BOSTON (CBS) — It’s only Week 3 of the NFL season, but fantasy football owners are already sounding alarms over the early struggles of their top talents. Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks has been one early-round pick who has not quite lived up to his draft status through two games, but that doesn’t mean he’s not playing good football.

That’s what CBS Sports’ fantasy football guru Dave Richard explained to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday. He acknowledges that Cooks, like other elite players who haven’t performed like their usual selves so far, has been better in real life than he has been for his fantasy owners.

“Guys like Cooks? They’re doing great deeds for their offenses, because they’re drawing defensive coverage away from other players,” said Richard. “They’re doing what they’re supposed to do for their teams, they’re just not doing what they’re supposed to do for their fantasy teams.”

Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Though Cooks has played well even without getting the football in his hands, it’s alarming that he’s seen only 11 targets through two games so far. Richard expects his targets, and overall performance, to rise eventually.

Richard also reveals the one defense strategy that’s “always” a good idea, and tabs Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart as this week’s must-start player. Listen to the full podcast above!

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