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The case for Harris as a strong fantasy value at his current ADP has three main components:
1. Harris will be a workhorse. Footballguys projects Harris to be amongst the Top 5 workhorse backs in the NFL (defined here as a percentage of his team’s running-back fantasy points).
2. Fifth may be a conservative estimate. Given the Steelers' history of riding their lead backs, it is fair to expect Harris to actually exceed our usage projections if he stays healthy and lives up to his scouting report.
3. The Steelers' offensive concerns are already fully priced in. Understandably, some are down on Harris due to the Steelers offensive line issues and concerns about Ben Roethlisberger regressing further. However, these have been fully priced in and should not scare you from drafting Harris at or above his current ADP.
1. Harris projects for a Top 5 Workhorse Share
There are many ways to define what constitutes a “workhorse” running back. For fantasy purposes, it is easiest to look at the question through the lens of how many of the team’s fantasy points at the running back position are scored by the lead back. When looking at the Footballguys consensus projections to determine each back’s share of their team's fantasy points, Najee Harris stands out as a potentially elite performer.
The Top 10 above is a who's who of elite fantasy running backs. Joe Mixon and Najee Harris both stand out as potential values at current ADP, given how much we expect them to dominate the backfield touches for their respective teams.
2. Workload projections may end up being too low
Harris already ranks as a top-five running back in our projections. However, even that may be too low. His 74% projected share of Steelers running back fantasy points is probably a conservative estimate based upon recent history. Harris has a realistic shot to finish with an even bigger share of the touches and fantasy production given the team he plays for.
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