2023 Fantasy Football Player Profile: Cooper Kupp is still NFL's top fantasy receiver

2H8F714 Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. 28th Nov, 2021. Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) warming up during the NFL football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Darren Lee/CSM/Alamy Live News

  • Cooper Kupp has been the best fantasy wide receiver when healthy: He’s not only led all wide receivers in PPR points per game over the last two seasons but all players regardless of position.
  • His health is at the forefront: Kupp missed half of last season, so a recent hamstring injury has renewed fantasy managers' concerns.
  • The Rams’ other offensive options are limited: Los Angeles has typically paid a lot of money for a No. 2 receiver, and sometimes a No. 3, behind Kupp but this season, no other receiver has a cap hit above $2 million.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The fantasy football outlook series takes an in-depth look at a single player’s fantasy outlook for the 2023 season. For help on draft strategy, rankings or for more details about other players, check out the rest of my summer content below. For rankings with better filtering along with auction values, check out our draft rankings page.

Player Profiles
More Rankings: PPR | Half-PPR | Standard | Superflex
Dynasty Rankings: PPR | Rookie | Superflex | Superflex Rookie
Position Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE
Sleepers: Top-10 | QB | RB | WR | TE
League Winners: QB | RB | WR | TE
12-Team Draft Strategy: Overall strategy | Picks 1-3 | Picks 4-6 | Picks 7-9 | Picks 10-12
10-Team Draft Strategy: Overall strategy | Picks 1-3 | Picks 4-7 | Picks 8-10

Random Image

Last updated: 7:15 a.m. Monday, August 7

Cooper Kupp‘s player outlook

Kupp has been the clear top wide receiver in fantasy football over the last two seasons while he’s been healthy.

  • Kupp was drafted in the third round of the 2017 draft, joining the Rams the same year as head coach Sean McVay.
  • He made an impact in his very first game with four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. By midseason, he was a starter and has been among the Rams starters when healthy ever since.
  • He finished 14th in fantasy points per game in 2018, seventh in 2019 and 30th in 2020.
  • The Rams traded three first-round picks for Matthew Stafford before 2021, which turned Kupp from a fantasy starter to a fantasy first-round pick.
  • Kupp has been the clear best player on a per-route basis over the last two seasons. He ranks first in targets (0.295), receptions (0.228), yards (2.86), touchdowns (0.023), PPR points (0.652) and non-PPR points (0.424)
  • Sometimes a player that is so good on a per-route basis does so on a small sample, but he’s averaged 37 routes per game, which rank eighth-most. He’s ranked first in all of these categories on a per-game basis as well.
  • Part of his success has been his consistency. He’s gained at least 90 receiving yards in 21 of his 26 games over the last two seasons.
  • Kupp suffered an ankle sprain during the middle of the 2022 season, which cost him the last eight games of the season.
  • He is currently dealing with a hamstring strain, but he is day to day and fully expected to be back by Week 1.
  • Kupp turned 30 years old this summer. At his age, it wouldn’t be surprising if his efficiency decreases a little bit. He is far enough ahead of the other wide receivers, that he could still finish as the top wide receiver even with a little regression.

Competition for touches

It’s hard to imagine Kupp receiving a higher target share compared to past seasons, but it’s within the realm of possibility with his limited competition for targets.

  • Kupp is used to having some talented wide receivers who have also earned significant targets, including Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks.
  • Odell Beckham, Sammy Watkins, Allen Robinson and DeSean Jackson are other high-profile wide receivers who have played with the Rams in recent seasons.
  • He faced the least amount of competition for targets last season. Allen Robinson II was supposed to be the No. 2 receiver but didn’t perform as well as past second options. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason.
  • Van Jefferson, Bennett Skowronek and Tutu Atwell were the other receivers with at least 150 routes. They will make up most of Kupp’s competition this season.
  • The Rams also drafted Puka Nacua in the fifth round and added free agent Demarcus Robinson to round out the wide receiver room.
  • Tyler Higbee remains the Rams' tight end as he’s been throughout Kupp’s career.
  • Running back Cam Akers has more NFL games played than NFL receptions.
  • Kupp has been targeted on 29.5% of his routes over the last two seasons while playing with a lot of the same players. Without Woods, Robinson, Beckham or Jackson, it’s at least possible that number increases.
  • If anything, the lack of competition for targets should help make sure his target share doesn’t regress much.

Impact of teammates

Kupp’s success in 2023 depends not only on his ability to rebound from injury but also on Matthew Stafford.

  • Stafford has an extensive injury history while playing for 13 years in the NFL.
  • He was dealing with an elbow sprain prior to the 2022 season, which seemed to impact him all season long.
  • He wasn’t able to finish the season after suffering a concussion followed by a spinal cord bruise. His games missed largely coincided with Kupp’s games missed last season.
  • Stafford’s PFF passing grade was consistently between 76.4-81.6 in every season from 2016-2021, but that fell to 67.6 in 2022.
  • Stafford’s injuries had an impact on Kupp. Four of his five games under 90 yards over the last two seasons occurred in 2022.
  • Coach Sean McVay said Stafford is “night and day” compared to last season.
  • If Stafford does miss time, then the Rams' options are fourth-round rookie Stetson Bennett or former Bronco Brett Rypien.
  • Kupp will still be playing in McVay’s offense like he has throughout his career which helps with continuity and for us to know what to expect.

Bottom line

Kupp has a chance to be the best player in all of fantasy football again this season, but he needs to stay healthy and so does his quarterback.


Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit