Nick Foles and Riley Cooper have some insane chemistry
Over Cooper's first three seasons in the league, he performed just how one would have expected - not very well. Through his first 40 games (ten of which were starts), Cooper compiled just 46 catches for 679 yards and five touchdowns - that's an average of 15.3 catches for 226.3 yards per season.
The 2013 season started with more of the same from Cooper. Through the first five games, Cooper never topped two catches or 29 yards. After quarterback Michael Vick injured his hamstring in Week 5, however, Nick Foles entered the mix and things turned around quickly for Cooper.
Cooper went off in his first game with Foles under center, catching four passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. He had a solid game the next week, but then Foles went down with a concussion. A gimpy Vick took over the starting quarterback job in Week 8, and Cooper regressed back to a two catch, 13 yard showing. Foles returned the following week, however, and Cooper has been putting up monster numbers ever since, the most recent line being 3/102/2 against the Green Bay Packers.
In the four games started by Foles this season, Cooper is now averaging a massive line of 4.5 catches for 112.3 yards and has scored six touchdowns. In six games with Vick behind center, Cooper has put up pathetic 1.7 catch, 17.7 yard averages with just a single touchdown.
Cooper is not a particularly impressive wide receiver. Aside from having the ability to go up and fight for a 50-50 ball, Cooper does not offer many useful traits. For whatever reason, however, it is clear that Foles is constantly on the same page as Cooper and has a ton of faith in him.
What is interesting is that Foles does not target Cooper that much more often than Vick did. Cooper averaged 4.0 targets per game with Vick as the starter, while Foles throws to Cooper 5.75 times per game. Foles simply is somehow better at getting the ball into Cooper's hands.
Cooper can be relied on as a solid fantasy receiver while Foles has the starting job (which, barring injury, he will likely keep). If Vick ends up regaining the starting gig, stick Cooper on your bench or even consider dropping him if you need the roster space. The 26-year-old pass catcher's greatest asset is his chemistry with Foles, so he can't be relied on with a different quarterback behind center.
One more fun, pretty useless Foles/Vick/Cooper statistic: Cooper has seven yards after the catch in six games started by Vick, 163 yards after the catch in four games started by Foles.