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The phrase “been there done that” is very applicable to DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins has finished as a WR1 in points per game in four of his last seven seasons. Since 2017, he has finished in the Top 5 in points per game each year. Additionally, after the Houston Texans traded him to the Arizona Cardinals, Hopkins still finished 5th in points per game despite the change in scenery during the pandemic. However, as great as Hopkins has been, he has never been the No. 1 overall fantasy receiver on a per-game basis. This is significant because the end-of-year finish considers other top players who may have played fewer games but performed better in those games.
Even though Hopkins finished the 2018 season as the WR1 overall in points, he was third in points per game behind Davante Adams and Antonio Brown. The 2020 Cardinals were better than the 2018 Texan game in passing attempts (575 vs. 506), passing yards (3916 vs. 3781), and passing touchdowns (27 vs. 26). This year will be the year where Hopkins finishes as the WR1 overall and in points per game.
#Texans WR @DeAndreHopkins has recorded the most receptions (528) by a player in his first six seasons in NFL history.— Houston Texans PR (@TexansPR) September 4, 2019
Since 2017, Hopkins is the only player in the NFL ranked in the top-2 in targets, receptions, rec. yards, receiving TDs, rec. 1st downs and 25+ yard receptions. pic.twitter.com/H8Gqk7rNm7
HOP, Skip, and Jump
Hopkins was virtually unstoppable in his first year with Arizona. He finished with 115 receptions on 160 targets for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns. According to Playerprofiler, Hopkins was No. 1 in route participation and No. 2 in both targets and target share. He was also second in receptions, receiving yards, and yards after the catch. Hopkins was greatly aided by his new quarterback Kyler Murray, who was 7th in attempts, 12th in passing touchdowns, and 13th in passing yards. The star receiver also averaged 85.8 air yards per game and accounted for 32.8% of team air yards. Hopkins' touchdown upside should stay consistent or exceed last season, where he was seventh in red-zone targets.
When HOPportunity Comes Knocking
Despite changing teams, Hopkins proved that his talent and efficiency transcended surrounding factors. He finished as a top-12 fantasy receiver six times last year, tied for third at the position. By comparison, Stefon Diggs only finished as a top-12 receiver five times in his first year with the Bills. Hopkins not only helped his own cause, but he also elevated the Cardinals' offense across the board.
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