The arrival of Matthew Stafford benefits every receiving option on the Rams including Cooper Kupp. Although Kupp’s Average Depth of Target (aDOT) may not increase because of his role as a slot receiver, he does stand to be Stafford’s best slot weapon since Golden Tate. In four seasons with Stafford, Tate topped 1,000 receiving yards three times. Kupp has reached the 1,000-yard mark once in four seasons. Kupp led the Rams in team target market share in 2020 despite playing one fewer game than Robert Woods. While touchdowns are not predictable, Kupp’s three last season were the fewest of his career and even one more is a boost to his fantasy upside.
Kupp’s upside may be attached to former Rams QB Jared Goff. According to PFF’s Scott Barrett, Jared Goff targeted slot wide receivers 25.8% of the time, the third-most in the NFL (2009-18, min. 800 career pass attempts). Stafford was 18th at 18.9%. The Rams receiving corps added DeSean Jackson and TuTu Atwell, but the majority of the outside work appears to be set with Woods and Van Jefferson. Jefferson led the Rams in aDOT (in a smaller sample) and Woods is set for an increase in aDOT. Darrell Henderson is also a trustworthy running back in the passing game, a position that Stafford targeted the fourth-most in Barrett’s same study. At 28-years old, Kupp is at the beginning of his decline window that goes until age 33-34.
Kupp is an established receiver that has 1,000-yard upside, but it does not guarantee the same success Tate had with Stafford.
2021 Bottom Line
Kupp is firmly entrenched as a WR2 with potential upside to reach top 10-15 status. The arrival of Stafford does not increase his target share based on historical data on Stafford, but the upgrade to him benefits the offense, including Kupp.