Tarik Cohen scored fantasy football owners a lot of points in 2018. What’s in store in 2019?
In 2017, a tiny fourth round pick out of North Carolina A&T caught the fantasy world by storm with a breakout performance in week one against the Atlanta Falcons. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, Tarik Cohen‘s rookie season was strong, but due to an anemic offense, Cohen’s numbers plateaued and he didn’t quite have the year many expected.
In 2018, fantasy owners that saw potential in Cohen and went back to the well due to a new offense with new Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy were rewarded handsomely with his selection.
Cohen increased his yards from scrimmage from 723 to 1169. He increased his receptions from 53 to 71 and he increased his touchdown total from 4 to 8.
In PPR leagues, Cohen was ranked around the seventh to tenth best fantasy running back last season (depending on your PPR scoring). A nice reward being Cohen was taken outside of the top 30 running backs in almost all fantasy leagues.
What does 2019 have in store for Tarik Cohen? Honestly, it’s hard to see Cohen do more than he did last season.
2018 featured a new offense with a young quarterback that was learning on the job. Jordan Howard also struggled throughout the season which forced the Bears to rely heavier on Cohen than they probably would prefer.
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In 2019, Cohen now has three running backs that can take snaps away from him instead of just Howard (David Montgomery, Mike Davis, Cordarrelle Patterson). As the season went on, Cohen spent more and more time split outside rather than just traditionally behind Mitch Trubisky and that trend should continue in 2019.
With a more comfortable Trubisky, Matt Nagy’s offense should be pushing the ball down the field more to Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller. That could mean less touches for Cohen who has plenty of competition for targets both at wide receiver and running back.
No, that’s not to say that fantasy owners should shy away from Cohen, but it’s also fair to think that his total number of touches (170 in 2018) could decrease in 2019. That, along with the idea that the Bears have brought in several options at returner, Cohen may see less time returning punts this season as well, which takes away the option of that bonus touchdown once or twice during the year.
If you are in standard leagues, you should drop Cohen’s value considerably. His real value comes in PPR leagues. Cohen will still be featured in the offense regularly, but with all the competition around him, I think he’s a risk as an RB1 this season.
Cohen is, however, a very solid RB2 option. He should regularly be targeted in the passing game, which means he should always grab at least 2 or 3 receptions, which means, even when he isn’t utilized as much or has a poor game, he should still get you 7 or 8 points.
If you are in standard leagues, push Cohen down to RB3, you need to count his receptions to capture his complete value. Expect Cohen’s numbers to drop slightly in 2019, but he will still be a valuable piece to your fantasy squad.
Tarik Cohen 2019 stat projections– 80 carries, 400 yards, 5.0 yards per carry, 2 TDs; 65 receptions, 600 yards, 9.2 yards per catch, 4 TDs, 1 return TD