Percy Harvin Will Be Instant Fantasy Stud Upon Return
The player who was arguably the biggest offseason acquisition in the NFL is about to get his first action of the season. He will quickly prove why he held such lofty status heading into the season.
Obviously, as a fantasy owner, I don't like "could." Not only does that tell me Harvin is far from a sure thing to play this next Monday night as the Seahawks travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams, but I wouldn't even consider it a sure thing that he will play in Week 9 when the Seahawks host the Buccaneers.
Still, this is exciting news.
When he underwent hip surgery this past summer, the Seahawks simply hoped he could return this season. What adds to this excitement is the fact that I am confident that when Harvin does return, he will do so in a position to succeed.
This is not a situation where fantasy owners have to worry about a player rushing back from injury too soon.
The Seahawks are 6-1 and have a one-game lead in the NFC West. The team has proven it can make the postseason without Harvin's services. There is no need for the team to rush back a star player in this kind of setting.
Harvin also just inked a six-year extension when he joined the Seahawks. That $67 million deal, of which $14.5 million is fully guaranteed, means there is no reason for Harvin to rush himself back from injury.
And both the team's stance and Harvin's that he would not be rushed back was confirmed by his decision to receive surgery when Harvin sought a second opinion on his injury that led to him deciding to opt for surgery.
It's been clear from the start that Harvin wants to make sure he is right before returning, and the team wants him to feel he has their backing.
When Harvin is right, he produces. Last season, Harvin played in just nine games. He caught 62 passes for 677 yards and three touchdowns. He carried the ball 22 times for 96 yards and a touchdown. He also remained a dynamic kickoff return man and added another TD on special teams.
I'd be surprised if the Seahawks used their $67 million man on kickoffs this regular season. However, his fantasy value is far from dependent upon that.
When projecting Harvin's stats for his return, we have to take into account his new setting.
While he will be adjusting to a new offense and quarterback, it's not like he's been playing with the New Orleans Saints or any other prolific pass offense.
The Minnesota Vikings finished 31st in pass offense last season, and quarterback Christian Ponder is not the type of player that people are going to say things like "He really makes his receivers better" about.
Helping ensure Harvin will produce upon his return is the fact that the Seahawks need help at wide receiver. Seattle carries the second-ranked run game and the 24th passing.
Harvin's infusion won't drastically alter those rankings. The Seahawks are a physical team that often play with the lead, and they have a quarterback who can pick up yards with his legs. This team will still look to run the ball often.
However, it will also look to get Harvin the ball. They didn't stick their neck out to acquire Harvin without having a plan as to how he will fit in the offense.
Currently, Golden Tate leads the Seahawks in catches (27) and targets (46). Harvin is going to take a big chunk out of those numbers. Harvin and Tate are both most natural running out of the slot.
Harvin can work anywhere on the field, though. Last season, the 25-year-old ran 156 of 261 routes from the slot.
His versatility will allow the Seahawks to ensure that they can get their best offensive weapons on the field. And I have no doubt the Seahawks will ensure Harvin gets his touches upon his return.
This is good news for any fantasy owner who has Harvin stashed on their bench.
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