Percy Harvin Shouldn’t Scare Fantasy Football Owners
Depending on what fantasy football information you use, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin is ranked in the early 20s and is being drafted in about the fifth round. Getting Harvin in the fifth would be a steal. I’m happy to take him earlier.
Yes, there’s risk. He missed almost all of last year and half of 2012. He spent his first three years in the league with migraine troubles and suspected attitude sickness.
Do you know what eases migraine pain and soothes an irritated attitude? Catching passes from a franchise quarterback and playing for the defending Super Bowl champs.
Harvin has been rehabbing for over a year now. He’s no bigger an injury risk than any other WR you can find. Calvin Johnson missed two games last year. One of them was a surprise scratch that left me scrambling for a replacement on a Sunday morning. Half the WRs in the top 20 have missed some time to injury in their careers.
So let’s put the injury talk to bed. NFL players get hurt.
Especially with wide receivers, it’s important to identify how low is the floor and how high is the ceiling for a fantasy player. What does a bad game look like for a wideout? For those dependent on the long bomb, a bad game involves some deep misses and maybe a catch or two for 10 yards each. Some days the same guy grabs an 80 yard touchdown and you get 14 points in a moment. When he doesn’t, you get diddly.
Harvin is a bubble screen guy with the occasional handoff. He goes deep too, but that’s the frosting on the cake. If he returns a kick or punt for a touchdown, that’s the sprinkles on the frosting.
In three and a half years with the Minnesota Vikings, Harvin had 280 catches and 107 carries in 54 games, including a nutty 149 touches in 2011. Before he was hurt in 2012, he was an MVP candidate.
The Vikings had Harvin, Adrian Peterson and not much else back then. They fed those two guys the ball mercilessly. Seattle has more weapons and will spread the ball around more, which will be good for Harvin’s health and big play chances. With Minnesota, he averaged just over seven touches per game. If he gets five or six at minimum for the Seahawks, you should get at least 40 or 50 yards. So the floor is about five points.
Where’s the ceiling? Some of those short plays he’s going to break for long touchdowns. He will have multiple games with more than one score and well over 100 yards. Double digit fantasy games will be common — 20-30 points will happen a few times.
That puts you easily in the 200 point neighborhood and in the WR top five. I think that’s realistic, not even optimistic. What if he’s everything the Seahawks dream him to be? He has a career year with over 100 catches, 1500 yards and a dozen or more touchdowns. Those are Megatron numbers. That doesn’t sound crazy, does it?
Seattle’s offense is steadily progressing from a conservative “run and trust your defense” strategy to a more balanced one. See how the team has changed from Russell Wilson‘s first start to his last. Consider that Marshawn Lynch‘s workload will certainly be reduced to keep him fresh for the playoffs. That means more Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, but also more short passing. More Harvin. And if Wilson running and gunning works, they’ll stick with it.
To conclude, do you still think Harvin has a dramatically bigger chance of getting hurt than Julio Jones or Randall Cobb? Will Harvin have more days when he disappears than Jordy Nelson or DeSean Jackson? Are you still worried that Pete Carroll will ride Beast Mode all day and only let Wilson throw on third and long?
Percy Harvin is a top 10 wide receiver. Take him in the second or third round and don’t be afraid.