At the scouting combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Falcons’ GM Thomas Dimitroff announced that they were going to let Austin Hooper test the free agent market, which should get fantasy ears twitching as a premier player at one of the trickiest fantasy positions switching teams is definitely one to get excited about.
Hooper is poised to reset the tight end contract market as his exceptional 2019 season has shown what he is truly capable of. It could have been even better too as he missed 3 games with an MCL sprain while he was leading the NFL in fantasy tight end scoring through Week 10. Hooper returned in Week 14 and finished 2019 6th in total tight end fantasy points (191.7) and 3rd in points per game (14.7), behind only George Kittle and Travis Kelce (both 15.7 PPG).
In a copycat league where the Super Bowl was played between the teams with the two best tight ends in football, the rest of the NFL will quickly want to follow suit and Hooper is a premier player available at the position to fill that need.
I’ve identified six of the best fantasy fits for a player who has the ability to be a real difference make on your fantasy squad in 2020. Get excited people.
I’d really like this move. So much has been made of the Texans’ passing game when Will Fuller is in and out of the lineup, so why not give Deshaun Watson another elite pass-catching option to compliment DeAndre Hopkins and open up the passing game more. In the playoffs they simply couldn’t compete with the Chiefs’ high-flying offense and a stud like Hooper would be a sign they were looking to push on and compete again in 2020. With no first round draft pick this year after the trade for Laremy Tunsil last season, free agency is their best bet to beef their offense this off season.
Who doesn’t want to see Aaron Rodgers with an elite tight end to throw to? Jimmy Graham has shown little in his two years in Green bay as he finished at the TE21 in 2019. Graham can be cut this offseason with little dead cap charge and Hooper, like if he went to the Texans, would give strong support to an elite receiver in Davante Adams. With the Packers going close in 2019, copying the 49ers formula and getting an elite tight end could be the difference in having another strong season in 2020.
This is low hanging fruit as the Patriots suffered at the tight end position in 2019 after Rob Gronkowski’s retirement. Of course there is the uncertainty over Tom Brady’s future but regardless of that, Josh McDaniels has proven what can be done with an athletic tight end in his offense and Hooper would be a huge upgrade at the position for them in 2020. New England have shown in the past they are willing to spend top of the market money in free agency for that difference maker (Darrell Revis, Stephon Gilmore) and should be a prime contender for Hooper’s services.
This is a frisky one but is one I’d like to see. Arizona were another team that did not have a major tight end presence in 2019 but with Kyler Murray entering year two, having more weapons as he gains experience can only benefit him in what continues to be the most competitive division in the NFL. It also wouldn’t hurt the Cardinals’ defense to have an elite tight end to practice against as they were by far the worst team in the NFL at allowing fantasy points to the position. Win-Win however you look at it.
I’m convinced Minshew-mania is set to continue in 2020 down in Duval county and how better to let the second year quarterback develop than to give him more weapons to throw to. With two of their division rivals winning playoff games in 2019, the Jaguars have a lot to do to turn around and compete in the AFC South, but an elite pass-catching tight end would be a good place to start.
Cap space is going to be the main issue here with several Cowboys set to be paid in 2020, including Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, but if they can manage the money, Hooper would be a seriously fun addition to the Cowboys offense. Jason Witten has hinted he’d like to return in 2020 but his 8.4 yards per catch was over 2 yards per catch worse than any other tight end with 50 receptions last season (Hooper achieved 10.5 YPC). With the Cowboys missing the playoffs last season, Hooper would be a huge upgrade at the position and could be the difference maker to get them back on top of the NFC East in 2020.
Which team would you want Austin Hooper to sign with?
This poll is closed