The Duel

Austin Hooper Injury Update Boosts Fantasy Outlook for Week 14 vs Panthers

Zach Brunner
Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints
Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints / Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper has been sidelined the past few games with a knee injury, but his early week injury update suggests he could return to action for Week 14 for a divisional matchup with the Carolina Panthers.

Hooper was able to run a bit last week, showing the progress he was making in his recovery. He is expected to return to team practices on Monday, and while he will likely be limited to start the week, there's plenty of time for that to improve.

The tight end has missed the last three games for the Falcons, after hurting his knee in a Week 10 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Matt Ryan has been unable to top 300 yards in any of the games without Hooper, and his return could be a boon for the efficiency of the entire offense.

Hooper has been a fantasy breakout this season, providing consistent production at a thin tight end position. In nine games, he caught 56 passes for 608 yards and six touchdowns, and he also added a two-point conversion. Through Week 10, Hooper was the top-ranked tight end in fantasy, averaging 2.4 fantasy points per game more than second-ranked Travis Kelce.

Returning to practice as early as Monday is a great sign for Hooper's availability this week, leaving plenty of room for optimism heading into the fantasy football playoffs.

Accounting for him suiting up, but also factoring in the potential that he's limited on Sunday, Hooper checks in at TE8 in our Week 14 PPR fantasy football rankings.

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