The recent injury to newly acquired Percy Harvin has fantasy footballers talking about Golden Tate once again. Harvin underwent surgery to repair a torn hip labrum, and is expected to be sidelined until at least November. Many people are automatically assuming that Tate will step in and see Harvin’s targets, making him a relevant receiver in fantasy land.
I, on the other hand, am not sold.
First of all, the Seattle Seahawks are a run-first football team, and even with the addition of Harvin, they weren’t going to suddenly transform to an air-it-out team. With that being said, if anything, I think Harvin’s injury boosts the fantasy value of running back Marshawn Lynch a tiny bit. If they weren’t planning on running it less with Harvin, it would make sense that they would perhaps run the ball more without him. When asked about the possibility of sliding Tate into some of Harvin’s projected roles, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell wasn’t necessarily against the idea.
““Yeah, there are certain things we could do,” Bevell said. “[Doug Baldwin] can do a lot of the same things that Percy could do. Golden can do some of those things as well. There are different guys we can plug in.”
The Seahawks have called Tate their most impressive player in camp thus far, but from a fantasy perspective this year, I just don’t see it. I mean, in 15 games last season, Tate was only targeted 68 times. And, again, that was obviously without Harvin as well. There is no reason to believe that he will play a bigger role in 2013 than he did last year, and his pedestrian 45 catches aren’t something I’m interested in investing in for my fantasy team. Sure, teammate Sidney Rice is still dealing with some knee issues, and yeah, someone will have to catch passes from Russell Wilson. But why should I all of a sudden believe that Tate will be utilized in a way that a versatile, rare talent like Harvin would have? With the wide receiver position being as deep as it is, I will more than happily pass on Tate and grab someone with higher upside.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.