Steelers RB Najee Harris caught 1 of 2 Steelers TD passes in Sunday's win over the Buccaneers. That came on 1 of his 2 catches for 7 total yards. Harris added a mere 42 rushing yards on 14 carries (3.0 per attempt). He did, at least, work well ahead of rookie Jaylen Warren, who totaled just 2 touches for 2 yards (both on the ground). Harris gets a tough Miami run defense in Week 7 and then a tough-all-over Philly matchup in Week 8.
Steelers RB Najee Harris ended Week 2 with 10 carries for 43 rushing yards vs. the Browns. Teammate Jaylen Warren logged 20 rushing yards on 6 carries in addition to hauling 4 catches on 6 targets for 66 yards as a receiver. Most of Harris' yardage came on two runs in the third quarter. He was otherwise stuffed at the line throughout the contest. The Steelers are still splitting the workshare between Harris and Warren fairly evenly (13 and 12 touch opportunities, respectively). Still, it isn't easy to justify relying on either for fantasy production. Warren presents a modest upside in half or full-PPR formats in Week 3 vs. the Raiders.
Steelers RB Najee Harris recorded 6 attempts for 31 rushing yards in Week 1 vs. the 49ers. He also added a pair of catches for 2 yards as a receiver in the loss. Teammate Jaylen Warren received 3 carries for 6 yards and caught 5 of 6 targets for 12 yards. The Steelers split the backfield touch opportunities fairly evenly (Harris with 8, Warren with 9) on Sunday, though neither player was particularly strong. It’s also worth mentioning that Harris ran 24 receiving routes to Warren’s 19, so the usage still skews a little bit in the direction of the former first-round NFL draft pick. The duo will have an opportunity to rebound against the Browns in Week 2 on Monday night.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says Steelers RBs Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris "could split carries" vs. the 49ers today. "Najee Harris is going to be the starter, getting the first- and second-down snaps. Jaylen Warren third-down snaps," Rapoport adds. "But Warren is expected to get a little more of the first- and second-down snaps than usual." We've heard conflicting reports on this backfield all summer, so it'll be nice to actually get a look at it today. We'd still try to keep Warren on fantasy benches; Harris is a low-end RB2 in a tough matchup vs. San Francisco.
On Friday, Steelers beat reporter Dave Lolley took to Twitter to help clarify the team's RB situation. Lolley shared that the "narrative that Jaylen Warren is going to 'surpass' Najee Harris ... is simply not true," adding that Harris is the "clear No. 1" and Warren is the third-down back in Pittsburgh. Warren is the more optimal draft pick from an ADP value perspective. Regardless, both Warren and Harris are still favorably slotted in our current RB rankings. This is yet another reminder that one of the pillars of fantasy is to pursue value above all else. Learn more about our draft philosophy here at Draft Sharks.
Steelers OC Matt Canada said Monday that RB Najee Harris remains the team's No. 1 RB. “I don’t think there’s any doubt about that," Canada added. It sounds a bit like a coach trying to tamper down any talk of a RB controversy after RB Jaylen Warren's 62-yard TD in Pittsburgh's second preseason game. Canada also said that he'll use Warren "a lot." We don't doubt that Harris will open the season as the Steelers' clear lead back. The question is whether that workload split will shift during the season if Warren continues to run more efficiently than Harris. We recently updated our projections for the Steelers backfield.
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