Austin Hooper’s fantasy stock after joining Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns, Fantasy Football

Austin Hooper will play for the Cleveland Browns next season. What is the former Atlanta Falcons tight end’s fantasy value entering the 2020 campaign?

The Atlanta Falcons were not going to be able to afford their former two-time Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper in his impending free agency. The former third-round pick out of Stanford was able to land a big contract on a long-term deal with the Cleveland Browns this week. What is Hooper’s impact as a new member of the Browns’ receiving corps?

The Fantasy Footballers look at Hooper as a better than average tight end, but not in the upper crust in the league at that position. While they believe he’ll be used a lot in Kevin Stefanski’s offense, he may not be the red-zone target Cleveland was hoping for. Also, what does this signify for the Browns’ other tight end David Njoku?

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When healthy, Njoku is an excellent tight end. However, he has had his issues staying on the field and he wasn’t drafted by new Browns general manager Andrew Berry. So we should expect Njoku to be hitting his unrestricted free agency next spring and sign elsewhere. As for Hooper, he should have no problem shining in a deep receiving corps in Cleveland because he already did it in Atlanta.

Hooper joins Njoku and wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry in an elite receiving corps. The Browns also have two excellent running backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. By solving a major issue at right tackle by signing Jack Conklin away from the Tennessee Titans, Cleveland only really needs a left tackle to have a flawless offense. But what about quarterback?

Yes, how Baker Mayfield performs in year three will go a long way in how smoothly Hooper’s transition over from the Falcons and to the Browns will go. Per usual, a tight end is a quarterback’s safety blanket, so look for Mayfield to work on his connection with Hooper in the early part of 2020. There really is no excuse at this point for Mayfield to not have a bounce-back year.

Next: Fantasy implications of DeAndre Hopkins/David Johnson trade

Ultimately, Hooper should still be a high-end tight end in this league. Though he could prove to be a product of Matt Ryan‘s great quarterbacking in Atlanta, you should have no problem taking Hooper as your TE1 in fantasy football next year. That’s what the Browns are paying him to be, but we need to keep an eye on what Njoku does in the final year of his Cleveland contract, too.

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