Is DeAndre Hopkins Primed for a Rebound?

Identifying trends aka “trend spotting” is an important part of the daily fantasy game. Knowing how each team fares against opposing running backs (RBs) or wide receivers (WRs) are important pieces of information but they are not the only form of trends applicable to DFS. How do RBs perform on the road when their team is favored by more than three points? How do quarterbacks (QBs) perform in games with winds over 20 mph? How do tight ends (TEs) perform the week after career best games? All these types of questions are worth exploring, and for the purposes of this article, I had a question of my own: how do WRs respond after their worst performance of the year?

This of course stems from DeAndre Hopkins‘ disappointing week 12 at approximately 70 to 80 percent ownership in cash games. Everyone in the world and their grandmothers were on Hopkins against the bottom of the barrel passing defense in the NFL even taking into consideration that the Saints had just changed defensive coordinators. Brian Hoyer took advantage of the matchup early as he threw two TDs in the first quarter and it looked like yet another QB would throw for four-plus touchdowns (TDs) against this porous defense. Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen. So does this naturally mean that we should expect Hopkins to bounce back next week? To find context for that question, I took a look at how other top receivers had responded to that exact situation this season.

First of all, I wanted to segment the WRs to only include the best of the best because comparing Hopkins to the likes of fourth receivers hanging on the roster bubble did not make much sense. So in order to determine the “best of the best”, I took a look at only the top 15 WRs in terms of fantasy points per game this season. Okay so 15 seems like an arbitrary number mostly because it was…I wanted to stick with just top 10 but the top 10 included guys like Alshon Jeffery (missed multiple games with injuries), Martavis Bryant (served a four game suspension) and Julian Edelman (currently injured) so expanding the sample just felt necessary. The goal was to identify each of their worst fantasy weeks and determine if they followed those up with monster performances or just simply fell into a small funk. Since the target total was “their worst week,” naturally all scores improved the following week. It should be noted all of Hopkins, Julio Jones and Demaryius Thomas produced their lowest fantasy point output in week 12 so for this experiment’s purpose I took their previous low scores for the year and how they responded. Also it should be noted Jeffery missed the week following his worst week due to injury and Edelman was injured in his worst week and that ended his season so I had to take his second worst. In other words. Jeffery and Edelman’s results may be a little skewed. Expecting results to improve drastically, I was somewhat shocked at what I found:

Rank Name Fantasy Points Per Game Worst Week Worst Week Stats Worst Week Fantasy Points Following Week Stats Following Week Fantasy Points
1 Julio Jones 24.68 4 four RECs, 38 yds 7.8 five RECs, 67 yds, off fumble rec TD 17.7
2 DeAndre Hopkins 23.64 2 five RECs, 53 yds 10.3 eight RECs, 101 yds, TD 27.1
3 Antonio Brown 23.45 6 three RECs, 24 yds 5.4 six RECs, 124 yds, one ATT, six yds 22
4 Odell Beckham Jr. 22.25 7 four RECs, 35 yds 7.5 eight RECs, 130 yds, three TDs 42
5 Brandon Marshall 21.28 7 four RECs, 67 yds 10.7 nine RECs, 108 yds 22.8
6 Larry Fitzgerald 21.01 7 three RECs, 39 yds 6.9 nine RECs, 84 yds, TD 22.4
7 Alshon Jeffery 20.75 10 three RECs, 23 yds 5.3 seven RECs, 90 yds 16
8 Martavis Bryant 20.35 8 four RECs, 49 yds 8.9 three RECs, 31 yds, TD 12.1
9 Julian Edelman 19.61 7 five RECs, 54 yds 10.4 seven RECs, 81 yds, two TDs 27.1
10 Jarvis Landry 19.33 4 four RECs, 40 yds, two ATTs, 29 yds 10.9 three RECs, 42 yds, two ATTs, 24 yds, TD 15.6
11 Allen Robinson 18.6 1 one REC, 27 yards 3.7 six RECs, 155 yds, two TDs 36.5
12 Calvin Johnson 17.91 4 seven RECs, 56 yds 11.6 five RECs, 67 yds 11.7
13 A.J. Green 17.9 6 four RECs, 36 yds 7.6 11 RECs, 118 yds, TD 31.8
14 Eric Decker 16.8 1 two RECs, 37 yds, TD 11.7 eight RECs, 97 yds, TD 23.7
15 Demaryius Thomas 16.64 9 five RECs, 50 yds 10 seven RECs, 71 yds 14.1

The mean average fantasy points per game for the top 15 WRs was 20.28 points. On their worst week, the mean average dropped to 8.58 points. For the week following, I assumed they would get back on track and produce a similar total to their season average but that turned out to be false. The mean fantasy point output the week after their rock bottom was 14.1 fantasy points. Only nine of the 15 WRs followed up their worst week with a fantasy point total greater than their season average. There, without a doubt, was no such thing as a “monster follow-up” week trend to dreadful performances. Certain players exploded the week after (Odell Beckham Jr. and Allen Robinson) but they were an anomaly and not the rule.

When it comes to Hopkins and Jones next week, a rebound cannot automatically be assumed. The Texans will face the Buffalo Bills and their two excellent cornerbacks in Buffalo and the Falcons will travel to Tampa Bay. Both defenses allow nearly middle-of-the-road production to the WR position so neither draws a “gimme” matchup. You’re on your own in deciding whether or not to use each player, but when it comes down to it, Hopkins probably just had an off-game. He beat Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets the previous week so there isn’t much rhyme or reason to his recent game logs. Either trust your guy or don’t but unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule to fall back on when deciding whether or not to roster these stud WRs off horrible weeks.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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