-ending ankle injury in Week 10.
At 30 years old, there was already concern about Kupp’s ability to stay healthy. It didn’t take long for those concerns to prove warranted.
We know hamstring injuries have a tendency to linger. We also know that players over 30 tend to struggle more in their recovery and are at a higher risk of re-injury.
I believe there is a nonzero chance Kupp doesn’t play a snap this season. Even if he does return, whether it be in Week 5 or shortly thereafter, the remainder of his season would be like walking on eggshells.
The Rams are likely not going to win many games. What if Kupp returns in Week 6 to a 1-5 team? He plays 3-4 games, then suffers a minor aggravation. But the Rams have just two wins at this point. Do you think the Rams will bother bringing him back?
All of this is to say there are a lot of ways rostering Kupp goes very badly, and not many in which things go well. We don’t really want to sell low on a guy, especially not one with the upside of Kupp.
However, we do need to be realistic about his range of outcomes. Unfortunately, I don’t see this ending well for Kupp fantasy managers this season. As a result, I would absolutely look to trade him right now.
What Should Fantasy Managers Look To Acquire When Trading Kupp?
Every league is different. I don’t know your league-mates. I don’t know your league settings. I don’t know your league rules.
In shallow leagues, I am much more likely to demand a higher return for Kupp because the risk of getting nothing from him is lower. In deeper leagues, moving Kupp could fill multiple holes/upgrade multiple spots in my starting lineup. The price may be lower.
At this point, we can still look at player values based on ADP. My final snake draft occurred Wednesday night, the day before the season started. Kupp fell to the early part of the fourth round. Had he gone on IR prior to that draft, my guess is he would’ve fallen to the sixth.
In an optimal scenario, I am looking for a Round 4-type player in return for Kupp. I would also be willing to take multiple Round 6-7 guys. As an example, if someone offered me Diontae Johnson and Jahan Dotson for Kupp, I would take that. But if the best I can get is Michael Thomas and Gabe Davis, I will take my chances on Kupp.
Feel free to replace those player names with the specific guys you prefer. The point was merely to give you an idea of what I’d look for in a trade involving Kupp.
I don’t like drafting injured players. So, I don’t have Kupp in any leagues. But if I did, I would be willing to sell relatively low on him to rid myself of the headache. My stance on Kupp is he will play fewer than six games this season. As a result, fantasy managers should look to get out now while they still can.
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.