DeAndre Hopkins Is a No-Brainer to Go Over His Yardage Prop
The biggest move of the NFL's 2020 offseason remained the Houston Texans trading wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona despite all the free agency acquisitions across the league -- and the Roger Goodell party during NFL Draft weekend. Hopkins joins a Cardinals a team that's a season removed from using their No. 1 overall draft selection on franchise quarterback Kyler Murray -- in hopes of these two being the organization's cornerstones moving forward.
Hopkins is undoubtedly a top-three wide receiver in the NFL and FanDuel Sportsbook sets his 2020 props accordingly. His receiving yardage total for the season is 1,124.5 (-112), a number he's surpassed more than a few times. Hopkins has proved with and without a quarterback that he can record top-tier numbers, so should we expect more of the same in 2020?
Murray to Hopkins Connection
Murray threw for 3,722 yards, 20 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and completed 64.4 percent of his passes as a rookie in 2019. He won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award and already is arguably the best quarterback Hopkins have and will play with outside of Deshaun Watson. Hopkins has cracked the top-five in receiving yards in three of the last five years, and posted five straight top-10 finishes in targets, surpassing 150 every year during that span.
Hopkins has made the NFL All-Pro team three consecutive seasons and it's hard to imagine his streak will end with Murray under center. All three seasons, he had Watson as his quarterback, and for his career and he's had 17 total. Over his seven-year career, he is averaging 90.2 receptions, 1,228.8 yards, and 7.7 receiving touchdowns per season. He's been as healthy as an ox missing two games in his entire career and he's due for an increase in pass play-calls in 2020 with his new squad.
The Cardinals passed the ball on 58.3% of their plays in 2019, compared to a 55.2% pass rate for the Texans. Hopkins has surpassed 1,100 yards receiving in five of seven seasons in the NFL, including five of his last six. His competition in the receiving core will be Cardinals' legend Larry Fitzgerald, who caught 75 passes for 804 yards, four touchdowns, and averaged 10.7 yards per catch and Christian Kirk.
Kirk has caught three scores in back-to-back seasons with career-highs in receptions (68), targets (107), yards (709), and games played (13) in 2019.
Rounding out the offense for Murray is Kenyan Drake and Maxx Williams, who combined for 43 receptions last season. Hopkins looks like the front-runner to take a majority of the offense's shares making 2020 a potential career-year for the All-Pro receiver. His 2020 prop total started at 1,099.5 yards but raised to 1,124.5 after bettors have harassed the over.
The last season that Hopkins went under 1,100 receiving yards was in 2016 with Brock Osweiler, and given Watson as an example, we know what Hopkins is capable of.
In Hopkins' last two seasons he is averaging 1,348.5 yards per year and his fourth 1,300-yard season looks likely paired with Murray. numberFire's 2020 projections set Hopkins for 1,219 receiving yards and 7.4 touchdowns on 98.7 receptions and 149 targets. 20 players surpassed 1,100 receiving yards in 2019 and it would be quite the surprise to see him not be included in that bunch in 2020 if we have a similar number of repeats.
It seems like everyone's best interest to back Hopkins to hit the over. He only needs to average 70.4 yards per game to eclipse that total. Hopkins has averaged 75 yards per game and 1,165 receiving yards or more in five of seven seasons and only an injury should keep him away from blowing by his totals. Simply put, Hopkins has averaged 105 receptions, 162 targets, 1,371 yards, and 10 touchdowns in his last three seasons in Houston with a legit quarterback, so his 1,124 yards prop should be no problem in year one with Murray.