In the first surprise trade of the young 2013 season, the Seahawks have acquired gifted young receiver Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for their first round selection (#25) and a seventh round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, plus a mid-round selection in 2014.
It’s no secret there’s been brimming acrimony between the moody Harvin and Minnesota’s coaching staff. Numerous reports have surfaced over the past year pertaining to his displeasure with his role in the offense, the direction of the organization and perceived ineptitude of the coaching staff. In recent days, Harvin had been said to have demanded a trade out of Minnesota and despite public comments otherwise, it appears as though the Vikings were more than willing to comply.
This trade has a huge impact in dynasty leagues, so let’s examine those who have had their values change as a result of this move.
Percy Harvin, WR SEA
We like the move for Harvin’s fantasy prospects looking forward. Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder lacks arm strength and the receiving corps lacks the playmakers needed to allow Harvin more opportunities to exploit opposing defenses.
Now paired with the mobile and charismatic Russell Wilson, Harvin should find more quality touches available when paired with the likes of Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and even Marshawn Lynch out of the backfield.
Harvin finished as the WR31 having played in only ten games in 2012. His prospects for 2013 and beyond are now far brighter than a day ago. Seattle will undoubtedly be signing him to a long-term contract.
Christian Ponder, QB MIN
Very little good can come, near-term, from this deal for Ponder. Percy Harvin was simply the most dynamic player on the Vikings roster and his production will be sorely missed. Ponder was the QB23 in 2012 and not even of quality backup status. His 2013 value will drop further and unless the Vikings are able to somehow replace Harvin’s dynamic with a combination of young receiver talent and free agency additions, this single trade could be the beginning of the end for Ponder. He just doesn’t possess the leadership, arm strength and intangibles to put this team upon his shoulders.
Adrian Peterson, RB MIN
All-Day Peterson will continue to get his touches and will churn out yardage, but without Harvin occupying opposing secondaries, he’ll see stacked boxes to a greater degree. We’re hesitant to downgrade him in light of this deal due to sheer talent, but this isn’t a positive development.
Jarius Wright, WR MIN
The biggest benefactor may be for the largely unknown Jarius Wright.
A fourth round rookie out of Arkansas in 2012, Wright amassed only 19 receptions for 220 yards and a single touchdown, but all of his production came in the final six games. As a capable route runner and quick-twitch athlete, in addition to being similarly sized to Harvin, there’s little doubt the Vikings believe they can call on Wright to help mitigate the loss. Wright excels underneath and off-the-line much in the same manner as Harvin and his speed can be utilized to stretch the field.
It may be too early to prognosticate Wright’s replacement-status for Harvin but should this be the case, he’ll be an excellent buy-low target.
The young tight end had already been on the rise as one of Ponder’s favorite targets and it’s easy to forecast a significant rise in value for the athletic Rudolph. His arrow is pointing up.
Russell Wilson, QB SEA
That inflating sound you hear is more air going into the Russell Wilson balloon. We love Wilson’s charisma, mobility and intangibles and having a quality target like Harvin is a huge benefit to his game and his 2013 fantasy prospects.
Wilson will be fighting against the expected Sophomore slump occurrence in 2013, but an addition like Harvin will go a long way toward tilting the odds of resisting the slump in Wilson’s favor. A top eight finish for him is not out of the question.
It’s hard to get excited about the prospects of existing Seahawk receivers. Sidney Rice and Golden Tate are sure to see less targets and fantasy owners have to hope for the “quality-target” argument to eventually play out.
Without knowing exactly what to expect with the Hawks’ new dynamic offense, we’d suggest that Rice’s quality deep targets will remain unaffected, but his short and intermediate targets will dip. For Golden Tate, it would seem to be more of a serious blow statistically. But it is far too early to predict with any level of accuracy.
Marshawn Lynch, RB SEA
On the surface, little should change for the bulldozer of a back. Lynch excels between the tackles and while Harvin should command a few touches within the run-game each week, we don’t expect serious degradation in Lynch’s numbers. In fact, Harvin’s existence in the offense could open up more screen opportunities. It remains to be seen if Harvin, rather than Lynch, will see these opportunities however. As a Seahawk, Lynch has yet to post significant numbers out of the backfield as a receiver.
In summary, this trade for the Seahawks is a significant development. With arguably one of the most dynamic young offenses in the league, the once fantasy-wasteland Seahawks have become a potential fantasy wonderland.
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