Tennesse Titans WR DeAndre Hopkins was resurrected for fantasy football managers with rookie QB Will Levis under center. However, just when fantasy managers are excited about the return to form of a former stud, a toe injury looks set to derail him heading into Thursday Night Football in Week 9. Let’s take a look at whether Hopkins is expected to be playing this week and the fantasy implications if he does not.
Is DeAndre Hopkins Going To Play in Week 9?
Right now, we do not have a definitive clue as to whether Hopkins will be on the field in Week 9. The Wednesday downgrade is concerning, but the fact that Monday and Tuesday were estimations also makes it all confusing. The Titans’ WR did not seem overly concerned when he spoke in the locker room on Tuesday, but it is hard to read a lot from those encounters.
Hopkins would not be the first WR to play after not logging a full practice during the week. Having Wednesday off, when it was the only day the Titans’ actually practiced, could have simply been an extra day off for a veteran.
The confusing part is that if this was a rest thing with the toe, would they not just have cleared Hopkins from the injury report? The fact the Titans felt the need to list him as questionable rightly raises some eyebrows for fantasy managers. The Titans will release their inactives 90 minutes before kickoff, so make sure to monitor the news. Hopkins is WR30 in PFN’s Consensus Rankings this week.
Fantasy Impact on Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Treylon Burks, and Chigoziem Okonkwo
Managers want Hopkins to be active for a good matchup in Pittsburgh. They allow the ninth-most receiving yards to opposing pass catchers, and Hopkins is averaging 49% of the WR targets in Tennessee. If he is sidelined, WRs Treylon Burks and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine could see more targets.
MORE: Should You Start Nick Westbrook-Ikhine or Treylon Burks in Week 9?
Westbrook-Ikhine had a nice touchdown catch last week and has flashed in moments for the Titans throughout his career. If Levis is going to air the ball out more than Tannehill did, then we may see him be able to have more consistent success going forward. Burks should also benefit from more playing time if Hopkins is out. The second-year WR has also flashed but needs a big second season if questions are not to really start being asked.
Since we only have one NFL game’s worth of data for Levis, it is difficult to predict what he will do if his No. 1 option is removed, but I believe that he would simply rely more on the most consistent guy on the team for a rookie QB: RB Derrick Henry.
I already expect a solid game from Henry this week, but if Hopkins sits, I expect a monster showing. TE Chigoziem Okonkwo could also take advantage of the situation. He had six targets last week, including a drop that would have resulted in a big gain.
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