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Fantasy camp battles: WRs Mecole Hardman vs. Demarcus Robinson vs. Byron Pringle vs. Cornell Powell

The Kansas City Chiefs have several options at wide receiver in 2021 who could step into the WR2 role. Who will win the camp battle between Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle and Cornell Powell?

Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

What has made the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense so dangerous in recent years is the near endless array of receiving options for quarterback Patrick Mahomes to get the ball to. Along with Travis Kelce in the passing game, perennial game breaker Tyreke Hill will of course take priority as the top wide receiver. After that however, the field is wide open for a No. 2 option at the position.

Third on the team in targets last season was Mecole Hardman, who finished the regular season with 41 receptions for 560 yards and four touchdowns. Demarcus Robinson was right behind him in number of targets on the year and finished with a similar statline while second-year receiver Byron Pringle was used sporadically for the AFC Champions.

And then there’s the prospect of rookie Cornell Powell out of Clemson, who offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy has said is trending in the right direction despite the growing pains of a rookie experiencing his first training camp.

Latest camp news

Week 2 preseason recap: Pringle has a very productive night in the Chiefs’ 17-10 win at the Arizona Cardinals on Friday. He had four receptions for a game-high 63 yards and was followed by Hardman, who caught four of his eight targets on the night for 39 yards. Former teammate Sammy Watkins was tweeting his support of both guys during the game.

Robinson caught two of his six targets for 10 yards while Powell had just one catch for six yards.

Week 1 preseason recap: Of this quartet, Powell got the most snaps during their 19-16 win at the San Francisco 49ers last Saturday with 22. He hauled in two of three targets for 20 yards while Pringle also had two receptions, one of them being a touchdown. Hardman dropped his only target in the win.

8/11/21: The Chiefs released an unofficial depth chart on Monday with Hardman listed as the No. 2 receiver opposite of Hill. Robinson is behind Hardman while Pringle is behind Hill on their respective sides of the field. The rookie Powell is listed way down the depth chart as a fifth-stringer.

Next preseason game: vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Chiefs will play their final preseason game this Friday, August 27 at 8 p.m. ET when welcoming the Vikings down to Arrowhead Stadium. I expect all four’s numbers to slightly decrease in this one with Tyreke Hill and Travis Kelce most likely getting reps and targets in the first half.

Fantasy football verdict

Heading into Week 3 preseason: Nothing has really changed with Hardman still standing as a sleeper flex pick as the No. 2 WR in this offense. Pringle has been proving himself as a productive threat and both him and Robinson stand as later-round pickups. Powell is still fighting to make the roster so we’ll see if he’s even on the depth chart when Minnesota comes to town on Friday.

Heading into Week 2 preseason: Of the group, Hardman is the only one that you could reasonably draft early and stands as a solid sleeper flex option in most leagues. In the absence of Watkins, Hardman stands to take up in the number of targets he receives, especially when defenses are blanketing Hill and Kelce. Robinson holds value as a later round pick to fill out depth whereas Pringle and Powell need to garner consistent touches before even considering them as an early/mid-season free agent pickup.