The 13-year marriage between Marvin Harrison and the Indianapolis Colts is over.
Colts owner Jim Irsay announced Tuesday that the team has granted Harrison’s request to be released, a move that will have implications in fantasy football.
Harrison was one of the most productive and reliable wideouts in the league, posting eight consecutive seasons with 1,000-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns as the top option for Peyton Manning. Numbers like that made him a surefire No. 1 fantasy wideout across the board.
In 2007, though, Harrison’s value took an enormous blow when knee problems limited him to five games, 247 yards and one touchdown.
He returned to action last season, but Harrison and Manning never seemed to get back on the same page. The veteran wideout failed to produce even one 100-yard game, and his average of 10.6 yards per catch was a career low.
At 36, Harrison will be hard pressed to ever re-establish himself as an elite option in fantasy circles. Even if he lands with a team like the Philadelphia Eagles, where he would be reunited with former Syracuse teammate Donovan McNabb, Harrison would be no more than a No. 3 fantasy wideout.
With Harrison out of the mix, look for the value of Anthony Gonzalez to soar on rank lists.
Gonzalez, a third-year receiver from Ohio State, will become a far more prominent option in the Colts’ offense. He’ll never duplicate Harrison’s level of production at his prime, but Gonzalez should be good for 1,000-1,200 yards and six to eight touchdowns in an increased role.
Harrison’s absence should also benefit Reggie Wayne, who posted his best fantasy numbers the season Harrison was injured.