The Arizona Cardinals offense got a major bump over the offseason. A trade that shook the NFL headlines and decimated the Houston Texans offense. DeAndre Hopkins was traded for David Johnson, and he now enters with another young quarterback who is highly talented. Hopkins will join a better receiving core, as Houston’s struggled to stay healthy. The receiving core of Hopkins, Fitzgerald, and Kirk is going to be a fun one. You might be curious about his volume entering a team with set wideouts like this, but Hopkins jumps to being the WR1 here easily, and the volume this offense should put up is also going to be a big help. Hopkins will be a first round wide receiver, and his projections still are within the top three of all other receivers.
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I feel it was a quiet year for DeAndre Hopkins, as much of our focus was on other players. He still posted a top five scoring season in PPR leagues, and posted over 100 receptions. The seven touchdowns were a bit pedestrian perhaps, but his overall numbers were still extremely strong. Hopkins is also one of the top target men in the game, and his overall Houston number will transition into the same strong fantasy numbers in the desert. 2019 was just another strong season for a player who has averaged 78 yards per game in his career and has nearly a touchdown in 50% of his games played.
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The projections didn’t change too much with the trade to Arizona for DeAndre Hopkins. In fact we might look at this as a better chance for DeAndre Hopkins as the Cardinals offense is going to be fantasy friendly. The difference between him and Houston is that Arizona has Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald who were a big part of the offense. Hopkins projects still for 100+ receptions and his touchdown and yards are projected to get back up a bit. Overall Hopkins has immense upside and this also is big for Kyler Murray.
DeAndre Hopkins has finished as a top-6 fantasy WR in four of the past five seasons while being force-fed the ball in Houston.
Hopkins’ target share is going to dip in Arizona, but he can make up for the loss of volume in the Cardinals fast-paced, pass-heavy offense. pic.twitter.com/O6V6h7gxHR
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) March 19, 2020
ADP & Auction Value
ADP: First Round
Auction Price: $49
If you are looking for safe production on a weekly basis from your WR1, then DeAndre Hopkins is certainly a guy you look at. When it comes to the late and mid first round, the draft could shift towards those first wide receivers to start jumping off the board. Starting a team with Hopkins is a solid way to go, and as mentioned throughout the change of scenery isn’t going to cause a drop in production. Now he is pricey and has that high ADP, but you are getting a premium talent here.
Not many come with the floor DeAndre Hopkins brings. To even look at the numbers he has posted when Deshaun Watson wasn’t his quarterback, this makes me feel way too comfortable. Is Kyler Murray a step down for Hopkins, sure, but Murray is still a stud. Now the targets being over 150 for each of the last five seasons may not hit that mark this year, but it won’t be a huge decrease. I could see him in the 125-135 range even with the other talent on the roster. He has had a very stable yardage mark in his career, and generally he has more big touchdown seasons than not, but 7-8 is still a good floor for touchdowns.
A ceiling year for Hopkins in this offense is going to loo closer to what he posted in 2018. The yards can really skyrocket here if he can dominate after the catch like we have seen. I am also more excited to see him in a creative offense, where Houston’s overall offense wasn’t that great. 1,500 yards and double digit touchdowns is certainly his ceiling. That will take less pressure off of him if he finds himself closer to 90 receptions instead of 100-110. With Michael Thomas likely still the WR1 in PPR leagues, Hopkins could easily post a monster year and be WR2. Even with the change of scenery, there is a good chance Hopkins finishes top three.
Arizona Cardinals Offense
Last year there were only two Arizona Cardinals players with over 50 targets, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. Outside of that there was a lot of spread out targets and not a lot of fantasy value in the passing game. They also both saw double digit red zone targets, while nobody else saw more than six. Hopkins saw 31% of the targets in Houston last season, and we will see him slide into this Cardinals offense that now has a pretty strong WR trio. The Cardinals threw 35 times per game last season, and dropped back to past at a high rate. Arizona also played at the fourth highest pace, so there is going to be solid volume here for Hopkins, even if it isn’t at his peak targets in his career.
Strength Of Schedule
DeAndre Hopkins will be going to a completely new division, where he will see three defenses that were slightly above average in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, with the Seahawks, Rams, and 49ers actually ranking 13th, 14th, and 15th in fantasy points allowed. Hopkins has never been matchup dependent, so that doesn’t matter much to me. The Cardinals will face some tougher secondaries with Buffalo, New England, and Philadelphia on the schedule. There are some matchups for Hopkins to thrive in, as they take on the Giants, Jets, Cowboys, Panthers, Lions, and Redskins. They also face the Dolphins, who did revamp their secondary quite a bit. Overall it is a bit of an average schedule for the Arizona wideouts, but Hopkins and this offense overall should put up strong points in real life and in fantasy football.
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