Mecole Hardman Enters Camp as Chiefs WR2, Time to Adjust His 2021 Fantasy Outlook? - Roto Street Journal
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Mecole Hardman Enters Camp as Chiefs WR2, Time to Adjust His 2021 Fantasy Outlook?

Oh, look. The annual Mecole Hardman training camp puff piece. Entering his third year with only 103 targets, 67 receptions, 1,098 yards, and 10 touchdowns to his name, it’s make or break time for the former second-round pick. Fortunately for Hardman, Sammy Watkins is no longer in town, and Hardman only has DeMarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle standing in his way for the Chiefs’ WR2 role. A spot that The Athletic’s Nate Taylor believes is Hardman’s to lose.

“From the voluntary workouts and the team’s mandatory minicamp, Mecole Hardman, a third-year player, appears to be in position to have a breakout season, as he is expected to have the role previously held by Sammy Watkins,” wrote Taylor.

Surprisingly, Hardman hasn’t been able to jump Robinson on the depth chart and he’s yet to hit 50 percent of the team’s snaps in a season. Over the last two seasons, Andy Reid has favored Tyreek Hill, Watkins, and Robinson over the speedster from Georgia. To rub more salt in the wound, Hardman saw only 23 snaps in the Super Bowl, compared to Robinson’s 45 and Pringle’s 44.

Whoever steps up and takes Watkins’ WR2 role, should be in for a solid fantasy season. An injury-plagued 2020 limited Watkins to 55 targets over 10 games, which would translate to over 90 targets over a 17-game schedule, a number that Watkins hit in 2019. If Hardman can hit 90 targets in 2021, he would return incredible fantasy value at his current ADP of WR59 (173 overall).

“Hardman will enter camp as the second receiver on the depth chart,” Taylor continued. “It’s possible that either Byron Pringle or Demarcus Robinson could push Hardman during camp, but I have more confidence in Hardman after he was a consistent performer in May and June.

“He still possesses a massive amount of talent as the Chiefs’ second-fastest player. The chemistry and timing between Hardman and superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes is one of the biggest subplots for the Chiefs’ offense, perhaps the one that has the most impact on the unit’s continual evolution.”

It’s no guarantee that Hardman will separate himself completely from Robinson or Pringle. But once again, the talent, scheme, and surrounding talent combo will entice fantasy owners to take a flier on the athletic specimen with 4.33 speed.

Hopefully, to not get burned… again.

After two straight seasons of disappointment, The Wolf is staying far away from the Mecole Hardman bandwagon. In fact, Hardman slides in at WR71 — 14 spots below the expert consensus.

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