DeAndre Hopkins is arguably one of the best if not the best receivers in the game. To say the news that him being traded to Arizona was a shock egregiously lacks the true depth of the situation. Since the trade happened news of his request to renegotiate a deal that would pay him $40 million over the next three years came quick. The Texans just weren’t willing to do so, and just traded him in very cold fashion. How does the DeAndre Hopkins trade impact his fantasy outlook? Justin and Cody look at it from both dynasty and redraft perspectives.
According to FF Calculator, DeAndre Hopkins was the 7th player taken in early mock drafts. This move has some already dropping DeAndre Hopkins down the board a bit. However, I am here to argue that it shouldn’t affect his status or his rank among elite receivers at all. Deshaun Watson was arguably thought of as one of the top 3 fantasy QB options to nab heading into the 2019 season. According to PFF’s default scoring, he finished 5th among QBs. However, Kyler Murray wasn’t too far behind at the 7 spot. Both added plenty of rushing yards (413 for Watson and 544 for Murray) but it was the passing game that was very similar.
One of these QBs had DeAndre Hopkins, the other did not. Murray finished his rookie campaign 3,713 passing yards and 20 TDs. but had zero thousand-yard receivers. The top guy in Arizona last year was Larry Fitzgerald with 804 yards and only four touchdowns. To put that into perspective, Watson threw for just north of 3,900 yards with 26 touchdowns. Hopkins had nearly 1200 yards of that (nearly 30%) and seven touchdowns. Watson also had Will Fuller (670 yards 4 touchdowns), Kenny Stills who had four touchdowns, and Darren Fells who had seven touchdowns. By adding Hopkins into a Kliff Kingsbury offense, Hopkins numbers remain nearly identical and Kyler Murray’s numbers go up.
While this move won’t have too much of an impact on Hopkins, it will certainly mean that Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk take a hit. Kirk is currently sitting in the 5th round according to FF Calculator while Fitzgerald is the 13th. Look for the value to be there if the ADP starts to dump which I would believe will start happening rather quickly.
Justin did a really nice job outlining the situational statistical differences, so I’ll just add this: Arizona already had a higher passing play percentage than Houston (60.4% to 57.3%) and I don’t think we’ve seen Kingsbury’s offense fully implemented just yet. I think we’ll see more plays per game from the Cardinals in 2020 along with a more involved passing game. There won’t be any significant dropoff for Hopkins with this move.
As far as dynasty values, I don’t think this shifts too much from the Cardinals’ point of view. Hopkins will remain one of the elite wide receiver options and won’t move too far up or down, considering he was a top-10 dynasty asset and top-3 receiver. Murray was already being taken as the fourth quarterback off drafts boards according to DLF’s March ADP data. He’ll probably jump over Deshaun Watson who’s currently the third QB in dynasty startup drafts but won’t move too much further. Larry Fitzgerald was obviously a declining asset, so take whatever you can get from him at this point. The player I’m most intrigued by in all of this is Christian Kirk. If he starts sliding down draft boards or is being undervalued by your league, I’d be taking advantage of his current value and throwing out trade offers immediately. Kirk was being selected as WR28 in startup ADP and this move helps him more than hurts him. Kirk is better served as a number two in an offense and there will be plenty of targets to go around to keep him fantasy relevant.
Keep your eyes peeled for more of these articles from both a redraft and dynasty fantasy football perspective as the NFL keeps us on our toes.