By: Nick Davis (Twitter: @ndavis2)
Player Analysis: Tarik Cohen
Big Stats, Little Body
Through two weeks of the preseason it’s hard to name a player who has looked more explosive than Tarik Cohen. Those of us who dive deep into dynasty realm are already familiar with the fearless, diminutive speedster from NC A&T. Standing tall at 5’6, 180lbs – Cohen, “The Human Joystick” put up gaudy stats each of his four seasons for the Aggies, finishing his career with 5,619 rushing yards, 56TD, and 945 receiving yards all while averaging 6.5 yards per rush and 9.6 yards per reception. Those are workhorse statistics.
Now, before you go throwing the “Yeah, but he hasn’t played against the big boys yet” out there – all I can say is go watch his film. Cohen is tough between the tackles, not always looking to bounce it outside, and most importantly finishes his runs. A great deal of his highlight reel runs come after the defense has given up on the play and he squirts out the other side. He expects to score every time he touches the ball and is a legitimate threat to do so with 4.4 40 speed and the ability to start and stop in an instant.
Jordan Howard had an impressive rookie year and is established as the lead back but little else stands in the way of touches for Cohen due to his unique skillset. And while it is true that the Bears are breaking in a new QB and unheralded WR corps, the offensive line was a top 5 ranked unit in the run game last season and has looked to return to form thus far in the preseason. Head coach John Fox has a long history of utilizing two running back systems, so he is certainly looking for more than just depth at the position.
— MEAC (@MEACSports) December 6, 2016
Cohen is the type of back that you manufacture touches for every game, regardless of the depth chart in front of him – similar to Darren Sproles, Dion Lewis, Danny Woodhead or even Tyreek Hill last season. He is more than just a satellite back, as his willingness to get tough between the tackles and ability to slip defenders has been on display more so than his pass catching abilities. Though Cohen was not used much on ST during his time at NC A&T, it would not surprise me one bit to see him used in the return game often this season.
I think Cohen has amazing value at his current ADP of RB17 amongst dynasty rookies. Pick up this little dynamo as an UDFA and hold on to him tightly (if you can!)