DeAndre Hopkins Suspended Six Games for Violation of NFL’s Performance-Enhancing Drug Policy

The news in the NFL didn’t stop the Monday following draft weekend, as Adam Schefter announced that Arizona Cardinals All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was suspended six games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.  Sudden news like this will send ripples across the fantasy football industry as NFL mock drafts, fantasy football player rankings, and fantasy football ADPs all will now need to be adjusted with this news.

After missing the end of last season with a knee injury, this suspension will mark the second time in two years that Hopkins has only played in 11 games or less, so it’s time to start thinking of a replacement for him on your fantasy football rosters. Some of you who play in dynasty fantasy football leagues may already have a stop-gap option, but if you don’t, or you play redraft, there are some questions after this news. Who should you target as a replacement for Hopkins on your fantasy football team? I break down a few options below.



Marquise Brown - ADP 60.3

In a blockbuster trade on the first night of the NFL Draft, Marquise Brown was traded to the Arizona Cardinals for the 23rd overall pick. Brown was already set up to have a large role in the Cardinals’ offense after Christian Kirk and Chase Edmonds departed in free agency, but now he’s set up to be the number one wide receiver on the team for at least the first six weeks. Brown already has a rapport with Cardinals’ quarterback Kyler Murray, as the two played college together at the University of Oklahoma, so he should be able to slide in and be an immediate playmaker. Even on a run-heavy offense in Baltimore, Brown managed to accrue over 1,000 yards in the 2021 season, and he should be more than capable of doing that and more in Kliff Kingbury’s Air Raid system.


Zach Ertz - ADP 124.3

If Marquise Brown isn’t available in your leagues, Zach Ertz is the next best option to slot in your lineups. In DeAndre Hopkins’ absence in the last four weeks of the season last year, Zach Ertz garnered an average of almost 11 targets per game with a reception percentage of 65%. He put up decent PPR numbers with those targets, averaging nine yards per grab; however, you may want to be wary of Ertz if you are playing in standard leagues, as those looks never resulted in a score. 



Rondale Moore - ADP 110.7

Taken in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft there was a lot of sudden hype around Rondale Moore heading into his rookie season given his blazing downfield speed and the idea that he would get to play with one of the league's top up and coming QB's in Kyler Murray, across from perennial all-team wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins. Unfortunately, all that hype was just that as Moore managed to catch just 54 passes for 435 yards over 14 games during his rookie season. The big-play upside that Moore brings to the table was never able to fully materialize, even with Hopkins missing time last season due to injury. This offseason saw Christian Kirk head to Jacksonville and the team has been looking to trade Andy Isabella which should have opened the door for Moore this season to step into a bigger role. Instead, the Cardinals went and traded for Marquise Brown during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, likely knowing this suspension to DeAndre Hopkins was coming and thus putting another roadblock in the way of Moore.  This suspension does re-open the door a bit here for Moore to have some early season success and if he can settle into a consistent role, he could still find value even when Hopkins returns.


A.J. Green - ADP 234.6

The Cardinals re-signed A.J. Green to a one-year deal in free agency this off-season, and we saw what he could do in Arizona’s offense last year. Even with DeAndre Hopkins working on the opposite edge of the field, Green put up 848 yards and averaged just under six targets per game in 2021, and in games without Hopkins, that target share increased to an even six per game. Like Ertz, though, Green only found the end zone three times last season, so be wary of him in standard leagues.




Related Links