Ben Skowronek or Van Jefferson: Fantasy Football Analysis Following Cooper Kupp Injury
Getty Images. Pictured: Ben Skowronek, Van Jefferson.
The hits just keep on coming for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Rams wideout Cooper Kupp is set to go on injured reserve after sustaining a high ankle sprain on Sunday against the Cardinals. The Super Bowl MVP and 2021 Offensive Player of the Year will undergo surgery and miss at least the next four games. Whether he actually returns this season is a fair question given the Rams are 3-6 and last in the NFC West.
In nine games, Kupp totaled a ridiculous 75 receptions (on 98 targets) for 812 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed nine times for 52 yards and a score.
Thanks to everyone who has reached out and sent prayers! This is unfortunately just part of the game. Appreciate having a trusted medical team around me. Gonna get this thing fixed, then get back to work to get back to work!
— Cooper Kupp (@CooperKupp) November 15, 2022
Replacing him is obviously an impossible task, but all those targets have to go somewhere. Action Network’s Sean Koerner and Chris Raybon chime in below on what Kupp’s absence could mean for Ben Skowronek and Van Jefferson.
Jefferson/Skowronek Fantasy Outlook
Sean Koerner: I would lean Skowronek in the short term because he should be a safe bet to have a 90%+ route participation. He runs a similar route tree to Kupp, so it would make sense for him to pick up quite a bit of the targets left behind. However, he’s yet to catch a touchdown in his first two seasons, so his limited scoring upside makes him more of a WR4 option.
Jefferson returned from his knee injury in Week 8, but has seen his playing time drop in three straight games since. Whether it’s a result of his knee not being quite 100% yet or poor play remains to be seen, but it’s tough to trust him as anything more than a WR5 right now.
However, he's the better long-term investment because he will have the most upside if/when he is able to return to a full-time role. Fantasy managers who are coasting to the playoffs and have roster space may want to consider Jefferson as a depth/upside play.
Chris Raybon: Jefferson has been targeted on 15.1% of his routes compared to 13.1% for Skowronek, so I’d give him the slight edge. Both should be every-down players with Kupp out, but are no better than WR4 options.