tags -- fantasy football 2013 Percy Harvin keeper Russell Wilson sleeper Doug Baldwin dynasty Sidney Rice draft
With the Percy Harvin trade to Seattle, people are asking me two things:
1) How do I think this will affect Percy Harvin for Fantasy Football?
2) Can Seattle be beaten for the Super Bowl chase?
How this will affect Harvin for Fantasy Football 2013...
You are probably asking the wrong guy this question...
I have no new histrionics to offer about how awesome Percy Harvin will be in Seattle. The reason I cannot add to the excitement (and many of you long time readers can give me an "amen" on it) is that I was the one (or the computer was) beating a drum for years that Harvin was one of the ten best players in the NFL, and that he was one of the ten most underutilized players until 2012, and that he was one of the top 3-5 WRs for Fantasy Football every preseason.
Nothing has changed, except now he gets a better QB to work with. Which is great, but he was already getting major targets and catches in 2012. We have seen Harvin be a focal point for the Vikings offense, and we have seen him produce amazing numbers. Nothing much changes in Seattle. I am not sure how he could get radically better. He was great before; he will be great this year...if he is on the field.
The other thing that does not change with the geography is Harvin's mysterious bouts with injury, nor his whining and "special handling" needs. Giving him millions in guaranteed bonus and tens of millions in salary are not likely to help solve either of those lingering issues. If you did not like Harvin because of this before, you should not be in any different mindset now.
The Fantasy Football winners with the Percy Harvin arrival are:
Russell Wilson -- He is already arguably the best Fantasy Football QB in the 2012 rookie class, and now the discussion begins on whether Wilson is a top 3-5 overall QB for Fantasy 2013. We have beaten that drum as well. Harvin only speeds up the process of further statistical greatness for Wilson.
Sidney Rice -- This goes without saying. Harvin offers cloud cover for all the other WRs, RBs, and TEs. Rice with Wilson + Harvin can only mean bigger things for Rice in 2013. Rice is also in the next section as well...
The Fantasy Football loser with the Percy Harvin arrival is:
Doug Baldwin -- I thought Baldwin was a very undervalued, underrated commodity for the NFL/FF. Any chance of Baldwin as a starting #2 WR in Seattle just ended. He may be a "better than we think" weapon as a 3rd-down WR this season, but not enough to make him Fantasy viable or awesome in 2013. The only hope at Baldwin FF-value in 2013 is if Seattle moves him to another team or releases him (doubtful).
Sidney Rice -- He may need to be traded or released to create more cap space. Rice is slated to make $8.5M in 2013 or Seattle takes a $3.6M unamortized signing bonus hit to cut him instead. I would lean 70/30 that they won't dump Rice, but it is possible. A restructure is probably in order.
Golden Tate -- Our computer has never liked him, so we are always betting against greatness with him no matter what the situation.
Is Seattle the favorite to win the Super Bowl?
When the 2012-13 playoffs began, I proclaimed Seattle as the best team in the NFL. So, adding Harvin is not going to change that position. A week ago, if I had to bet my house on one team to win the next Super Bowl, I would have bet on Seattle. I will now throw the wife and kids in on that wager post-Harvin acquisition.
If I had to pick one team to win it all this upcoming season it would be Seattle, but do I think they will win the Super Bowl? No.
The last two Super Bowls have been claimed by teams that should not have won. Does the clear-cut preseason favorite ever win the Super Bowl? I will take "the field" over Seattle. Picking just one team with my life riding on it, I will take Seattle.
The Harvin Deal "winner"...
People are going "oh boy, Seattle is really unstoppable now with Percy Harvin." That's only true-ish if Harvin plays a majority of the games and doesn't flake out. With the current high praise for Seattle, so too comes the consensus kicks to the groin for the Vikings. I think that is the wrong evaluation of this deal. I would proclaim the winner in this deal "big picture" to be Minnesota. To add further praise...Minnesota is not that far away from being the team that faces Seattle in the Seahawks inevitable Super Bowl run.
