Fantasy Fox: Harvin-inspired look at top 40 WRs
Percy Harvin may be one of the most electrifying assets to follow in fantasy football — especially Points Per Reception leagues — but that doesn’t mean I’m fully on-board with Monday’s reported trade, calling for the 24-year-old dynamo to take his versatile talents to Seattle.
From a nit-picky standpoint, there are myriad ways in which Harvin’s Northwest passage could end up falling woefully short of expectations in 2013 — from the perspective of unrealistic fantasy projections.
As such, here are six reasons why I choose to view the new Seattle dynamic with eyes wide open (at least for this year):
1. Running back Marshawn Lynch (3,202 total yards, 25 TDs for 2011-12) remains the Seahawks’ most powerful (and reliable) offensive option.
2. If Lynch should go down to injury at any point, backup rusher Robert Turbin (535 total yards on just 99 touches last year) would be a weekly lock for 90 yards as Seattle’s primary back.
3. Quarterback Russell Wilson attempted 28 or more passes only three times last season, averaging just 227 yards passing and 1.7 touchdowns.
4. Two years before joining Seattle, wide receiver Sidney Rice had an absurdly good season with Minnesota (83 catches, 1,312 yards, eight TDs in 2009). These numbers run eerily similar to Harvin’s best campaign with the Vikings (1,309 total yards, eight TDs) — two seasons ago.
5. If memory serves, Harvin sustained a season-ending ankle injury on Seattle’s home turf last season (Nov. 4). He also has a history of migraine headaches, although that problem has seemingly been minimized in recent months.
6. Before the Harvin trade, the Seahawks had a stronger and deeper receiving corps than the Vikings’ fleet of wideouts and tight ends.
So, even if head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell have grandiose plans for Seattle’s rejiggered offense, there are simply too many mouths to feed (Lynch, Turbin, Rice, Golden Tate, Zach Miller) to predict that Harvin would immediately eclipse the 1,312 total yards or eight touchdowns from 2011 — or match last year’s pace of double-digit targets (once every 1.8 games).
Verdict: At this point in the off-season, Harvin holds only a top-15 positional ranking for standard-scoring leagues. I won’t commit to anything above that for now.
Speaking of which, here is an off-the-cuff listing of my top 40 receivers (non-PPR) heading into NFL free agency:
Top 40 Wideouts
1. Calvin Johnson, Lions
2. Brandon Marshall, Bears
3. A.J. Green, Bengals
4. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
5. Dez Bryant, Cowboys
6. Julio Jones, Falcons (the torch officially gets passed this season)
7. Andre Johnson, Texans (four outings of 140-plus yards last year)
8. Roddy White, Falcons
9. Victor Cruz, Giants
10. Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers
11. Eric Decker, Broncos (top-7 stalwart in PPR leagues)
12. Marques Colston, Saints
13. Jordy Nelson, Packers
14. Percy Harvin, Seahawks
15. Reggie Wayne, Colts
16. Randall Cobb, Packers
17. Hakeem Nicks, Giants
18. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles
19. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
20. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (reputation pick for this ace without a QB)
21. Mike Wallace, Dolphins
22. Michael Crabtree, 49ers
23. Antonio Brown, Steelers
24. Wes Welker, Broncos (higher in PPR leagues)
25. Justin Blackmon, Jaguars (48 targets in final four games last season)
26. Torrey Smith, Ravens
27. Danny Amendola, Patriots (conservative and fair ranking)
28. Steve Smith, Panthers
29. T.Y. Hilton, Colts (a star in the making)
30. James Jones, Packers
31. Greg Jennings, Vikings/Dolphins/Rams/Browns (?)
32. Malcom Floyd, Chargers
33. Steve Johnson, Bills
34. Kenny Britt, Titans (the clock is ticking, Mr. Britt)
35. DeSean Jackson, Eagles
36. Miles Austin, Cowboys
37. Pierre Garcon, Redskins
38. Denarius Moore, Raiders
39. Alshon Jeffery, Bears
40. Cecil Shorts, Jaguars
40a. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Free Agent
40b. Nate Washington, Titans
40c. Lance Moore, Saints (probably not getting enough respect here)
40c. Mike Williams, Buccaneers
Five 24-and-Under Veterans To Covet
1. Josh Gordon, Browns
2. Michael Floyd, Cardinals
3. Danario Alexander, Chargers
4. Kendall Wright, Titans
5. Chris Givens, Rams
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @FOX_JayClemons.