New Steeler Najee Harris got the "3-down back" label from GM Kevin Colbert on Thursday night. “He’s a three-down back that played in an NFL system,” Colbert said after taking Harris 24th overall. “His one hidden trait is that he finds invisible yards at that second level. There are times when you think he should be going down and he finds 6, 7, 8 yards. It is really exciting to get a three-down back and add him to the team.” This is a "3-down back" label we can buy into considering Harris will be competing for touches with Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland. Pittsburgh's offensive line figures to be a problem for Harris. But volume trumps all in fantasy football, and the rookie has a shot to finish top 10 in total touches this season.
The Steelers have signed RB Kalen Ballage to a 1-year deal, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Ballage lands in a backfield with plenty of opportunity currently available. We'll see, though, whether Pittsburgh adds a RB in the draft. We'd bet on the Steelers doing so, with the big question being how early. Ballage saw surprising touch volume with the Chargers last season, after injuries knocked out Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson. But he averaged only 3.3 yards per rush and 5.0 per reception. If you want to take a shot on Ballage at the very end of best-ball drafts, there's little risk. But we'd hope to see more touches go to Anthony McFarland -- who sure looks like he has a higher ceiling -- than Ballage. Even Benny Snell would probably still be a better bet for carries on the current depth chart.
Steelers RB James Conner is returning from his quad injury for today's game vs. the Colts, but it sounds like Benny Snell might remain the lead back. "The overall arrow of the trajectory of his play has been an upward one, and he has merited more playing time, and he'll get more playing time because of it," HC Mike Tomlin said this week. Conner has fallen short of 3.2 yards per carry in 4 of his last 5, while Snell has fared pretty well in a few starts in place of Conner. This is a backfield to try to avoid in Week 16 fantasy lineups, but Snell looks like the better bet of the 2.
The Ravens had no new positive COVID tests on Saturday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, and their game vs. the Steelers is still on for Tuesday night. QB Lamar Jackson, RB J.K. Dobbins and RB Mark Ingram -- along with a host of others -- will miss the game on the Baltimore side. Pittsburgh will be without RB James Conner.
Steelers RB Anthony McFarland sustained a concussion in Thursday's practice, according to The Athletic's Mark Kaboly. We'll see when the rookie is cleared, but he's off the redraft radar for now. Benny Snell will enter the season as Pittsburgh's #2 RB -- and the handcuff to James Conner.
The Steelers selected Maryland RB Anthony McFarland in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Watch McFarland’s 298-yard, 2-TD dismantling of Ohio State back in 2018 and you’d think he’s 1 of the top backs in this class. That was part of an impressive redshirt freshman season that saw him tally 1,034 yards on 7.9 yards per carry. 39 of his 131 carries went for 10+ yards that year. McFarland took a colossal step back this past season, though, battling through a high-ankle sprain and totaling just 614 yards on 114 carries (5.4 YPC). He’s also fairly inexperienced in the passing game, with only 24 catches across the past 2 years. But McFarland’s flashes are exciting. And the 5’8, 208-pounder confirmed his big-play ability with a 4.44-second 40 time at the Combine. He’s an intriguing addition to Pittsburgh’s backfield alongside James Conner, Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels.
Steelers RB Benny Snell (knee) was a full-go in Wednesday's practice. That puts him on track to play against the Bengals this weekend. Snell figures to mix in on early downs alongside Jaylen Samuels -- assuming James Conner is out.
Steelers RB Benny Snell is expected to miss 2-3 weeks after undergoing surgery to trim the meniscus in his injured knee. That means RB Jaylen Samuels will be locked into a feature role against the Colts this Sunday if RB James Conner's shoulder injury keeps him out.
Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels (knee) is "ready to go" for Week 9, HC Mike Tomlin said Tuesday. Samuels was a full-go in practice all last week before being ruled inactive for Monday night's game against Miami. His return comes at a good time after RBs James Conner (shoulder) and Benny Snell (knee) both left the Dolphins game with injuries. Conner reportedly has a shot to play against the Colts this weekend. But Samuels should be owned in all fantasy leagues at this point.
Steelers rookie RB Benny Snell left Monday night's game against the Dolphins with a knee injury and has been ruled out. Pittsburgh led comfortably in the 2nd half when Snell's status was announced, but ruling Snell out points to an issue at least worth watching. RB Jaylen Samuels appears on the verge of returning, which would marginalize Snell's role anyway.
Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels is inactive for tonight's game against the Dolphins. He entered the night questionable after returning to full practices all week. But Samuels is just 3 weeks removed from arthroscopic knee surgery. It's undoubtedly a good thing Pittsburgh decided to rest him at least another week rather than push Samuels back for a game in which the offense shouldn't need him. Samuels' absence keeps Benny Snell in the #2 RB role.
Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels in questionable for Monday night's game against the Dolphins but appears likely to play. He told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he's "real close" to 100% and put in full practices all week. Samuels seems likely to play, though it'll be risky to wait on him unless you have another Monday night play to sub in. The matchup with Miami does add some sleeper appeal.
Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Monday and is expected to be sidelined for a month, HC Mike Tomlin said. That makes Samuels droppable outside of deep fantasy leagues. His absence leaves rookie Benny Snell as Pittsburgh's #2 RB but should really lock James Conner into a workhorse role.
The Steelers selected RB Benny Snell in Round 4 of the NFL Draft. The 5'10, 224-pounder posted big rushing numbers at Kentucky, topping 1,000 yards in each of his 3 seasons en route to career totals of 3,873 yards and 48 rushing scores. He caught a just-decent 29 passes but flashed worthwhile hands on tape. In Pittsburgh, Snell will have to battle Jaylen Samuels to back up James Conner. Samuels showed well late in 2018, with Conner out. The starter will be in the final year of his rookie contract in 2020, giving Snell a bit of appeal later in dynasty rookie drafts. He doesn't look like an asset to chase, though.
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