The Kansas City Chiefs picked up a 40-26 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in their first game of the 2019 season. They will be on the road for the second straight week when they take on the Oakland Raiders.
When the Chiefs take the field in Week 2, they will be without their No. 1 receiver. Tyreek Hill left the game against Jacksonville with an injury and did not return. He will be forced to miss time which means that someone will have to step up. Sammy Watkins finished with nine catches for 198 yards and three touchdowns in the Chiefs’ first game. He will be forced into the No. 1 slot with Hill injured.
Mecole Hardman did not have a catch on Sunday. He was used primarily as a return man, but he could see the field more in Week 2.
Will the Chiefs Use Mecole Hardman vs. Oakland Raiders
The Chiefs view Hardman as a Hill type player. He is extremely fast with decent hands and runs great routes. Heading into a game against the Raiders, Hardman is likely the best fit to replace Hill. That is not saying that he will be the No. 1 receiver on an elite offense, but he can mimic Hill better than any other receiver on the roster.
The Raiders had the league’s worst defense last season. They were ranked 32nd out of 32 teams. They added Jonathan Abrams in the first round of the draft to try and sure up their secondary. In Week 1 against the Denver Broncos, the Raiders let up two solid fantasy outputs by receivers. Cortland Sutton finished with seven catches for 120 yards while Emmanuel Sanders had five catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.
This was against the Broncos. When the Raiders take the field against the Chiefs, it will be a different result. The Chiefs have the ability to score at will like they did against the Jaguars. Losing Hill is tough, but Kansas City will still jog out Watkins, Hardman, and Travis Kelce to catch the ball. Not to mention their crowded backfield.
Should You Start or Sit Mecole Hardman in Week 2?
This is an ultimate gamble early in the season. Any player on the Chiefs is a candidate to breakout on any given Sunday. Last week it was Watkins, this week it could be Hardman. He was targeted only once in the first game because he was not needed. Watkins went off and Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy both had productive games.
In Week 2, the Chiefs will look Hardman’s way more. They will need more production from the rookie wide receiver. With Hill set to miss time, Hardman is the candidate in the best position to breakout.
As for fantasy, Hardman can be viewed as a flex play this week. The Raiders have a weak secondary and Hardman has the speed to take the top off the defense. With Patrick Mahomes throwing him the ball, anything is possible. If Hardman is not on a roster in your league, go put in a waiver claim. If you have Hill on your team, swap Hardman in and watch as he becomes a big piece of this Chiefs’ offense.