Austin Hooper’s fantasy outlook and projection for 2022

What is Austin Hooper's fantasy outlook and projection for 2022, and should you look to draft him at his current ADP?

Tennessee Titans tight end Austin Hooper is coming off his worst season since his rookie year. Now with a new team, Hooper is hoping to re-establish himself as one of the better tight ends in the NFL. In Tennessee, what is Hooper’s fantasy football outlook for the 2022 season, and should fantasy managers target him at his ADP in fantasy football drafts?

Austin Hooper’s fantasy outlook for 2022

2022 will be Hooper’s seventh NFL season. While he’s been a capable tight end throughout his career, he’s only been fantasy-relevant twice. In 2018, Hooper averaged 10.1 PPR fantasy points per game, and he followed that up with a career year in 2019 with 14.6 ppg.

In 2020, Hooper left Atlanta for Cleveland, where he’s toiled away in mediocrity. In his first season with the Browns, Hooper averaged 8.7 ppg. Then, in 2021, he averaged just 5.8 ppg.

Hooper’s pretty much just a catch-and-fall-down tight end. He operates close to the line of scrimmage as evidenced by his 4.8 aDOT and 8.7% air yards share last season.

There’s nothing flashy or exciting about Hooper. He’s not one to make explosive plays or change the dynamic of an offense. What he can do is catch the ball and produce when given volume. That creates the potential for fantasy upside.

How the Titans’ depth chart impacts Austin Hooper’s fantasy projection for the season

There’s a very real chance Hooper has legitimate fantasy value in Tennessee. Anthony Firkser is gone, leaving only Geoff Swaim to compete with Hooper at the tight end position. Hooper is going to be the starter.

Hooper has a chance to produce even on a run-heavy offense

It’s no secret the Titans want to run the ball. With a healthy Derrick Henry, they will once again try and do just that.

Last season, the Titans had a 48% neutral game script run rate, the sixth-highest rate in the league. With that said, Ryan Tannehill doesn’t have much to work with offensively.

A.J. Brown is gone, leaving Robert Woods and Treylon Burks as the Titans’ top two receivers. Woods is 30 years old coming off a midseason ACL tear, and Burks is a rookie.

The Titans targeted the tight end position a healthy 20.7% of the time in 2021. Even if Tannehill only throws the ball 500 times, Hooper would need just a 15% target share to likely push high TE2 numbers.

Hooper’s ADP for 2022

I really don’t understand Hooper’s ADP being outside the top 24 of tight ends. In a standard-sized 12-team league, he’s going undrafted. Even in deeper leagues, he’s going undrafted.

If you end up waiting on tight end, whether intentionally or by happenstance, I really believe Hooper is a worthwhile dart throw at the position. It’s not as if we’re super high on Hooper. In our 2022 fantasy football rankings, he’s consensually ranked as the TE20, but that’s still above ADP.

You don’t have to draft Hooper, but you only start one tight end. If you wait as long as possible to draft one, ADP goes out the window — just take the best player on your board.

Hooper may not be out here winning leagues, but if he can provide a 3-30 floor with the occasional touchdown, that’s good enough for a player that cost you your last-round pick.

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