Beyond just the obvious choices of Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall, fantasy managers should look at Dalvin Cook this week for the NY Jets as they get set to play the Buffalo Bills.
Cook has most certainly had a rough year so far but does have a few things working for him this week and can certainly be picked up off waivers or claimed for cheap in daily fantasy leagues.
Below are a few reasons why Dalvin Cook is a name to watch this week for fantasy players.
1. No more Michael Carter
Following the release of Michael Carter on Tuesday, there are some extra opportunities in the Jets backfield to be split amongst Cook, Hall, and rookie Israel Abanikanda.
Hall is already playing an enormous amount of snaps, and I just don’t buy that Abanikanda will go from a healthy scratch to a large snap count in his first week active. That means Cook stands the most to gain from Carter’s 10-15 snaps per week.
If Cook gets an additional 8-10 snaps this week, that would suggest he would be in line for three to five more touches, depending on how many targets he might generate in the passing game.
That would be almost double the workload he has averaged the last few weeks, opening up the door to more production as well.
2. Third-down chances
The most important aspect of Carter being released is that it opens up many opportunities on third down, a pass-heavy down for teams traditionally.
Over the past four weeks, Carter has dominated the third-down snaps, playing almost 60 percent of them for the Jets and racking up targets and catches on those opportunities. Despite only eight carries this year, Carter managed to haul in 15 passes, including nine in just the last four games.
Cook has run 47 times this year for the Jets but only brought in 10 catches despite far more playing time than Carter. A large reason for that is that Cook has been getting only first and second down chances.
I would expect Cook to split the third-down opportunities with Hall this week, which should open up a few targets and catches and, as all fantasy owners know, open up more points, especially in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues.
3. Dalvin Cook looked good last week
Maybe the most important reason to think about playing Cook this week is that he is coming off his best game in months.
After tallying 16 touches for 59 yards in week one against Buffalo, Cook began losing touches and yards as the year went on. In fact, from Weeks 4 through 10, Cook failed to top six touches or 23 yards. It was a really bad stretch.
Last week against Las Vegas, Cook ran for 26 yards on just four carries, by far his best production of the year. Strangely, he failed to log a single touch after halftime despite genuinely looking good, arguably better than Breece Hall.
I expect the Jets to try and increase the run percentage this week to attack a Bills weakness and keep the ball away from Josh Allen. For reference, they ran the ball 28 times for 172 yards in week one against Buffalo.
Look for Cook to get around eight carries, possibly adding a catch or two on increased third-down playing time. If he can log 10 touches, 40-50 total yards is well within play, as well as a possible trip to the endzone. Don’t be surprised if Cook has his best game as a Jet this week.