DeAndre Hopkins signs with Titans: Fantasy football draft impact

Arizona Cardinals' DeAndre Hopkins (10) warms up before the first half of an NFL football game against the the New Orleans Saints, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

DeAndre Hopkins was one of the few remaining NFL free agents being drafted regularly in fantasy football, but he’s off the market now after signing with the Tennessee Titans.

Hopkins agreed to a two-year contract with the Titans and will take over as their No. 1 receiver in what was one of the thinnest receiving corps in the NFL considering Treylon Burks was only Titans receiver being drafted in fantasy.

While landing somewhere as the No. 1 target is encouraging, the fact that the Titans are one of the least pass-friendly offenses in the NFL indicates that Hopkins might not put up the type of numbers that his fantasy managers have grown accustomed to.

The Titans ranked in the bottom five of the NFL in pass attempts last season, and their leading wide receiver had only 527 yards, so it’s safe to say that Hopkins’ path to production could be a bit shaky considering the offense is still expected to be run-heavy with Derrick Henry as the focal point.

Where should Hopkins be drafted now?

With all that being said about the Titans not being a fantasy-friendly landing spot, Hopkins is still worth drafting in the middle rounds considering how talented he is.

A.J. Brown put up strong numbers for the Titans three seasons in a row prior to 2022 with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, so there’s a potential path to being a fantasy relevant receiver in Tennessee.

While Hopkins likely won’t match Brown’s efficiency considering he’s over 30 years old, he should be able to perform well enough if healthy to come close to 1,000 yards and be worth drafting in the seventh or eighth round of 12-team PPR leagues.

Rest of the Titans

As for Treylon Burks, the signing of Hopkins hurts his fantasy potential tremendously, as Burks will no longer be guaranteed the volume he would’ve gotten as the No. 1 target and is now no more than a late-round dart throw in the Titans’ run-first offense.

Hopkins’ presence also dashes the hope of a young Titans receiver emerging such as Nick Westbrook-Ikhine or Kyle Phillips, but someone that might benefit from his presence is tight end Chig Okonkwo.

Okonkwo been a trendy late-round tight end pick as someone who came on strong down the stretch in 2022, and he should still have a path to relevancy and could do better than expected since defenses will be keying in on Hopkins and leaving him with more potential red zone opportunities.

Hopkins’ signing doesn’t change Derrick Henry’s stock much, but it locks in his value as a late first/early second round pick since defenses will have to respect the Titans passing game more and give Henry more open running lanes.

As for Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Hopkins presence should allow him to perform well enough to keep the starting job this season over rookie Will Levis, but he won’t produce enough to be relevant in single-quarterback leagues.


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