Percy Harvin's Return to Fantasy Football Relevancy

Percy Harvin's 2014 season has been disappointing at best. Has that made people underestimate his value?

The New York Jets are not good at football. This will not be news to you because you are a fully functioning human being. This cannot necessarily be said of all players on the Jets' roster.

While this is bad for the Jets, it can be good for you. The Jets' offensive ineptitudes can lead to the under-valuation of their players when it comes to the fake version of the game they sometimes pretend to play. One of these players is William Percy Harvin III.

Little Percy has had himself a weird season. He went from the gifted rich of the West to the wicked glitch of the East. He has, in essence, had three bye weeks (one with the Seahawks, one with the Jets, and then Week 7, in which he was traded after the Jets' game but before the Seahawks'). And his production has dwarfed in comparison to the numbers he posted the last time he had a significant stretch of health.

This weirdness has made Percy completely fall through the cracks of fantasy football. It's time to exploit this strangeness and squeeze the value out this puppy before it's too late. Allow me to show you how Percy has suddenly gone from bust to boom in the fantasy realm.

Harvin's First Three Jets' Contests

Harvin's raw numbers with the Jets post-trade are fairly meh. Through three games, Harvin has 17 receptions for 174 yards to go with 11 rushes for 69 yards and zero touchdowns in either department.

A majority of those yards came in a vintage Lamborghini Percy performance in Week 9. Against the Chiefs, Harvin caught 11 of 13 targets for 129 yards while adding eight yards on the ground. That was what owners were expecting from him when they spent the average of a sixth-round pick in both standard and PPR re-draft leagues. However, that's the only time Harvin has had more than 100 yards this entire season.

In the other two games, Harvin had a total of 6 receptions for 45 yards while rushing for 61. If that screams "Savior!" to you, you should probably stop snorting chopped up Justin Hunter rookie cards and put the glue away.

There is an explanation for each of these performances, though. In Week 8, Harvin had been a member of the Jets for about 8.5 days. Not exactly conducive to taking a dump on the opposition.

In Week 10, the Jets had a lead. a lead. I'll allow you to climb off of the floor before I continue as I understand your surprise. This led to Michael Vick only throwing the ball 18 times. He targeted Harvin on 27.8 percent of those attempts. It's safe to say the Jets won't often be in a situation in which they run the ball two thirds of the time. That will lead to additional opportunities for Harvin as a receiver.

Even with the Jets going heavy-run, they still found a way to get Harvin the ball nine times. Now, the team has had a bye to find new ways to integrate Harvin in the offense. Harvin played 52 percent of the offense's snaps in Week 8; that rose to 84 percent in Week 9 and 68 percent in the run-heavy Week 10. His 40 snaps in Week 10 were just two less than Eric Decker and 21 more than any other receiver on the team.

If you're still worried about his involvement offensively, rest easy, my dear friend. If it's his effectiveness that bunches your breeches, let us now delve a little deeper into what our little amigo brings to Gang Green.

The Percy Prerogative

It appears as though when algorithms on daily fantasy sites evaluate Harvin, they are evaluating the Seattle version. Although this is understandable, it also is an inaccurate picture.

Let's look at this using numberFire's Net Expected Points stat. This measures whether a player increases or decreases the expected points for a team on a certain drive each time he touches the ball or is targeted. You can read more about it in our glossary.

Below is a chart that compares Seattle Percy to New York Percy. It shows his Rushing NEP, Reception NEP, Target NEP, and Reception NEP per Target. Reception NEP is his points added only on receptions, Target NEP includes each time the player is targeted (including deductions on incompletions and interceptions), and Reception NEP per Target is the player's Reception NEP divided by the number of times he is targeted.

RushesRushing NEPRushing NEP per PlayReceptionsTargetsReception NEPReception NEP/T
New York114.100.37172711.570.43

I should probably state that a Reception NEP per Target of 0.43 is still not really that good. The point was to show you that, not only is he seeing more volume than he did in Seattle, but he has been more effective with that volume.

Harvin already has as many rushes and one more target in three games as a Jet than he did in five as a Seahawk. Yet his salary has gone down across the board.

This week on DraftKings, Harvin will only cost you $4,700. The lowest price he had this season in Seattle was $5,400 in his final contest. While his price may have out-paced his production, his price has come down to a point where he could easily get back above that line again.

If you look at Fanduel and other 0.5-PPR sites, Harvin's value isn't quite as high. But his price is still low at $6,400. On Victiv, that number drops to $4,300. The time to pounce is now, y'all.

If you're looking at this from a season-long perspective, things are a bit different as you're not dealing with a salary cap. His schedule is also not super friendly, as he still has two match-ups with the Dolphins, who rank first in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. Then again, the Chiefs rank ninth, and he shredded them, so it may be worth a shot if someone is willing to dump him for nada.

For this week, numberFire's Week 12 Projections have Harvin as wide receiver number 21. He is projected at 5.56 receptions for 57.20 yards and 0.35 touchdowns while rushing for 6.69 yards and 0.09 touchdowns. His rushing totals will probably be higher than that, making his median projection for PPR leagues completely acceptable for his price range.

Overall, people have over-adjusted in Harvin's move to the Jets. While he's not in as good of an offense, he is seeing increased volume coupled with increased effectiveness. Those two together are the sweet, sweet nectar of fantasy football prosperity. The time has come to capitalize on the utter weirdness surrounding Harvin's season and plug him in to feel the Jetful jubilation.