Austin Hooper Fantasy Football News 2020

2:09pm EDT 9/14/20

The Browns have placed TE David Njoku on IR with a knee injury. He's out for at least the next 3 weeks. Njoku played 23% of the offensive snaps and saw 3 targets in the opener, so his absence is a slight boost for TE Austin Hooper.

The Browns selected Florida Atlantic TE Harrison Bryant in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Bryant improved his numbers each year at Florida Atlantic, culminating in a big 65-1,004-7 line in 2019. He faced lower-level competition for the most part — but he did catch 6 balls for 79 yards vs. Ohio State this past season. That game included a nice grab when lined up outside against 1st-round Lions CB Jeff Okudah. Bryant’s 3.04 yards per route run in 2019 was best among 18 of this year’s top TE prospects. He’s also considered a solid blocker. Bryant disappointed at the Combine with a 15th percentile SPARQ score but looks more athletic on tape. This is a rough landing spot, though, after Cleveland just handed TE Austin Hooper a big contract in free agency. TE David Njoku is also still on the roster, but perhaps he’s on the outs.

TE Austin Hooper is set to sign with the Browns, according to The NFL Network. Terms haven't been disclosed and the deal won't be official until Wednesday, but Ian Rapoport hears that Hooper will be the league's highest-paid TE. The 25-year-old has posted 71-660-4 and 75-787-6 lines over the past 2 seasons, ranking 6th among TEs in PPR points both years. After finishing 17th among 28 TEs with 40+ targets in Pro Football Focus' 2018 receiving grades, Hooper climbed to 6th among 35 last year. He improved from 15th to 12th in yards per route run. Hooper certainly benefitted from playing on Falcons teams that ranked top 5 in pass attempts and pass rate in both of the last 2 years. New Browns HC Kevin Stefanski's 2019 Vikings ranked 30th in both pass attempts and pass rate. Now factor in the presence of WRs Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, and it's tough to bank on Hooper getting the 6.4 targets per game he averaged in Atlanta over the last 2 seasons. Our snap call is to expect a decline in Hooper's fantasy production in 2020 -- although he shouldn't have trouble sticking in TE1 territory.

Update: Hooper's deal is for 4 years and $44 million with $23 million guaranteed. That $11 million average annual salary does indeed make him the league's highest-paid TE.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Falcons plan to let TE Austin Hooper reach free agency when the new league year begins in March. We'd bet on that meaning a new team for Hooper, unless Atlanta knows that the TE will find a softer market than he expects. Hooper will still be just 25 when the 2020 season begins, and coming off consecutive seasons of 71+ catches. He enjoyed a career-best TE6 finish in PPR scoring for 2019. The uncertainty of his 2020 offense, however, adds risk to Hooper in early best-ball drafting. Hooper sits TE6 in ADP in both FFPC and BestBall10s drafting so far.

Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee) practiced all week and will return for Sunday’s game against the Panthers. Hooper was leading his position in PPR and non-PPR points through 10 healthy weeks. He’s right back to high-end TE1 status.

Falcons HC Dan Quinn hinted in a Wednesday radio appearance that TE Austin Hooper (knee) is set to return for this weekend's game against the Panthers. He's been out since Week 10 but was leading all TEs in PPR and non-PPR points up until that point. We'll track Hooper's practice participation over the next few days, but he'll be back to high-end TE1 status unless we hear that he'll be limited vs. Carolina.

Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee) is out for Thursday night's game against the Saints. Jaeden Graham has served as Atlanta's lead pass-catching TE over the past 2 weeks but has totaled just 4 targets.

Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee) remained sidelined for Tuesday's practice. He's not going to play against the Saints on Thursday night. TE Jaeden Graham has been operating as Atlanta's lead pass-catching TE in Hooper's place but has totaled just 4 targets over the past 2 weeks.

Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Bucs. Jaeden Graham operated as Atlanta's lead TE last week but saw just 2 targets. He's not a viable fantasy option.

Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee) remained sidelined on Wednesday. He's unlikely to play against the Bucs this weekend. Jaeden Graham served as Atlanta's lead pass-catching TE last week but isn't a viable fantasy option.

Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee) is out for Sunday's game against the Panthers. He's likely looking at a multi-game absence with his sprained MCL. Atlanta will use some combination of Luke Stocker and Jaeden Graham to replace Hooper, but neither guy is a fantasy option. Hooper's absence just means more targets for WRs Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage.

Falcons TE Austin Hooper is expected to miss "about a month" with his sprained MCL, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That timeline would have him back around Week 15. It's tough break for fantasy's current #1 TE across scoring systems. We'd try to hang on to Hooper, who should be back to TE1 status for the final few weeks of the season.

Update: HC Dan Quinn denied the report, saying it "didn't come from our building," according to Kelsey Conway of the team website. Don't drop Hooper on the Rapoport report. We'll see whether the team does tell us any more.

A Monday MRI confirmed that Falcons TE Austin Hooper suffered an MCL sprain, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Hooper is seeking a 2nd opinion to determine how long the injury will keep him out. You should make sure to grab insurance for your fantasy football lineup this week.

Falcons TE Austin Hooper injured his left knee in the 4th quarter of Sunday's game against the Saints and didn't return. Former head team Dr. David Chao believes Hooper has a sprained MCL. We should get an official diagnosis tomorrow.

The Patriots have traded a 2nd-round pick to the Falcons in exchange for WR Mohamed Sanu. New England tried to acquire Sanu during this spring's draft, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, so it's clearly a player the team covets. Sanu was a steady producer in Atlanta, averaging 4.2 catches and 47 yards per game over the past 3+ seasons. He played primarily in the slot for the Falcons, but we'll see how he fits into the Patriots' WR corps alongside Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon (once he's back from his knee injury), Phillip Dorsett and Jakobi Meyers. When everyone's healthy, it figures to be Edelman, Gordon and Sanu in 3-WR sets. Sanu has a brand new offense to learn, though. And note that he's going from the league's 2nd pass-heaviest offense to its 14th run-heaviest. Sanu is worth stashing in most fantasy leagues but won't be a recommended Week 8 starter. The Falcons, meanwhile, figures to roll with either Justin Hardy or Russell Gage as the #3 WR. But Sanu's departure will mostly just free up extra targets for Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper.

Falcons TE Austin Hooper (ankle, knee) is not listed on the final injury report. He was limited in practice all week, though, after playing a season-low 51% of the offensive snaps last Sunday. It’s worth noting that Hooper only practiced on Friday last week. He’s seemingly healthier now but still comes with elevated risk in Week 16 fantasy lineups.

Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee, ankle) was limited for the 2nd straight practice on Thursday. He played through these injuries last week but set season lows in targets (1) and snap rate (51%). Unless Hooper gets in a full workout on Friday, he'll be a shaky Week 16 fantasy play.

 
 
 

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