Chiefs vs. Raiders fantasy football preview: Mecole Hardman a sleeper

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - AUGUST 24: Mecole Hardman #17 of the Kansas City Chiefs warms up prior to the preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - AUGUST 24: Mecole Hardman #17 of the Kansas City Chiefs warms up prior to the preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Oakland Raiders as both teams look to surmount its divisional rival, but what is the fantasy outlook for Sunday’s game?

It is Week 2 of the NFL season, which means fantasy football fans were able to get a taste of who to watch out for (and avoid) as they look to fill out their rosters in both daily fantasy and season-long fantasy leagues. The Kansas City Chiefs in particular had some fantasy breakout players in Week 1, especially Sammy Watkins, who exploded with nearly 50 fantasy points on Draft Kings.

As we head into Week 2 of the season, there are some buyer bewares for both teams of this divisional matchup; Watkins, however, is not one of them.

For this article, all daily fantasy outlooks and scores will be using the Draft Kings platform, including prices and scoring rules.

Perfect Lineup: Week 1

The perfect lineup for Week 1 was interesting in that it consisted of no players who are considered ‘high-value’ fantasy targets, excluding Christian McCaffrey. This reminds fantasy players of a general rule of thumb when drafting in fantasy football: sleepers can make or break a roster. Watkins was considered a sleeper in that his fantasy value was relatively low in comparison to some top-tier receivers. In fact, there were no receivers with a price of over $5000 on the perfect lineup, for Draft Kings.

With the Chiefs heading to the Coliseum to face off against the Raiders, let’s take a look at top fantasy targets (and sleepers) to chase that major prize pool that DFS sites boast (and season leagues to brag to your league-mates).


Both of the starting quarterbacks for this game enjoyed a decent Week 1 outing, with the exception of an injury scare for Patrick Mahomes. Some are considering Mahomes a buyer beware due to the injury and the possibility that he could be limited by way of playcalling against the Raiders in the Coliseum, as the field is essentially a baseball diamond and not an ideal football field. After being listed as a full participant in the team’s first scheduled practice, Mahomes seems to be doing alright despite still having his ankle taped up.

Derek Carr scored just 14.6 fantasy points in Week 1, which is not terrible considering quarterbacks like Jared Goff, Ben Roethlisberger only scored 10.4 and 10.7 points respectively. However, the Chiefs’ secondary still has some kinks to work out. The defense usually steps it up a notch when playing against the Raiders, for obvious reasons. Carr is a buyer beware, but is also listed at $5100. Low risk, low-to-moderate reward.

If it works out for someone to pay up at quarterback, Mahomes ($7500) is still a top fantasy option regardless. It is advised to avoid Carr, and pay up for Mahomes if it does not kill the salary cap for fantasy rosters. For season-long leagues, Mahomes should be starting every week, excluding Week 12 (hint: Chiefs bye week).

Running Back

Damien Williams, listed as a player to avoid last week, had a decent outing with 18.5 fantasy points. He split time with LeSean McCoy, who had 10.3 fantasy points himself. Both of these running backs have the potential to put up decent numbers against the Raiders, however, buy high on Williams. At $5800, he is right at that sweet spot of not being priced too high, nor too low (then again, the lower the better).

On the other side, Josh Jacobs has established himself already as the Raiders’ starting running back. He exploded onto the scene with 24.3 fantasy points, and remains an exceptionally cheap option at $4700. The only downside is the Chiefs put an emphasis on run defense this offseason, building a stout front seven that makes nearly any running backs a red flag when facing against them. After one week, the Chiefs are 10th in rushing yards allowed, with the top defense being the Baltimore Ravens who allowed just 21 rushing yards against a tanking Miami Dolphins.

For being priced so low, Jacobs is a decent option. However, much like McCoy last week, he is considered a low risk, moderate-to-high reward option. Williams is the top candidate to put up big numbers on the ground for Sunday’s game and could quite possibly be a low-owned sleeper. If it works out for lineups, Jacobs could sit in the RB2 spot comfortably. Perhaps even a Williams/Jacobs combo, but that would be taking a risk. Running backs like the Chargers’ Austin Ekeler and Derrick Henry are two relatively cheap fantasy options that exploded last week and are more viable as fantasy starters in comparison to the running backs for the Chiefs vs. Raiders game.

