If you’re a fantasy football manager who has Najee Harris on the roster, you’re likely feeling some justified frustration after two weeks of the season. As one of those managers, let me tell you it can be easy to go into a fit of rage to drop Harris from your roster and go about the rest of the season. After all, you probably spent some significant draft capital to get him.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have given Harris a whopping 694 touches over the last two seasons, and he’s amassed 1,000+ scrimmage yards and 10 touchdowns in each campaign. However, it’s going to take a lot for him to replicate that success this season based on the first two weeks. He’s also got some competition with Jaylen Warren showing flashes of brilliance in the offense.
Fantasy outlook: Steelers RB Najee Harris
Harris’ Week 1 workload (6 carries, 2 receptions, 33 total yards) could largely be chalked up to game script. The Steelers were immediately in a big hole against the 49ers and couldn’t grind out the game with their big running back. However, the script in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns provided a bit more of a fit for what Harris’ managers might’ve hoped was a big game in terms of touches.
Instead, Harris was bottled up for most of the game. He got four yards and six carries before being seemingly being relegated to pass-blocking duty. Warren got a few carries and outgained Harris at the time. A lot of fans watching the game can see who the superior running back is, and eventually the Steelers are going to see it too.
Harris did rip off two big runs late in the third quarter and could still see touches going forward but the volume managers expected might not be there. If you’re relying on a running back to break off big runs on the handful of touches he’ll see, it’s tough to start him with confidence.
It’s worth keeping Harris around on your bench. Injuries and trades can happen, so you never know if Harris’ situation will change. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to trade him for anything of real value, although you could explore deals if someone else in your league has Warren rostered. Managers who have Nick Chubb and Jonathan Taylor may also need running back help, and they could potentially give you a decent depth piece back for Harris.
Starting Harris seems like a bad proposition going forward, but dropping him entirely after just a few weeks would be a bit rash. After all, the Steelers still like him and could use him in short-yardage and goal line situations. That’s all it really takes for a running back to remain relevant in fantasy football.