NFL 2013 Fantasy Football Sleeping 7: "Nuk" Hopkins Has Heir Apparent Potential

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NFL 2013 Fantasy Football Sleeping 7:
From Yahoo! Sports

DeAndre Hopkins is the here and now in a Houston Texans offense that may disappoint fantasy owners in 2013.  If ever there were a "Slumping Seven," two superstar Houston Texans would be featured.  One would be the aging, overworked and wear-and-tearing Arian Foster.  The other would be an aging, over-targeted and decelerating Andre Johnson

Luckily I'm an optimist, so there is no such list.  Seriously, there won't be.  But since it has already been brought up, here's what it would probably look like:

Pos. Player But, why?
QB Peyton Manning Showed alarming signs of decline late in playoff game vs. Ravens.
RB Arian Foster Carries and camp injuries will pile up
RB C.J. Spiller Too injury-prone for projected workload.  Will break down early.
WR Andre Johnson See: This article.
WR Julio Jones The best-kept boom-or-bust secret in fantasy football.
WR Mike Wallace Double-teams will make him disappear in several games this season.
TE Tony Gonzalez Father Time is still undefeated.
DEF Chicago Bears No more defensive-minded Smith to coach a bears defense littered with past-their-prime veterans. 

DeAndre Hopkins was drafted specifically to be the heir apparent to Andre Johnson.  Johnson will be entering the back end of a potential hall-of-fame career this season.  Whispers have suggested  that Johnson may have lost a half-step.  The top wideout turned 32 this past July, and while he still has a small handful of prime years to contribute, the time has come to develop a successor. 

Johnson is coming off a season where he amassed 1,598 yards receiving, but only four touchdowns.  The Texans stud saw a four-game stretch with three receptions or less.  His Pro Bowl campaign was bolstered by an outlier of a performance, against The Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11, where he caught 14 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown.

Andre Johnson's best days could be behind him. (From NFL.com)

 

Johnson's impressive numbers are a byproduct of a whopping 164 targets in 2013, a number which DeAndre Hopkins figures to eat into.   

The Sideline View projects 52-60 catches for the Clemson product, and that's before considering Andre Johnson's history of nagging injuries.

Reports out of training camp note Hopkins as a very impressive player who continues to improve by the day. 

Andre Johnson is still one of the NFL's premier wide receivers.  As a result, he will command double-teams that will leave the explosive and speedy Hopkins in delectable one-on-one situations.  It doesn't hurt that the Texans play in a division devoid of an elite secondary. 

Depending on his own current health situation, DeAndre Hopkins should be a lock to post WR3 numbers with WR2 upside.  Arian Foster's overuse and camp injuries could catch up to him, causing him to miss time in 2013.  And while Ben Tate will serve as a solid backup to Foster, the Texans will figure to air it out more should its superstar back continue to wear down.  

Whatever DeAndre Hopkins' role is at the moment, it figures to expand with Father Time beginning to creep into the Texan's locker room. 

2013 Projection: 65 Rec; 848 Rec yds; five TDs 

#Sleeping7: Alex Smith (QB; 16.12 ADP) | Le'Veon Bell (RB; 5.05 ADP) | Giovani Bernard (RB; 8.03 ADP) | DeAndre Hopkins (WR; 8.08 ADP) | WR | WR | TE | DEF

The 2013 Sleeping Seven is brought to you by a five-time Fantasy Football Champion.  It documents criminally unheralded players with an Average Draft Position (ADP) past the fourth round.  Combine a team of reliable studs with a steady diet of late-round overachievers, and a juggernaut awaits.

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