The Duel

DeAndre Hopkins Injury Update Creates Cloudy Fantasy Outlook for Texans Offense

Tristan Jung
DeAndre Hopkins makes a catch against the Buccaneers.
DeAndre Hopkins makes a catch against the Buccaneers. / Will Vragovic/Getty Images

After missing practice on Friday, DeAndre Hopkins has been officially listed as questionable due to an illness for the Houston Texans' key Week 17 game against the Tennessee Titans. Hopkins also missed practice on Wednesday, leaving his Week 17 status up in the air.

Hopkins has played in every game this season and produced very good numbers in 2019. However, prior to last week's game against the Buccaneers, he was in and out of practice with an illness. During the game, he caught just 5 passes for just 23 yards. Furthermore, Texans will have no reason to play their starters if the Kansas City Chiefs win their game against the Los Angeles Chargers earlier in the day, as they will be locked into the No. 4 seed.

Assuming the Texans have something to play for and he suits up, Hopkins would be strong play, as he racked up 119 yards against the Titans in Week 5. He ranks No. 3 in our Week 17 standard fantasy rankings and our PPR rankings.

If the Chiefs, who are favored by 9 points, do lock up the No. 3 seed, it's unlikely that of the Texans starters will play much. That list would likely include Deshaun Watson, Carlos Hyde, Kenny Stills, and Hopkins. Hopkins would almost certainly be rested. Head coach Bill O'Brien has been quiet about the potential of resting starters, but with so many of his key players on the injury report, it's hard to see any upside other than spiting the Titans, who are desperate for a win to secure their playoff hopes.

Houston's offensive backups could make for a risky fantasy play if the game does turn out to be meaningless. Keke Coutee has had trouble seeing the field this year, but this week could be a good time for him to get some reps. Deandre Carter could also see his work increase. That being said, if Watson is out, the Texans will be starting A.J. McCarron, making anyone on the Texans' offense difficult to trust.

Since this is a 4 p.m. game, we aren't likely to have any indication as to whether the Texans' starters will be active when Sunday's first games kick off. That makes this a situation to avoid entirely.

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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.