The Chiefs had to deal with a low blow in Tyreek Hill’s injury during their first game of the season. Hill could only end his lone game with two targets (for 16 yards), and it was Sammy Watkins who erupted to save the day in a career high performance. After that weird day and with things better organized for Week 2 and Week 3, the pecking order became a little clearer. It is Watkins, then it is Travis Kelce, and after those two it is a mixture of whoever is available and willing to put points up on the scoreboard for the Chiefs. Luckily for Mecole Hardman, it’s been him and Demarcus Robinson who have benefited the most from Hill’s absence.
So far this season, Hardman can be considered the WR3 of the Chiefs. He has been targeted 12 times, has caught six passes, and racked up 158 yards to go with two touchdowns. He’s been out-performed by Robinson (12 targets, 10 receptions, 215 yards, three touchdowns), but he still holds his own in the Chiefs’ offense. Look no further than last week. In the game against Baltimore, Hardman caught two-of-five targets for 97 yards and scored a touchdown, adding seven extra yards on the ground rushing, all of it to finish the day with a great 18.4 in really low volume. Kansas City doesn’t need to focus on a player to provide good outcomes, because Patrick Mahomes can make it work just by himself. In any case, such us the power of this offense that the ceiling of any of the Chief’s receivers is always at a high no matter the game and role they play in.
Fantasy Impact: As that last sentence said, every Chiefs receiver comes down to two things: low floor, huge ceiling. If Mahomes happens to look one’s way, he could be in for WR1 production. If he instead skips him in favor of others, the game could get out of hand by the team that receiver wants to get his share of points. I’m not going to say Hardman should be your WR1, must-start player weekly, but the matchup against the Lions should be a good one to play him at your flex position. The total sits at a massive 54.5 points, and although Kansas City enters the game as a clear favorite, Detroit should be able to keep up a fight during most of the game. The Lions will be the ones forced to throw the ball, but the Chiefs will prolong their passing traits for more plays than you might think. And Hardman is a huge-outcome bomb waiting to explode.
Recommendation: Start (at Flex)