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Fantasy football start/sit, Week 9: What to do with Austin Hooper

Hooper hasn’t quite had a second-year breakout performance yet. We break down the fantasy implications.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end Austin Hooper arrived in 2016 as a third-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons, and he was fairly quiet in his rookie year despite an explosive offense and his own talents as a pass catcher. Hooper came into 2017 with some light sleeper hype, but it hasn’t really panned out so far.

Through seven games, Hooper has just 22 catches for 295 yards and two touchdowns. He’s had some blowup games, such as last week’s performance against the New York Jets (four catches 47 yards, and one touchdown), but Hooper has been more inconsistent in a Falcons offense that’s struggling to get off the ground.

Fantasy impact: Hooper is a good play in best-ball formats because he’s capable of breaking off big gains at any time. However, he doesn’t get enough targets and tends to disappear for long stretches, making him a tough bet in standard fantasy leagues.

Look for Hooper to play his usual role as a boom-or-bust option against the Carolina Panthers, who are ranked 19th in giving up points to tight ends. He’s worth considering in deeper leagues because there are six teams on bye and the tight end pool is already thin, but it’s hard to feel good about his matchup this week.

Recommendation: Sit