• Austin Hooper

  • TE
  • , Cleveland Browns
  • 27
  • 254 lbs
  • 6' 3"
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Scouting report

by Frank Ammirante

CLE TE Austin Hooper - 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook

Fantasy Upside

Austin Hooper caught 46-of-70 targets for 435 yards (9.5 Y/R) and four touchdowns in 13 games in his first season with the Browns, finishing as TE20 in half-PPR points per game. Despite his middling numbers, Hooper’s volume stats point towards a better season in 2021. Hooper posted a 19.02% target share last year, which ranked seventh among tight ends, behind Darren Waller, Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, George Kittle, Evan Engram, and Logan Thomas. This is a player who is only one year removed from a season where he put up 75 receptions for 787 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games with the Falcons, finishing as TE3 and earning himself a lucrative contract with the Browns. While David Njoku and Harrison Bryant are good tight ends, Hooper is still the man in Cleveland. He has Top-10 upside at tight end.

Fantasy Downside

Similar to the other pass-catchers, Hooper’s fantasy downside lies within the offensive philosophy of the Browns. If they’re too run-heavy, there will be less volume for Hooper, which is bad news because he needs a high volume in order to sustain fantasy value, since he isn’t a big-play tight end. We also need to consider the tight end depth on this team. David Njoku and Harrison Bryant are both capable of commanding some targets, which would be bad news for Hooper. Having said that, Hooper is the fifth-highest paid tight end in the NFL, so there’s a good chance that he’ll retain his role.

2021 Bottom Line

Hooper is simply way too underpriced at this stage of the offseason. He’s currently being drafted as TE24 (186.6 ADP), behind the likes of Blake Jarwin and Anthony Firkser. Hooper has a much better track record, so you need to capitalize on the buying opportunity presented by the presence of players like Njoku and Bryant. Hooper looks like the best value on this Browns offense. He’s one of the few tight ends in this range who have a Top-10 season within their range of outcomes.

by Spencer Babbitt

CLE TE Austin Hooper - Week 17 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 17 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Austin Hooper saw a whopping 15 targets in Week 16, in large part due to the fact that the Browns were missing essentially their entire wide receiver room due to COVID issues. Hooper managed to catch seven of those targets for 71 scoreless yards. Hooper is not going to see 15 targets again this week with those receivers returning to the lineup, but he continues to maintain a modest role in the Cleveland passing game that keeps him on the fantasy radar due to his decent floor and the fact that he gets looks near the goal line. Even so, Hooper will be tough to trust this week against a Steelers defense that is among the top five most difficult for opposing tight ends in the league.

by Spencer Babbitt

CLE TE Austin Hooper - Week 16 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 16 at New York Jets
Austin Hooper sees low volume in the Cleveland offense, but manages to score enough touchdowns to stay on the fantasy radar as a TE2 option in deep leagues. Hooper's 5-41-1 line from last week is an example of his ceiling, so he will never post the huge blowup game that carries your team to victory. That being said, he can be useful in the right matchups, and Week 16 is exactly that with Hooper taking on a Jets defense that struggles to cover tight ends as much as any team in the league. Hooper is well worth considering as a streamer or TE2 option this week.

by Spencer Babbitt

CLE TE Austin Hooper - Week 14 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 14 vs. Baltimore Ravens
Austin Hooper is good for the occasional touchdown, but he is seeing too sporadic of usage to be counted on as a TE1. Hooper has a total of 11 targets over his last four games, showing that his floor is very low any week he doesn't find the endzone. The Browns get the Ravens' tough defense in Week 14, although that defense has been about league average when isolated to their performance against tight ends. The matchup isn't a reason to bench Hooper, but when combined with his low usage, it makes him nothing more than an unexciting TE2 in Week 14.

by Spencer Babbitt

CLE TE Austin Hooper - Week 13 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 13 at Tennessee Titans
Austin Hooper's fantasy profile is fairly clear at this point. He is always at risk of low usage in the Cleveland offense, but he does get some red-zone looks which grant him touchdown-dependent TE2 status most weeks. The Titans have struggled to contain tight ends most of the year, and the lack of pass rush in Tennessee means Baker Mayfield should have a decent game without excessive pressure in the pocket. Hooper is on the fantasy radar as a streaming option or high-end TE2 in Week 13.

by Spencer Babbitt

CLE TE Austin Hooper - Week 12 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 12 at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars present one of the league's best matchups for opposing tight ends, but Austin Hooper is difficult to trust as a TE1 with Cleveland throwing the ball so rarely. Baker Mayfield hasn't exceeded 12 completions in three weeks, meaning ancillary pass catchers like Hooper are completely touchdown dependent for fantasy purposes. While Hooper should have no issue finding some openings in the Jacksonville defense, whether those openings translate to the stat sheet is a dice roll and make Hooper nothing more than a TE2 in Week 12.

by Spencer Babbitt

CLE TE Austin Hooper - Week 11 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 11 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
After seeing an uptick in volume in recent games, Austin Hooper crashed back to earth in Week 10 when he only registered one catch on two targets against the Texans in a wind-affected game. In more mild weather, Hooper has some reasons for optimism as he should be called on to fill in some of the gap left by Odell Beckham's absence. Hooper is still playing a ton of snaps and the Eagles have struggled to defend tight ends at times this season. Hooper is well worth a look as a streaming option in Week 11 given the shallow nature of his position.

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