The Vikings received a 1st and 7th-round pick this year, plus a 3rd-round pick next year. At the same time, they ditched a problematic, injury-prone WR. A WR who just signed a six-year, $67M contract with a $15M signing bonus and an average of $10M+ salary a year. The Vikings went on a tear once Harvin was shelved late last season. You look at the Vikings WR depth chart and think they have the worst WRs known to mankind...and they do. It's the same group of nothingness that whacked Chicago-St. Louis (who was still in it)-Houston-Green Bay in succession to end 2012. The Vikings beat four teams that were in must-win situations...and did it all without Harvin.
The WR position is one of the easier positions to change NFL fortune on via free agency, the NFL Draft, and among undrafted free agents (granted it hasn't seemed that easy for the Vikings of late).
If not for Christian Ponder's fluke injury pre-playoffs, could it have been Minnesota hoisting the Super Bowl trophy a few weeks ago? You think that's crazy? In Week-14 this past season, if I told you that Baltimore would win the Super Bowl via a playoff run highlighted by a fluke Jacoby Jones late game TD bomb versus a prevent defense at Denver...would you have believed me (although that would have been a pretty specific prediction)? What if I had also predicted an upcoming $20M average per year contract for Joe Flacco as well? A healthy Vikings team versus Ravens in the Super Bowl this year...I would have taken the Vikings.
If stud WRs equated to Super Bowl wins, then the Detroit Lions would be on their "one for the thumb" campaign in 2013-14. Arizona and Houston would have one or two titles under their belt as well this past decade. The five highest paid WRs for 2013 (pre-free agency deals or reworked contracts) in order: Santonio Holmes, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Sidney Rice, DeSean Jackson. Those five WRs combined for two playoff wins and two fired coaches in 2013...and two coaches on a hot seat for the 2013 season.
I applaud the Vikings restraint in not mortgaging the future for an expensive headache of a WR who wanted out. Instead, the Vikings turned the situation into lemonade. The Vikings fleeced the Browns in the last NFL Draft to let them expensively take Trent Richardson. The Vikings made a solid trade here with Seattle to acquire highly coveted draft picks.
In past years, 1st-round draft picks were expensive...and high pick mistakes were franchise crippling. Now, however, the great NFL teams of the future will be built via having as many draft pick contributors as possible. The new rookie wage scale favors teams that draft exquisitely. The Vikings had an excellent draft in 2012. One more great draft in 2013, and the Vikings are on the verge of becoming a dominant force in the NFC...with money to spend on needed items.
Both sides were smart in this deal. However, Seattle is the one gambling the most here, not Minnesota. Seattle is making an expensive play for one of the ten best weapons in the NFL. Seattle was already a Super Bowl contender, now they are going for the throat by adding Percy Harvin. Seattle took the approach of trying to win versus playing not to lose. Instead of playing it safe, Seattle is going "all in." If this doesn't work for Seattle, it could set the locker room and franchise aback. Minnesota is playing the NFL game board more pragmatically.
Seattle walked into the casino with $1,000 and placed $500 on one hand only of blackjack (Harvin). A quick 50% return on their money in 30 seconds and then walk away to go party...or go home down $500 with their spouse pointing their disapproving finger of judgment at them.
Minnesota walked into the casino with $1,000 as well, but they tucked $300 of it in their sock to make sure they have a reserve as needed. They also borrowed a couple hundred from Seattle. Then they began playing multiple hands of blackjack at $50 per hand and are slowly trying to build up a war chest based on a sophisticated card counting system. They too may go broke, but not as quickly or likely. In time, their multi-tiered strategy could allow them to double their money, but it may take a little longer.
I think both sides made shrewd tactical decisions on this deal. The best way to put it is -- I think Seattle is the favorite to win it all in 2013-14, and Minnesota potentially a favorite in 2014-15.
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