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Najee Harris - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

Najee Harris
PIT

RB PIT

#11 Running Back

215 Projected Points

ADP: Not Available
Bye: 7
Experience: 0 Yr(s)
Age: 23
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 230
40 Time: 4.52

Weekly Outlook

3d Projection

Med Floor

10.3

DS Projection

15.2

Consensus

38 other sites
15

Low Ceiling

19.6

Rest of
Season

13

Week 6 Projections
Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Pts
78 0.5 4.3 31.6 0.2 15.2
Weekly Writeup
Harris has followed an RB46 Week 1 finish by ranking RB7, RB1, RB5 and RB11. He comes off his best rushing outing to date to face a Seattle defense providing the 8th largest boost to RB scoring. The lack of Russell Wilson on the Seahawks side can only help game flow in Harris' favor.

Rest Of Way Outlook

Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Pts
62 0.4 4.2 32 0.2 13
Week 5
Harris enjoyed the best rushing day of his young career Sunday against the Broncos. His 23 rushing attempts beat his previous high by 7 -- both coming in Pittsburgh’s 2 victories so far. Harris took those for 122 yards and a short-range TD.

The rookie didn’t fare as well as usual in the passing game, catching just 2 of 5 targets. But even that represented a strong 20% target share, with Ben Roethlisberger attempting only 25 throws on the day.

Harris continues to dominate the Pittsburgh backfield and belongs in weekly fantasy lineups for just that reason. Week 6 might bring the best matchup yet. Seattle ranks just 25th in overall defensive DVOA and will begin a game without Russell Wilson for the 1st time since the QB entered the league.
Week 4
While the production hasn’t panned out the way many expected, Harris continues to be a compelling option, especially in leagues with any sort of PPR scoring. He gained 62 yards and a TD on his 15 carries vs. Green Bay. He also caught 6 of his 7 targets for 29 yards. Harris has seen 5 or more targets over the last 3 weeks, seeing 31 total over that span.

Going forward, the rushing yardage will be underwhelming on a week to week basis, but Harris can provide a safe floor with his pass-catching ability. The weeks where he finds the end zone, he will provide a strong fantasy performance.
Week 3
For the 3rd game in a row, Harris was unable to surpass 45 rushing yards. But with Ben Roethlisberger just looking to get rid of the ball as quickly as he could in a game they needed to push the ball downfield to give them a chance to win, Harris was targeted an amazing 19 times. His run after the catch ability allowed him to eclipse 100 yards. Certainly, his receiving prowess gave fantasy managers all the points they could have hoped for, but he was unable to reach 3 yards per carry against a fairly weak opponent despite being given a solid 14 carries.

Those who selected Harris on draft day did so with the promise of great volume, and that panned out this week, when he had 28 touches with excellent production. However, in the 2 games prior, he averaged 16 touches and failed to find much room to run behind a terrible run-blocking OL, and he’s failed to reach 3 yards per carry in all but 1 game. He should continue to produce, given a 95% or higher snap rate in each game while being heavily used as a receiver, giving him one of the best scoring floors in fantasy.
Week 2
For the 2nd week in a row, Harris played at least 95% of the snaps. But despite the Steelers talking in the preseason about being a run-first team, they are still heavily slanted toward the pass. As a result, Harris had just 10 rushing attempts, and behind a weak OL, he again failed to reach 4 yards per carry. However, he was very productive in the passing game, catching all 5 of his targets. And on his red zone catch, he broke a tackle and dove into the end zone for his first NFL TD.

Despite elite playing time, the workload has yet to catch up as he had just 15 touches this week. Assuming that Pittsburgh continues to throw the ball as often as possible, those drafting Harris based on a gargantuan workload may be disappointed. And despite an early schedule that’s been unimposing, the fact he’s running for just over 3 yards per carry is disappointing. Unless his efficiency or volume changes, he may be more of a RB2 than the RB1 that many were expecting on draft day.
Week 1
Harris played all 55 of Pittsburgh’s offensive plays. That’s the workhorse role we wanted — and expected. The negative is that the new-look O-line created very little push up front — another preseason expectation. So Harris wound up with only 45 yards on 16 carries, plus 1 catch (and 1 drop) on 3 targets. "I think we all knew as a team that we're still trying to get our identity," Harris told Steelers.com. "We knew we were going to start off kind of slow. That's not what we were hoping for. That's just part of building, but at the same token, Buffalo is a really good team.” We agree with Harris that Buffalo might end up being one of his tougher matchups all season. Week 2, though, brings about an easier on-paper matchup with the Raiders. Harris will remain a volume-based RB1 for that one.

