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Damien Harris start or sit: Week 1 fantasy football advice

We go over the fantasy football outlook of Damien Harris ahead of the New England Patriots Week 1 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

Damien Harris #37 of the New England Patriots reacts against the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 19, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Patriots defeated the Eagles 35-0. Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

In 2020, Damien Harris felt lost in a running back by committee as well as having a scrambling quarterback under center. He was consistently inconsistent and he managed to play in 10 games during his second NFL season. As he goes into this year though, the backfield seems less murky with the Patriots trading Sony Michel to the Los Angeles Rams earlier in the preseason. Harris is primed for a breakout season if the Patriots just give him the carries and let him work.

Fantasy Football analysis: Patriots RB Damien Harris

Harris took the field for the first time in Week 4 of the 2020 season and burst onto the season with 17 carries for 100 yards. The next week? He had 6 carries for 19 yards and one reception for 14 yards. This was the frustration with Harris in that he would have 102 rushing yards against the Bills one week, and then come back with 71 against the New York Jets the next. 2021 is going to be the first season that the Patriots are going to use Harris as the guy in the backfield and the pocket passer of Mac Jones should also help. Harris is a solid running back sleeper this year, but if it doesn’t happen this year, it may not happen for the young runner.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Harris is going to need the carries to be a sufficient start this week and I think he gets enough to make him a solid RB2/flex play for your Week 1 lineup. Rhamondre Stevenson might eventually take some of his workload, but it likely won’t be right away.