If you drafted Percy Harvin as the WR1 or WR2 on your fantasy team, you would be foolish not to start him on opening night against the Green Bay Packers or on any week, so long as he’s healthy. Over the last two NFL seasons, the Seattle Seahawks wide receiver has only manged to play 10 games, so his 2014 fantasy owners drafted him with extreme caution.
Harvin is the ultimate all-purpose player, because he’s electrifying on special teams as a return man, and he can also be trusted to play at the WR position on offense. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has made no secret about his intention to run the ball a lot, but for a versatile player like Harvin, that’s a good thing.
In 2011, when he played all 16 regular season games for the Minnesota Vikings, Harvin put on an all-purpose yards clinic as he displayed his full arsenal of weapons. With rookie QB Christian Ponder behind center for the majority of the season (11 games), the Vikings still found a way to pass the ball 123 times in Harvin’s direction and he secured 87 of those balls for catches. Ponder didn’t even pass for 2,000 yards that season and he completed less than 55 percent of his passes, but Harvin still managed to finish with six TD receptions and 967 receiving yards.
In addition to what he did as a WR in 2011, Harvin was just as lethal on special teams as a kick returner. While he only fielded 16 balls as a return man, Harvin racked up 520 yards and one-fifth of those yards came from a 104-yd kick return. His ability to create separation from defenders encouraged the Vikings to use him in the running game on offense, and he finished with 345 rushing yards, two TDs and a 6.6 YPC average.
Remember, superstar RB Adrian Peterson was, and still is the workhorse on that offense, but he still didn’t get in the way of the Vikings’ plans to use Harvin in the running game. With Marshawn Lynch as the ground-and-pound RB in Seattle, Harvin finds himself in a familiar situation but with much better talent surrounding him on both sides of the ball. Coach Carroll is no fool. He knows what he has with Harvin, and as the reigning Super Bowl champs, Seattle is looking to be a lot more explosive and a bit less unpredictable on offense.
A healthy Harvin is the answer to all of their prayers, and he adds much-needed depth to their shallow WR corps. With the Seahawks’ ability to run the ball, Super Bowl-tested QB Russell Wilson will be able to test the Packers’ improved, but unproven defense with the play-action pass, and this where Harvin will shine as a deep threat.
With a similar scenario to what he experienced in Minnesota but with a vastly improved supporting cast, Harvin could easily have one of his best seasons ever — and you were the smart owner who took the chance.