Update: Najee Harris suffered an injury in Week 1. His direct backup has been Jaylen Warren and is the waiver wire pickup you want if Harris can’t play in Week 2.
As a rookie, the Alabama product exceeded already high expectations by running for 1,200 yards on 3.9 yards per carry and seven touchdowns. He also showed his prowess as a pass-catcher by snagging 74 targets for 467 yards and three scores through the air. Harris finished the season as the third-ranked fantasy running back in PPR formats and is currently seventh in average draft position for this year.
However, running back is the most volatile position on the field and a potential season ending injury is always around the corner. If you do decide to take someone like Harris with a high pick, it’d be wise to also draft one of his “handcuffs” as insurance. We’ll take a look at Harris’ backups below.
Najee Harris RB handcuff
Harris’ backups in Pittsburgh are Benny Snell Jr. and Anthony McFarland Jr. Snell is entering his fourth season with the Steelers and after putting up modest numbers his first two years, his production fell off a cliff with the arrival of Harris. Snell appeared in all 17 games last season, but only registered 36 carries for 98 yards.
McFarland is entering his third season with the organization and is currently working to earn the backup role after being a bit player for the first two years of his pro career. He has been turning some heads in training camp so far and led the team with 56 rushing yards in their preseason opener against the Seahawks on Saturday.
Both Snell and McFarland are currently in the 100’s on the running back board for ADP, so they’ll be readily available if you need a handcuff for Harris.