Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Week 4 Disaster Recovery: DeAndre Hopkins

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody on your bench. Disaster Recovery is to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting, and deciding if you should be panicking at all about their value moving forward.

This season we'll be focusing on one dud a week, and touching on a few others briefly. There will be two major qualifiers for these players: the player must have performed well below expectations without an injury, and the player must be considered a must-start in most formats.

In 2015, DeAndre Hopkins recorded over 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns despite playing with four different starting quarterbacks and zero good quarterbacks. In 2019, he's playing with a Pro Bowl quarterback and is averaging under 50 yards per game over the past three games. What's happening?

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Hopping Down The Bust Trail

DeAndre Hopkins' Week 4 stat-line: five receptions for 41 yards on eight targets... and an interception. 

DeAndre Hopkins' has recorded at least 1,200 yards in four of the last five seasons. The only time he didn't was during the infamous 2016 campaign, when Brock Osweiler was attempting to throw the ball his way.

During that season, Hopkins hauled in 78 of his 154 targets for 954 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged 12.2 yards per catch. The numbers weren't terrible, but they were far from what any owner who selected Hopkins in the first round would have hoped for. The worst part was that they could have been so much better if Osweiler could throw the football somewhat accurately. Hopkins had nearly 1,000 yards on by far the lowest catch rate of his career. Had Osweiler and Hopkins been able to connect on a few more balls, he likely would have had a decent season.

Hopkins' had a catch percentage of 51.7% in 2016. Through four games this season, he's caught 66.7% of his targets. He's on pace for 1,036 yards and 96 receptions on 144 targets. That's less targets than he received in 2016 and just 82 more yards.

My point is that Hopkins is barely on pace to top his yardage totals from 2016 despite catching 16% more of his targets. He's still on pace for eight touchdowns this season, but Hopkins hasn't scored since Week 1. He hasn't even been targeted in the red zone since Week 1.

Part of the reason - lack of a strong passing game. Hopkins has three games this season with eight or fewer targets and under 50 yards. In two of those games, Watson had fewer than 30 passing attempts, didn't throw for a touchdown, and didn't throw for more than 200 yards. Last week's game against Carolina was one of those duds. The week before, however, wasn't.

In Week 3, Hopkins caught six of his seven targets for 67 yards against the Chargers. This was in a game where Watson threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns. Five different players had five or more targets, and Watson chose to target his tight ends in the red zone rather than his star receiver. The Chargers have a solid pass defense, but other star receivers have been able to go to work against their secondary. In Houston's best passing performance of the year, Hopkins recorded his season-low in targets.

Week 3 proved that the Texans didn't need to force Hopkins the ball to have a successful passing attack. Weeks 2 and 4 proved that the Texans may not always have a successful passing attack. Neither of these points are going to make Hopkins owners feel better.

It seems silly for the Texans not to make it a point to get their star player the ball more in the coming weeks. The offense isn't exactly firing on all cylinders. Hopkins has also played against three very solid cornerbacks over the last three weeks, which may have played a part in Watson looking his way less often. A juicy matchup against Atlanta should serve as a prime bounce-back game for Hopkins.

The key word here is should. There's a chance that it doesn't. Hopkins received double-digit targets in 11 of his 16 games last season. This year, he's on pace for four games with double-digit targets. His lack of targets could be due to the fact he's gone against tougher competition. It could also be because the Texans have a much deeper roster of pass-catchers. Kenny Stills and Will Fuller are good receivers. Duke Johnson is a great pass-catcher out of the backfield. Watson has begun to develop chemistry with two different tight ends. The depth chart is so deep that Keke Coutee barely sees the field. This is a far superior receiving corps than Hopkins is used to playing with.

If you believe that Hopkins just ran into a string of good quarterbacks and will get back to his monster target-share in the coming weeks, hold steady and ride him out. If you think that the Texans may just be spreading the ball out more and Hopkins will just be a wheel in the offense rather than the engine, it might be time to sell while you can still get high-value for him.

I'm still willing to lean towards the former. I don't think Hopkins will approach 1,600 yards like he did last season, but I still believe he'll have well over 1,000 yards. And even if he doesn't, his current pace of 1,034 yards and eight touchdowns is fine. He's a superstar receiver with a relatively high floor. I'm still rolling the dice with Hopkins, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sweating a little.

Panic Level: 2.5/5

Here are some thoughts on a few other duds from Week 4.


No Need to Worry

Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)

I'm sorry, but if you've been complaining that you lost in Week 4 because Keenan Allen had a bad game, you're what's wrong with fantasy football. Don't cry about your now 3-1 record that Allen helped carry you to. The Chargers receiver is still on pace for 1,808 yards and 12 touchdowns despite having 48 yards and zero touchdowns in Week 4. He's going to have a monster year. Don't be an idiot and panic.


Plenty of Reason to Panic!

JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, PIT)

JuJu probably won't have many more 15-yard games this season. But how much better can it really get? His season-high is 84 yards, a number he eclipsed nine times last season. It's not JuJu's fault that Ben Roethlisberger got hurt, but Mason Rudolph certainly isn't getting the job done. I'm not ready to bench Smith-Schuster just yet, but I'm also not feeling great about playing him. It's going to be a long season for JuJu owners.

You'd have a better chance of knocking out Brock Lesnar than this player living up to his ADP: Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

Joe Mixon's 2019 season has been so laughable that I didn't even think he warranted a full article today. The Cincinnati Bengals are a bad football team. Their head coach might be terrible and their offensive line is definitely terrible. Mixon's outlook for the rest of the season is looking bleak in this offense. Unfortunately for Mixon owners, you probably can't get good value back if you trade him, and you probably don't have better options on your bench.

Look at the bright side. In the first two weeks of the season, Mixon had 27 total rushing yards. He's quadrupled that total over the past two weeks. If Mixon can keep up his current pace, he'll almost finish with 1,000 yards! Everything is fine!

More Fantasy Football Analysis

More Recent Articles


NCAA Prospects To Watch: Week 8

We’re almost halfway through the college football season, which means small sample sizes are becoming larger, and players are beginning to rise up the draft boards. While that means the cream is rising to the top, it also means that some unique names have emerged as players to know for the 2020 NFL Draft. This... Read More

Week 7 Busts? Players To Consider Avoiding

We're almost halfway through the NFL season already. Time really does fly. At this point in the year, you should know whether your fantasy squad is a pretender or contender for a fantasy title. You may only be missing a couple of key pieces. If so, you should certainly consider trading for a player or... Read More

Fantasy Football Booms, Busts - Joe Mixon, John Brown, Calvin Ridley

Will Week 7 be a lucky week for fantasy football players? Fantasy players will not have to worry about Jameis Winston throwing interceptions, Baker Mayfield missing receivers by miles, or backup quarterbacks ruining JuJu Smith-Schuster’s fantasy value thanks to their teams being on bye. Fantasy players will still have to win by picking the perfect... Read More

Week 7 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

Week 7 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that bye weeks are in full swing; streaming becomes a more viable and almost necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions throughout the season could easily be the difference in winning a championship. Each week, I... Read More

Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 6 Analysis

Wide receivers are essential components toward your ultimate goal of securing league championships. As the season unfolds, an expanding collection of tools are available that can provide you with an extensive level of knowledge. Those results provide the foundation for this weekly statistical breakdown of the wide receiver position, which is designed to help you fulfill... Read More

Jets Offense Ready for Takeoff - Le'Veon Bell, Jamison Crowder, Robby Anderson

The Jets picked up their first win of the season on Sunday, a rousing two-point victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Sam Darnold was the big story, returning to revive an offense that had scored 23 points in three games without him. Suddenly optimism is reigning in New York/New Jersey after the franchise QB came back... Read More

Running Back Start/Sit Advice - Week 7

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano break down the running back position to help with tough fantasy football lineup decisions for Week 7 of the 2019 NFL season. They decide who to start or sit among those in RB3 or flex consideration. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest... Read More

Wide Receiver Start/Sit Advice - Week 7

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano break down the wide receiver position to help with tough fantasy football lineup decisions for Week 7 of the 2019 NFL season. They decide who to start or sit among those in WR3 or flex consideration. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest... Read More

Tight End Start/Sit Advice - Week 7

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano break down the tight end position to help with tough fantasy football lineup decisions for Week 7 of the 2019 NFL season. They decide who to start or sit in order to give you the best advantage to win your weekly matchup. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on... Read More

Quarterback Start/Sit Advice - Week 7

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano break down the quarterback position to help with tough fantasy football lineup decisions for Week 7 of the 2019 NFL season. They decide who to start or sit in order to give you the best advantage to win your weekly matchup. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube... Read More

Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 7

The bye week difficulties continue this week with Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay all getting their rest in Week 7. It should be noted, however, that just because a player is currently in their bye week, doesn't mean you should avoid them on the waiver wire. In fact, this is often the easiest way... Read More

Week 7 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Below are RotoBaller's Week 7 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 7 of the NFL and fantasy football season. In case you missed it, this is our seventh year now writing this weekly column. Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver... Read More

The King's Week Seven Lineup Rankings and Analysis (Premium Content)

Welcome back, RotoBallers!  Below you will find my Week Seven fantasy football lineup rankings. The ranks are available in PPR, Half PPR and Standard formats. They will be updated as needed, so make sure to check back for the latest versions, especially on the weekends. Skill Position analysis versus the FantasyPros industry Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR)... Read More

Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 7

The New England Patriots continue to roll through the competition. Tom Brady managed to trounce the New York Giants with 334 passing yards and two rushing touchdowns, vulturing goal line work from Sony Michel who failed to eclipse 100 yards despite carrying the football 22 times. Each team's top receiving option produced exceptional fantasy days,... Read More