The Seahawks held Percy Harvin out of Wednesday's practice for "not-injury-related" reasons. He missed Thursday and Friday's sessions with an alleged thigh injury. On Friday night, Seattle traded Harvin to the Jets in exchange for what is reported to be a conditional mid-round draft choice. Despite an enormous amount of buzz created by the Harvin move, I'm not sold the fantasy impact will be dramatic for him or any other Jets or Seahawks skill-position player. Let's take a look.
Percy Harvin -- Harvin jumps from a Seattle team averaging 28 pass attempts to a Jets offense throwing the ball 35 times per game. Despite the relatively large disparity in passing volume, New York only averages one more completion per game than Seattle (19.6 to 18.6). It is conceivable that Harvin will help Geno Smith's 57.3 completion rate as a high-percentage route runner with an 84.6 catch rate on the season, and 76.5 catch rate in 2012 with Christian Ponder at QB. Harvin was averaging 2.2 rushing attempts per game in Seattle, and my guess is the Jets will also get him involved on the ground, perhaps at Chris Johnson's expense. In the passing game, I think Harvin has a bit more opportunity with Gang Green, even if his new quarterback is much less efficient than his old one. There's a chance Harvin's fantasy value will rise slightly in New York. He could also see more playing time after logging only 60.1% of the snaps under Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell.
Harvin averaged 5.2 targets per game as a Seahawk. His fantasy owners should hope Harvin sees closer to seven per game as a Jet.
It's worth noting that Harvin will now endure two bye weeks. The Seahawks' bye was in Week 4. The Jets' bye is in Week 11. Harvin also "misses" Week 7 because the Jets already played their Week 7 game, on Thursday night against New England.
Geno Smith -- The Jets' biggest offensive failures have been in the red zone, where 5-foot-11, 192-pound Harvin may not help much. Of Harvin's last 18 receiving touchdowns in the NFL, only three have occurred inside the ten-yard line. He's obviously not a fade-route receiver, and generally needs to be manufactured touches for his talent to be maximized. Russell Wilson was actually less effective with Harvin on the field this season. Per ESPN Stats & Info, Wilson has a Total QBR of 45.3 with Harvin in the game, and a 71.0 QBR with Percy off of it. Ultimately, I do think Harvin will help Geno's chances of completing more passes, and offers more big-play ability than Jeremy Kerley in what figures to be a similar role. With a theoretically improved supporting cast, Geno is a better two-quarterback-league option.
Doug Baldwin -- On pace for 52 catches, 599 yards, and no touchdowns through five games, Baldwin has struggled while being shoehorned into Golden Tate's old role on the perimeter of Seattle's offense. He's simply been miscast playing outside. With Harvin gone, Baldwin should be able to focus on slot routes for which his skill set is best suited. Look for Jermaine Kearse, Ricardo Lockette, and perhaps rookie Paul Richardson to take over as the Seahawks' new perimeter receivers. As his volume projects to increase, Baldwin figures to be a steadier PPR option. He has a chance to vault from a WR5 to a WR3/4. Despite playing only 60% of the Seahawks' offensive snaps, Harvin led the team in targets with 26. Baldwin had 24. Baldwin should inherit Harvin's role while playing a lot more downs.
Eric Decker -- I don't think much changes for Decker, who should remain the 1A receiver in New York's offense as Harvin becomes the 1B. So long as his oft-balky hamstring holds up, Decker will offer sneaky WR2 value week to week. He'll work in three-receiver packages with Harvin and either Kerley or Greg Salas.
Luke Willson -- This is pure speculation, but it's reasonable to think Willson's usage could rise with Harvin out of the equation. The Seahawks could use more two-tight end packages when Willson (groin) and Zach Miller (knee) get healthy, cutting back on three-receiver sets. Willson is still only a low-end TE2 with mid-range TE2 upside.
Jeremy Kerley -- Kerley's already limited value may bottom out. Harvin runs similar routes and is a more dynamic, target-commanding presence between the numbers.
Jace Amaro -- Coming on over the past month, Amaro's box scores can't be helped by New York's wideout upgrade. He'll fall from the No. 2 or 3 option in the Jets' passing game to No. 3 or 4. Amaro holds plenty of Dynasty league stash appeal, but probably won't become a reliable re-draft TE1 this year.
Marshawn Lynch -- Lynch's 4.64 YPC is up considerably from last year's 4.18 due in large part to Harvin's presence, which put stress on the defense with misdirection, deception, sweeps, and screen plays. That said, it's certainly within the realm of possibility that Lynch's run-game volume rises without Harvin stealing a few carries per game, and an increased overall run-game emphasis with Seattle losing one of its top receivers. Lynch carried the ball only ten times in last week's loss to Dallas. Before the Harvin trade, I was confident that would end up as Lynch's season low. I'd be even more confident now.
Chris Ivory -- Entrenched as the Jets' lead back, Ivory could see a slight bump in rushing efficiency with Harvin in the fold. I think Chris Johnson is likelier to lose a few carries per game than Ivory if OC Marty Mornhinweg uses his new chess piece as specialty-package rusher. And I fully expect he will.
Russell Wilson -- Losing playmakers never helps a quarterback, but Harvin wasn't really a big-time playmaker for Wilson. Not only was Wilson's Total QBR down with Harvin on the field, Seattle's quarterback got zero touchdowns and a lame 6.0 yards-per-reception average from his supposed No. 1 receiver. Seattle running the ball even more post-Harvin would hurt Wilson. But, independently, I don't think losing Harvin does. The Seahawks were using Harvin as a screen-pass receiver. They may throw the ball downfield a bit more with Harvin gone.
Jets D/ST -- Harvin figures to return kickoffs in New York, where he won't struggle to upgrade on Saalim Hakim's 21.5-yard average. Harvin's addition won't suddenly render the Jets' defense and special teams an every-week fantasy starter, but should make it a more attractive streamer when Rex Ryan's unit takes on bad offenses. With the Bills (twice), Vikings, and Titans left to play, the Jets will face a lot more of those in the second half of the season than they did in the initial seven games.
Jermaine Kearse -- Already playing 88% percent of the Seahawks' offensive snaps over the past three weeks, Kearse has little room for growth in the playing-time department. Third on the Seahawks in targets (19), Kearse does have room for opportunity growth. Although he is likely to remain a touchdown-dependent WR4/5, Kearse could see a target or two more per game simply because he'll more frequently be Wilson's first or second read on pass plays. Kearse still needs to pick up his scoring to become a serious fantasy asset. He has only one TD through five games. After the Harvin trade, I checked my waiver wire in a deep-bench 12-team league and saw that Kearse was a free agent. I added him as my WR6 and will have Kearse as an open-date option with Jordy Nelson, Dez Bryant, and Rueben Randle all yet to have their byes.
Ricardo Lockette, Paul Richardson, Bryan Walters -- Walters has played 54 snaps, fourth most among Seattle wideouts. Situational deep threat Lockette has played 52. Second-round rookie Richardson has played 38. I'm sure the Seahawks would love for Richardson to make major strides quickly and assume third receiver duties, but to this point both Walters and Lockette have played ahead of him. As the Seahawks' low-volume passing attack often struggles to support one fantasy-viable receiver each week, it's hard to imagine it suddenly supporting a No. 3. Richardson is worth a flier in Dynasty leagues, but expecting any real re-draft impact from this group would be a mistake.