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Rookie Watch: Harvin not yet worthy of fantasy starting spot

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Football fans like to refer to guys who can go the distance on any down as home run hitters. In that case, call Percy Harvin the sultan of such players. Harvin proved at the University of Florida that he can be effective in any formation, and he makes his teammates better simply because defenses must account for where Harvin is at all times. And Harvin's 4.41 40-yard time at the combine does not do justice to how quick and elusive he can be with a full set of pads on. A reported positive marijuana test turned off a few NFL teams at April's NFL Draft, but Minnesota, in need of weapons to complement all-world running back Adrian Peterson, snagged Harvin with the 22nd pick of round one.

Dissecting the depth chart: The Vikings have a pair of pretty good backs positioned in front of Harvin, but at the wide receiver position the University of Florida standout can fit right in. Bobby Wade led Minnesota with 53 catches in 2008, but Bernard Berrian was the clear No. 1 target with 48 grabs, seven touchdowns and a team high for yards (964). Sidney Rice fits into the picture, as well, but Harvin is a much different type of weapon, and will find a place in a crowded or thin receiving corps. Many suspect the team will use him in a variety of sets --sometimes lined up in the backfield, sometimes stretched out wide, same as was the case at Florida -- which will allow both he and Adrian Peterson to be on the field at the same time.

Just the stats: In 2008, Harvin collected 110 offensive touches and found the end zone 17 times -- one of the most efficient scoring seasons in college football history. He averaged 9.4 yards per carry and 16.1 yards per reception. In fact, during his three seasons with the Gators, Harvin never had less than a nine-yards-per-carry average in any one year. His best game of 2008 came in the upset loss to Mississippi: 13 receptions, 268 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2007, he caught a pass of 20 or more yards in each of the 11 games he played.

2008 rookie comparison: Felix Jones, Cowboys

Both are explosive players capable of beating teams via the run or the pass. Though limited to just six games last season, Jones averaged 8.9 yards per carry. He was a clear difference maker in the games he did play, and was missed in the second half of the season when the wheels fell off in Big D. There is a good chance Harvin will bring the same type of feel to the Vikings offense, used efficiently on select plays and game situations.

Interesting fact that won't help you: According to Gators coach Urban Meyer, Harvin played the BCS National Championship Game against Oklahoma with a hairline fracture in his right lower leg and a high ankle sprain. Despite those injuries he totaled 170 yards of offense and a touchdown in the 24-14 Florida win.

What he's worth: Harvin will not be an every-down player, and thus not fantasy starter material. He is worthy of a late round selection as a bye week fill in, probably as a No. 4 or 5 receiver pick. His Average RapidDraft Position (ARDP) is 163rd overall.

Fantasy owners may see a few big games from Harvin in 2009, either as a receiver or rusher, and his stock should only climb in future years as Minnesota's coaching staff continues to find ways to use him to the fullest in the offense.