The Duel

Would You Rather: Start Demarcus Robinson or Mecole Hardman in Week 3 Fantasy Football

Dan Israeli
Kansas City Chiefs v Oakland Raiders
Kansas City Chiefs v Oakland Raiders / Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
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Heading into the Kansas City Chiefs' Week 2 matchup against the Raiders, the buzzy fantasy play in the Kansas City wide receiver corps was rookie Mecole Hardman. Despite recording zero receptions on one target in Week 1, Hardman was ticketed for a big role in Week 2 in the absence of the injured Tyreek Hill.

While Hardman certainly did not disappoint, catching four balls for 61 yards and a touchdown, he was not the most productive of the Chiefs wideouts. After Sammy Watkins went off for a monster two-touchdown game in Week 1, this time it was Demarcus Robinson, the third-year Chief out of Florida, who dropped a 7-172-2 line on the hapless Oakland Raiders.

It was a monster day in general for Chiefs superstar QB Patrick Mahomes, who finished with 443 passing yards and four touchdowns. While Watkins was the odd man out in Week 2 (six catches for 49 yards), he saw 13 targets and remains the top wideout. The question now becomes who is the better No. 2 WR option in KC while Hill remains sidelined – Hardman or Robinson?

Heading into Week 3, Hardman is available on the waiver wire in 60 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Football Leagues, while Robinson is widely available, owned in just seven percent of leagues. Both will be very popular pickups in shallow leagues, while Robinson will be one of the bigger priorities in deeper formats where Hardman isn't likely to be available.

No matter which of the two you lean toward, there is still plenty of uncertainty on who the team's true No. 2 is while Hill is on the shelf. Hardman got more work in Week 1, but Robinson out-snapped Hardman, 69 to 56, and also ran the second most routes on the team behind Sammy Watkins in Week 2.

Both players could have had even bigger days, as Hardman had a 72-yard TD called back by a holding call, while Robinson also had a big play nullified by a penalty. Both players possess explosive athleticism and speed, which when paired with a dynamic QB talent like Mahomes, can lead to a splash play at any moment in the game.

As a veteran and coming off a superior performance Robinson gets the slight edge over Hardman as the preferred pickup and start heading into Week 3. However, it's important to note that both players are no better than third in the Chiefs' pecking receiver order, behind TE Travis Kelce and Watkins, even with Hill out. As boom-or-bust flex plays, though, both Robinson and Hardman have huge upside in the league's best offense and are firmly in play in all leagues.


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