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Briefly on the Issue of Percy Harvin’s Upside

Just a quick post here on Percy Harvin and his current ADP. If you want him, you have to draft him as your WR1. But here’s a graph which shows Harvin’s yards/target number for his career:

Percy Harvin Career Yards/Target

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Harvin has been pretty solidly in that 7.5 yards/target area pretty much for his career. That includes the 2009 season when he was a rookie and Brett Favre was having his resurrection season.  If Harvin kept up that pace in SEA, he’d need a 130 target season in order to turn in 1,000 yards receiving. Harvin was on the way to a 150 target season last year before he got hurt.

Here are the targets for the Seahawks last year:

Player Targets
Sidney Rice 82
Golden Tate 67
Zach Miller 53
Doug Baldwin 50
Anthony McCoy 28
Marshawn Lynch 30
Robert Turbin 23
Michael Robinson 15
Braylon Edwards 17
Ben Obomanu 9
Charly Martin 6
Jermaine Kearse 7
Leon Washington 8
Evan Moore 6

So Harvin would need 50 more targets than the leading receiver from last year got, assuming no change in efficiency, in order to get to 1000 yards.

Harvin isn’t prototypical WR size and it’s true that if there’s a precedent for a receiver of his size to be productive, it’s Wes Welker. But keep in mind that when Welker has seen 170 target seasons, it’s been on 630 attempts from Tom Brady. Russell Wilson had fewer than 400 attempts last year.

I can see three potential outcomes in this case.

  1. Harvin sees something like 100 targets at 7.5 yards/target and his owners are merely wildly disappointed. I consider this the most likely outcome. Maybe he’ll mix in enough carries to salvage some value for his owners, but 100 targets at 7.5 yards/target is going to be bad.
  2. Harvin sees something like 110 targets and also pours in the most efficient year of his career and ends up just on the good side of 1,000 yards. This wouldn’t be a total disaster for his owners.
  3. Harvin sees 90 targets at 7.5 yards/target and Percy Harvin owners get together to arrange a mass suicide. I consider this potential outcome just as likely as #2.

If the entire SEA passing game cranks up the attempts, then the correct play is to take the much cheaper Sidney Rice. If the SEA passing game stays the same and just shifts A LOT of usage to Percy Harvin that would be mildly idiotic, but that’s the only outcome that favors valuation that is currently implied by ADP.

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