Injuries stunted what could’ve been another dominant season for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins last season. He missed three games midway through the campaign with a hamstring injury before a torn MCL in December put him out for the rest of the year.
He’ll be sidelined for a good chunk of the 2022 season as well as he will serve a six-game suspension to start the year for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy. Will D-Hop be a viable top fantasy receiver option upon his return?
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Receiving: Hopkins caught 42 of 64 targets in 10 games for 572 yards and eight touchdowns. He was on the field for 83% of snaps when active.
Fantasy: Due to his absences, Hopkins finished the regular season as the 46th ranked fantasy receiver in PPR formats. He produced 147.2 points to the tune of 14.7 fantasy points.
Cardinals offseason moves
The team traded a first-round pick to the Ravens for wide receiver Marquise Brown during the NFL Draft. They also brought back veteran receiver A.J. Green on a one-year deal and agreed to a three-year contract with tight end Zach Ertz. These will be the top receiving options early on in the year as Hopkins serves his suspension.
The biggest storyline was the contract dispute between the organization and Murray. The two sides agreed to a five-year contract extension at the start of training camp.
2022 best case scenario
Outside of successfully getting his suspension reduced, the best case fantasy scenario for Hopkins is him coming out like a house on fire upon his return. He immediately resumes the role of WR1 and puts up All-Pro numbers in just 11 regular season games.
2022 worst case scenario
A combination of rust and age hampers Hopkins when returning from injury as he struggles to get back on track. There’s a good chance that at 30 years old, he loses a step coming off an MCL tear.
Even with a six-game suspension, I’ll predict Hopkins still putting up the requisite numbers to be a top 25 receiver in fantasy football this season. However, this will probably be the year where you start to see a slight decline in D-Hop’s production as the years start catching up to him.