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.
Browns TE Austin Hooper (appendectomy) is out for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. We’re expecting him back after Cleveland’s Week 9 bye. Hooper’s absence this weekend again leaves Harrison Bryant and David Njoku as the Browns’ TEs. Last week, Bryant ran 18 routes and saw 5 targets, while Njoku ran 13 routes and garnered 3 targets.
Browns TE Austin Hooper didn't practice on Wednesday. He seems unlikely to play against the Raiders this weekend after undergoing an appendectomy last Friday. With Hooper out last week, TE Harrison Bryant saw 5 targets and TE David Njoku 3.
Browns TE Austin Hooper missed practice on Friday with an illness and has been ruled out for this weekend's game against the Bengals. Hooper doesn't have COVID, but teams aren't taking any chances with sick guys this season. Hooper's absence leaves Cleveland with TEs David Njoku and rookie Harrison Bryant. In their 3 games together this year, Njoku has 7 targets to Bryant's 5 but Bryant has run 34 pass routes to Njoku's 28. Expect these guys to share pass-catching duties this weekend, leaving them both as TE2 fliers.
Update: HC Kevin Stefanski announced that Hooper has appendicitis and is having surgery today. We'll see if he can make it back for Week 8.
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.
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