In The Blitz, RotoViz writers react to the latest news and help you place it within the context of our 2020 research and recommendations.
The reigning Super Bowl MVP could not be stopped on Sunday afternoon. Patrick Mahomes threw for over 400 yards and tossed five touchdown passes to four different players. On an offense with as much talent as any football team, a young, second-year wide receiver took advantage of an opening on the depth chart and had himself an excellent game.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman caught seven of his nine targets for 96 yards and a touchdown in Week 9 against the New York Jets. Hardman had a career day and saw an uptick in snaps with Sammy Watkins (hamstring) remaining sidelined. Watkins has a chance to return in Week 9, and that would limit Hardman’s value. Even if Watkins is out, Hardman still has plenty of teammates to compete with for targets, and that makes him a boom or bust player every week. Hardman should be viewed as a WR4/WR5 option in weekly leagues. Hardman will face off against the Panthers in Week 9.
Promising Second-Year Prospect
Hardman was a bit of a surprise second-round pick in 2019. Viewed as Tyreek Hill-lite, the speedy wideout brought an underwhelming college production profile (which included no breakout season) and little else. However, he surprised many during last season by topping double-digit fantasy points in eight different games.
Known for his big-play ability, Hardman posted a high-efficiency metric that often signifies good things to come for young wide receivers.
Still, heading into this season, Hardman was a polarizing player. Many wondered if he could translate his smashing success as a rookie into more consistent targets, receptions, and overall production as a sophomore. The Chiefs retained both Watkins and Demarcus Robinson, but Hardman remains a player I am looking to add across my dynasty leagues. While he may not erupt this season as I projected back in August, I still believe in his talent and situation long term.
Dynasty Buy & Stash
This past offseason, Jack Miller wrote about Hardman checking almost every single box as a 2020 breakout. It’s been an underwhelming start to the season if you were hoping for a true breakout, but here are a few reasons why I’m not worried quite yet. First, Jack mentions his early declare from college and his astounding rookie year efficiency. Both have strong track records of success for young wide receivers.
Speaking of his efficiency, Curtis Patrick tabbed Hardman as a dynasty trade target this offseason as well. He notes that 91% of rookie wide receivers who were top-100 draft picks who posted 40 or more receiving points over expectation (reFPOE) went on to have at least one more season of WR24 or better. It may not happen this season unless Hardman goes on a tear over the back half of the year, but his situation could not be better. Tied to Mahomes and Andy Reid, Hardman will always tempt us with his ceiling. Hardman is the player you are looking for if you want a moon-shot player to stash for the playoff push this season or a sneaky buy in dynasty leagues.