Percy Harvin going to Seattle was one of the biggest moves of this fantasy offseason. It began the storyline of an arms race in the NFC West with every team pushing their poker chips to the center of the table, challenging each other to get better. This projection about Harvin missing the entire season is not too far removed from the current state of affairs. The latest news at this time indicates a possible return for the last few weeks of the regular season with the labral tear in his hip. The situation is still up in the air at this time, but the Footballguys resident doctor, Jene Bramel, weighed in on the subject in a recent article. So this is a very real possibility to survey the aftermath for the Seahawks offense. What would become of the Russell Wilson-led offense in the northwest without their newly signed weapon?
Marshawn Lynch, RB
Lynch has been one of the most efficient backs in the league for two years running. With Harvin on the sidelines, Seattle has every reason to stick with the game plan of 2012: a high volume of carries and passing when needed. Lynch will be active in the red zone, where he earns his fantasy livelihood, as Harvin has been active near the goal line throughout his career.
Without Harvin, the Seahawks would be content to run the ball with regularity. Considering Lynch is at the end of the typical prime window for power running backs, Michael will see the field more than a typical reserve option. After a few games of flashing what warranted Seattle drafting as a luxury best player available in the second round Michael will be hard to keep off the field.
Golden Tate, WR
Tate has progressed nicely in the two years since a rather forgettable rookie season. He was more efficient than Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin last season. Tate has had just three drops in his NFL career, one of the best rates in the NFL since 2010. Without Harvin as yet another mouth to feed, Tate goes from fantasy after-thought to trendy back-of-the-roster flyer.
Russell Wilson, QB
Wilson performed well without Harvin last season, so being without Seattle’s new weapon would be status quo for the second-year quarterback. With Harvin out of the mix, Wilson would maintain his rushing production from the second half of 2012. However, his passing potential, which has fueled the support for some ranking Wilson as a top-5 fantasy quarterback this season, would be capped.
Sidney Rice, WR
Rice would be the most well-known name in the passing game that fantasy owners would flock to without Percy Harvin in the picture. Rice finally stayed healthy for 16 games in 2012 after missing more games (17) than he played (15) in the prior two seasons. He was efficient on less than 80 targets last year as Seattle was all about the run game. The concerns are that the volume will still be lacking and that Rice will never regain the magic that was 2009 with Brett Favre’s final season in the sun.
Robert Turbin, RB
Turbin had a successful rookie season, but his low yards-after-contact is a troubling sign to be anything more than a change-of-pace type option. Turbin was most effective in the pass game. His low yards-after-contact marks on the ground signal a back that may not have the highest of ceilings if given a larger share of the backfield. Without Harvin, Seattle would be centered on the run game and Christine Michael has more physical upside to make a truly big impact.
Luke Willson, TE
Willson is an athletic project that, while a long shot to see significant time as a rookie, could be needed as a down-the-field weapon as Anthony McCoy was already out for the season prior to this projection with Harvin missing time as well.
Chris Harper, WR
Harper was an intriguing prospect as he impressed at the Senior Bowl before the NFL draft. Physically, he is as thick as any drafted receiver in the past decade. Previous examples that have developed into fantasy-viable options have included stud Andre Johnson and role players Josh Reed, Josh Morgan, and Mike Thomas – names from fantasy football past. Harper, like Willson, is more of a long-term project towards productivity, but one with enough physical ability to warrant adding on a fantasy bench with Harvin out of the mix.
Questions, suggestions, and comments are always welcome by emailing email@example.com.
More from Chad Parsons:
The New Reality No.28: Doubling Data Points - September 17
The New Reality No.27: Week 1 Whiplash - September 10
The New Reality No.26: Backfields in Motion - September 2
Final Tasks Heading into Week 1 - August 28
Targets and Landmines: Preference Planning - August 25
The New Reality No.25: Preseason Observations Week 2 - August 22
What if Andre Ellington is Lost for the Season? - August 18
What if Adrian Peterson is Lost for the Season? - August 15
The New Reality No.24 - Finding the Next Late-Round Wide Reciever Breakout - August 12
Going Deep: Preseason Observations Week 1 - August 12