RotoViz is continuing our look back on the 2019 rookies with a review of New England Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry. The first-round pick joined the Pats in Week 11 and averaged only 3.5 targets per game. So what can we expect from N’Keal Harry during the 2020 fantasy football season?
N’Keal Harry’s Rookie Season
Per the NFL Stat Explorer, Harry’s 2019 season totals were a big disappointment; though injury had a lot to do with this. Harry didn’t enter the fantasy equation until Week 11, by which point the fantasy regular season was already wrapping up.
The timing of Harry’s entrance — coupled with New England’s pathetic group of receivers — meant Harry had a chance to splash both in real life and in fantasy. However, he didn’t immediately click, and on just under 3.5 targets per game, Harry didn’t eclipse 30 yards in any of his seven contests.
- Harry scored twice in seven games, and he had an apparent third TD missed by the refs at one point)
- Harry was New England’s top red-zone target in his seven games. In that span, Harry had four targets from inside the 10 — tops in New England:
Of Harry’s (mostly) lost 2019 season, the above stat is certainly the most encouraging. Even if a WR doesn’t end up as a high-volume player — which we’re not saying will be the case with Harry — if they are a reliable red-zone threat, they can still be fantasy producers.
Harry’s 2019 season can be described as “disappointing.” His inability to click in New England’s offense despite a clear need for help at WR was disappointing. It’s even harder to swallow when considering his first-round pedigree.
Using the RotoViz Screener‘s Similarity Search, I found the closest rookie WR comps to Harry over the last two decades. Here are the results:
And here’s how these players fared in their second season, which could give you an idea on what to expect from N’keal Harry in 2020:
For the most part, these comps are disastrous. There is, however, a shining star at the top that keeps hope alive for Harry: Demaryius Thomas.
- The Good: Thomas is the only good thing about this comp list, but boy oh boy is he a good comp to have as your No. 1 comp. Thomas was also selected in the first round, and after rocky first and second seasons, Thomas exploded with five straight years of at least 1,000 yards.1
- The Bad: Other than Thomas, everything about this comp list is cry-in-the-shower bad from a fantasy perspective.
N’Keal Harry’s 2020 fantasy football outlook
Harry’s rookie year — and his rookie-year comps — leave plenty to be desired, but Harry hopefuls can hang their hat on that Demaryius Thomas comp. If Harry clicks, a Thomas-like ceiling would be as good as it gets.
Harry is not a particularly interesting fantasy option in 2020, but a rookie season largely lost to injury isn’t enough to completely write him off, especially when the potential was on occasional display.
He’s worth a late-round flier to see if he can develop into a flex option for your squad, but I wouldn’t hang on to him more than a couple of weeks into the season if he’s dragging.
- Keep in mind: Thomas’ five years of dominance coincided with Peyton Manning’s tenure in Denver. (back)