After failing to find a viable trade candidate, the Arizona Cardinals released veteran wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The 30-year-old five-time Pro Bowl wideout is now free to sign with any NFL team. And there will be substantial interest in acquiring his services. However, we’ll narrow it down to just top 5 landing spots for DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins hasn’t exceeded 1,000 receiving yards in a season since 2020 but there is still plenty left in the tank. In terms of sheer PPR points per game, D-Hop ranked ninth with 17.1 PPG in 2022.
There may be salary and negotiating concerns, but Hopkins is still a premier receiver. A healthy Hopkins for 17 games would be a huge upgrade and addition for several contending squads.
Let’s break down Fulltime Fantasy‘s top 5 landing spots for DeAndre Hopkins this summer.
— Kansas City Chiefs —
As potent as the defending Super Bowl Champs are, they lack a true No. 1 alpha receiver. Kadarius Toney is a contender to see an expanded role in 2023, but Hopkins would instantly step in and be a huge upgrade to Andy Reid’s offense.
The Chiefs were already in previous trade negotiations for Hopkins but couldn’t agree on compensation. Now, on the open market, Reid and company are free to offer Nuk the potential to command up to a 25% target share in their high-octane offense. Plus, the Chiefs are favorites to repeat as champions, which will appeal to Hopkins’s desire to sign with a contender.
However, Kansas City currently has the second-fewest available cap space dollars and Hopkins is expected to command a healthy salary on the open market. It will take some creativity for the Chiefs to fit Hopkins onto their roster. But, from a fantasy football perspective, there may be no better fit.
— Buffalo Bills —
The Bills were also negotiating with Arizona about acquiring Hopkins. In addition to showing interest, Buffalo has an obvious need for a legitimate threat to take some of the pressure off of Stefon Diggs. Sorry Gabriel Davis truthers, but Davis isn’t it.
Like KC, Buffalo doesn’t have much in the way of available salary cap, but should otherwise appeal to Hopkins. Plus, Fanduel currently lists the Bills as +350 favorites to sign Hopkins.
Joining the Bills would also be a huge plus from a fantasy football perspective. Josh Allen would be the best quarterback Hopkins has played with and there would be no shortage of targets in Buffalo’s No. 2-ranked offense.
— Philadelphia Eagles —
When it comes to salary cap gymnastics, no team competes with Howie Roseman and the Philadelphia Eagles. While Philly already has a pair of star wideouts in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, the appeal of playing for the defending NFC champions and earning a competitive salary would undoubtedly appeal to Hopkins.
Signing with the Eagles would probably be a better football move than it would be for fantasy. Smith and Brown already have established roles and it would be hard to envision Hopkins earning enough targets to contend for top-20 wideout numbers in Philly’s run-friendly attack.
— Detroit Lions —
The Lions are now considered serious contenders after barely missing out on the NFC playoffs last season. Dan Campbell’s squad could also use a veteran presence like DeAndre Hopkins while Jameson Williams opens the season with a six-game suspension.
Hopkins would fit in beautifully as the top perimeter threat for a Lions attack that already boasts Amon-Ra St. Brown and Rookie TE Sam LaPorta. Nuk’s presence would be problematic for defenses that already struggled to contain this offense last winter.
— Cleveland Browns —
Cleveland has a proven commodity that would certainly appeal to DeAndre Hopkins- QB Deshaun Watson. Many think it was Bill O’Brien’s ill-advised decision to unceremoniously trade Hopkins to Arizona that was the catalyst that led to Watson’s refusal to play for Houston in 2021.
In three seasons with Watson as his signal caller, Hopkins averaged 162 targets, 105 receptions, 1,372 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns.
The Browns only ranked 22nd in passing in 2022. However, with a full season of Watson under center, Cleveland has sneaky upside. Plus, the Browns could really use an established wideout to pair with Amari Cooper and the emerging Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Deshaun Watson could be the wildcard that makes the Browns a darkhorse candidate to sign DeAndre Hopkins. It might not be the most desirable fantasy landing spot up front but could wind up being just the kind of role to get Nuk back into WR1 territory.