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Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Jared Cook in Week 12?


A full ten weeks ago, I answered the question about whether fantasy football owners should start or sit Jared Cook. I said to sit him, and he went for four catches and 31 yards. Last weekend Cook returned from a prolonged absence from the Packers’ lineup due to a high ankle sprain he suffered in week three, and he turned in a six catch, 105 yard and one touchdown performance for 14.5 fantasy points in an ultra-strong return. Cook easily receives far more fantasy football buzz than is warranted any time he does anything, and this week hasn’t been an exception. Despite his strong performance last week, one fact remains: don’t believe his lies.[

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First, let’s dispel the myth that Jared Cook just needs a chance. Cook has had plenty of chances, and he has never produced at a decent level. His 14.5 fantasy points he got last week were the second-most he’s gotten since week one of 2013 when he had 24.10 fantasy points against the then-legendarily bad against tight ends Cardinals defense. Between last week’s performance and the 24.1 point performance, he had three games of over 10 fantasy points. Three in the last fifteen games of 2013, all of 2014, all of 2015 and all of 2016 (until week twelve). Jared Cook has been given infinite chances and has not yet performed, including going an entire season without notching a single double-digit fantasy point game. Cook’s 14.5 fantasy points also represent over 73% of his points all season long (4 games), and over 21% of his fantasy production over the last two seasons.

You also have to consider the opponent when considering Cook’s week last week and his opponent this week (and for the rest of the season). Cook took on a Washington team that allows the ninth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends. Ever since they shut down Dennis Pitta and Zach Ertz in consecutive weeks, Washington has allowed two 100-yard tight ends and three touchdowns to tight ends in three weeks. They’re bad against tight ends, and Cook took advantage of this very fact. This week, however, the Packers take on the Eagles. Philadelphia is almost the opposite opponent compared to Washington, as they’ve allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this year, including allowing an incredible zero points to tight ends in week five. Without scoring, no tight end has gotten over 5.5 fantasy points against them, and they have allowed just three touchdowns to tight ends all year. They don’t let the tight end beat them, and have allowed just over 100 yards to tight ends in the last four weeks combined.

Jared Cook had a good game last week, and nobody will deny that. While the Packers’ offense is desperate for playmakers, there are too many ahead of him in the pecking order. In addition, he’s Jared Cook. He’s a matchup-based play who has a bad matchup and isn’t someone you should try to rely on this week in your fantasy lineups. In fact, his next good matchup against TEs isn’t until week sixteen in the fantasy finals, so he probably won’t even be a good roster stash. Cook had one of his trademark blowup games that make people believe in him, but remember…

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]