Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin has stated that he will undergo surgery on his hip making his availability for the 2013 uncertain.
Acquired by Seattle during the offseason in a blockbuster deal with Minnesota, Harvin was expected to add a missing playmaking dimension to the team’s passing attack.
However, those plans will go on hold as Harvin is expected to undergo surgery on Thursday, which would cause him to miss roughly three months.
Depending on how the surgery goes and how well Harvin recovers, he could open the season on the Physically Unable to Perform List, returnable injured reserve or normal injured reserve, which would cause him to miss the entire season.
With Harvin in the fold, Seattle had emerged as a trendy Super Bowl pick, providing the offense with a dual threat as a receiver or runner as well as providing a threat on special teams as a returner.
Harvin’s loss is a major blow to Seattle’s offense and quarterback Russell Wilson in particular. While Rice and Tate are solid receivers, neither is regarded as a true leading wide receiver.
Rice remains injury prone and Tate, while providing explosive big plays last season, remains an inconsistent performer. With Harvin out, Wilson becomes a lower tier QB1 or upper tier QB2 in 10-team leagues.
Rice and Tate see their fantasy values increase with Rice becoming a little more trustworthy as a lower tier WR3. It should be noted that he is having injury problems of his own. Rice is currently in Switzerland, where he is having a non-surgical procedure on his knee.
While he doesn’t play the same inside position as Harvin, Tate sees his fantasy value increase the most as he moves from being a backup in an offense that loves to run to the starting lineup. Given the inconsistency he has shown throughout his career, he is best drafted as a WR4 with upside.
Doug Baldwin will take over the slot position for Harvin. Baldwin is coming off a season filled with injury which saw him catch 29 passes for 366 yards and 3 TDs. Those numbers should increase with Harvin out but his fantasy value maxes out as a WR4.
As for Harvin, barring a miraculous recovery, it is difficult to see him providing any fantasy value in 2013. Even an optimistic recovery period would see him available for a few games at the end of the season and it would be hard to stick him in your starting lineup at that point.
Tight end Zach Miller sees his fantasy value move a tick higher but that’s not a bill of goods that fantasy owners should be buying.
At running back, Marshawn Lynch becomes an even more valuable commodity as he will take away most of the carries the coaching staff was planning on giving Harvin. He is a rock solid, mid-tier RB1 provided he keeps himself out of trouble.