Wide Receiver

With just four healthy wide receivers, the Chiefs could potentially see the rise of Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson as the team adjusts its gameplan to be without Tyreek Hill for a few weeks. Sammy Watkins is no longer considered a sleeper option according to Draft Kings, being priced at $7200. While quite a high asking price (for comparison, his price was $5000 last week), Watkins is the clear WR1 for the Chiefs as the squad takes on the Raiders. If it works out for the salary cap, start him if possible. For fantasy leagues, he is a must-start.

For cheap options at wide receiver, take a look at Hardman and Tyrell Williams. Both receivers are priced less than $5000, with the former being $4800. Consider them both low risk, high reward options. Hardman is the WR2 for this game, and Williams is one of Carr’s top targets—which was evident after he had over 25 fantasy points in Week 1. Hardman will more than likely be rarely owned as well, so now is the time to see what he is made of. Start him wherever possible.

Wide receivers like Demarcus Robinson and De’Anthony Thomas do not hold much fantasy weight, so be wary when starting them. Like any heavy sleepers, they could always blow up the stat sheet, but it is unlikely.

Tight End

Both starting tight ends have a crazy amount of fantasy value, with Travis Kelce being the top option. In terms of price, Darren Waller is crazy cheap ($3300); his fantasy value far exceeds the asking price. If it works out for the salary cap, Kelce is a must-start. However, Waller enjoyed a favorable outing with 14 fantasy points in Week 1.

The Chiefs’ defense is ranked 13th against tight ends according to Draft Kings, but that was going up against Geoff Swaim who was all but a fantasy option in Week 1. With such a cheap price, Waller is a must-start unless Kelce’s asking price doesn’t kill the salary cap.


Both defenses will surely struggle, but if there had to be one to choose, the Chiefs’ defense would be the best option. The Chiefs’ defense is relatively high-priced at $3500, but it may be worth it to pay up for them as they could go off and completely shut the Raiders’ offense down. This is speculation, and nothing is ever concrete when it comes to fantasy football.

When it comes down to it, Carr has a history of struggling against the Chiefs. If there had to be one to start, start the Chiefs’ defense over Carr. Avoid the Raiders defense, which is generally the case for any defense playing against the Chiefs. Cheap options like the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks should excel.


There are a heavy amount of sleepers flying under the radar for Week 2, and that includes Chiefs like Mecole Hardman and even Darwin Thompson, who was not mentioned in this article. With a limited amount of offensive weapons (the Chiefs still boast one of the most electrifying offenses even without Hill), Thompson could see some action but it is not recommended to start him even at flex unless fantasy players pay up for positional monsters like DeAndre Hopkins, Patrick Mahomes, and Saquon Barkley.

The sample lineup last week was just barely a miss, with Dante Pettis disappointing with under 2 fantasy points. It still scored enough to get spending money in some daily fantasy games with 153.4 points, however. The clear fantasy starters for the upcoming Chiefs vs. Raiders game is Patrick Mahomes, Sammy Watkins, Damien Williams, Travis Kelce, Darren Waller and Tyrell Williams.

There are plenty of fantasy options afoot, including sleepers like Hardman and Thompson. Josh Jacobs could also be considered a sleeper, but remains a risk in high-entry contests. Nonetheless, this game should be action-packed.

An example Draft Kings lineup consisting of only players from the Chiefs vs. Raiders game:

  • QB Patrick Mahomes ($7500)
  • RB Damien Williams ($5800)
  • RB Josh Jacobs ($4700)
  • WR Sammy Watkins ($7200)
  • WR Mecole Hardman ($4800)
  • WR Tyrell Williams ($4400)
  • TE Travis Kelce ($7300)
  • FLEX TE Darren Waller ($3300)
  • DST Chiefs ($3500)

An example lineup consisting of players from the entire main slate:

  • QB Josh Allen ($5300)
  • RB Saquon Barkley ($9200)
  • RB Austin Ekeler ($6100)
  • WR DeAndre Hopkins ($8100)
  • WR Mecole Hardman ($4800
  • WR Tyrell Williams ($4400)
  • TE Darren Waller ($3300)
  • FLEX Derrick Henry ($6000)
  • DST 49ers ($2800)

Next. Chiefs film room: How to beat the Raiders. dark