Will Nuk go down a similar path like Beckham
or shine under the up-tempo offense in Arizona?
Shock. Disbelief. Highway Robbery.
Those were a few words, and a few unfit for publication, uttered
by fantasy football writers and fans when news broke that the
Houston Texans traded all-pro wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins,
to the Cardinals for David Johnson and a second-round pick.
General Manager Steve Keim and the Cardinals clearly seem to
be the lopsided winner in the deal, as they were able to ship
Johnson and his bloated salary to the Texans for arguably the
top wide receiver in the game.
Keim appears poised to make Kenyon Drake the starting running
back for the team after Drake starred last season when Johnson
looked slow and ineffective.
Which begs the question, why on Earth would Bill O達rien
trade his top player away for an expensive running back who appears
to be past his prime? Sure, the Texans needed a running back after
Carlos Hyde passed on a reportedly lowball offer.
There are rumors of strive between O達rien and Hopkins.
There are also theories on Hopkins wanting a new deal that the
Texans did not want to provide.
We may never know the truth. What we do know is the Cardinals
passing game added a stud wide receiver, and Bill O達rien
should not be the head coach and de facto general manager.
From a fantasy perspective, Hopkins goes from a familiar system
under O達rien to a spread offense focused on up-tempo plays
under head coach Kliff Kingsbury and second-year quarterback Kyler Murray.
The offense is designed for quick passes, spreading the ball
out quickly to playmakers, and utilizing Kyler Murray痴
above-average arm and running ability. Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk shared an even target share, with the veteran owning a slight
advantage in targets of 102 to 98.
Conversely, only Michael Thomas saw more targets than Hopkins
last season (Through Week 16), as Hopkins posted his sixth-consecutive
season of at least 150 targets. Hopkins has always been a target
monster, with a whopping 192 in 2015 and 174 in 2017, and will
no doubt be the top target for Murray in 2020.
The question, is will Hopkins get enough volume in his new offense,
and will he gel with his new quarterback to make him a top-5 WR
owners have come to expect?
We all thought Odell Beckham Jr. would shine in Cleveland, with
a presumed upgrade at QB and the loaded Browns offense to give
him more single coverage. Instead, OBJ turned out to be one of
the biggest busts in the drafts last the No.40 WR in fantasy points
Will Nuk go down a similar path like Beckham or will he shine
under the up-tempo offense in Arizona? Will his volume go down
with Murray spreading the ball around to Kirk and Fitzgerald,
or will Kingsbury design his offense to feature Nuk at a volume
level Hopkins enjoyed in Houston?
The uncertainty around Hopkins makes him somewhat of a risk to
take as the No.2 wide receiver behind Michael Thomas. However,
he could be a steal in the second round should the pieces fall
in place for him in Arizona.
fantasy value jumped up significantly with the trade when you
consider he was for all intents and purposes benched in Arizona
last season and looked like he would be stuck behind Drake again
Perhaps a change of scenery will give the former fantasy stud
a shot in the arm and rejuvenate his career. The Texans could
still draft a running back or two in the draft, and Duke Johnson
is under contract until 2022.
Despite these issues, Johnson jumps back onto the fantasy radar
as a low-end No.2 running back with high risk and high upside.
O達rien risked a ton to bring in Johnson, and the veteran
running back has a ton to prove.