2021 Fantasy Football Breakout - RB Najee Harris
Breakout Candidate- Najee Harris
In an effort to fill a void created by the departure of James Conner, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Najee Harris with their 24th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The former Crimson Tide standout landed in an ideal spot where he will be a Day 1 starter and immediate fantasy contributor.
Harris is a physical power back (6’2” and 230 lbs.) who is rarely taken down on first contact. He has a quick first step and excellent vision and patience. He is also a good route runner who can be elusive in the short passing game. In his senior year at Alabama, Harris racked up 1,891 yards from scrimmage (425 yards on 43 receptions) and 30 touchdowns.
As the Steelers’ three-down feature back, I am projecting Harris to average 20 touches per game. Even with Benny Snell Jr., Anthony McFarland Jr., and Jaylen Samuels in the mix (I do not expect Kalen Ballage to make the final roster), it will be obvious in the first few weeks that Harris is Mike Tomlin’s new bell cow RB.
From a fantasy standpoint, I typically try to avoid preseason rookie hype. However, after combining his projected volume with his undeniable talent, I can say with confidence that Harris will easily surpass his current RB14 expert consensus ranking. Draft Harris as a low-end RB1 who has the upside to finish as a Top 8 RB.