Player Face Off: Kenny Golladay vs. Amari Cooper

This offseason, the guys wanna bring you the most useful content to help you during your draft. The goal is a fantasy championship but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun along the way. In our Player Face Off series we will debate the merits of two players that are similar in ADP at the time or are likely to be two players you choose between in your drafts this fall. We will flip a coin for the rights to that player and then build our case below. At the end we will give our final takes which are not limited to the player we initially got assigned. For even more fun head on over to YouTube and watch us debate these players right on the show.

Big Travy’s Case for Amari Cooper

Amari Cooper has gotten a bad wrap over the years for his inconsistent performance and inability to live up to the hype. This has been especially true for fantasy football and more specifically during his time with the then Oakland Raiders. The Raiders traded Cooper to the Cowboys in the middle of the 2018 season and since then Cooper has seen improvement in productivity. Big D’s #1 WR was the overall WR7 in fantasy scoring last year and the Cowboys brass decided to reward him this offseason with a 6 year, $100 million dollar contract. Given that the Cowboys gave up a first rounder in that deal to acquire Cooper, it’s no surprise they paid him, but this proves the commitment Dallas looks to make to their star wideout. Keep this in mind when evaluating the other moves Dallas has made this offseason including the use of their 2020 first round pick on star wideout CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma. Lamb was one of the top 2 of this year’s wide receiver draft class which appears to be stacked with talent. Arguments could be made that Lamb’s presence coupled with the emergence of Michael Gallup at WR for Dallas could present a “too many mouths to feed” scenario.

Those people thinking that this is the same Dallas squad though, should remember that the Cowboys hired Mike McCarthy as their new head coach. McCarthy’s track record is a bit opposite of the one we have seen from Jason Garrett in the past that relied heavily on the run game. McCarthy’s offense over the years in Green Bay featured heavy WR fantasy football production from the likes of Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Donald Driver, and Randall Cobb. This bodes well for Amari Cooper’s outlook, as does the fact that McCarthy has retained Kellen Moore as a play caller for the offense. Moore’s first year as a play caller was last year when Cooper finished as WR10 in PPR formats amassing over 1,100 receiving yards and scoring 8 touchdowns. It is quite possible that with the additional weapons, the innovative play calling, and the seasoned offensive mind at HC now, Dallas could be poised to take their offense to a level we have not seen in many years in Big D, if ever.

Johnny “Game Time” Hicks’ Case for Kenny Golladay

It is true that I have been a huge fan of Kenny Golladay for the last couple of years. It is also true that I thought that he was going to break out in a huge way in 2019. And one could say that he did in fact have a breakout season, finishing as the WR5, and the vast majority of people were happy with his 65 receptions on 116 targets for 1190 yards and 11 touchdowns. But while his stats at the end of the season looked nice, he was quite volatile from week to week. This volatility was due, in part, to Matthew Stafford playing with a broken rib last year and missing time. Some would argue that he had those inflated numbers because he was the only WR threat for Detroit due to Marvin Jones getting injured. Now that Mavin Jones is back, they are expecting Kenny G to take a step back. However, I would argue that this is just scratching the surface for Kenny Golladay.

Last year was Kenny Golladay’s second year in the league, he was still new to the position, and with Marvin Jones going down teams were able to focus more on Kenny G. Matthew Stafford will be coming back healthy, which will do wonders for Kenny Golladay. The targets are going to continue to go up, as Golladay emerges more as the true alpha wide receiver. Speaking of Alpha wide receivers, Golladay has already shown signs of this by posting 25% market share in the Redzone. Not only that but he led the league in deep targets with 37. Kenny G is on the brink of Superstardom, and this may be the last year to get him at a reasonable price. Kenny Golladay could finish as the WR1 and nobody is talking about it.

Big Travy’s Final Word

“Game Time” knows what he’s talking about not only when it comes to Kenny Golladay but also in terms of an anti-Amari Cooper campaign. Anyone who has watched our show knows Johnny isn't the biggest fan of Cooper’s inconsistency. The bottom line for picking Cooper over Kenny G comes down to the things I have outlined above. Cooper is on a much better offense, an offense poised for big production and has already produced with lesser talent around him over the last year and a half in Dallas. All of that coupled with Dallas’ major economic investment in Cooper gives me confidence in his outlook for 2020, especially compared to Kenny Golladay.

Johnny “Game Time” Hicks’ Final Word

As Big Travy alluded to, I am not the biggest Amari Cooper fan. I stand behind Rex Ryan when he said that “Dallas should not have paid this turd.” Can’t believe I just said I stand behind Rex Ryan, yikes. Maybe it's the fact that I was burned by Amari Cooper in the past, taking him in the second round of our league of record. Maybe it’s the fact that I played against Amari Cooper last year when he scored over 30 fantasy points and had his best game of the season.

Look, I get it. Amari Cooper is on the bright flashy team that everyone talks about. But consider this, Amari Cooper's situation didn’t get any better. He got paid, and they drafted a stud rookie wide receiver. Dallas brought in a new head coach. Now, lets look at Kenny Golladay’s situation. I think I have laid out a pretty good argument as to why his situation is only looking to get better. Kenny G might not make the crowd jealous when you pick him in the 3rd round, but know that you just grabbed a guy that has #1 overall wide receiver upside if Stafford stays healthy.