Najee Harris Can Be a Fantasy Football Stud on the Steelers

Harris should walk right into a significant role for Pittsburgh. What kind of numbers can he put up as a rookie?

Before the draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers were one of the ideal landing spots for a running back.

Enter Najee Harris.

Harris was a -195 favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook to be the first running back off the board, and he was just that, with Pittsburgh taking him with the 24th pick.

Fresh off a 2020 season at Alabama in which he did it all -- 1,466 rushing yards, 425 receiving yards and 30 total touchdowns (26 rushing) -- will Harris be a fantasy football monster right away in the Steel City?

Player Comparisons

numberFire's JJ Zachariason and Jim Sannes break down Harris' profile, and JJ gives his top comparison.

Brandon Gdula's draft database has found these 10 prior prospects to have the most similar statistical profiles to Harris. Keep in mind that these are based not on play style or traits but age, athleticism, draft equity, experience, efficiency, and production.

Najee Harris Profile Comparisons Similarity
Steven Jackson 87.6%
Ezekiel Elliott 87.3%
Leonard Fournette 85.8%
Todd Gurley 85.6%
Jonathan Taylor 84.2%
Marshawn Lynch 84.1%
Le'Veon Bell 83.5%
Adrian Peterson 83.4%
Toby Gerhart 83.0%
Rashaad Penny 82.9%

Gdula's Take: Harris has the traits of a fantasy-relevant running back in the NFL. He is already 23 years old but dominated the past two years at Alabama; it's hard to knock him as a prospect much at all.

Harris' 2021 Fantasy Football Projection

This is a great landing spot for his fantasy outlook, and with a college target share that ranked in the 89th percentile, per PlayerProfiler, Harris has three-down tools. He should have every chance to lead the way in the Steelers' backfield in 2021 as his chief competition for touches will be Anthony McFarland Jr., Benny Snell Jr. and Kalen Ballage.

Zachariason's initial 2021 projections for Harris include 1,012 rushing yards and 9.7 scores plus 318 receiving yards and another 1.5 touchdowns through the air, making him the PPR RB18 for the season.

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Steelers are listed at +3600 to win the Super Bowl and +420 to take the stout AFC North, and they have a win total projection of 8.5 on FOX Bet.