In The Blitz, RotoViz writers react to the latest news and help you place it within the context of our 2020 research and recommendations.
The NFC West is the most competitive division in football. Heading into Week 8, each team was above .500 and had at least four wins. For the Los Angeles Rams, their four wins heading into the weekend would have placed them in the vicinity of second place in almost every other division. Despite the team dropping their latest matchup against the Miami Dolphins, fantasy managers have to be excited with the massive workload generated by wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp has had a couple of quiet games the last couple of weeks, but he has a juicy matchup in Week 8 against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are in the middle of the pack, allowing 23.0 fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts, but their biggest weakness is in the slot where Kupp lines up. Cornerback Nik Needham has graded out as No. 107 out of 118 cornerbacks this season, per Pro Football Focus. Kupp takes the majority of his snaps there, and he has a significant advantage in that matchup. He still leads the team in targets, and he averages over five receptions per game. If he can get into the end zone, this could even be a WR1 week for him.
Dominating The Volume
Last year was a tale of two seasons for Kupp. He finished the season as clear WR1 but did it in different ways on the field. The first half of the season was volume-driven by targets and receiving yards. Over the second half, his production was buoyed by touchdowns as his volume took a bit of a hit. His drop in usage was tied to the Tyler Higbee emergence of late last season. Now, in 2020, his production has been a bit more erratic.
His 21 targets in Week 8 were definitely a career-high, but that type of volume always leaves fantasy managers wanting more when he only hauled in 11 receptions. The matchup was favorable for Kupp out of the slot, and quarterback Jared Goff certainly looked his way often. In 2019, Goff was at his most efficient when targeting Kupp.
Kupp has now seen at least six targets in seven straight games. Now, looking to Week 9 and beyond, there is reason for continued optimism surrounding Kupp.
This past offseason, Curtis Patrick tabbed Kupp as one of his dynasty trade targets. In his piece, he highlights that Kupp led the league in yards from the slot in 2019 and has never dipped below WR16 in terms of YAC in his last three seasons. Furthermore, identifying cheaper slot wide receivers can be an easy path to fantasy production. Slot wideouts may not be as flashy as outside wideouts, but ask any fantasy manager how much they’ve enjoyed owning Jarvis Landry over the years. Kupp is starting to get going at the right time and could be a significant benefit to your fantasy roster.
Wide Receiver Strength of Schedule – Weeks 8-17
Heading into Week 8, Kupp and the rest of the wide receivers for the Rams had the easiest remaining schedule over the rest of the season. A tough division may force Goff and his team into more pass-heavy game scripts, and favorable matchups for the wide receivers may simply afford more opportunities for Kupp and Co.