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Reaction: Percy Harvin to the Bills



Percy Harvin will join an all-of-a-sudden scary-fast lineup in Buffalo on a one-year contract, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday, per a source involved in the deal.

The former Jet, Viking and Seahawk will now line up in by far the most talented offense he’s played in alongside LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins.

I hate to pick nits here, but in 2009 Percy Harvin played in a Minnesota offense that finished second in the league in points/drive. But anyhoo…

Let’s go through the steps here.

Does this signing mean anything for Harvin’s dynasty stock? It’s interesting that the Bills only saw fit to give Harvin a one year deal and also that Harvin was willing to accept a one year deal. Maybe he thinks he can revive his career, although a better bet if he wanted to do that would be to go to a really wide receiver-starved team and suck up a bunch of targets in 2015. The Bills are actually fairly deep at WR considering that they have the under-rated Robert Woods behind Harvin. I think Harvin is going to have a tough time getting up into the 10 targets/game range, which is what he’s needed in the past to be a top tier fantasy option. Despite the fact that he’s known as an explosive player, his career YPR number is below the league average for WRs. In fact you could probably argue that his frailty is baked into his game. He needs a lot of touches to produce fantasy points and gets the touches in places on the field where there are lots of tacklers. He’s about 195 pounds.

Does this mean anything for LeSean McCoy’s fantasy stock? Even though I think you can assume that Harvin will see some carries out of the backfield, McCoy was never going to get 100 percent of the carries. I don’t think it affects things much. If McCoy can stay on the field in 2015 he should be a top 12 fantasy option.

Does this mean anything for Sammy Watkins’ fantasy stock? Watkins is actually something of an undervalued dynasty asset in my opinion. If you can get him for a 2015 first round rookie pick, I would do it. Coming into the league it looked like Watkins might be a player similar to Harvin, who has to get the ball near the line of scrimmage and thereby caps his own upside. But Watkins was able to get open all over the field during his rookie year. Even though Watkins didn’t average significantly more fantasy points in games Kyle Orton played, the semi-competent QB did make a difference as Watkins caught more yards on a similar number of targets compared to when EJ Manuel was under center. Matt Cassel is also a semi-competent QB.

You can see that Watkins averaged about a 1,000 yard pace in Orton’s

I haven’t addressed Percy Harvin’s impact on Watkins because I don’t think he’ll have a significant impact. I think Watkins can still average a target pace of about 130 for a full season in the Greg Roman offense. That’s actually how many Anquan Boldin has last year. Meanwhile Percy Harvin and Robert Woods will probably compete for the remaining targets. Michael Crabtree had 108 targets last year in Roman’s offense if that helps as a mental yardstick for where the WR2 might end up.

Perhaps an underrated aspect of this trade is that it could make Matt Cassel an interesting name. Probably not that interesting… but maybe it makes him more interesting. I don’t think you can really draft him in an MFL10 until you know that he’s starting, and he’s not really a dynasty target unless you’re desperate, but I’ll be keeping an eye on him.

If you’re  a Robert Woods owner, then this signing probably hurts you the most. I don’t think it really says anything about what the Bills think of Woods. I think they did this deal because they think they have a chance to win right now and they’re going to get aggressive to make that happen. But the signing does damage Woods’ ability to repeat his 104 target season.



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