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Mecole Hardman Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

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Per NFL insider Albert Breer, the Chiefs have seen a “more mature version” of WR Mecole Hardman this offseason. Breer writes that Hardman “had a lot of growing up to do coming into the NFL,” even beyond his rookie season. It’s a huge year for the 24-year-old, as his contract is set to expire in 2023. But following the additions of Skyy Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster, it’s clear that Kansas City isn’t expecting a major leap from the incumbent.

Pete Sweeney of Arrowhead Pride says that his "way too early" picks to lead the Chiefs in receiving yardage this year are TE Travis Kelce and WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling. This is likely based primarily on watching minicamp practices to date. It's worth noting that Skyy Moore and Mecole Hardman have missed some time with hamstring issues, though both have been on the field this week for mandatory minicamp. We'll keep watching for reports on expected target distribution within Kansas City's rebuilt WR corps. Sweeney also said last week that "no new Chiefs pass-catcher looks more comfortable with Mahomes" than MVS.

Chiefs HC Andy Reid said from the Combine that he was encouraged by WR Mecole Hardman's growth last season. "Mecole did a good job, continually got better throughout the year and worked hard and it paid off for him," Reid said. "We found that groove as coaches of things that he did best and tried to utilize him in those positions." Hardman set career highs in 2021 with 59 catches and 693 receiving yards. But he still finished just 47th among WRs in PPR points -- and his best fantasy outing came in Week 18. In 3 playoff games, Hardman never topped a 57% snap rate and totaled just 9 targets. Reid's comments make it sound like the Chiefs like him in that limited role. We'll see if we hear anything to the contrary.

Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman started Friday night's preseason finally with Tyreek Hill in a 2-WR package. He would go on to play 9 of Patrick Mahomes' 15 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus, vs. 14 for Hill and 11 for Demarcus Robinson. Byron Pringle was the only other WR to see 1st-team work, but he played just 1 snap. We'll take that level of involvement for Hardman. It would be nice to have him as the clear 2nd wideout ahead of Robinson, but even splitting that role while clearly working among the top 3 should present enough playing time to help Hardman approach his high weekly fantasy ceiling. He's a risk-reward pick in the middle rounds of your fantasy football draft. Robinson is well worth a look near the end of drafts. Pringle looks like he'll need an injury ahead of him to make him relevant.

Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman finished with a 4-39-1 line in Friday night's preseason game vs. the Cardinals. But 2 of those catches and the TD came from QB Chad Henne. Hardman caught just 2 of 6 targets from QB Patrick Mahomes. Hardman played 29 of 32 snaps (91%) with Mahomes -- but note that Tyreek Hill was out. We know the Chiefs view Hardman as a Hill handcuff. But it remains unclear just how much playing time he’ll get alongside Hill. Hardman played only in 3-WR sets in the 1st preseason game.

Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman has "continued his ascension" early in training camp after a strong spring, The Athletic's Nate Taylor writes. "Known for his rare speed, Hardman has produced more consistent repetitions while polishing his route-running ability in the middle of the field," Taylor adds. "Hardman has run routes from each of the Chiefs’ main three receiver positions ... The first three practices have featured Hardman executing shorter routes, the types where he has to be precise in both his release and his cuts to give [QB Patrick] Mahomes a clear throwing window." Mahomes, meanwhile, has praised Hardman's improved maturity and comfort in the offense. This sure sounds like a guy ready to take a big step forward in year 3. Hardman is an upside pick at his 10th- or 11th-round price tag.

The Chiefs will test WR Sammy Watkins (calf) before today's game against the Bills to determine whether he's ready to play. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, though, they "don't sound optimistic" that he'll be active. Watkins has been out since Week 16 but did return to limited workouts all this week. It seems like Watkins is a true game-time decision, which will make him risky even if he turns up active. Watkins' absence would boost the outlooks for both Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson. They played 69% and 71% of the snaps in the win over the Browns, with Watkins out.

Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (calf) is listed as questionable for Sunday's AFC Championship vs. the Bills. He was limited in practice all week. We'll look for an update on Watkins' status on Sunday morning. If he returns for this one, he'll be a risk/reward option for DFS tournaments only. It'd also put a dent in Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson's projections.

Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (calf) has been ruled out for Sunday's game vs. the Browns. That leaves Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman as Kansas City's #2 and #3 WRs. In the 5 games Watkins missed this season, Robinson ran a route on 83% of pass plays and totaled 23 targets to Hardman's 51% route rate and 17 targets.

Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (calf) remained sidelined on Thursday and is now looking unlikely to play vs. the Browns on Sunday. His absence will leave Demarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle as Kansas City's #2 through #4 WRs. We just updated our projections for the Chiefs passing game.

Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (calf) did not practice on Wednesday. Not a good start for his chances of playing in Sunday's Divisional Round game vs. the Browns. Watkins' absence would leave Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman as Kansas City's #2 and #3 WRs.

Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman has been activated from the COVID list and will play against the Raiders on Sunday night. WR Sammy Watkins (hamstring, calf) has been ruled out for that one. Hardman and DeMarcus Robinson will continue to operate as the #2 and #3 WRs for Kansas City.

Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman has been placed on the COVID list. It's fortunate timing with the team on bye. We'll see if Hardman is cleared in time for Week 11.

The Chiefs have ruled WR Sammy Watkins out for Sunday's game against the Panthers. That adds value to WRs Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson.

Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (hamstring) was limited in practice all week and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Panthers. We wouldn't mess with him in his 1st game back from a 3-week absence. But Watkins' return would make WR Mecole Hardman a riskier fantasy play.

Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins pulled up with a right hamstring injury in the 2nd quarter of Sunday's game against the Raiders. Don't expect to see him back on the field today. Watkins' absence should open up more playing time for WR Mecole Hardman.

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