N’Keal Harry is a polarizing figure in dynasty circles, is he a buy or sell? That’s what we take a look at in this article.
The life of a rookie wide receiver in New England is a difficult one. It is a very challenging system to pick up and integrate into, with a large reliance on option routes. Last year N’Keal Harry had an even larger set of hurdles to overcome. He was joining a win-now team that needed him from day 1 to get the offense functioning at full tilt.
Then in the preseason Harry injured his ankle and was placed on IR with the option to return. Harry was facing an uphill battle already and this injury just made things tougher. He showed flashes down the stretch but heading into his sophomore year, is a potential breakout player? Or is he a player to sell now before the bottom falls off his price?
N’Keal Harry Buy or Sell: The Positives
Coming out of college N’Keal Harry was a highly touted prospect with an impressive resume:
Harry combined Size (6’2” 228lbs), agility, and a track record of producing in college. He then topped it all off with day 1 draft capital going to the Patriots with the 32nd pick. Being Honest I was very high on Harry last year. Advocating taking him at the 1.03 in rookie drafts behind Sanders and Jacobs and was looking forward to a long fruitful career.
Returning from his Injury in week 10 Harry showed flashes in his rookie season. Finishing with 12 receptions for 105 yards and 2 TD’s on 24 targets along with 5 rushes for 49 yards.
If you watch the film there are certainly some flash plays:
And you can see the potential of a big-bodied moveable chess piece that is. Strong at the catch point and dynamite in the open field is an intriguing one. Certainly, the TD vs the Chiefs (called back) shows what he can do given the opportunity.
3 months ago I was very high on Harry. I felt that with Brady leaving, it was going to give him the opportunity to act as the true alpha receiver he could be. (I had predicted Edelman would follow Brady out the door).
This opinion was only helped by the Cam Newton signing. Cam helped produce some very strong fantasy production from similar body type receivers;
- Kelvin Benjamin (WR16 in 2014 and WR27 in 2016)
- Devin Funchess (WR21 in 2017)
I saw N’Keal Harry having a clear path to productivity and therefore fantasy relevancy.
N’Keal Harry Buy or Sell: The Negatives
Rookie production can be a really early sign of things to come. If you look at all the rookie receivers since 2000 ranked by the fewest receiving yards in their rookie season it is a complete list of first round busts and certainly isn’t the type of company Harry wants to be in for his career.
|11||R. Jay Soward||2000||22||1-29||JAX||13||2||34||14||154||11.00||1||11.8||41.2%||4.53|
Furthermore, recent reports out of camp have me very concerned. The report from Mike Reiss (ESPN Beat Reporter for the Patriots) suggested that Harry is out of shape and going missing during drills. The Patriots don’t strike me as the type of organization to put up with this type of attitude- particularly from a sophomore receiver.
I worry that Harry is going to be lost in New England. Therefore, not putting up the production his potential would allow.
According to DLF’s trade analyzer, Harry is currently valued somewhere between a 2021 1st and a 2021 2nd. He is also going as the WR38 (ADP78) in DLF’s August ADP.
Both Harry’s trade value and his startup cost scare me. For that same price, I could instead come away with Christian Kirk (WR37) or Diontae Johnson (WR40). Both of which I think offer a much higher floor and a greater chance of breaking out than Harry.
At his value, I think it’s too much of a risk-reward bet. You are paying a premium price for a player that hasn’t produced but has the potential to breakout. I would prefer the players like Kirk or Johnson who have shown more consistent production in the NFL.
The potential reward from Harry is huge- there is no denying that. If he does hit, he is the type of prospect who could end up being a top 10 Dynasty receiver. However, for me, I think at his current cost he is a sell and a sell now before any remaining value he holds disappears. I would certainly much rather take that 2021 1st and move forward with that.
Image Credit: David Kohl – USA TODAY Sports