Bills Sign Percy Harvin
One of Harvin’s wants this offseason reportedly was to be “more than a gadget guy.” In Buffalo, he gets that chance, as the Bills will likely feature LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins as their top two offensive weapons. However, next up on the touch pecking order includes guys like Fred Jackson, Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin. While Harvin has lined up all over the place in the past, one can assume there’s a chance for him to see plenty of snaps in the slot, as Watkins and Woods are outside receivers. If need be, however, Harvin can also line up outside.
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Last year, Harvin played five games with Seattle and eight games with the Jets. He managed 1.80 yards per pass route run, which had him top 30 for wide receivers with more than 25% snaps played. This was despite his shoddy quarterback situation in New York. Beyond that, Harvin was top 30 in overall PFF grade, and top 30 in yards after catch per reception while with the Jets.
With Seattle, his catch rate was stellar, catching 22 of 26 targets. Nine of his 76 targets were 20+ yards downfield, while 19 of his targets were 10+ yards downfield. Distilling all this information, Harvin does most of his work in the shorter part of the field and still has solid ability, so if Matt Cassel and E.J. Manuel dink and dunk, Harvin stands to benefit.
In 2014 as a team, the Bills threw the ball 577 times with quarterbacks. This put them in the top half of the league, while their 402 carries put them in 20th of 32 teams. These rankings might flip, as the McCoy addition with Jackson, Boobie Dixon and Bryce Brown in tow should ensure the Bills fit comfortably in the top half in terms of rushing volume.With Cassel and Manuel as quarterbacks, throws should be limited, especially if the defense plays well and games are close. This, along with his specific role, are where Harvin’s uncertainties come into play.
As far as how this affects other Buffalo players from a fantasy perspective, Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin are hurt the most. Harvin shouldn’t see a ton of carries, so McCoy and Jackson’s values don’t take too much of a hit. This also slightly increases the value of whichever Buffalo quarterback starts, though neither will be more than a QB2 with limited upside in fantasy.
Harvin will be one of the more interesting cases in fantasy this year. As outlined, there is upside and talent, but there is downside as well, especially if he repeats his injury-filled 2012 and 2013 or disappointing 2014. I’d call him a WR3 or WR4 depending on how much risk your other wide receivers on your squad have. Our very early projections are in line with that thought, as they stand at 74 catches, 804 receptions, 19 rushes, 121 rush yards and 5 total touchdowns.
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