Percy Harvin is a bit of an NFL enigma. His career has been full of ups and then both migraine headaches and injuries bringing him back down. After his attitude became too much for the Seattle Seahawks last season, he was traded to the New York Jets. Now he’s a member of the Buffalo Bills, who are quickly becoming the most hyped team in the league.
Let's talk a walk down memory lane to gauge Harvin's potential fantasy football value in 2015.
A Respectable Start
Back when he was with the Minnesota Vikings, Harvin lit up the gridiron. Harvin had nearly 1,000 combined rushing and receiving yards each season until 2012, when he began to be plagued by injuries and headaches. During the following off-season, the Vikings shipped Harvin off to Seattle, where he was only able to play in one regular season game for the Seahawks in 2013.
Seahawks fans quickly forgave him for missing the regular season when he returned the 2nd half kickoff of Super Bowl XLVIII for a touchdown en route to the Seahawks 43-8 thrashing of the Denver Broncos. But it wasn't a sign of good things to come. Harvin’s 2014 season started off mediocre, and after only five games Seattle traded him to the Jets, calling up suspicions that his negative attitude was to blame.
New Life in New York
With the Jets Harvin turned his season around somewhat, finishing with 460 rushing and receiving yards along with 495 punt return yards. Having only played in eight games with the Jets, adding the fact that he had to learn the offensive scheme in the middle of the season, his stint in New York was relatively successful and on-par with this best seasons in Minnesota.
Hitching a Ride with Ryan
Following his stink with the Jets, Harvin decided to follow head coach Rex Ryan to the Bills. Ryan was more than happy to have Harvin as a weapon again in Buffalo, as Ryan-coached teams generally need as much help as they can get on the defensive side of the ball. Ryan praised Harvin:
"Percy can catch a slant and take it the distance and he can go over the top of you. He's a game breaker."
Ryan went on to explain how the biggest contribution Harvin will have with the Bills is helping to improve and develop the talent that Sammy Watkins clearly possesses. Harvin will make it hard for defenses to focus solely on stopping Watkins, as they were able to do for the most part in 2014.
Harvin's Potential in 2015
Right now the Bills aren’t exactly sure who will be starting at quarterback in 2015, as E.J. Manuel and Matt Cassel are expected to duel it out in camp. Either way, Harvin will certainly not be playing for an elite quarterback. Fortunately, this is not really a point of emphasis for Harvin, seeing what he has done in his career without ever having an elite quarterback under center.
Harvin is a dangerous weapon, and he has largely (and justifiably) overlooked in fantasy circles since joining the Bills. Early indications suggest that Harvin will be drafted late in most fantasy leagues; his current ADP is 57.9. Harvin remains confident in his abilities:
The world has not seen my best ball yet. That's why coming [to Buffalo] was so important to me.
Ryan will certainly find some use for Harvin in the Bills offense this coming season. If nothing else, Harvin is a solid flex or backup flex player for your roster. Don't draft him unless you need a filler pick at the end, but adding him as an un-drafted free agent and sitting on him could definitely work in your favor later in the season.
We currently have Harvin ranked 60th among fantasy wide receivers, a full 41 slots below their top fantasy option Sammy Watkins. Do you think this is too high or too low? Tell us about it in the comments below.