Fantasy Football 2013: WR DeAndre Hopkins Is The Top Rookie Sleeper

By Corey March
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest void on the Houston Texans roster has notably been their deficiency at the wide receiver position after superstar Andre Johnson. After parting ways with their mediocre number two receiver, Kevin Walter, Houston used their first round pick to address what has been seemingly their only weakness. DeAndre Hopkins was the selection and Houston already has big plans for the 27th overall pick. Hopkins landed in a situation that will allow him to make an instant impact as a late round pick fantasy football pickup.

All eyes were on his teammate Sammy Watkins entering the 2012 NCAA Football season but it was Hopkins that ended up breaking almost every single-season receiving record at Clemson. In his freshman and sophomore campaigns, Hopkins combined to reach the end zone nine times while Watkins was a freshman sensation in 2011. Hopkins broke out in the 2012 season with 1405 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. As a result, he saw his draft stock go from a late round pick to a first rounder.

Hopkins couldn’t have landed in a better situation than Houston. Houston is a high-powered offense in desperate need of a reliable receiver opposite their all-pro veteran. Already top-10 in scoring and total offense, the addition of Hopkins gives Houston’s super bowl chances a significant upgrade. GM Rick Smith praised Hopkins by saying, “We love this guy; he is a guy who we thought could best come into this situation and help us the quickest and not only quickly but this guy can evolve and develop into quite a player.” In addition, head coach Gary Kubiak compared Hopkins to Rod Smith who he coached in Denver during Smith’s stint of eight 1,000 yard seasons.

With all of this high praise and Houston’s ability to move the ball, Hopkins is likely to be one of the most sought after sleepers as fantasy draft season approaches. He will play a secondary role to Johnson who has six 1,000 yard seasons but also has a well-documents history of injuries. Hopkins will open the season as a wide receiver three but has the upside to reach the two level. It’s yet to be seen what his average draft position will be in August but Hopkins projects as a top-25 receiver and should be a major target in dynasty leagues.

See Brad Berreman’s rookie profile for even more information on Hopkins

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