Mecole Hardman fantasy drafters were given a criminally underrated player, heading into this season. Following a Sammy Watkins injury, the second-year receiver’s opportunity grew, and he has rewarded fantasy owners.

After a season-high 24-point performance against the New York Jets last week, Hardman is primed for another big showing against the Carolina Panthers, as Watkins is being held out yet again.

Sammy Watkins Injury Update

It was announced on Saturday that Watkins would be held out yet again. Watkins had suffered a hamstring injury back in Week 5. After logging limited practice time this week, there were optimists hoping he could give it a go. However, his return to practice does hint that a return is on the horizon, as if the Chiefs need more firepower.

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Mecole Hardman’s Fantasy Outlook

Hardman has consistently shown he can hold his own and has the ability to make big time plays down the field, much like his speedy counterpart in Tyreek Hill.

Since losing Watkins to injury back in Week 5, Hardman has increased his snaps and become a reliable second option at wide-out. In fact, you could make the argument that Hardman has been the second option all season long.

He has had just two single-digit fantasy performances this season, and was only out-performed by Watkins one single time, all the way back in Week 1.

Hardman has the third-most receptions on the team, to go along with the best average at 15.8 yards per catch. He also has three touchdowns to boot.

Check out our Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings, including scoring settings for PPR and half PPR leagues! Ranking are updated throughout the week.

Travis Kelce and Hill are always going to get their opportunities. However, playing with the best QB in the league and in an offense that passes the ball an average of 36.25 times per game means that there will be plenty of opportunities coming Hardman’s way as well.

The Panthers run defense is very bad, this is obvious, but their passing defense is not particularly great either. Hardman will likely see Carolina’s third-best cover guy all game long, and he possess speed that can burn even top level defenders.

He has earned the trust of Patrick Mahomes – By now, he should have also earned a spot in your line up.

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