Can Najee Harris Justify His Position As The RB10?

  • The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Najee Harris to help fix their reliance on the pass.
  • Harris is being drafted as the RB10 in standard scoring.
  • Do his betting odds suggest a season that will back up such a high draft ranking?

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Steelers selected running back Najee Harris from Alabama in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Steelers were a pass-heavy team in 2020, and the Harris selection was a move to change that.

Harris has been a highly-touted prospect, and was truly dominant at Alabama, putting up 1466 rush yards in the 2020 season.

As a first-round running back, Harris has been getting plenty of hype. He’s currently sitting with an ADP of 16 on FantasyPros, meaning he’s a second-round pick in most fantasy football leagues.

His position at #16 puts him around the RB10 range - which makes him a low end RB1 in most leagues.

Najee Harris Regular Season Rushing Yards

  • Over 990.5 -125
  • Under 990.5 -105

In 2020, the RB10 in standard scoring was Kareem Hunt. Hunt rushed for 841 yards, put up six rushing touchdowns and added 304 more yards and five more touchdowns through the air.

The RB11 was Ezekiel Elliott, who put up 979 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, and added 338 yards and two more touchdowns in the air.

Najee Harris Regular Season Rushing Touchdowns

  • Over 7.5 -130
  • Under 7.5 EVEN

What these two players have in common is that neither of them had a firm handle on the starting job. Hunt was splitting time with Nick Chubb, while Elliott regressed significantly, losing out on playing time to Tony Pollard.

Harris does not seem to have serious competition for the starting RB slot, as James Conner is no longer with the Steelers. Of course, it’s hard to make a 1:1 comparison, as there will be an extra game in the NFL season in 2021 compared to 2020.

Najee Harris Regular Season Rushing & Receiving Yards

  • Over 1350.5 -115
  • Under 1350.5 -115

In standard scoring, 1350 yards and seven touchdowns (Harris coming in just under his O/U lines) would yield 177 points over the course of the year.

In 2020, that amount of points would have made Harris the RB11. With an extra game in the season, assuming a healthy game from each player, it puts him around the RB14, RB15 area.

Of course, the margins here are razor thin - if Harris scored eight touchdowns, for example, it would put him at 183 points, making him the RB12 if every player around him has an average extra game tacked on.

The overall conclusion for online gamblers to draw seems to be that Harris might be a bit overvalued as the RB10, but each season is a new season, and players like Hunt might not have the same level of consistent performance as someone like Harris, who will have control of the backfield from day one.