It was no Tyreek Hill, no problem for the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2. Patrick Mahomes threw for four touchdowns in the second quarter as the Chiefs smothered the Oakland Raiders. One of Mahomes’ touchdown passes went to his new rookie weapon Mecole Hardman.
Hardman got an increased role in this game after being used primarily as a return man in Week 1. With Hill sidelined with an injury, there was opportunity for Hardman to step up and he ran with it, literally. Down 10-7 in the second quarter, Hardman got loose in the secondary and Mahomes hit him in stride for a touchdown.
The Chiefs are preparing for battle with another 2-0 team in the Baltimore Ravens. Can Hardman be trusted to start in fantasy against a strong defense?
Mecole Hardman Fantasy Outlook: Matchup vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are not the same defense as last season where they were the class of the NFL. With that being said, they are still pretty darn good. Earl Thomas is a new addition in the secondary for the Ravens.
Hardman was able to find the end zone for the Chiefs in Week 2. He scored again on a 74-yard bomb from Mahomes but it was called back because of holding. Hardman finished with four catches for 61 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. Now that he can be trusted, Mahomes could look his way even more.
When the Chiefs drafted Hardman out of Georgia, they knew he was not a finished product. Hardman struggled with fumbles in college. It is hard to make the transition from college to the NFL and Mahomes expressed his thoughts on that.
“He’s still a young guy, and it’s just his second game in the league. He realized that he has to be fast with his cuts,” Mahomes told the Kansas City Star. “He kinda tried to sell it a little bit more with a nod, and he was open, but it was late, and the pressure was there. So I just told him, you have to speed it up. He sped it up and made big plays for us.”
Is Mecole Hardman a Start or Sit in Week 3?
In most fantasy formats, teams are given two wide receivers with a chance to play a third at the flex position. Put Hardman in one of those spots. He is not a No. 1 option, but he can easily be viewed as a WR2 or flex heading into Week 3.
This is a situation where we are not looking at the Ravens’ defense but the Chiefs’ offense. Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy might miss this game and even if they play, their snaps will be limited. Hill is already out with an injury. Mahomes is going to be slinging the ball more than usual.
With trust comes playing time. Hardman showed last week that he can play in this league. Reid could open up the play book more than just sending Hardman deep. Do not be surprised for the rookie to get some screens or slants called for him on Sunday. Every rookie gets their chance to show what they can do and Hardman is in the midst of his opportunity.