Every year, before the NFL season rolls around, the fantasy football nuts go a little crazy with anticipation and preparation. Whether it’s doing 100 mock drafts or reading every available article, the nuts unfailingly end up with one or more fantasy crushes before the season begins. That is a fact.
So, naturally, I’ve had my share of crushes over the years. I never crush on top 10 or even top 20 picks. In 2009, I was very partial toward Eddie Royal, DeSean Jackson, and Darren McFadden. In 2010, my main man became Percy Harvin.
I drafted Harvin in every single league (seven in all). Before people start laughing, I’ll say that Harvin fell to me in a few drafts; I did not actively target him in every draft because I like to diversify.
But, fate is fate, and Harvin was destined to be on every single team I managed. In Weeks 1-3, he compiled 106 receiving yards and one touchdown (Vikings were on a bye in Week 4). Those numbers are better left on the waiver wire.
Then, a miracle happened: Randy Moss returned to the Vikings. It doesn’t take a genius (or maybe it does) to figure out that Moss’s big-play ability will draw double coverage and open up the rest of the field. Who reaps the benefit of that open space? Why, Percy Harvin.
You see, there’s a reason why Wes Welker was a third round pick in fantasy football before his injury. Harvin now takes over Welker’s role as the bona fide slot receiver in Minnesota.
I liked Harvin as a fifth round pick before Sidney Rice’s surgery, despite the migraines (though Harvin’s ADP was far lower). After Rice’s surgery, I only liked Harvin more. Mistakenly, I thought that Harvin’s shift into the WR1 position would mean more targets, which would mean more yards and touchdowns, which would mean more fantasy points.
How silly. Very rarely can a wide receiver survive without another receiver to take some of the attention off. Bernard Berrian can barely call himself a receiver. As a result, Harvin saw minimal targets. He was the team’s top receiver, and everyone knew it. Shut him down, and you’ll shut the Vikings’ passing game down.
His dismal fantasy numbers were certainly not encouraging, but I still held out hope. It took me a lot longer to call McFadden and Royal busts last year. Harvin’s steady upward trend in receptions and yards was quite encouraging, in fact. In Week 1, he had one reception for 12 yards. In Week 2, he had five receptions for 32 yards. His Week 3 totals jumped to six receptions for 62 yards with a touchdown.
And, with Moss’s presence in the Week 5 lineup, Harvin finished with five receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Terrific numbers.
Okay, so one great week doesn’t vindicate my crush label, but it does show the world what Harvin can potentially do on a weekly basis. With a guy like Harvin who has 4.37 speed, every time he touches the ball is an exciting time. He could break one at any moment.
For me, every time Harvin touches the ball, I hold my breath. He’s an exciting player, but he’s even more exciting because he’s my ordained fantasy crush. I pray that he won’t turn out like 2009 Eddie Royal because disappointment two years in a row is tough to swallow.
I can only hope that Week 5′s game vs. the Jets was a preview of things to come.