Jared Cook has long been a popular fantasy football name but rarely has his fantasy production lived up to the buzz. Last week as he took on the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that yielded the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends in 2015, and came away with one catch for seven yards on two targets. Cook got a ton of fantasy buzz this preseason thanks mostly to the faint ghost of Jermichael Finley and the fluky results of Richard Rodgers’ (Jordy Nelson-less) 2015 campaign.
As it stands right now, the position is a dumpster fire. There were a ton of players who did not live up to expectations week one, or players who came out of nowhere who are unlikely to be consistent performers (I’m looking at you Jack Doyle). With this information, people may be inclined to stick by their Jared Cook guns. Don’t. In fact, don’t even have Cook on your roster. He’s buried so deep in the target depth chart that there’s almost no getting out for him. Even if he does break out, what does a Jared Cook breakout look like? Well, on a per-game basis, he had over 80 yards just seven times in his seven-year career and had fewer than 25 yards in nine games last year. A breakout campaign from Cook will end up around TE13 or 14, unless he rides that touchdown train.
Well, maybe he steps into that vaunted Green Bay Packers tight end role. A role that is buried on the depth chart behind seemingly an entire lineup of wide receivers. A role that has seen no tight end go over 800 yards since 2011 (and no non-Jermichael Finley receiver going over 550). A role that has Tom Crabtree’s three 2012 touchdowns as the third-most scores since 2011. I think you get the picture there. Preseason buzz merged the promise of Jared Cook, which never materialized anywhere ever, with the echoes of a non-Jermichael Finley Packers tight end, which hasn’t been worth rostering, either.
Even if all of that means nothing to you, and you insist on cooking with Cook, then please take the matchup into consideration. Last season, the Minnesota Vikings were middle-of-the-road against tight ends last year and shut down Delanie Walker last week to the tune of three receptions for 42 yards. Jared Cook wishes he could pull off being Delanie Walker.
The promise of Jared Cook is not worth the consternation. He’s never been a good tight end, he’s playing in a position that does not produce in this offense, and he is taking on a good defense this week. He’s not worth having in your starting lineup, and if it were me, I wouldn’t have him on my roster.