Fantasy fallout: What to do if you have DeAndre Hopkins on your team?

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins

With the fantasy playoffs starting this week, many managers with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on their roster will not have the services of their top draft pick. Hopkins is to miss the rest of the regular season due to a knee strain suffered during Monday night's game against the Los Angeles Rams. Reportedly, he is having surgery on the knee, and the expected time of recovery is six weeks. That means DeAndre Hopkins has an outside shot of returning to the team if the Cardinals play deep into the playoffs.

Initial thoughts on DeAndre Hopkins

Fantasy Week 15: Replacements for DeAndre Hopkins

Fantasy managers do have some options for the fantasy playoffs if DeAndre Hopkins is on their team. It’s a safe bet to drop Hopkins to free up a roster spot as he will not be back in the next three weeks to save any fantasy teams in the playoffs. The following players might be on your waiver wire/free agent list and are worth a flier for any manager needing to fill the slot left by Hopkins’s injury.

#1 - Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Christian Kirk might not be available on the waiver wire or free agent list. In the rare possibility that he is, fantasy managers should immediately pick up the Cardinals WR who will look to prove his reliability. He is a field stretcher, and against the Detroit Lions defense, fantasy managers can start him with confidence and expect him to lead the team in targets.

#2 - A.J. Green, WR, Arizona Cardinals

The same goes for Green. The veteran receiver now has a chance to prove why the Cardinals added someone with his experience to the roster. With Kirk and WR Rondale Moore taking the attention of the deep secondary, Green can roam the intermediate routes and move the sticks as needed for the Cardinals’ offense.

Note: Rondale Moore is also another possible in-house replacement for DeAndre Hopkins, if fantasy managers want to take the risk of his low target weekly projections.

From NFL Now: #AZCardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins is expected to miss Sunday and likely more with a knee injury, a concerning development for one of the NFL's best team.

#3 - Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR Cleveland Browns

QB Baker Mayfield has been battling a severe shoulder injury all season, and he was recently placed on the COVID reserve list, which threatens his availability for the now-Monday afternoon game. With Nick Mullens under center, Peoples-Jones’s fantasy value might increase because Mullens does not have a bum throwing shoulder like Mayfield. Whatever the case, Peoples-Jones suddenly becomes the top receiving option, especially if Jarvis Landry cannot play due to also being placed on the COVID reserve list.

#4 - K.J. Osborn, WR, Minnesota Vikings

WR Adam Thielen is still out so that opens up more volume for K.J. Osborn. With WR Justin Jefferson drawing most of the secondary’s attention, and RB Dalvin Cook running hard between the tackles, Osborn has increased his usage and volume in the Vikings’ offense the last few weeks. If there is a possibility that Osborn is available, fantasy managers should scoop him up immediately to replace DeAndre Hopkins.

#5 - Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions

The Lions’ only real offensive threats, D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams, could be out. Williams was placed on the COVID-19 list early last week so the timeline for him to return has room for that possibility. Regardless St. Brown’s increased usage in the Lions’ passing game the last few weeks has made him an intriguing plug-in for fantasy managers who have DeAndre Hopkins.

#6 - Gabriel Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills

Davis is slowly getting a larger pie of the receiving targets. With every game here on out as do or die for the Buffalo Bills, look for them to find a way to get the ball into the explosive Davis. He finished the 2020 regular season on a strong note, and it looks like Davis is doing the same this season. With very few options to replace DeAndre Hopkins, Gabriel Davis is a speculative addition that could pay off.

Also Read: DeAndre Hopkins injury: How long will Cardinals WR be out for?

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Edited by Windy Goodloe
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