The Duel

Mecole Hardman Fantasy Outlook Trending Up Following Second Preseason Touchdown

Dan Israeli
Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers
Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin Berl/Getty Images

Following an impressive preseason debut, which included a 17-yard touchdown off a shovel pass, Chiefs rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman added another 17-yard score in Week 2 against the Steelers.

This time around, Hardman burned Steelers' cornerback Mike Hilton before catching a Chad Henne pass in the end zone, surrounded by three defenders. He now has three catches for 48 yards and two scores through the Chiefs' first two preseason games.

While Hardman is currently no better than third on the Chiefs' WR depth chart, behind Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins, he is making a case for major playing time in his rookie year. Considering Kansas City likes to employ a lot of three wide receiver sets and spread formations, to compliment Patrick Mahomes' ability to keep plays alive and find open receivers, Hardman should see the field plenty in 2019.

Currently, however, a path to bankable targets will be tough for Hardman, as he won't only need to compete with Hill and Watkins, but also tight end Travis Kelce, who had 150 targets last year. Mahomes will also be throwing a lot to his running backs, whether it's Damien Williams or Darwin Thompson, leaving Hardman with a small piece of the receiving pie when everyone is healthy.

A big opportunity may await Hardman if one of the Chiefs' top skill players suffers an injury, which has been a major issue for Watkins over his career.

Hardman can still be productive in deeper leagues due to his big-play ability coupled with Mahomes' efficiency on deep balls. He is also an attractive late-round target in best-ball leagues, due to the blowup games he is likely to have this season. In dynasty leagues, Hardman also makes for an intriguing longterm investment.

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