How to value Austin Hooper outside of Atlanta
Austin Hooper had an outstanding 2019 campaign. Through the first 10 weeks of the season he was the number one tight end in fantasy football. Travis Kelce was number 2 even having played one more game. Hooper was averaging 2 points per game more than Kelce in PPR leagues. Hooper missed weeks 11-13 with a knee injury but still ended up as the number six tight end in total points and the number three in points per game. It was surprisingly the second year in a row that he finished as the number six tight end. At only 25 years old, it should be wheels up for Hooper in 2020, right? Well, not exactly.
The Atlanta Falcons currently have the third worst salary cap situation and admitted that they are not looking to resign Hooper. So, he's gone. There have been reports that Green Bay and Chicago are interested in his services. Out of those two options, Green Bay would be the preferable choice, but even that landing spot is not going to be as good as what he had in Atlanta. Hooper had a perfect situation going with the Falcons. In Atlanta he was averaging the 5th most targets per game. This is not surprising as the Falcons ranked number 1 in pass attempts in 2019. They were number 5 the year prior. Green Bay on the other hand ranked right at the middle of the pack at 16th. The Pack attempted 111 less pass attempts than the Falcons. THAT'S BIG! Compound that with the fact that Rodgers has never had a tight end catch more than 61 passes from him. That's 36 less catches than Hooper had last season. NOT GOOD!
Now, this doesn't mean Hooper will play for Green Bay in 2020. I'm sure he will have lots of suitors. However, it's unlikely he's going to land in a situation where he sees the pass volume he just had in Atlanta over the past two seasons. He will be learning a new system and have to find chemistry from a new quarterback. If his ADP ends up having him in the top 5, that's likely going to be too high for me. What do you guys think? Where would you rank him among tight ends?