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.
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.
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