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Mecole Hardman Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

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The Athletic's Nate Taylor believes Mecole Hardman will open the season as the Chiefs' #2 WR -- behind JuJu Smith-Schuster but ahead of Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore. "Because he’s the fastest in the group and has been in the Chiefs’ system the longest," Taylor writes. We'll be keeping a close eye on the route and target counts in this group early in the season. But Smith-Schuster will be the only reliable Week 1 fantasy starter.

Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman played in Thursday night's preseason finale. He suffered a groin injury in practice a little over a week ago but is obviously over it now. Hardman looks like the favorite to open the season as Kansas City's #3 WR. We'll see how long he can hold off rookie Skyy Moore.

Chiefs HC Andy Reid said Thursday that WR Mecole Hardman was knocked out of Wednesday's practice with a groin spasm. Hardman is "making progress," according to Reid, and might even be able to play in Saturday's preseason game vs. the Commanders. It doesn't sound like the groin will be an issue by the time Week 1 rolls around.

Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman suffered an apparent left leg injury in Wednesday’s practice, per beat writer Nate Taylor. He limped off the field for evaluation. We’ll pass along an update when it’s available.

UPDATE: Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Hardman's injury is to his groin.

Chiefs starters played 1 possession in Saturday's preseason opener against the Bears. JuJu Smith-Schuster led the WRs with 11 snaps, followed by Marquez Valdes-Scantling (9), Mecole Hardman (4) and Justin Watson (1), according to Pro Football Focus. Skyy Moore did not get onto the field with that unit. We'll see how that usage pattern develops through the preseason.

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.

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