The Duel

Sammy Watkins Injury Update Boosts Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson Fantasy Outlook

Jason Schandl
Sammy Watkins' injury means big things for Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson's fantasy outlooks.
Sammy Watkins' injury means big things for Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson's fantasy outlooks. / Rob Carr/Getty Images

Sammy Watkins made an early exit from the Kansas City Chiefs' Week 5 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders when he suffered a hamstring injury. It was confirmed on Monday that the injury is going to cause him to miss some time.

That means Mecole Hardman and even Demarcus Robinson should see a nice boost to their fantasy football value until Watkins returns.

Watkins ranks third in the Chiefs offense in both targets (29) and receptions (21) this season, and he had played at least 80 percent of the snaps while seeing 7-plus targets three times in their first four games. He may not be a high-profile fantasy producer, but his absence does open up a serious void in what might be the league's best offense. That makes an impact.

Hardman and Robinson have seen similar volume (17 and 15 targets, respectively), though Hardman (13 catches, 194 yards, 2 touchdowns) has been far more productive than Robinson (8 receptions, 50 yards, 0 TDs).

This edge in efficiency dates back to Hardman's rookie year as well. In 2019 Hardman averaged 13.1 yards per target (most on the team) while Robinson averaged 8.2 (seventh on the team).

With the two likely to split the volume freed up by Watkins' offense, it's the hyper-efficient Hardman that has the obvious edge in fantasy football. He will still be a boom-or-bust option, but his upside makes him the Chiefs WR to target on the waiver wire this week.

If you're in a deeper league and need a dart-throw with some upside, however, Robinson could still be a viable deep sleeper option.

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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 his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.