Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman Fantasy Value Explodes Following Tyreek Hill Injury

Jason Schandl

The Kansas City Chiefs have already established that 2018 was not a one-off fluke.

After their offense dominated the NFL last year, they opened 2019 by hanging 40 points on the Jacksonville Jaguars — the only regular season opponent that Patrick Mahomes failed to throw a touchdown pass against in 2018.

The win didn't come without a cost though, as top WR Tyreek Hill suffered a collarbone injury that is expected to cost him a few games. This isn't great news for Hill or the Chiefs, but it does create a ton of fantasy football value for KC's other wideouts.

Sammy Watkins Fantasy Outlook

Sammy Watkins is the obvious big winner here. He absolutely torched the Jaguars on Sunday, setting career-highs in both yards (198) and touchdowns (three) while catching nine of his 11 targets.

With Hill out of the picture, Watkins is the team's No. 1 wideout for the foreseeable future, and he showed in Week 1 that he is more than capable of shouldering that workload.

His matchup doesn't get any softer in Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens, but with no Hill he still offers a ton of upside. He then finds himself in a much easier spot in Week 3 against the Detroit Lions, and Watkins may well prove to be a WR1 in fantasy that week.

Mecole Hardman Fantasy Outlook

With Hill only able to play 12 snaps in Week 1, rookie Mecole Hardman finished second to Watkins with 53 snaps played.

Hardman didn't record a single reception and was targeted only once in the game though, and he obviously doesn't have nearly the same kind of value that Sammy Watkins does.

With that being said, this KC offense is good enough that simply being on the field is a recipe for big upside. A big-play threat that ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash, Hardman also has the potential to turn in a strong fantasy outing on just a couple of touches.

He's likely worth adding in just about any format at this point, even if just as a speculative stash while we see how his volume climbs in a full game without Hill. His upside is exciting, but with the potential for low volume against the Ravens, starting Hardman isn't a gamble you're likely going to need to make this early in this season, when your team should still have enough depth to start a wideout with a much higher floor.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.