Finally! DeAndre Hopkins has a new home to continue his football career with the Tennessee Titans. Hopkins plans to sign a two-year deal worth up to $26 million with three million in incentives. Can Hopkins continue to perform at a high level, and what does this mean for the rest of the fantasy offense in Tennessee!?
D’Andre Hopkins Value
After spending three seasons in Arizona, Hopkins finds a new home with Tennessee. This wasn’t the same player when he was traded to the Cardinals. Hopkins will now be 31 years old heading into the 2023 season. He also has missed nine games over the last two seasons due to lower body injuries. I’ll say it’s not the best landing spot since places like Kansas City were supposed to be an option. Hopkins is still a sell high for me in dynasty now that he is with the Titans for the next two seasons. Sell off name value because I don’t see Hopkins being able to return to form with the Titans.
Suppose you compare Hopkins to another all-pro receiver that went to the Titans, like Julio Jones. Jones was coming to the Titans as a player coming off injuries to his lower body and missed nine games with the Falcons in 2020. Jones never makes an impact for the Titans; I fear that Hopkins could follow in the same footsteps. Both are different situations and receivers, but Hopkins has battled knee sprains and hamstrings, like Jones, in the last two seasons.
Outside of possible age and injury concerns that I have with Hopkins, the offense isn’t impressive he is coming to. Regarding passing, Ryan Tannehill isn’t much of a downgrade over Kyler Murray as a passer. Over the last two years, they have averaged 3,000 passing yards and 17 touchdowns.
The difference has been Tannehill isn’t force-feeding the ball to one player, and yes, he had AJ Brown for a portion of his time in Tennesseee. Tannehill’s number-one pass catcher has had 105, 106, and 91 targets over the last three seasons. Hopkins has commanded a heavy target share during his time in the NFL. Last year he had seven of nine games with double-digit targets. Not a single pass catcher for the Titans had double-digit targets in a game last season. Hopkins could command that, but Tannehill could rely on players like Burks and Okwonko to step up, over-relying on the aging veteran.
Tennessee is the land where elite receivers go to finish their careers poorly. Hopkins could still bounce back, but the age and injuries concern me. He could have WR2-level production at best, but he no longer has the same floor play. It’s better to sell off, especially since he got a two-year deal and a solid return. A first-rounder may be pushing it, but two second-round picks are a solid value now in dynasty.
The Titans QBs
One benefit to this signing is Tannehill or Will Levis. Tannehill should be expected to start week one of the 2023 season. The addition of Hopkins should benefit the veteran quarterback during the 2023 season. We saw Kylar Murray see a bump in production when an elite type of receiver like Hopkins arrived. He saw a bump in yardage, touchdown, and completion %. Now this is a different Hopkins but an upgrade over whoever the Titans would throw out there as their WR2.
Tannehill becomes a sleeper for 2023 and a better play for a QB3 for a contending team looking for a fill-in. Hopkins is a big target pass catcher that could help increase Tannehill’s red zone completion % which was already top 15. Tannehill is an average quarterback, likely auctioning for a new team in 2024. Another good sell for a 2024 second in superflex leagues with the addition of a name like Hopkins.
Will Levis get a mini bounce as well? The signing hasn’t impacted Levis since I don’t expect him to play too much in 2023. As a quarterback, having a veteran like Hopkins could benefit his progress in the future. Hopkins could be tied to the team through 2024, so if Levis starts, he’ll have a season vet to work with. The signing helps Tannehill now and maybe Levis in the future for dynasty.
A sleeper winner in this has to be Burks. I’ve already seen so much hate for Burks on Twitter after this Hopkins singing. I’m not sure why is a major fall in his value. Yes, in 2023, that could hurt, but it shouldn’t change his overall dynasty value. Burks could still easily lead this team in targets in 2023 and beyond, even with Hopkins there. He will often see the second defender with Hopkins on the field.
Burks needs this to gain this confidence on the field and not to feel the pressure to produce quickly. He still has the speed to gain yards after the catch to make plays with his feet. He was top 36 in yards per reception and 19th in contested catches in 2022. Hopkins is going to help mentor the young receiver into a star. Burks could still produce low-end WR2 with Hopkins on the field. The forced target to Burks he would get may be gone, but he will see quality targets that could get him around the 110 range. Buy low on Burks if folks are in a panic.
The Rest of the Offense
Hopkins comes with a physical presence as a blocker for the receiver position. The running backs should continue to operate as usual, but it does help to have another good player who can block and take attention away from them. Second-year receiver Kyle Phillips could benefit in the offense by being the slot guy, as any attention to him is likely gone. I like getting Phillips on the low since Tannehill has always been solid with slot receivers. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine takes a significant hit as he was likely to start across from Burks this season. Westbrook-Ikhine hasn’t been a consistent receiver and should be dropped for any dynasty team now.
Chigoziem Okonkwo benefits from the Hopkins’ signing too. Okonkwo was finding his own in the second half of last year as he was first in YPR and second in YPT. Hopkins’s presence could help open the middle of the field more for Okonkwo to get up the seam and make plays in the offense. His value already seems high in dynasty, so trading for him now likely isn’t the best idea. He could lose targets in the offense, but he may have to be more efficient with the ones he will get in the offense.
Get the Dynasty Nerds app in the Apple and Google Play stores. Mock drafts for Superflex, 1QB, and Standard. If you are a DynastyGM subscriber, it even syncs with your actual teams so that you can do rookie mock drafts with ALL of your actual picks, also on your desktop.