Basic Stats Preseason Player Analysis

What You Need to Know:

  • An elite recruit, Harris (6’2, 230) committed to Alabama and stayed for 4 years.
  • The 23-year-old took on a larger role over the past 2 seasons, totaling 460 carries, 2,690 yards and 39 TDs. He added 70-729-11 receiving and showed excellent skills in that area — especially for a bigger back.
  • He finished his Alabama career with school records for rushing yards, rushing TDs and total TDs. Harris won the Doak Walker Award (nation’s top RB) for his senior campaign and earned consensus All-American status.
  • Harris lacks high-end long speed, but he’s an excellent athlete with top-end elusiveness.
  • He played through an ankle injury late in 2020 and didn’t test during the pre-draft process.
  • Pittsburgh saw enough to select him 24th overall as the RB1 (ahead of Travis Etienne/Javonte Williams). He participated in May OTAs.
  • In Pittsburgh, he profiles as a clear workhorse.
  • If there’s a road block, it’s a potential injury to Ben Roethlisberger (now 39). The Steelers’ O-line also lacks proven talent following the losses of Alejandro Villanueva, Maurkice Pouncey and Matt Feiler.
  • The Steelers lack a true handcuff, with Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland and Kalen Ballage sitting behind the rookie. McFarland’s worth watching, as he played under new OC Matt Canada at Maryland.
  • Canada — who was Pittsburgh’s QB coach last year — is expected to utilize more pre-snap motion. Harris commented in May that Pittsburgh’s blocking scheme “resembles a lot of what we [Alabama] did.”
  • Le’Veon Bell averaged 25 touches per game as a Steeler from 2013-2017. That’s just partial proof of HC Mike Tomlin’s desire to use 1 primary back, and it’s certainly within the range of outcomes for Harris.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line

In college, Harris checked boxes for tape, production, and size. Now in the pros, he’s poised to see high-end run volume immediately. That’ll help override any efficiency troubles due to a transitioning O-line.

Now, if Ben Roethlisberger can stay on the field, Harris will have a clear shot at RB1 value. He’s just not coming at a discount with a mid- Round 2 ADP.

Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

Steelers GM Kevin Colbert believes rookie RB Najee Harris is ready for a 3-down role right out of the gate. "Him coming in as a senior out of college, he has more experience than some of the other underclassmen, so I think that will help him transition," Colbert said. "He's coming out a traditional NFL-type offense that should help him transition." Harris has the experience and talent to capture a huge role this season. And there isn't a legitimate threat for work behind him on the depth chart. We only have 4 RBs projected for more opportunities (carries + targets) than Harris.

View all Najee Harris Shark Bites »

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has been impressed by how rookie RB Najee Harris has settled into the offense. "He doesn't seem lost. It's not too big for him. His head's not spinning," Roethlisberger said. "The most exciting part is once he gets it and it clicks and he goes full speed, it's going to be something to see." Harris has already made a few highlight-reel grabs in practice and is set up for a big workload right out of the gate. There's RB1 upside here.

View all Najee Harris Shark Bites »

Steelers RB Najee Harris played some 'X' receiver and slot receiver at rookie minicamp over the weekend, according to The Athletic's Mark Kaboly. "It appears that Harris will be used in the passing game as well and as more than just a checkdown option out of the backfield," Kaboly wrote. Harris racked up 70 catches over his final 2 seasons at Alabama and put some impressive receiving ability on tape. We're expecting him to immediately handle the majority of the ball-carrying and pass-catching work in Pittsburgh's backfield this season. The rookie has easy RB1 upside.

View all Najee Harris Shark Bites »

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.

View all Najee Harris Shark Bites »

Alabama RB Najee Harris landed with the Steelers at Pick #24 of the 2021 NFL Draft. The #1 overall recruit in the 2017 class, Harris had to wait behind some other star backs at Alabama before taking over the backfield the past 2 years. He finished his college career, though, with school records for rushing yards, rushing TDs and total TDs. Harris adds a stronger receiving profile than you’d normally find in a 230-pound back. His 70 receptions over the past 2 seasons produced 10.4 yards per catch and 11 TDs, and they included plenty of WR-type plays downfield. Adding 1st-round draft capital makes Harris a strong bet to load up on touches right away. And he has very little competition for touches in Pittsburgh. The concern is an offensive line that ranked dead last in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Line Yards last year. Still, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Harris score at the RB1 level in fantasy immediately.

View all Najee Harris Shark Bites »

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