Can DeAndre Hopkins finish as the WR1 overall in 2021?

Andy Behrens is joined by Troy King to discuss Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins. Can the perennial Pro Bowler finish the 2021 season as fantasy's top wideout? Unlikely to see competition from teammates AJ Green, Andy Isabella or rookie Rondale Moore eat into his target share, Andy and Troy don't see why not.

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Video Transcript

ANDY BEHRENS: And this another player that I want to get your thoughts on because you recently wrote about him. I started round four with DeAndre Hopkins, and I'm just a little-- like, there haven't been a lot of wide receivers to go in my-- in my draft. I'll say that. People have been very focused on running backs, and quarterbacks, and tight ends. Understandably so.

But DeAndre Hopkins, coming off 115 catches last year, over 1,400 receiving yards-- like, those are numbers that take you to the Hall of Fame. You do that again and again for a few years-- you go to Canton, and Hopkins is headed there.

And I just think he's-- might have the best hands in the NFL. Probably does. Just monstrously productive with whatever quarterback you give him, and you recently wrote about him as a as a plausible candidate to be the overall wide receiver one. And he wasn't that far off last year, right? Like, I feel like he gets weirdly disrespected, and maybe that's just because we're so familiar with the brand, right? We just-- we know this guy and we've seen it year in, and year out.

I feel like there's a certain type of fantasy manager that would rather have the next big thing who can come close to what Hopkins does, rather than just take Hopkins and his superior numbers.

TROY KING: Exactly. It's like this shiny new toy syndrome, right? It's like you always want what's new. Hopkins-- and it's weird how we have the fatigue for somebody who's so good, but it's like-- it feels like DeAndre Hopkins has been in the league for, like, 20 years. It's not, like, exciting. Yeah. Yeah, he's good. What about this new guy? What about AJ Brown? Justin Jefferson, right?

And also, people have, like, a dynasty perspective. Hop, you know, he believes like he's 28, 29, or so-- around that range. And you're like, oh this young dude-- he's only 21. Again, like you said. So, the next big thing.

And DeAndre Hopkins, yeah. I made the argument that he could be wide receiver one because he was the wide receiver one last year until Kyler Murray got hurt in week 11. So, it's not that far of a stretch, but ord-- of the reasons why I wrote this article because it was-- I didn't see anybody have him ranked as the number one wide receiver. And there's so many reasons you could put him there, and let's look at some of his competition, right?

- So, Davante Adams, might not have Rodgers. AJ Brown, obviously just has Julio and a heavy offense. That's going to affect, you know? Justin Jefferson. Obviously you have Adam Thielen you have to worry about. Calvin Ridley. You have Kyle Pitts, you know? He's-- I've seen a lot of Calvin Ridley wide receiver one, but he might get stronger coverage against him, now. So, that's, you know-- De-- obviously had a great shot to still be it, but that's something you need to think about.

So, for me, you already-- you run it back with Tyler and DeAndre Hopkins. He was number one around participation. I believe he was second in receptions and yards, so you factor all that in. It's not that big of a stretch, but I was just very surprised that I didn't see anybody have him ranked as wide receiver one overall. So that's the reason I really dove in, and really want to make a case about why-- hey, we need to be talking about this a little bit more.

And everybody remembers, you know, what he did at the end of that Buffalo game, you know? Just catching that crazy touchdown, but I want to take him [INAUDIBLE]. I wish there was some possible way that I could have stacked Tyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. It wasn't going to happen, but I'm jealous of anyone who gets to do that.

ANDY BEHRENS: Another thing for me with DeAndre-- and it's-- and it's why I feel like we should be taking him, you know, top three at the position-- certainly top five at the position-- is that there's-- there's virtually no chance that a healthy DeAndre Hopkins falls outside the top five. Like, that's just-- especially in, like, point-- a half point for a first down, half point per reception-- the sort of scoring format that we have here. There's just no way that if he plays 16, 17 games, he's not finishing as a top five receiver.

Like, he's-- they've-- they've enhanced their receiving corps without really doing anything to threaten DeAndre Hopkins, right? It's more, and it's green, and maybe those things work out. It's better, and better is good for DeAndre, but there's-- there's nobody that they've added in the off season who deserves to take any of "Nuk" Hopkins' looks, right? Like, his situation is just outstanding.

Again, he's not-- as you say-- it's like-- we're not drafting in a dynasty format here, and I think you're right. People do bring the sort of dynasty mentality to a lot of leagues. He's not 30. Like, there's-- there's no reason to expect a decline. He didn't decline last year. Like, I-- I don't know. I'm-- I'm with you. I--

It's not a ton of disrespect because everybody basically still has him in their top 10, and nobody's saying that you should avoid DeAndre Hopkins. I don't think that's out there, but, man. I think there's a very compelling case for him as the overall wide receiver one, I think.

Nobody should be the least bit surprised if it actually happens this year, and he's-- and he's again-- he's-- he's in for another crazy target total. And if you believe in Kyler Murray-- and I feel like everybody does-- if you believe Kyler Murray, then by default, you have to believe that DeAndre Hopkins is a candidate to be the overall wide receiver one.