• Justin Hardy
  • WR
  • , Atlanta Falcons
  • 28
  • 192 lbs
  • 5' 10"

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Scouting report

by Anthony Stalter

ATL WR Justin Hardy - Wild Card Round Fantasy Football Outlook

Wild Card Round at Los Angeles Rams

Justin Hardy caught 2-of-3 targets for 32 yards in the Falcons' Week 17 win over the Panthers. Hardy is a solid possession receiver for the Falcons but he's completely off the fantasy radar because he plays in the same offense as Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Devonta Freeman. Ranked as our No. 23 WR for the Falcons' Wild Card matchup against the Rams, avoid Hardy in any DFS or playoff formats this weekend.

by Anthony Stalter

ATL WR Justin Hardy - Super Bowl, 2017 Fantasy Football Outlook

Super Bowl vs. New England
Justin Hardy wasn't targeted in the Falcons' 44-21 win over the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. Hardy is a sound possession receiver, but he doesn't see much action with Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel operating in the same offense. He ranks as our WR9 for Super Bowl 51 and isn't a good DFS play this Sunday.

by Anthony Stalter

ATL WR Justin Hardy - Championship Week, 2017 Fantasy Football Outlook

NFC Championship vs. Green Bay
Justin Hardy caught both of his targets for 18 yards in the Falcons' 36-20 win over the Seahawks in the Divisional Round. Hardy is an excellent possession receiver, but he's not worth a play in DFS. If you're looking for a dart throw, Taylor Gabriel offers more value.

by Anthony Stalter

ATL WR Justin Hardy - Divisional Round, 2017 Fantasy Football Outlook

Divisional Round vs. Seattle
Justin Hardy was targeted seven times in the Falcons' Week 17 win over the Saints, catching four passes for 43 yards and a touchdown. Hardy's score was spectacular, as he had enough awareness to stick the ball just pass the goal line while being tackled at the one-yard line. The second-year receiver has excellent hands and is a good route-runner, but he's overshadowed by Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel in Atlanta's offense. Ranked as our WR26 for the Divisional round, avoid using Hardy in DFS. He simply doesn't see enough targets to be a consistent fantasy option.

by Anthony Stalter

ATL WR Justin Hardy - 2016 Fantasy Football Outlook

Fantasy Upside
After being active for just nine games as rookie in 2015, Justin Hardy should see his role expand in 2016. The former fourth-round selection out of East Carolina caught just 21 passes for 194 yards, but the Falcons released Leonard Hankerson during the season last year and parted with long-time receiver Roddy White this past offseason, so Hardy will see a bump in targets. Even though Mohamed Sanu was signed to a large contract to play opposite Julio Jones in Kyle Shanahan's offense, the slot position is Hardy's to lose. He should thrive in the short-to-intermediate game due to his excellent route-running ability, as well as his knack to isolate the ball in flight and separate it from everything (and everyone) else around him. Back in April, Matt Ryan said Hardy stood out at his players-only passing camp in Miami, so there's some buzz being created for the second-year receiver.

Fantasy Downside
Atlanta's passing game will once again center on Jones, and the team didn't invest $32.5 million for Sanu to be an afterthought in the offense. Devonta Freeman isn't going to catch 73 passes like he did a year ago, but the backs will be involved in the passing game again this season. With Jones, Sanu, Freeman and Jacob Tamme all fighting for targets, how is Hardy going to put up enough numbers to be a viable fantasy option? Even if one of the starters is injured, Hardy needs to stay in the slot to be most productive. He's just not going to see enough targets to hold any fantasy value.

2016 Bottom Line
Hardy's final stat line in 2016 will likely resemble White's production in 2015: 43 catches for 506 yards with 1 touchdown on 70 targets. White finished as fantasy's WR82, which tells you all you need to know about Hardy's potential in 2016. Avoid him on draft night.

by Anthony Stalter

ATL WR Justin Hardy - 2015 Fantasy Football Outlook

Fantasy Upside
Matt Ryan singled out rookie Justin Hardy in June minicamp as a player that impressed him. Hardy, who was the Falcons’ fourth round pick this year, has excellent ball skills and while he’s not a burner, he creates separation with technique and superb route-running. With Roddy White battling a knee injury and Devin Hester sidelined for personal reasons, Hardy did mix in with the first-team offense in minicamp. If White or Julio Jones were to fall victim to injury, Hardy could see starting snaps at some point.

Fantasy Downside
Hardy is currently behind Jones, White, Hester and Leonard Hankerson on the Falcons’ preseason depth chart. While that doesn’t mean Hardy will stay there all season, it’ll take a significant injury or two for Hardy to log meaningful snaps. At some point he’ll serve as White’s replacement as a reliable possession receiver, but we doubt he’ll receive enough targets this season to have a significant fantasy impact.

Bottom Line
Hardy ranks as our WR79 heading into preseason and he’s going undrafted in 10 and 12-team leagues. He’s a player to monitor if White is slowed by injuries again, but even then new OC Kyle Shanahan’s passing game will run through Jones. Avoid Hardy on draft night, but remember his name if injuries start to pile up at the receiver position in Atlanta. He was a playmaker from the slot at East Carolina.

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