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Fantasy Corner – Impact of the DeAndre Hopkins Trade

Photo: USA Today

A line-up of DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald, and Christian Kirk… now that sounds scary. That’s right everybody, a crazy first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period has led to a real head-scratcher of a deal in which the Cardinals received the four-time pro-bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth round pick in this years draft for running back David Johnson and both a second round pick in 2020 and fourth in 2021. The Cardinals were originally thought to select a pro-bowl caliber receiver Kyler Murray needs in this year’s draft that is full of talent at that position. However, those plans seemed to change.

Now in my opinion, this is an incredibly botched deal by the Bill O’Brien led Texans. The New York Giants at least netted a first-round pick for Odell Beckham Jr. last year. In fact, Steven A. Smith couldn’t have portrayed my reaction any better.

With that said, this has a tremendous fantasy football impact on both sides. From the Cardinals perspective, they are receiving a player that has finished 5th, 1st, and 2nd in PPR fantasy points among wide receivers over the last three years, respectively. Over the same time period Hopkins has had at least nine touchdowns and 1,378 receiving yards in those seasons. With the added talent, and therefore more mouths to feed around him, I can see why his stock may take a slight hit this year. However, I expect Hopkins to be heavily used and continue his production in Kliff Kingsbury’s pass heavy air-raid offense. Not to mention the Cardinals defense ranked last in yards allowed per game in 2019, and without much activity to bolster it up in free agency, this may be a year where they continue to rely on the offense.

From the Texans perspective, as I said, they are losing a tremendous player that was arguably the face of the franchise prior to Deshaun Watson coming on board. Hopkins’ departure leaves behind 150 targets from 2019 and, depending on what happens in the draft, this could be a year in which Will Fuller leads the Texans as their number one receiver alongside Kenny Stills. In 2017, a year that Fuller started seven games due to health, he managed to crack the top 20 in terms of fantasy points per game. Like I said, without Hopkins, the door is wide open for him as long as he stays healthy, which is something that he has not enjoyed since entering the league.

As for David Johnson, he provides the Texans the running back they have desperately been looking for. But, he poses another injury risk for the team and he joins a crowded backfield with Lamar Miller and Duke Johnson. When David Johnson is fully healthy, there’s no doubt he’s a fantasy star. But this year, on a new team and with durability issues, I estimate he’ll be a late-round boom or bust type of player with a ceiling of RB2 in most fantasy football drafts.

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