The move comes a mere day after the Seahawks admitted they were working to expand Harvin's impact -- especially in the deep-passing game. Harvin had been a fantasy disappointment to date in 2014, with half of his 22 receptions coming behind the line of scrimmage. As a result, he averaged 6 yards per reception (lowest in the NFL among wide receivers with five receptions). He'd also only scored double-digit fantasy points once -- 10 points in Week 1.
New York Jets
The Jets suffered a loss to the Patriots on Thursday night largely because they lacked the ability to execute a big play to get them in the end zone, and instead had to settle for field goals. They're clearly hoping Harvin can solve that issue. The closest comparison I can think of for Harvin in a Marty Mornhinweg offense would be DeSean Jackson, but even Jackson didn't have Harvin's strength and ability to shed tacklers as easily as juke them.
Eric Decker had been a boon to the offense, but after him the talent drop off in the passing game is steep. If both can get healthy in a hurry (Decker is still battling a hamstring injury, while Harvin missed practice with a thigh injury this week), they could form a solid 1-2 combo for Geno Smith. Geno and Decker will each receive a bump up in value from the presence of Harvin on the field. However, Harvin owners should temper their expectations as he'll need to learn the playbook before being able to make any sort of significant contribution. Plus, the transition from Russell Wilson to Smith at quarterback could be a bit bumpy. Unless Mornhinweg opens up some super-secret pages of the playbook to specifically unleash Harvin's talents, he's a WR3 at best in fantasy until he proves otherwise and we see how the Jets intend to use him.
NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport mentioned on "Around the NFL" that the Seahawks had been testing the waters to trade Harvin for several weeks before reaching a deal with the Jets. While they gave up a minor fortune to acquire Harvin from the Vikings last season (three draft picks, including a first-round pick in 2013), they made it to the Super Bowl without his services. Russell Wilson has been a revelation in fantasy this season, and while some of that came from the mere threat of Harvin, Wilson is coming into his own as a signal-caller and will still be a QB1 moving forward.
Fantasy-wise, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse each receive a small bump up with Harvin's departure and are verging on WR3/4 territory. They had both seen the field more than Harvin, as they had 270 and 259 offensive snaps (respectively) to Harvin's 181. The name to watch in deeper leagues, however, is Paul Richardson, a rookie out of the University of Colorado. Richardson flashed his game-breaking speed during the preseason, and could be just the answer the Seahawks were looking for in their deep passing game. Stay tuned before making a move for any of these players.
While the passing game should still be OK, the real beneficiary here is Marshawn Lynch. We all know Beast Mode is a fantasy stud, but he only received 10 carries last week in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Moving Harvin could indicate that the team is heading back to their roots, which was when they ran the ball more than any other team in the NFL from 2012-2013. Beast Mode and his owners should be licking their chops at the prospect of an increased workload down the stretch.