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  • Writer's pictureIan Sage



Najee Harris RB

Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Last year, the Pittsburgh Steelers had the worst rushing offense in the NFL. During the offseason, they attempted to address this issue by drafting Alabama running back Najee Harris and completely ignoring the true cause of their problem, the offensive line. At the beginning of this season Pro Football Focus, the people behind those small rankings under the player introductions on Sunday night, ranked the Steelers offensive line at 31 edging out only the New York Giants. This utter incompetence has been very apparent at the start of this season with the Steelers already in last place once again after the first 2 weeks with only 114 rushing yards total on 3.3 yards per attempt which are absolutely atrocious numbers. They’re on pace for less than 1,000 yards as a team, a feat which becomes more sad when you remember there is in fact an extra game this season. The second point I would like to bring up is the most surprising; the Bengals defense is currently 6th for yards allowed this season and 10th for rushing yards. The Bengals only allowed Dalvin Cook 61 yards on 20 carries in week 1 and then did the exact same thing again to David Montgomery, allowing him 61 yards on 20 carries. 20 Carries for 61 yards would be career highs for Najee at this point. This all leads to the final point I have; Najee Harris is still just a rookie. With a terrible Offensive line and a surprisingly stout defense ahead of him, I can’t rely on this being the breakout game for him on the ground. That leaves only work through the air. Last week, Harris had 5 receptions for 43 yards and a TD that elevated his fantasy production to solid instead of just okay. He has never been a dominant force in the pass game even through college, and it is hard to expect him to be consistently getting these passing down looks when he is more suited to block. Harris is a player I am looking to flex at best this week, and if I must start him, my expectations are low. I understand that some people invested too high of draft capital to not have him be a starter every week. He is TD dependent this week and basically every week until he faces a truly poor defense or until he can prove he is capable of persevering through the adversity that is the turnstile o-line in Pittsburgh.

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