Fantasy Football: Can DeAndre Hopkins Rebound From Worst Season?

DeAndre Hopkins was the least valuable Fantasy Football player in 2016, among a number of terrible contenders. Can he rebound back into fantasy relevance?

Before we enter offseason mode (and thus, 2017 preseason mode), we have one more fantasy football task to wrap up 2016. It isn’t a pleasant one and it won’t be fun, like searching through to find the best fantasy football pick of this past season. It is quite the opposite,literally.

Who was the worst fantasy pick in 2016, the least valuable player? Let’s lay down the contenders, because there’s no doubt that DeAndre Hopkins disappointed everyone more than anyone.

Two brothers from New York, Dan Salem and Todd Salem, discuss DeAndre Hopkins and Fantasy Football in today’s NFL Sports Debate.

Todd Salem:

Before we lay down the contenders, I am making one qualification. This is a non-injury related question. If a first-round pick missed most of the year, of course he was a bust. However, that doesn’t tell us anything. We don’t learn anything from Adrian Peterson or Rob Gronkowski or Keenan Allen. Instead, this is about guys who played most of, or all of the season, yet failed to produce.

Here are my main contenders. The “winner” was rather obvious.

  • Todd Gurley: Average Draft Pick (ADP): 5th – Finished as the 21st ranked running back; played all 16 games; had just one 20-point week and just five double-digit scoring weeks
  • DeAndre Hopkins: ADP: 7th – Finished as the 36th ranked wide receiver; played all 16 games; never reached 20 points in a week; scored in double figures five times; scored five points or fewer eight times
  • Cam Newton: ADP: 12th – Finished as the 18th ranked quarterback; played in 15 games; never reached 30 points; scored fewer than 20 points 10 times
  • Allen Robinson: ADP: 15th – Finished as the 31st ranked wide receiver; played all 16 games; never reached 20 points; scored in double figures five times; scored five points or fewer seven times
  • Brandon Marshall: ADP: 20th – Finished as the 52nd ranked wide receiver; played in 15 games; never reached 20 points; scored in double figures four times; scored five or fewer nine times, including four straight to end his season

There are certainly other contenders, but these were the guys taken in the first round or there about who entirely failed to live up to expectations. It is always preferable to have a top player get hurt compared with him playing everyday and sucking.

The LVP this year was easily DeAndre Hopkins. He was supposed to challenge for the throne of best receiver in the league. I know his quarterback was terrible, but that is just another consideration in fantasy football. It doesn’t help his owners to be able to blame Brock Osweiler. Despite being a top-10 overall pick, Hopkins was almost unusable most weeks, scoring five or less in half of his games. He also never broke out in any weeks, leaving his owners in misery for all four months.

Dan Salem:

DeAndre Hopkins was unequivocally the least valuable player in fantasy football this past season. Before I dive into how he failed his owners, let me address our two runners-up and the least valuable running back and quarterback respectively.

Todd Gurley was the worst running back in fantasy football, but should anyone be surprised by this? Gurley had an excellent rookie season and has disappointed ever since. The Los Angeles Rams were equally as lack luster, constantly playing from behind and forced to pass like crazy. I think the issue with Gurley is how high he was drafted. He finished the season about where a player on a bad team like his would be expected, yet he went fifth overall. That’s bad news.

Cam Newton was the worst quarterback and his team was even more disappointing on the year. Newton could have put up the numbers, but he did not. Not even close. He was overvalued in drafts based on a career year, leading to massive underachievement. Watch for him to be one of the most “surprising” successes of fantasy in 2017.

Now for DeAndre Hopkins, who fell so far below expectations that he was the worst wide receiver and overall player in fantasy football. Hopkins was on a playoff team, predicated on its defense, but he did very little to put the Houston Texans there. He was a star at a position full of talent in fantasy football circles. Yet there were 35 other receivers better than Hopkins this past season. Only five double digit weeks is unacceptable for your number one wide receiver. Then scoring less than five points in half your games…what is that about?

Hopkins likely enters the 2017 fantasy football season out of the top ten receivers, let alone fantasy players. Expectations for him should be so low that he can only overachieve. Unless the Texans get a new quarterback, I see no reason why he should see the football any more than he did this past year. Let him be a late round gem, because his days atop the draft are over.

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