DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
Injuries derailed DeAndre Hopkins’ season last year, but prior to 2021, he recorded three straight seasons of 100-plus receptions and four straight seasons of 1,000-plus yards.
Hopkins played in just 10 games last year, recording 42 catches for 572 yards and 8 touchdowns. While his production was slightly down, he was still on pace for another impressive season. Even in his limited time, his 8 touchdown catches were the most he’s had since 2018.
Remember, EA doesn’t typically lower a player’s overall on their inability to play due to injury. See Christian McCaffrey for proof of that.
When healthy, Hopkins is one of the most reliable receivers in the NFL. In 2020, he was tied with Davante Adams for receptions (115) and actually had more yards than him with 1,407. In 2019, he recorded 104 catches for 1,165 yards and 7 touchdowns.
He’s consistently among the top receivers in the league in every major category. Hopkins began Madden 22 with a 98 overall rating but dipped to 97 by the end of the year.
Unfortunately, Hopkins won’t see the field for the start of the 2022 season. He was suspended for six games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances so he won’t return to action until at least Week 7. Again, though, this suspension shouldn’t impact his overall rating. Michael Thomas began last year on the injured list and still showed up in Madden 22 with a 94 overall rating. EA doesn’t typically hold injuries or suspensions against a player’s rating.
When healthy and on the field, the 10th-year pro is one of the league’s best. Hopkins is now 30 years old and while wide receivers don’t drop off quite as quickly as running backs, one has to wonder if Hopkins has reached his Madden peak. I see him returning to the top five in Madden 23 but not quite as high as he was in Madden 22.
Madden 23 Rating Prediction: 97 Overall