The Duel

Hayden Hurst Fantasy Outlook Points to Big Upside With Falcons in 2020

Max Staley
Hayden Hurst has big-time fantasy football potential with the Atlanta Falcons.
Hayden Hurst has big-time fantasy football potential with the Atlanta Falcons. / Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Austin Hooper is out of the picture for the Atlanta Falcons, but his replacement has big-time fantasy potential. The team shipped out a second-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for Hayden Hurst, and Hurst will step into a role that saw Hooper record 97 targets in just 13 games in 2019.

Set to be the primary pass-catching tight end in one of the league's most pass-heavy offenses, Hurst has a chance to be a legitimate TE1 in 2020.

Hayden Hurst Fantasy Value

While he didn't play quite as frequently as Hooper, Hurst was remarkably efficient last season. He averaged 8.9 yards per target, which was tied for the sixth-best mark among all tight ends. It also meant he was more efficient than former teammate Mark Andrews (8.7) and the highest-paid TE in the NFL Hunter Henry (8.6).

Hooper, meanwhile, averaged 8.1 yards per target – a solid, if unspectacular, number.

Hurst's role is about to increase in a big way, though. Hooper saw the sixth-most targets among tight ends, despite missing three games due to injury. He'll also jump from an offense that had the fewest passing attempts in the league to the offense that had the most. Trading a second-round picks is also a good indicator that Atlanta expects to get him heavily involved, and that's almost always going to be a recipe for fantasy success, even with a likely drop in efficiency.

If Hurst can even come close to maintaining his efficiency while dealing with a much larger workload, he could be a breakout star at the position in 2020.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.