Can Austin Hooper set new career-bests for the third consecutive season? For that to happen, he'd have to pop for more than four touchdowns and exceed 700 yards. In this iteration of the Falcons offense, and given Hooper's track record as a short-area receiving option, it seems possible but not with much upside. Furthermore, Hooper's never been a consistent Fantasy asset (four games last season with 10-plus non-PPR points, nine with four or fewer - and only nominally better in PPR). It's highly unlikely he'll ascend to the Kelce-Ertz-Kittle pantheon of Fantasy heroes, but if you want to target a decent option at a necessary position, Hooper should be found in the double-digit rounds in non-PPR and Round 9 at the earliest in full PPR.
Head coach Dan Quinn said that Hooper (ankle) will not partake in mandatory minicamp this week, but he will be a "full go" for training camp this summer, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. Hooper's absence from minicamp stands as a precautionary measure, with the team aiming to avoid unnecessary risk to his recently tweaked ankle. The indication from coach Quinn is that the issue is minor, and the fourth-year tight end should be fully healthy by the time team activities begin ramping back up in July. So long as he is operating near 100 percent, Hooper is likely to remain a viable starter in fantasy. Working within one of the NFL's most potent passing attacks last season, he finished tied for seventh among tight ends with 13 red-zone targets.
Hooper (ankle) is not present at Thursday's practice, William McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports. Hooper is nursing an ankle injury, per Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. It's not clear if the tight end will be available for mandatory minicamp June 11 through June 13. If not, a combination of Luke Stocker, Logan Paulsen and Eric Saubert will have to fill in with the first-team offense.
Hooper said Wednesday that he looks forward to working with new tight ends coach Mike Mularkey in 2019, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Fresh off his first career Pro Bowl season, Hooper's prospects remain bright heading into 2019 with Mularkey joining the coaching staff. Now studying under a former NFL tight end as well as someone with 14 combined years of head coach and offensive coordinator experience, Hooper looks primed to excel in his fourth NFL campaign. The 24-year-old turned in a 71-reception, 660-yard campaign in 2018 after averaging 34 catches and 398.5 yards per season between 2016 and 2017.
Hooper recorded the only touchdown for the NFC during Sunday's Pro Bowl, hauling in a 20-yard Dak Prescott touchdown pass in a 26-7 loss to the AFC. Hooper capped his breakout 2018 campaign with a shutout-preventing touchdown catch around the nine-minute mark of the fourth quarter Sunday. Despite a plethora of options in the Falcons' passing attack, the third-year tight end obliterated previous career highs in targets, receptions and receiving yards by counts of 23, 22 and 134, respectively, this past season. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Hooper's improvement this season was his efficiency, as he hauled in 80.7 percent of his targets, best of all qualified NFL tight ends.
Hooper was named to the NFC Pro Bowl roster Tuesday after Zach Ertz withdrew from the event, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. Hooper enjoyed his best professional campaign by a mile in 2018, establishing new career highs in receptions (71), receiving yards (660) and touchdowns (four). As a reliable middle-of-the-field target for Matt Ryan, Hooper found himself well inside starting range among fantasy tight ends, but a plethora of options in the Falcons passing attack prevented him from becoming a truly elite option. With top wideouts Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu all set to return in 2019, Hooper appears poised to once again provide utility, albeit with a lower ceiling than most of the other top talents at the position.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/20||Los Angeles Rams||23||7.89|
|10||11/10||@New Orleans Saints||14||6.22|
|12||11/24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||22||7.88|
|13||11/29||New Orleans Saints||14||6.22|
|15||12/15||@San Francisco 49ers||4||4.75|
|17||12/29||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||22||7.88|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||60||46||486||3||21||10.57||66|