Throughout the preseason, I will write about some potential elite values to target in your upcoming fantasy drafts. Today’s discount player is Jared Cook, tight end for the Los Angeles Chargers. He finds himself in a potentially elite situation and could contribute tremendously to your fantasy team.
The Chargers have a Hunter Henry-sized hole to replace at tight end. It’s about the size of 92 targets and 460 routes in 14 games, both totals ranking seventh overall at the position for 2020. Insert Jared Cook. Both are physically comparable, standing 6 ‘5, 245-pounds. Cook’s speed and quickness gives him the nod, enabling him to be more of a vertical threat than the ex-Charger.
Often overlooked in drafts, Jared Cook has the underlying stats to finish top 10 at his position. He totaled 16 touchdowns and 15.1 yards per reception the past two seasons in New Orleans. These totals are more impressive given the fact the offense ran through Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, leaving scraps for everyone else.
Cook isn’t the only ex-Saint to head to the Chargers in 2021. Ex-quarterback coach Joe Lombardi is now the offensive coordinator for the Chargers and should rely on a familiar face to help stretch the field for sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert.
Speaking of the 2020 Rookie of the Year, having Herbert under center only amplifies Cook’s case for a career season. The most important stat for a tight end to be a fantasy success is touchdowns. In 2020, Herbert looked Henry’s way inside the 10 yard line more than any other pass catcher. While targeting the position as a whole, Herbert attempted more than 21% of his passes to his tight ends, with Henry garnering 16.4%. Being surrounded by a plethora of elite pass catchers will keep him in multiple favorable one on one matchups.
Recommending a 34-year old journeyman doesn’t sound sexy on the surface, but our discount player Jared Cook has more than enough opportunity to pay off his minuscule TE19 price tag. I am 100 percent buying the hype on the connection between him and Herbert. In addition, health has never been the strong suit of the Chargers current receiving core. This should allow his role to potentially expand more than initially assumed. I have him pegged as my TE6 with 86 targets, securing 55 catches for 742 yards and 9 touchdowns.
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