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Fantasy Football 2014: Fallout Of Percy Harvin Trade

Adam Pfeifer breaks down the fantasy implications of Percy Harvin being traded to the New York Jets.

Percy Harvin catch

I was playing Madden.

Why? I love playing the game. I love pretending to be a general manager, making trades, signing, cutting guys, you name it. And of course I love that stuff. I play fantasy sports, after all. Anyway, I’m playing Madden, rebuilding the Tennessee Titans because, you know, Sankey. All of a sudden my phone starts blowing up with notifications and I see that Percy Harvin has been dealt to the New York Jets.

Whoa.

Game over. I turned off the console, got to the computer and dove into the trade. However, this is the first time I’ve been able to create a fantasy spin on the surprising trade. Until now, that is. Whenever a big name player gets dealt, fantasy owners look for huge ramifications with the players involved. I’m not going to lie, this deal doesn’t really alter too many things from a fantasy perspective, but it’s obviously worth breaking down.

Seattle Seahawks

“Man, this hurts Russell Wilson‘s fantasy prospects.”

I’m not so sure.

I’m almost glad Harvin isn’t there anymore. Seattle will no longer get too cute and try to force-feed him with screens, reverses and draws that lead to just a few yards. Harvin wasn’t very effective in such situations to start the season. He only had 22 catches on the year, averaging under nine yards per grab. Wilson truly wasn’t getting a ton out of Harvin anyway, so I’m not worried at all. Courtesy of our friends at RotoViz, here are Wilson’s numbers without Harvin in the lineup. Still not too shabby, no?

rw3

Wilson is still averaging about 21 fantasy points per game without Harvin in the lineup, and besides, through seven weeks, a huge part of Wilson’s gaudy fantasy numbers have come from his legs. And don’t forget, last year, Wilson didn’t have Harvin all of last year, but still served as a top-12 fantasy quarterback 50 percent of the time, good for the third-highest rating among quarterbacks. He also ranked 8th among passers in fantasy points. Back to the rushing, Wilson has ran with the football 38 times, averaging a healthy 6.3 rushing attempts per contest. He’s now rushed for at least 100 yards in two of his last three contests and has found the end zone three times on the ground. Entering Week 8, about 38 percent of Wilson’s fantasy points have come from rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, according to Jim McCormick of ESPN.

He’s a QB1 the rest of the way.

As for the Seattle wideouts, Doug Baldwin clearly gets the biggest bump. In the first game of the year, Baldwin was the clear number one in Seattle, and it helped that he got to play more often in the slot, where he is most effective. According to Pro Football Focus, Baldwin was in the slot nearly 60 percent of the time in Week 7, and he played very well, catching seven balls for 123 yards and a touchdown. He saw a team-high 11 targets on Sunday, or, 30 percent of Wilson’s pass attempts. so it certainly looks like he’ll be the top option in the Seahawks passing game the rest of the season. Also, Jermaine Kearse will be someone to keep an eye on, as he probably has more upside and big play ability than Baldwin. He caught three-of-seven targets for 50 yards on Sunday. It was also good to see rookie Paul Richardson see his first dose of playing time of the year, catching four-of-five targets. He is immensely talented and could be this team’s number-two receiver by the end of the season, so definitely someone you need to monitor over the course of the year.

As for Marshawn Lynch, just feed him the rock, please.

New York Jets

This acquisition should help the growth of sophomore passer Geno Smith, but it’s hard to consider him fantasy relevant when there are so many other good fantasy signal callers in the league today. It will be interesting to see how he fares during these first few weeks with Harvin in the offense, but until he becomes more consistent, it’s almost impossible to count on him in fantasy circles. He’s thrown at least one interception in ever game this season, and has never had a 20-point fantasy game.

As for Chris Ivory and the running game (notice how I didn’t mention that CJ guy?), I think it helps. Thus far, the only other weapon on the Jets offense has been a less-than-100 percent Eric Decker. This should allow Ivory to see less attention from opposing defenses, and the guy is running very well, too. And for the other receivers, Eric Decker’s value kind of remains the same to me. He’ll get the red zone looks, and hopefully with Harvin on the offense, the Jets will see more red zone looks than the 3.1 per game they’ve been averaging per game this year. And, of course, there has to be a fantasy spin for Harvin, right? Going from RW3 to Geno certainly isn’t great, but his weekly upside should improve with the Jets — yes, the Jets. New York will throw the ball deeper to Harvin and give him better chances at bigger plays, but, with that being said, his downside is likely larger, too, playing with the Jets.

 

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