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NFL Draft Fantasy Fallout - James Hardy

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Unlike Jordy Nelson , who is trapped behind established wide receivers, James Hardy (41st overall) steps into a fantastic situation in Buffalo.  It’s so good, that Hardy might be the rare rookie receiver who makes a solid fantasy impact.


The Bills have a fantastic WR1 in Lee Evans, but he’s the only impact receiver on the team, and opposing defenses know it.  Evans gets smothered every game because he the Bills don’t have another receiving threat to take the pressure off him.   Enter James Hardy, the guy who is going to do exactly that.

Hardy is a big receiver – he’s 6’6", 220 lbs – and has outstanding jumping skills.  He even played 23 games (with three starts) for Indiana’s basketball team.  As a freshman.  You don’t start as a freshman in Bloomington without some crazy athletic ability.   Hardy is going to be the red zone target for the Bills this season.

The largest problem is that the Bills seem to have a quarterback problem.  J.P. Losman had a terrible season last year filled with injuries and all-around poor performance.  Rookie Trent Edwards had some growing pains, but it looks as though he is the future in Buffalo – so much so that Losman asked to be traded at the end of last season.  Right now, it looks like Edwards will start and Losman will hold the clipboard.  From a selfish fantasy standpoint, it might have been better to have the experienced Losman throwing to Hardy, but the important thing is that the Bills pick somebody – if it’s Edwards so be it – and stick with them so they can build a rhythm with the rookie. 

A secondary problem is that Hardy apparently pulled a gun on his father a while ago, which isn’t something you like to hear about your new employee.  It doesn’t appear that any charges will be filled so there’s no danger on the fantasy football front.  Unless you’re in a league with Hardy’s dad.  

As long as the Bills’ QB situation is stable, I think James Hardy is a worthy fantasy pick.  He’s definitely a competitor for Fantasy Rookie WR of the Year, and might be the leader in that category right now.   


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