So you ended up drawing a mid-round spot to kick off your fantasy football season. You’re distraught. Everything you’ve been reading this offseason points to acquiring a high volume, bell-cow rusher to anchor your team. Well, sorry bud, but there are only about 4 of those (I think 5, ahem, David Johnson, but we can discuss that another time). Once Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, & Ezekiel Elliott are off the board, it’s time to turn towards the wide receivers. You’re in luck. Receiving talent is at an all-time high in the NFL and defenders can’t so much as brush up against a WR without being penalized. Not to mention, we’re in the golden age of passing, and the arrow continues to point up. Who should be the first pass-catcher off the board? You can make the case for 4 guys: DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, Julio Jones & Odell Beckham. We’re going to toss it up today with the first two: Hopkins or Adams. Who should be this year’s WR1? Ryan Murphy will argue for Davante Adams while Cody Kutzer takes DeAndre Hopkins. Let’s get to it!
Opportunity. Fantasy football is all about opportunity. It gets repeated ad nauseam every fantasy season. The most prominent fantasy analysts in the game preach it. A dash of talent is the next necessary ingredient. Lord knows even if Tom Brady was throwing me open looks come Sundays, the stat sheet would be the last thing getting lit up. So who has the most ideal combination of talent & opportunity among WRs, you might ask?
Davante Adams led the league last year in fantasy points per game. He was 2nd in targets, 2nd in touchdowns, and finished 8th across all WRs in ProFootballFocus Overall Grade. Sounds like a heap of opportunity, with a hefty sprinkle of talent. He also led the league in red-zone targets, TDs, & target share (41%) – a lethal weapon near pay-dirt. Adams is undoubtedly the best offensive weapon on the Green Bay Packers. He demands his QB’s attention as such. Adams took home 41% of the Packers receiving yards and touchdowns last year, good for the tops in the NFL last season. It’s fair to say his QB is fully reciprocating that demand.
Did I mention his quarterback’s name? Aaron Rodgers. Just thought I might point that out. Arguably the most talented QB of all time, Rodgers played all of last season with a broken bone in his leg. Now, I won’t come out and say that I think Rodgers is going to be light years better than he was last year. But, change can be fruitful. A healthy set of legs can be even better.
Speaking of change, Rodgers will trot out onto Lambeau Field in September with a new head coach in tow, Matt LaFleur. LaFleur is part of the young crop of offensive-minded coaches to take the league by storm, a la Sean McVay. He will make life easier on Rodgers by incorporating more play-action concepts, and scheming receivers open. Expect LaFleur to breathe new life into Rodgers, who should ascend back to fantasy stardom.
Davante Adams is a mega-talented WR with the best target share & red zone prowess in the league. A healthy Aaron Rodgers is his starting QB w/ an innovative play-caller taking the offensive reins. Need I say more? Take Adams as the first receiver off the board and ride the LaFleur/Rodgers train to the bank.
Could I interest you in a wide receiver who has produced high-end fantasy numbers while catching balls from the likes of T.J. Yates, Tom Savage, Brock Osweiler, and Ryan Mallet? Who has three top-four fantasy finishes in the past four years? Oh, and who also has only missed one game since entering the league in 2013? I thought so. You already know who this stud is. DeAndre Hopkins. The dude is legitimately quarterback proof and it doesn’t matter who is lining up next to him or across from him. All he does is produce.
As much praise as Davante Adams received for his consistency last year (rightfully so), Hopkins has easily been the most consistent over the duration of their careers. Adams finally eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in five seasons in 2018. Hopkins? His fourth in six seasons. In 2016, when Hopkins shared the field with Will Fuller for ten games, his market share of air yards was 36%. Adams reached the same mark in 2018 but while sharing the field with lesser competition. (Hopkins hit 45% of the Texans air yards in 2018, in case you were wondering). Hopkins has had four straight seasons of 150+ targets. Adams has *checks stat sheets* – one. Ever. Last year, Adams had just three games over 20 fantasy points in half-PPR scoring. Hopkins? Five. Their floors are similar and Hopkins has demonstrated a higher ceiling more consistently.
Lastly, add in the offensive concerns. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur seems to want to have a more balanced approach between run/pass plays. Aaron Jones is a fantasy favorite and is better than anything the Texans have at running back. Houston, on the other hand, may want to be more balanced, but they won’t be able to. While the Packers have been adding to their defense and providing a stable offensive line, the Texans have been doing the opposite. At this time last year, Warren Sharp had the Texans with one of the easiest schedules across the NFL. In 2019, however, Sharp has the Texans with the most difficult schedule. Game script will be favoring Hopkins, Watson, and the passing game.
DeAndre Hopkins is the play here given my reasonings above. If you miss out on the top running backs, Hopkins is a hell of a consolation prize.
There you have it! Another TFA Toss Up debating DeAndre Hopkins or Davante Adams. Who are you drafting if presented the choice? Let us know by hitting us up on Twitter or dropping a comment below! Don’t forget to bookmark the homepage and check back regularly for more content!