What the DeAndre Hopkins Trade Means for Deshaun Watson & Texans WRs In Fantasy Football
Getty Images. Pictured: Deshaun Watson, Will Fuller
Fantasy football lost one of its most explosive quarterback-wide receiver duos when the Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals within hours of the new league year opening.
The deal — which includes shipping David Johnson to the Texans — has fantasy implications for skill players on both teams, but let’s focus on how it shifts expectations in Houston.
Our trio of fantasy football experts — Sean Koerner, Matthew Freedman and Chris Raybon — analyze the outlooks (and their initial rankings) for Deshaun Watson, Will Fuller, Kenny Stills and more.
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What It Means for Deshaun Watson
When throwing to receivers other than Hopkins in his career, Watson becomes a less efficient, more turnover-prone version of himself:
- Hopkins: 263-of-385 (68.3%), 3,336 yards (8.69 YPA), 25 TD (6.5%), 8 INT (2.1%)
- All others: 1,609-of-2,409 (66.8%), 19,438 yards (8.07 YPA), 143 TD (5.9%), 58 INT (2.4%)
Because the attention Hopkins makes the entire offense better, these splits could potentially be understating the drop-off. For example, Watson’s splits with and without Fuller in the lineup are stark:
- With Fuller: 8.72 YPA, 2.21 passing TDs per game, 0.32 rushing TDs per game
- Without Fuller: 7.26 YPA, 1.31 passing TDs per game, 0.44 rushing TDs per game
Pre-trade, Watson was going as the QB3, but barring another major acquisition at receiver, a best-case scenario for Watson would be swapping spots with Kyler Murray (QB5).