What Are the Fantasy Football Implications of the Percy Harvin Trade?

Percy Harvin has been a massive disappointment in the Seahawks offense this year. Is there any hope for him to return to form in New York?
Percy Harvin is now a member of the New York Jets. Wait, what? Yes, 19 months after the Seattle Seahawks acquired Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings, they just traded him to the New York Jets for a conditional draft pick in the 2015 draft. In a span of less than two years, Harvin has been traded by two NFL franchises in his prime.

His athletic potential aside, this should tell you all you need to know.

Fantasy Implications: Seahawks

This trade pretty much means nothing for the Seattle offense as a whole. They will still be incredibly efficient, Marshawn Lynch will continue to pound the rock, and Russell Wilson will continue to do insane things under-center. If anything, this trade could help the Seahawks. Instead of giving Harvin touches that do not generate positive or efficient plays, Seattle may become even more potent.

In fantasy football terms, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse both get bumped up slightly and are now in the WR3 category, making them fringe starting options in most standard leagues. Neither Baldwin nor Kearse has been superb by any means this year, and Seattle will continue to spread it around a ton barring a drastic shift in offensive mentality.

Below is a table of Baldwin's and Kearse's production and Net Expected Points (NEP) which quantifies a player's contribution to his team’s scoring output based on how he performs on each play versus what is expected of him. The table also displays each player's target market share (Target MS), which indicates the percentage of the Seahawks targets go to each.

PlayerTargetsTarget MSRec.YardsTDsRec NEPRec NEP/TarTarget NEP

As evidenced by the numbers, Baldwin and Kearse have not lit the world on fire this season and have not been integral parts of the offense.

Baldwin's production seems more promising, aside from the lack of a touchdown, but he has not been an efficient option for the Seahawks. Of the 114 receivers who have seen at least 10 targets, Baldwin's Reception NEP per target (0.48) ranks 85th. This indicates that his targets are not resulting in positive plays quite like the Seahawks would hope.

Kearse, on the other hand, ranks 35th in the subset, a promising number for a guy receiving fewer than 15% of his team's targets.

By comparison, Harvin's Reception NEP per target is 0.21, ranking him 110th out of 114 qualified receivers. Harvin also ranks last among all receivers with more than 22 targets.

Baldwin likely gets the bigger bump because he we will likely be moved in to the slot, where he is better suited. However, you should temper your expectations due to the fact that many of Harvin’s touches were manufactured which means Baldwin and Kearse’s roles in the offense likely won’t significantly increase.

The player that may see the biggest boost their fantasy value is rookie wide receiver Paul Richardson. He isn't a big body (just 6’0” and 175 lbs), but he is pretty fast (4.40 40-yard dash) and could take over a piece of Harvin’s role in the offense. However, he has only caught one pass this season, is currently behind Ricardo Lockette on the depth chart, and that particular role hasn’t been all that valuable this year. Despite the negative facts, Richardson is a guy to have on your radar who has some potential to mildly produce in the ‘Hawks offense.

What Does This Mean For The Jets?

The Jets just got one of the most transcending players in the NFL. Percy Harvin has spent six years in the NFL and it seems as if his production has never matched his hype. Harvin has never had a season of 1,000 or more receiving yards. He’s never scored more than 0.4 receiving touchdowns per game in a season, and he was a massive disappointment in Seattle.

The problem is, Harvin was on the field, mostly in 3-wide receiver sets, 60% of the time and commanded 19% of the market share of targets and 10% of the carries. That is a pretty large workload. He just didn’t produce and was pretty inefficient, as his Reception and Target NEP shows below.

PlayerTargetsRec.YardsRec TDRec NEPTarget NEP

He didn't give them much on the ground, either.

PlayerRushesYardsRushing TDRushing NEP

Now Harvin is being hurled into the Jets offense which is scoring 1.7 touchdowns per game and will have to learn a brand new system in the middle of the season. So, you’ve got a disappointing player, on a disappointing offense that doesn’t score many touchdowns and will likely not be on the field much near the goal line. What could go wrong?

Percy Harvin's Remaining Year Value

It’s hard to imagine this trade helps Percy Harvin’s fantasy value for the time being until we see how the Jets will use him. Any production Harvin manages to muster in the Jets offense this season will not come at the behest of either the Jets offensive players you care about, Eric Decker and Chris Ivory. We can expect Harvin’s role to be fairly limited for the first few weeks while he acclimates into the system.

The only member of the Jets the Harvin addition harms is Jeremy Kerley who has run 74.3% of his snaps out of the slot this season. The thing is, from what we’ve seen so far out of Harvin this season and similar players, namely Cordarrelle Patterson and Tavon Austin, there isn’t much fantasy value in players for whom you have to manufacture touches.

While this is a massive in-season trade which rarely happen, it only affects both the Jets and the Seahawks mildly.