The Redskins brought back Cooley Monday afternoon in wake of the news that starting tight end Fred Davis would miss the rest of the 2012 season with the torn Achilles' tendon he suffered in Week 7 against the New York Giants. John Keim of Washington Examiner was one of the many Washington-based reporters who broke Cooley's re-signing on Monday.
The Redskins had previously released Cooley, an eight-year veteran of the club, before the start of this season.
Here's a breakdown of Cooley's limited fantasy value for the rest of the 2012 season:
In terms of depth and knowing the offense, Cooley is a perfect fit for replacing Davis. But for fantasy value, Cooley doesn't offer much.
At the very best, he'll be a No. 3 tight end who plays a large blocking role behind Niles Paul and Logan Paulson. Remember, Paul and Paulson beat out Cooley for his job this August. He's not going to come in now and be a 75-snap-a-game starter for the Redskins in October.
The mash-it-up edge blocker is Cooley's most likely role for the 2012 Redskins.
He was never a timid blocker in the past, and that's likely the role that the Redskins approached him with once Davis went down. Paul and Paulson can handle more of the passing downs, while Cooley is the tight end that goes one-on-one with defensive ends on the edge. It's a good fit schematically, but not for fantasy football.
The receiving production that used to come included won't likely be packaged with this older, rusty version of Cooley.
In his hay day, Cooley caught 60-80 passes every year for 600-800 yards and a handful of touchdowns. Getting to even a quarter of that production the rest of the way (20-30 receptions, 200-300 yards, 2-3 TDs) would be a major revelation for the 30-year-old tight end.
In almost any format, Cooley is a poor waiver-wire option. There simply is not going to be a ton of pass-catching opportunities for Cooley, which means very little fantasy value.
Keep in mind, Davis had just 24 catches for 325 yards and zero touchdowns over six games. That averages out to four catches and just over 50 yards a contest. Cooley won't be given the opportunity to replicate that kind of already-limited production from the tight end position.
Davis was a dynamic pass-catching option. Cooley is nothing more than a blocking third tight end now. Fantasy owners should treat him as such for the 2012 season.