Madden NFL 16 Primer: Why 'Draft Champions' Matters

DeAndre Hopkins is Dynasty’s New Josh Gordon

DeAndre Hopkins' dynasty future is paved in gold.
DeAndre Hopkins' dynasty future is paved in gold.

DeAndre Hopkins doesn’t play like Josh Gordon on the football field, but there is every reason to believe he is set to fill the role of super Dynasty asset, similar to how Gordon achieved such a moniker last season. No, it may not come at a ridiculous pace of 1,600 yards in 14 games, but it comes nonetheless.

In Fantasy Football Dynasty leagues, elite young receivers always come at a premium because they tend to play longer than running backs, get injured less often, are easier to predict and are viable even if their real-life team is trailing in a blowout. For that reason, players like A.J. Green, Julio Jones, and before his suspension Josh Gordon were considered the elite of the elite as far as Dynasty receiver prospects go, and it’s about time Hopkins joins that list.

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way: Hopkins is not the type of burner that Jones or Gordon are, but just like A.J. Green, that doesn’t stop him from being an elite threat down the field. Hopkins also happens to possess some of the best ball skills in the entire league, and is arguably better in that regard than some of the super-talents previously mentioned. At only 22 years old, Hopkins is in just the second year of his career, and is poised for a breakout season. Everything about Hopkins skillset should tell you that has has the potential to be a perennial top five receiver, but many are sheepish on such luxurious expectations.

When thinking of an elite dynasty receiver asset, what comes to mind? The first is probably age, which sees Hopkins as the youngest of all the elite options available. Another important feature is redzone potential, and while Hopkins is only 6’1, his tremendous ball skills and excellent hands make him a premier target in the redzone. How about receptions? How useful is a player between the twenties at racking up yards? Hopkins entered the league as a decently polished route-runner, and tries to model his game after Roddy White, who himself is a supreme route-runner. Hopkins has also been working with Andre Johnson all this time to improve in that area, and it has already paid off this season. Many thought Hopkins’ lack of elite speed would make him a strong possession receiver, but so far he has produced big play after big play, making him both a reliable target and a game-breaking talent.

The only thing Hopkins seems to lack, is an elite situation. Hopkins’ QB situation is iffy (boy would we be saying something different had the Texans not passed on Blake Bortles), and he still cedes the majority of targets to Andre Johnson. But, as with any Dynasty asset, it’s important to understand that times change. At his age and with the a super bowl run nowhere in sight, Johnson will not be with the team much longer, and we wouldn’t even be surprised to see him traded to a team like the Patriots before the season ends. The QB situation is much more difficult to tackle, but we’ve seen elite receivers survive time and time again with sub-par quarterbacks (Josh Gordon did this himself just last season).

This past week, I traded away DeAndre Hopkins in my Dynasty league for two firsts and two seconds over the next two years, and I am already starting to regret it. The picks I’ll receive will most likely be in the latter-half of their respective rounds, and the chances of me finding a prospect similar to Hopkins in four picks is not exactly strong. This mistake of mine was compounded by the fact that I wasn’t too far off from being able to compete — I was loaded at receiver, had QBs for the forseeable future, and only needed to find RBs. Now, I need to find a way to replace the would-be production of Hopkins, and fill my RB spots for the future, all in just four picks.

Hopkins is elite in every sense of the world in Dynasty. He has the right age, there are zero character concerns, he’s known to be a hard-worker, he prides himself in the routes he runs and he can make spectacular plays with the best of them in the league. As soon as Andre Johnson is gone (and perhaps even before), Hopkins will emerge as a Dynasty asset in redraft leagues similar to that of Josh Gordon had, but without all the red flags. There is not a Dynasty receiver in the league I would trade Hopkins for other than Julio Jones and A.J. Green. I would have to take a long look at Antonio Brown, however I would be hard-pressed to part with Hopkins for him, and you should too. Hopkins is that good, and he hasn’t even begun to scratch his potential yet.

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