The Seahawks trade of Percy Harvin to the Jets could boost his sagging Fantasy appeal and open the door for a possible sleeper candidate to emerge as a more notable Fantasy contributor. The electrifying and injury-prone wideout may be used more efficiently by the Jets, and the Seahawks can now get back to the offensive basics that were evident in their Super Bowl run last year.
Seattle will get back to running the ball heavily behind Marshawn Lynch and can now eliminate the pressing need to try to force Harvin into their gameplans. In the loss to Dallas last week, it was evident that Harvin’s usage was creating offensive concerns. The Seahawks were going away from the running game that was the crux of their offense last year, and Harvin’s attempts to make plays on jet sweeps and screens were being snuffed out. Now you’ll see Seattle get back to riding Marshawn Lynch to set up anything in the passing game, and while defenses no longer have to game plan for Harvin, Lynch has never been consistently contained as the focal point of defensive scheming in the past.
What the Harvin departure means Fantasy wise is that Jermaine Kearse becomes a very appealing pickup for depth at WR. He is more of the pure downfield threat that Seahawk followers and Fantasy players were hoping to see Harvin become, but never did. Kearse already has a fine rapport with Russell Wilson and will now get opportunities to make more significant plays. Kearse has a knack for timely plays and TD catches in important situations, and I recommend him as a WR5 add with some upside to become a darkhorse contributor to your Fantasy team.
Doug Baldwin may not see too much of a boost immediately but is certainly worth monitoring. He’s going to continue to get a lot of defensive attention, which hinders his ceiling a bit, but if the Seahawks choose to utilize him differently than they have until now, he could see his value start to progressively climb in PPR formats. Speedy rookie Paul Richardson should now be on your watch list. He has not seen the field much, but the Seahawks could start to incorporate him more into three-receiver sets. If you need WR depth, Kearse should be your first option, then Baldwin, while you monitor the progress of Richardson.
Harvin is likely to be featured more in a variety of ways with the Jets, who desperately need his playmaking ability. Look for New York to use him more creatively and possibly unleash him downfield more. His outlook as a possible WR2 certainly improves with the Jets, as it was certainly sagging in Seattle.
Harvin’s arrival also means defenses cannot focus as heavily as they have up to this point on Eric Decker in the passing game. Decker is looking like a very good WR2 in Fantasy right now, and Harvin’s speed complements him well in the offense. Jace Amaro will not be force fed the ball much more right now, as his terrible drop against New England indicated he is still a work in progress. He does remain a high-end TE2, though. Harvin’s presence can also loosen up defenses some against the RBs, and certainly does not hurt Chris Ivory’s outlook. Chris Johnson, however, has not flashed any of his old upside; the Harvin deal could signal that the Jets can’t count on him and he may be best left on your free agent list. Of course, all these outlooks in New York hinge on Harvin staying healthy, which is surely no given as any experienced Fantasy player well knows.