Just another day for the New England Patriots. This time, Bill Belichick struck it big by sending New England's first-round pick and third-round pick to the New Orleans Saints for the Saints' fourth-round pick and Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
Cooks, who turned in another strong year with 78 receptions, 1,173 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2016, wrapped up the year with rumors he wanted out of new Orleans due to a lack of targets later in the year. With the emergence of Michael Thomas and Willie Snead, it opened the door for New Orleans to trade him.
Cooks fantasy value becomes the interesting play here. His big-play threat adds an even greater dimension to New England's offense that relied on Chris Hogan for many of the deep plays last season, so this immediately provides an upgrade there. The issue from a fantasy perspective comes from target distribution and consistency, with so many weapons going into 2017. Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski are outstanding weapons to have, while Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell each bring different skills to the table.
New England now has another 1,000-yard receiver for Tom Brady to throw to and it just further solidifies Brady's value as an elite fantasy quarterback. Cooks could see a fantasy hit here, though he gets a quarterback upgrade, given how much New England spreads the ball around. But he should remain a low-end WR2 at the last given his big-play ability and all around skillset.
This will deal a fantasy blow for Mitchell and Hogan, who fall further down the target distribution order and now slide much further off the fantasy radar.