Najee Harris 2021 Fantasy Football Tip: Is Rookie RB Ready To Lead Steelers Backfield?

Last Updated: Jul 1, 2021

Juan Carlos Blanco offers his Najee Harris 2021 Fantasy Football Tip And Outlook. See The Game Day’s full 2021 fantasy football draft coverage.

Najee Harris 2021 Fantasy Football Tip

Najee Harris 2020 Stats (Alabama Crimson Tide):

  • 251 carries
  • 1,466 rushing yards
  • 26 rushing touchdowns
  • 5.8 yards per carry
  • 43 receptions
  • 425 receiving yards
  • 4 receiving touchdowns
  • 9.9 yards per reception
  • 13 games

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Najee Harris 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook

Najee Harris is arguably the most exciting offensive player at his position in the 2021 NFL draft class. When you combine a 6-foot-1, 230-pound frame with elite athleticism, you get the juggernaut taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 24th overall pick. Harris appears primed for a breakout rookie season with the Steelers, a team that has struggled to establish a consistent running game since the departure of Le’Veon Bell in 2018.

Harris is expected to fill the void left by James Conner, who signed with the Arizona Cardinals during the offseason. The 23-year-old does not have much competition in Pittsburgh’s backfield and could be the team’s three-down back right from the start. It remains to be seen how the new faces on the Steelers’ offensive line will perform, but as long as they’re capable blockers Harris should have no problem finding holes to run through.

Harris also has exceptional receiving capabilities for a running back of his size and has mentioned that Pittsburgh is planning to utilize him in the slot and out wide. With only one drop during his senior season at Alabama, Harris has already proven to have a reliable set of hands that should make him a promising target for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, especially given Roethlisberger’s preference for short, quick throws.

All things considered, Harris is in a great position to succeed during his rookie year. He’s joining one of the NFL’s top organizations which features a veteran quarterback, a solid offensive line, and a great head coach in Mike Tomlin. He also won’t have to worry about becoming mired in a timeshare or losing touches to another tailback, so there’s less pressure on him to make the most of every carry.

One concern for Harris is that the Steelers were a pass-happy offense last year, ranking 30th in rush attempts per game. Conner missed time with injuries last year, however, causing Pittsburgh to lean on its talented receiving corps more than usual. Look for the Steelers to have a more balanced offense this year, especially if Roethlisberger continues his age-related decline.

Najee Harris 2021 Fantasy Football Draft Value (PPR)

There’s already a ton of hype surrounding Harris ahead of his rookie season, as he’s currently going inside the top 20 in most fantasy drafts. With so few reliable feature backs in the NFL these days, the combination of his skill set and expected volume is driving up his draft price.

Even so, there’s still value to be had if you land Harris at the end of the second round or at the beginning of the third round, as he could finish the season as a high-end RB2 or low-end RB1. The sky’s the limit for him, and he’s absolutely worth the investment.


Juan Carlos Blanco

Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports since 1997 and actively writing about the fantasy sports and sports betting industries since 2015 for multiple websites. He has covered a wide variety of professional sports leagues, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, CFL, Arena Football League, Alliance of American Football, XFL, NPB and KBO. He was the recipient of the FSWA's 2016 Newcomer of the Year award for his work with RotoWire.

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