There is no bigger boom-or-bust candidate in 2014 than Percy Harvin.
The Seattle Seahawks dynamic wide receiver/kick returner/running back/electrician/everything else could just as easily win NFL MVP as he could injure himself Week 1 and miss the rest of the season.
Harvin's mid-fifth-round average draft position makes it difficult to take the plunge, but the 26-year-old is quickly proving he's worth the risk.
During Seattle's "dress rehearsal" preseason game against the Chicago Bears, it took him exactly one play to flash his explosive, game-breaking ability, as he took the opening kickoff back 46 yards. After that, he touched the ball three times.
Those three touches went: 25-yard catch, 23-yard catch, 13-yard catch. Three targets, three receptions and 61 yards. Yes, the usual disclaimer of "it was only the preseason" applies, but Harvin's explosiveness was evident. The Everett Herald's John Boyle put it simply after one of his catches:
On Percy Harvin's third-down catch, he was so open, so fast I assumed blown coverage. Nope, just ran away from his man that quickly.— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) August 23, 2014
"Every time he touches the football, he’s either going to run over you or run by you, one of the two," said Russell Wilson, via The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta. "That’s what he brings to the table, his explosive mentality."
What's better, we're only scratching the surface. The 'Hawks have gotten Harvin the ball in space with some screens, but there have been no runs, and the play-calling has been mostly vanilla.
Yes, the Seahawks feature a run-heavy offense that can be poisonous to wide receivers for fantasy purposes, but when Harvin is healthy, he is one of the most elusive, speedy players in the NFL. Seattle, which has scored a ridiculous 55 points in its last 10 series with Wilson under center, will have a variety of ways to get their home run hitter a bunch of touches every week.
How many games will Harvin play in 2014?
Considering Seattle designs plays that make it so easy to get him the ball, six catches and one or two carries per game isn't out of the question. In a 16-game season, that's 96 receptions and about 24 carries, which would put him in WR1 territory.
Of course, you can't just quickly move past the "when healthy" argument with Harvin. He has played 10 regular-season games over the past two seasons and played a whopping 19 snaps in 2013. His health has become a running joke in the fantasy world.
Still, he missed a grand total of three games through his first three seasons, and the migraines that kept him out in 2012 don't really support the "injury prone" status.
Is there risk associated here? Absolutely. But with the immense depth at the wide receiver position to help limit the risk, I have no problem rolling the dice in the fifth round on a player who can take it to the house any time he touches the ball.