Fantasy football managers may have had concerns about how to evaluate Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for 2022 drafts even before the league suspended him for the first six games of the upcoming season for violating the policy on performance-enhancing substances. Hopkins is a future Hall of Famer and fifth among active wide receivers in receiving yards, but his age-29 season was frustrating for all, as the once-durable star not only missed seven games, but he saw diminished performance when he did play, falling short of 50 catches and failing to reach 100 receiving yards in any contest.
Hopkins dealt with multiple injuries, including a torn MCL in December that ended his season, and five other Cardinals caught more passes than his 42. The organization claims Hopkins is physically right on schedule for training camp, which is awesome, but even if things go well, we know he will miss the first six games of the season. Six games is not nothing. It is more than one-third of the NFL regular season and fantasy managers are, to be blunt, not the most patient lot. Even if we presume Hopkins returns to full health and past statistical greatness, which may be a reach, his first game will not be before Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints.