If you're in a smaller league, Hawkins still isn't worth a top waiver priority. But if you have a late waiver pick or plenty of room on your bench, there's no point in not taking a flier on the second-year pro out of Toledo.
That's the nutshell version of Hawkins' fantasy value.
The extended version is that the youngster has loads of upside and he's coming off his second-straight productive game, but his team situation isn't ideal for fantasy purposes.
Let's start with the upside.
The little 5'7", 180-pound firecracker is what you would call the definition of shifty. He has absolute dynamic quickness and breakaway speed, and catching him in the open field is like trying to catch a slippery fish with buttered-up mittens.
That was painfully—at least for Cleveland Browns fans—evident during his 50-yard touchdown catch on Sunday afternoon.
Hawkins found some open space as quarterback Andy Dalton scrambled to buy himself some time, then once he got his hands on the football, Hawkins made about five Browns look, well, silly.
The long touchdown gave Hawkins a line of 56 yards and a touchdown on two catches. Combine that with his eight-catch, 86-yard performance from Week 1, and you have yourself an intriguing fantasy option.
But Hawkins, who reminds me a bit of Dante Hall, is going to be more of a big-play threat, and unfortunately for fantasy owners, the Bengals won't be playing the Browns every week.
Then you have the cloudiness of the passing attack.
Andy Dalton, who looked studly on Sunday with 318 yards on three touchdowns, has been fairly terrible for about the last eight weeks. Even if Hawkins was a sure-fire Pro Bowler on a team that throws 40 times a game, which he isn't, he would have to compete for touches with A.J. Green, Armon Binns, Jermaine Gresham and Brandon Tate.
Hawkins has the type of skill set that will give him types of days just like this one. Days that will have you bragging to your friends about picking him up.
Unfortunately, he also the type of skill set that will cause him to respond with performances that make you want to poke your eyeballs out.
If that's the type of player you'd be interested in, then have a go at him.
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