The Arizona Cardinals got some tough news on Wednesday when word came out that WR DeAndre Hopkins would miss the rest of the regular season due to a knee sprain, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. With Nuk done for the year, the Cardinals are hopeful the star wideout will be able to return come playoff time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help you in your fantasy football playoffs, which likely start in Week 15. We break down what to do if you have Hopkins and how it may impact the Cardinals’ offense.
DeAndre Hopkins injury: Fantasy football impact
Cardinals wide receivers
The big name who will benefit is AJ Green, who was already a trendy waiver wire option heading into Week 15 vs. the Detroit Lions. Green had 10 targets for 7 receptions and 102 yards on Monday Night Football vs. the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14. He’s the most likely candidate to lead the Cardinals WRs in snaps and targets in a cupcake matchup vs. the Lions. Green is still just rostered in 44 percent of Yahoo fantasy football leagues. In most shallow formats, he’s likely still available to pick up.
Christian Kirk is less likely to be available on the wire. He’ll also benefit a ton from Hopkins’ absence. Kirk has had an inconsistent season but has the upside we’re looking for, at least in NFL DFS for Week 15. Kirk will likely be pretty chalky at $5,300.
Rondale Moore may be your best bet in terms of value in both DFS and season-long formats. Moore is rostered in just 21 percent of Yahoo leagues, so he’s the most readily available. The Cardinals also love to run 3-wide sets. Last week, all three of Hopkins, Green and Kirk had 50+ snaps. So if anyone is going to see the biggest jump in terms of playing time, it’s Moore. In deeper fantasy leagues, he’s the guy to target off the wire and could pay dividends as a sleeper in your FLEX.
This shouldn’t impact Murray all that much. The Cardinals have good depth at WR and if anything Murray would be forced to run a bit more with Nuk sidelined. The real impact injury is RB James Conner, who could be sidelined this week. Chase Edmonds is expected to return but he was always more of a passing-down back. Eno Benjamin may end up being the early-down back and goal line guy. If he struggles, the run game could suffer and the Cardinals’ offense would be more one-dimensional or predictable.
If you had Hopkins, we feel for you, but it’s been that type of fantasy football season. Hopefully you have contingency plans for the playoffs and WR depth to help out. If not, try and grab Rondale Moore. If that isn’t an option, good luck. As for the rest of the names mentioned, you’re playing all of them this week. Green, Moore, Kirk, Murray, Conner (if he plays), Edmonds (if he plays), Benjamin (if Conner is out). The Cardinals have everything to play for with the No. 1 seed in the balance and won’t want to take the Lions for granted. That could result in a ton of fantasy points to go around for Arizona.