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Rapid Reaction: DeAndre Hopkins, David Johnson Dealt in Blockbuster (2020 Fantasy Football)

Mar 16, 2020

Hopkins should continue to be a fantasy stud in Arizona.

It’ll be hard to find a more impactful move when it comes to fantasy football significance than Monday’s blockbuster deal that saw stud wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins dealt by Houston to Arizona, with running back David Johnson headed the other way. What are the fantasy ramifications of this monumental deal? Our analysts are on top of it:

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Q1. What is the fantasy football impact of the Arizona Cardinals acquiring DeAndre Hopkins?

The acquisition of DeAndre Hopkins by the Arizona Cardinals is one of epic proportions and one that has massive fantasy implications. Hopkins himself may lose a slight bit of value, as he’s headed to a team that has Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald cemented into big roles, while Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler are young guys looking for opportunity. Not just that, but they utilize the running back position quite heavily in the passing game. Moving from Deshaun Watson to Kyler Murray may not create any more efficiency, so when you add in the slightly lesser volume, you have to move Hopkins down the rankings a tad. He’s still firmly in WR1 territory but is more of a middling second-round pick than a bonafide first-round pick.
-Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

Wait, what!? Maybe the best wide receiver in the game moving away from one of the best quarterbacks in football!? Come on! Say it aint’s so. From a fantasy perspective, this actually helps Hopkins’ value, though. No, Kyler Murray isn’t as good of a passer and DeShaun Watson, but he should throw an extra 100 passes this year in an up-tempo offense. Plus, there might be less competition for targets in Arizona’s lackluster depth chart. Hopkins is still my WR #3 after this news, just behind Michael Thomas and Davante Adams as an early second round fantasy pick.
-Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypro)

This is insane. One of the best WRs in the NFL is now on the move to a loaded WR corps in Arizona. He’s no longer going to be the only/primary option on an offense, but will still see plenty of opportunity. This creates a huge hole in Houston’s offense though that leaves guys like Will Fuller and Keke Coutee as the primary options. You have to wonder what else is on the way…
-Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

First, what is happening? Seriously. Dogs and cats . . . living together . . . mass hysteria. Hopkins is almost immune to any situation other than Brock Osweiler throwing him the ball. He’ll continue to see a dominant target share, receive passes from an elite quarterback, and be a fantasy stud. He was a top-two wide receiver in expert consensus rankings before the trade. He should remain right there.
-Dan Harris (@danharris80)

Q2. Who else is impacted by Hopkins’ acquisition from a fantasy perspective?

There are many who are impacted by the arrival/exit of Hopkins, though none more than Christian Kirk, who was fighting to become the primary target for Kyler Murray. While he’s still going to remain fantasy-relevant, he no longer has 9-10 target per game upside. Further down the depth chart, Hakeem Butler‘s dynasty stock just took a massive hit.
-Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

As expected, the quarterbacks are the big movers from a fantasy standpoint here. Kyler goes from a low-end QB1 for most to a mid-QB1, but I already had him at #4 and will now be moving him about Watson to #3. I’d grab Murray in the 7th or 8th round if ADP requires it. Watson, meanwhile, moves from a 8th round pick to a 10th rounder and the QB5 now behind Murray and Russell Wilson. Likewise, Will Fuller soars in rankings and Christian Kirk takes a big hit.
-Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypro)

Everyone. Everyone is impacted by a move this big … Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and KeeSean Johnson all take a huge step back from a fantasy football perspective. Will Fuller is suddenly the only guy in Houston and will see a ton of work if they don’t bring anyone else in and Keke Coutee now stands to benefit a bit as well. These types of moves don’t happen every day, folks!
-Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

Kyler Murray now has a legitimate top threat to target and, although he was surely going to be drafted as a mid-QB1, his stock rises even further. The remaining Cardinals receivers other than Larry Fitzgerald as the slot receiver (Christian Kirk et al.) take a hit, obviously, as Hopkins should gobble up plenty of targets. As for Houston, they’re bound to add a receiver, but certainly, Will Fuller and Kenny Stills see an immediate bump in fantasy value for the time being.
-Dan Harris (@danharris80)

Q3. What is the fantasy football impact of the Houston Texans trading for David Johnson?

Based on what we saw out of David Johnson last year, this move makes very little sense for the Texans. Johnson was lacking any sort of juice while running the ball, though that’s never been the strength of his game. He’s been one of the better receiving backs in the league, though the Texans have targeted their running backs 147 times over the last two years combined. Christian McCaffrey was targeted 141 times himself in 2019 alone. The lackluster offensive line, combined with the lack of usage in the passing game, and Johnson is just a borderline RB2/RB3 option in fantasy. It’s possible that Duke Johnson would’ve been the better back to move forward with.
-Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

There has already been plenty of big news today, but this one takes the cake from a fantasy impact perspective. Johnson moves from a fringe RB3, likely behind Kenyan Drake, to a great offense with no competition for touches. We had all suggested this was the perfect landing spot, or close to it, for Derrick Henry, but now we’ve got a three-down back jumping into the opening. Even with the health questions, you’d have to think Johnson will be a third or even second round pick at this point.
-Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypro)

David Johnson being traded to the Houston Texans has layers of fantasy football impact. It opens the door for Kenyan Drake to be THE guy there in Arizona. It also allows DJ to resurrect his career in Houston after a down year in hopes that he can bounce back to the player that we saw in 2017. DJ’s going to be given every opportunity to succeed now, so if you’ve held onto him in Dynasty for this long, you should be extremely excited.
-Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

It’s an incredibly positive move for Johnson, as word broke earlier today that Kenyan Drake would be staying with the Cardinals, significantly hurting Johnson’s value had he remained. He wasn’t a fit for Kliff Kingsbury’s offense in any event, so a fresh start with the Texans will be welcomed. Houston’ offensive line was about on par with Arizona’s last year (which is to say, not good), but at least Johnson will be THE guy in Houston, as Carlos Hyde was, especially with the Texans taking on his entire salary. Duke Johnson will siphon off some targets but still, Johnson moves from a draft-day afterthought to immediately in the RB2 range in half-PPR leagues.
-Dan Harris (@danharris80)

Q4. Who else is impacted by Johnson’s acquisition from a fantasy perspective?

The arrival of David Johnson in Houston just means that Duke Johnson is stuck in the role he played last year, though he takes even more of a hit because David Johnson is going to be utilized as a receiver much more than Carlos Hyde was. On the flipside, this move to Houston opens the door for Kenyan Drake to become a full-blown superstar with the Cardinals, who suddenly have one of the most potent offenses in the NFL.
-Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

There has already been plenty of big news today, but this one takes the cake from a fantasy impact perspective. Johnson moves from a fringe RB3, likely behind Kenyan Drake, to a great offense with no competition for touches. We had all suggested this was the perfect landing spot, or close to it, for Derrick Henry, but now we’ve got a three-down back jumping into the opening. Even with the health questions, you’d have to think Johnson will be a third or even second round pick at this point.
-Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypro)

Lamar Miller and Carlos Hyde are greatly impacted, because this essentially indicates that they’re not going to be brought back in Houston. As mentioned before, this means Kenyan Drake will be given the workload in Arizona and could shoot up to a top-10 RB in 2020.
-Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

Not that there was much doubt, but the deal paves the way for Kenyan Drake in Arizona. It also means Carlos Hyde won’t be returning (not that there was much doubt) and takes another suitor away from Melvin Gordon. But, overall, it mostly impacts Drake, who sees an uptick in value with one less mouth to feed in the Arizona backfield.
-Dan Harris (@danharris80)

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