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Is DeAndre Hopkins Playing in 2022? How Long He'll Be Out For and the Fantasy Impact

deandre hopkins fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

Injuries happen at all times of the year in football but sometimes unexpected events can also affect an NFL roster.

Before training camp has even begun, the Arizona Cardinals have discovered they will be without their star wideout for nearly half the season.

What happened with DeAndre Hopkins and what is the fantasy football impact on teammates like Kyler Murray?

Featured Promo: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off and win big in 2022. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, new Team Sync platform, premium articles, rankings and projections, 15 lineup tools and Premium DFS tools and cheat sheets. Sign Up Now!

 

What Happened With DeAndre Hopkins?

As part of the NFL’s random drug testing policy, players are randomly selected for weekly testing during the preseason, season, and playoffs. Hopkins was required to complete a test in November, which the NFL concluded contained trace elements of a banned substance.

Hopkins released the following statement, “To learn that my November test came back with trace elements of a banned substance, I was confused and shocked.” Hopkins later took responsibility for what he puts in his body but will nonetheless face a six-game suspension as a result.

This means the maximum amount of games Hopkins can play is 11, assuming he remains healthy throughout the year. This will force fantasy managers to make a difficult decision when considering drafting Hopkins, who is currently being drafted as the WR17 with an ADP of 48.

This is a steep price to pay for a player that cannot help your team until Week 7, particularly when you consider names like D.J. Moore, Michael Pittman Jr., Amon-Ra St. Brown, Amari Cooper, and teammate Marquise Brown are all being drafted behind Hopkins.

 

Impact On Cardinals' Offense

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, this is familiar and dangerous territory. Hopkins missed a total of seven games last season, including the final four games of the season with an MCL tear. The splits with and without Hopkins are listed below:

With Hopkins Without Hopkins
Record 8-2 3-4
Passing Yards/Game 278 254
Points Per Game (PPG) 30 21

It’s clear Hopkins has a tremendous impact on the offense, so playing the first six games without him will lower the Cardinals' overall fantasy output, with the played most affected being Kyler Murray

 

Impact On Kyler Murray

Murray has relied heavily on Hopkins in the two seasons they’ve played together, with Hopkins accounting for 22% of his completions, 26% of his passing yards, and 28% of his passing touchdowns.

Losing Hopkins immediately lowers Murray’s ceiling and production. Murray is currently being drafted as the QB6, in what most consider to be the last of the “big six” along with Allen, Mahomes, Herbert, Burrow, and Jackson.

While the addition of Brown will help supplement some of the lost production, the Cardinals also lost Kirk and Edmonds, who accounted for a combined 120 receptions, making the addition of Brown neutral at best. Expect Murray to struggle during those first six games, getting off to a slow start, making other lower-ranked quarterbacks more favorable with better draft value.

 

DeAndre Hopkins Summary

The Cardinals' 2021 season ended with an early playoff exit, featuring a blowout loss in the Wild Card game against the Rams, cemented by the image of Murray throwing a pick-six to a Rams defender.

Murray has since created constant distractions for the organization, requesting a contract extension and unfollowing the Cardinals' social media accounts, which he recently re-followed.

Thus, the Hopkins suspension is the last thing this team needed and further intensifies the pressure on the players and organization. Without Hopkins, expect Murray and this offense to stumble out of the gate both in the NFL and for fantasy.



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