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The Jets signed Mecole Hardman to a one-year deal with a chance to make up to $6.5 million — a figure well below the amount many pundits projected Hardman to capture on the open market. New York is suddenly crowded at WR with reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson headlining a group that also includes Corey DavisAllen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and Hardman. Elijah Moore was traded to Cleveland shortly after Hardman signed, which should free up some targets for all four remaining contributors. Let’s dig into the fantasy implications of this move.



Old projection: 38.3 catches on 57.4 targets for 472.7 yards and 3.0 TDs

New projection: 41.4 catches on 62.3 targets for 502.4 yards and 3.0 TDs

  • As mentioned above, Hardman was generally expected to command more than $6.5 million in free agency. The low figure is head-scratching and raises concerns about how the league views him, although he should be given every opportunity to carve out a fantasy-relevant role for the Jets.
  • Even with Moore gone, Wilson is the undisputed alpha on this offense and Hardman struggled to differentiate himself from other average WRs during his time in Kansas City. He wasn’t fully healthy at all points in 2022, but it’s still telling that he mustered just a 9.8% target share despite a lackluster WR group. Hardman’s speed gives him an intriguing ceiling in best ball, but he’s likely not a weekly fantasy starter given the target competition, plus he hasn’t shown the ability to earn a massive target share even with meager competition for volume (so his ceiling, even if something happens to Wilson, might not be stellar).
  • We are also currently projecting Aaron Rodgers as the Jets’ QB. That trade isn’t official yet — which is slightly surprising considering what Rodgers said on The Pat McAfee Show last week — but we expect it to happen at some point.



  • As the clear WR1, Wilson’s projected target share was barely affected by the Hardman signing, and we fully reverted to where it was after the Jets shipped off Moore. Hardman, Lazard, and Davis will compete for WR2 duties now (although Davis is also a candidate to be moved/cut before the season). We currently have Lazard as the WR2 based on Hardman’s low target share in past seasons and Lazard’s familiarity with Rodgers. Cobb also figures to get some slot snaps given his rapport with Rodgers and the Jets’ lack of a slot WR after trading Moore. All these guys bring different things to the table, as Rodgers obviously has enormous trust in Lazard and Cobb, while Hardman’s speed will allow the Jets to take the top off the defense. Wilson is the only pass catcher worth paying up for in New York, but all three WR2 candidates have some allure with Rodgers under center.
  • It seems pretty likely that Davis is cut, in which case Hardman and Lazard would see a bump in our projections. We are still projecting Davis as a Jet right now rather than a free agent because he’s still on the team, but New York is crowded at WR and has brought in Lazard, Hardman, and Cobb this offseason. That probably doesn’t bode well for Davis. If Davis does get cut, we’d have Hardman somewhere in the (probably low) 70s for targets.