For all the fantasy football players out there, it’s a safe bet that when you drafted New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan, he probably wasn’t penciled in as a starter for your team. But, things change quickly, and there can be an argument made that you should roll him out in your starting lineup against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.
While the Chiefs have some big names in their secondary, they actually weren’t quite as dominant in 2016 as you may think. They ranked No. 18 in passing yards allowed per game at 247.4. While the focus may be on Rob Gronkowski in this game also, it could result in Hogan seeing quite a few targets.
To go along with all of that, the Patriots are also down yet another receiver. After Julian Edelman suffered a torn ACL earlier in the preseason, New England had to place Malcolm Mitchell on injured reserve, as NFL.com’s Kevin Patra reported, via Ian Rapoport.
This means the Patriots are down yet another wideout, opening up even more looks for Hogan no Thursday against the Chiefs. The looming question, though, will be whether or not Hogan will get locked in on by Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, who has proven to be an elite NFL cornerback.
So, let’s look at whether Hogan is a start or sit tonight against the Chiefs in the NFL opener.
Start or Sit Chris Hogan vs. Chiefs?
This one is going to fall under the “start” category for Week 1. While Hogan could face a tough matchup at times, we’ve seen what he’s capable of doing when thrust into a larger role. Last season in the playoffs, Hogan tallied 17 receptions for 332 yards and two touchdowns in three games. He and Tom Brady obviously have a strong connection, which is good, because his number will certainly be called.
Gronkowski will be the focal point of the Chiefs defense, and with the Patriots opening their season at home in front of what will be an unbelievable home crowd, I think they put up a ton of points as well. Obviously, the Patriots have a ton of mouths to feed, but Hogan is a player with big upside and the potential to beat defenders on shorter routes or going deep.
His upside is obviously there, and I believe we’ll see Hogan really turn the corner and start out incredibly hot in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season.