Houston Texans star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins garnered all the attention of backup quarterback Tom Savage in Week 9. Savage threw 16 passes in Hopkins’ direction Sunday. Hopkins brought in six of those passes for 86 yards and a touchdown in the loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Hopkins has 12 or more targets in every game that Savage played under center this season.
There will not be much going for the Texans passing game in Los Angeles against the Rams Sunday. Still, Hopkins has a chance to reach his season average of six catches and 86 yards since he is getting so many targets from Savage. The Rams’ seventh-ranked passing defense will not make it easy for him though.
Fantasy impact: Hopkins is the one receiver who has a chance to stay fantasy relevant while Deshaun Watson is out in Houston. Savage threw to Hopkins 36 percent of his passing attempts in Week 9. That trend will continue Sunday. Hopkins has undeniable skills, and with 10 to 20 targets, he is going to get good numbers no matter who the defense is.
The Texans have struggled without Deshaun Watson under center. However, the QB change hasn’t slowed down star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. How has he been so successful? Watch above.
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DeAndre Hopkins has not been on the Houston Texans’ injury report since before Week 6, but the Pro Bowl wide receiver was an unexpected no-show at practice Friday, local media reported.
That’s because, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he wasn’t injured at all.
His absence was actually a response to reported comments by team owner Bob McNair, who was quoted in a Friday ESPN story as referring to protesting NFL players as “inmates” — “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” was his full statement at meetings between team owners and players, the story said.
And Hopkins wasn’t the only Houston player to be perturbed by McNair’s reported metaphor. Citing ESPN NFL Nation reporter Sarah Barshop, Schefter also noted that “Texans players wanted to walkout [sic] today in response to Bob McNair’s comments” and “had to be persuaded to stay.”
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle and SportsRadio 610’s Matt Hammond were among those who first reported Friday there was “no sign” of Hopkins during the portion of Texans practice that was open to the media. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reiterated those reports, saying the fifth-year receiver “was not spotted” on the field or on the sidelines two days before Houston’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.
And while Texans head coach Bill O’Brien told local media Hopkins had taken “a personal day,” Schefter reported via Twitter shortly afterward that the receiver’s decision stemmed from McNair’s remarks. O’Brien, for what it’s worth, declined to address whether Hopkins had taken a day off because of McNair’s comments, all the while declining to rule out the possibility that Hopkins could miss Sunday’s game against Seattle — “If something changes,” he said, according to Wilson, “we’ll let you know.”
Texans personnel, including general manager Rick Smith, went on to open discussions with players after the reported in-house backlash, Schefter added.