Fantasy Football: Reactions, Fallout from DeAndre Hopkins Release

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was released by the Arizona Cardinals on Friday. This article will break down the state of the Cardinals’ offense and likely landing spots for Hopkins, rated from 1-10 for fantasy point expectations.

Fantasy Expectations After DeAndre Hopkins Release

Cardinals Offense

Marquise Brown

Marquise Brown receives the most significant fantasy boost with this news. He commanded serious volume during the six games he played in 2022 during Hopkins’ suspension. Though the quarterback play from Colt McCoy will be lackluster until Kyler Murray’s return, he should once again flirt with double-digit targets per game.

Rondale Moore

Rondale Moore quietly put up a 19.4 percent target share last year, and while his average depth of target was only 5 yards downfield, he now has a chance for 7-8 targets per game, which would put him on the fantasy radar in PPR leagues.

Trey McBride

Trey McBride is an interesting pick in PPR and TE-premium scoring leagues. Zach Ertz had an 18 percent target share last season despite being at the tail end of his career. McBride in Year 2 has a solid chance to replicate Ertz’s volume, though it’s difficult to project him for more than 4-5 TDs given the offensive environment in Arizona. McBride ran a 4.61 40-time and was drafted in Round 2 last year after putting up more than 1,100 receiving yards during his senior season at Colorado State.

Kyler Murray

Whenever Kyler Murray returns from his torn ACL, the Hopkins release puts a damper on his passing efficiency. In 31 games with Hopkins, Murray averages 247 passing yards and 1.7 passing TDs per game. In the 26 games without him, Murray drops to 238 passing yards and only 1.2 passing TDs per game. Coming off his injury, we should expect a massive drop in rushing, so Murray is a significantly less appealing quarterback stash in redraft or a late-round pick in best ball. 

Joe Burrow’s rushing production was cut in half from 2020 to 2021 after his late 2020 ACL tear. Deshaun Watson is a more optimistic story, though he tore his ACL earlier in the 2017 campaign. He averaged 38 rushing yards per game in 2017, and then it only slipped to 34 per game in 2018.

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Arizona Cardinals DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins’ Profile

Despite turning 31 at the start of June, Hopkins remains one of the NFL’s best receivers. His 29.1 percent target share last season ranked sixth at the position, and his 2.19 yards per route run was significantly higher than anyone else on the team — Moore’s 1.61 yards per route run was next closest.

>> WATCH: Two Teams Great Fits for Hopkins

Hopkins’ Potential New Teams

These nine teams are ordered by how likely the betting markets believe each destination is.

Cowboys (+200, 33.3%)

Rating: 8/10

Hopkins probably plays second fiddle to CeeDee Lamb but ahead of Brandin Cooks. QB Dak Prescott has averaged 35 pass attempts per game over the past two years. Lamb and Hopkins should combine for roughly 50 percent of those targets. It’s a high-scoring offense, but he probably wouldn’t reach elite target volume here.

Chiefs (+400, 20%)

Rating: 10/10

Tyreek Hill thrived alongside Travis Kelce in fantasy football for half a decade. Hopkins is incomparable to anyone else on the current Kansas City depth chart.

Patriots (+500, 16.7%)

Rating: 6/10

Hopkins can quickly soak up 30 percent of Mac Jones’ pass attempts, but the touchdown upside in this offense is limited.

Bills (+600, 14.3%)

Rating: 9/10

Stefon Diggs probably out-targets Hopkins here, but the Buffalo Bills are one of the pass-happiest teams in the NFL. Diggs and Hopkins combining for 300 targets is likely, and the touchdown potential here is enticing — Diggs has 29 receiving touchdowns during his three years in Buffalo. 

Eagles (+7000, 12.5%)

Rating: 4/10

It’s unclear if Hopkins is better at this stage of his career than A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith, two of the NFL’s best young receivers. The Philadelphia Eagles already operate at moderate pass volume, given Jalen Hurts’ rushing ability. 115-120 highly efficient targets are most likely the ceiling here.

Ravens (+800, 11.1%)

Rating: 3/10

Hopkins should easily out-target all the receivers in Baltimore, but TE Mark Andrews will always take away a decent chunk of the receiving pie. While new offensive coordinator Todd Monken should have the team throwing more, Lamar Jackson probably will never lead a truly pass-happy NFL offense.

Giants (+900, 10%)

Rating: 6/10

TE Darren Waller is the current favorite to lead this team in targets, so Hopkins immediately slots in as the clear-cut No. 1 option. Still, though, trusting QB Daniel Jones to be accurate and high volume is unlikely. 

Bears (+1200, 7.7%)

Rating: 2/10

Fantasy managers do not want to see Hopkins join a crowded depth chart with DJ Moore, Chase Claypool and Darnell Mooney when the quarterback is Justin Fields. Hopkins’ redraft ADP likely tumbles to Round 6 should he land here.

Jets (+1600, 5.9%)

Rating: 6/10

Garrett Wilson is already an elite receiver and should out-target Hopkins. Aaron Rodgers consistently commandeers the slowest-paced NFL offenses, so target volume would be a concern. Think of this as the higher volume alternative to the Philadelphia landing spot. Should anything happen to Wilson, Hopkins could replicate one of Davante Adams’ stat lines from his time with the Green Bay Packers.

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