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DeAndre Hopkins: Is Nuk Still Atomic for Fantasy?


We have seen from DeAndre Hopkins an ability to be elite no matter who the quarterback is. This has been even more so the case with Deshaun Watson behind center in recent seasons. So, what has changed this year? Well. Nothing actually. While we are disappointed in the play of Hopkins this season, we really shouldn’t be.

In five games so far this season, Hopkins has 31 receptions for 347 yards. His six receptions per game is higher than his career average of 5.59 and while his yardage is down slightly, this will come in spurts like with many elite receivers (looking at you, Julio Jones). When is the last time you heard of a receiver having a 1,600 yard-season because they had 100 in every single game? Never. While he only has two touchdowns through five games, this is also comparable to his career average of one touchdown every two games.

But the most important number? He is averaging over eight targets a game. This shows that, despite a boom week from Will Fuller, Hopkins is still the go-to receiver in this offense. So why is everyone panicking?

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Houston, We Don't Have a Problem

The Texans started off a bit slow in 2019. This was to be expected as they are still dealing with a terrible offensive line. Not to mention the season-ending injury to Lamar Miller immediately before the start of the season. As Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson get more comfortable in the offense, the team as a whole has also looked better.

Looking at the run game, the Texans have finally found a system that works. We knew Miller was not the answer. But he is all they had. Now with the pass-catching of Johnson complementing the rushing ability of Hyde, the team can remain fresh by not wearing down one back. This can hopefully keep Watson on his feet more since it is still quite obvious the O-line is not going to do it. This will lead to even more opportunities for Hopkins to thrive. Once the line does get settled and provide decent protection, the team could truly come into their own on offense. And this is when you really will need to watch out for the potential of Watson to Hopkins.

At 27 years of age, DeAndre Hopkins is just entering the prime of his career at the wide receiver position. He already has 559 receptions and 49 touchdowns through 100 career games. Another key, unlike a lot of other elite receivers, is that he remains healthy. With the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones and A.J. Green dealing with various injuries, Hopkins is the one receiver you can count on to be in the lineup on a weekly basis.

This is extremely important when it comes to fantasy teams. You do not have to scramble at the last minute to find a subpar replacement off of waivers. You don’t have to drop someone you don’t want to in an attempt to win a week. They say availability is the most important ability. This is a key area where Hopkins continues to provide the most value in the NFL at the wide receiver position.

If you are in a dynasty league, Hopkins should still be the top wide receiver to own. With Watson, the quarterback position in Houston is set. We have seen what a connection between elite players at both positions can do for a team. This is a connection we want to take advantage of to our benefit. Even the best players will have a dud week or two. But talent outshines in the end, especially on a good team.

If Hopkins were on a team like the Redskins or Dolphins, the worry would be severe. The quarterback and the culture would keep him from being able to rebound. But in Houston, with Watson still looking to him as often as he is and still garnering six receptions a game, the yards are sure to follow and so will the touchdowns.

The worry about Hopkins is valid for sure. You want to win a championship as bad as I do. But it should not head into the panic state as he will find his way back into the top-five fantasy receiver group. Some may be disappointed, thinking if he was taken as the number one receiver, he has to finish there. But this rarely happens. He is not going to tank your team and finish as the WR37 like he did three seasons ago. As long as he finishes in the top-five, he was still worth the draft pick. This is exactly what we should expect.

So, to answer the question: is Nuk still atomic for fantasy football? Yes, he is. So, stick with him and watch him lay a mushroom cloud on opponents for the rest of the season.

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