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Damien Harris start or sit: Week 12 fantasy football advice

We break down the fantasy football outlook of Damien Harris ahead of the Patriots’ Week 12 matchup against the Vikings.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 30: Damien Harris #37 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball as D.J. Reed #4 of the New York Jets defends during the first half at MetLife Stadium on October 30, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The New England Patriots will look to string together their first four-game winning streak of the season as they prepare to face the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving. The Patriots’ game plan for success has been simple: play mistake-free football as they lean heavily into the run game and win the time of possession. That strategy means that running back Damien Harris could be worth a look among fantasy lineups this week.

Fantasy Football analysis: Patriots RB Damien Harris

Harris finished with 11.0 PPR fantasy points last week after totaling 93 combined yards from scrimmage on eight carries with two receptions. Despite being outgained by Rhamondre Stevenson on the ground his final total of rushing yards was his highest total since Week 4, and there should be no reason to consider that the Patriots will deviate away from the run game. The Vikings are ranked 18th against the run and allow 121.6 yards per game on the ground, which is a weakness that Bill Belichick should surely exploit.

Minnesota also gives up 18.9 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs which is the 12th-most in the NFL. Despite the likelihood that Harris will compete with Stevenson for the share of fantasy points, the Vikings’ susceptible run defense is too good a reason to keep one’s faith in Harris this week. At best he can provide potential RB1 upside, and at worst the Patriots’ reliance on the run game makes him worthy of some flex appeal.

Start or sit in Week 12?

It’s truly anyone’s guess as to who has the hot hand in the Patriots’ backfield, but Harris should remain involved regardless in this matchup. Despite taking a backseat to some extent to Stevenson, Harris should continue to see opportunities and thus remains a viable option to start in fantasy lineups.