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DeAndre Hopkins' Long-Term Fantasy Value After Andre Johnson's Injury

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 17:  DeAndre Hopkins #10  of the Houston Texans works out on the field before the start of the preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at Reliant Stadium on August 17, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer ISeptember 15, 2013

Houston Texans star receiver Andre Johnson sustained a concussion against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at Reliant Stadium, according to Pro Football Talk.

Pro Football Talk tweeted after the game:

Johnson caught eight balls for 76 yards before leaving the game in the Texans' 30-24 overtime victory over the Titans. The six-time Pro Bowler has accumulated 20 catches for 222 yards in two games this season after racking up 112 catches for 1,598 yards and four touchdowns last season.

So, if the 32-year-old misses time, what does it do to rookie wideout DeAndre Hopkins' fantasy prospects?

Well, if you somehow missed it on Sunday, Hopkins caught seven balls for 117 yards with Johnson playing most of the game in Houston, including the game-winning touchdown catch in overtime. That was after the former Clemson star caught five balls for 66 yards on six targets in the Texans' stunning come-from-behind victory over the San Diego Chargers in Week 1.

Fantasy prospects?

Lookin' good.

The No. 27 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft has impressed early for the Texans this season, displaying the agility, burst, leaping ability and hands that made him a popular draft prospect this year. His touchdown catch on Sunday was a beauty, skying over cornerback Jason McCourty and landing with both feet in the end zone.

Hopkins saw 13 targets on Sunday despite Johnson's presence, giving him 19 targets through the first two weeks of the season. He's proving to be the reliable outside threat Houston has been searching for and showing that he can make big plays, which will only boost his targets if Johnson misses time.

Hopkins and the Texans face the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Week 3. The Ravens shut down Brandon Weeden and the Cleveland Browns in Week 2, 14-6, but were torched by Peyton Manning for 462 yards and seven touchdowns in Week 1. Of course, the Week 1 game was in Denver.

I wouldn't be too worried about the matchup for Hopkins, since the Texans have scored a combined 61 points in the first two weeks of the season.

On the other hand, if Hopkins doesn't have Johnson to draw away defenses, he will see much more attention than he has the first two weeks, especially after his eye-opening performance on Sunday.

I still like Hopkins as a WR2, with or without Johnson on the field. The youngster has the potential to put up WR1 numbers in favorable matchups.

 

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