Damien Harris should be considered a sleeper coming into the season, and he's worth drafting with a mid-round pick in all leagues. While Harris is expected to be part of a committee backfield in New England with Sony Michel, James White and potentially rookie Rhamondre Stevenson, there's a good chance Harris leads the Patriots in carries. Of course, catches and touchdowns could be a problem with White in the passing game and Cam Newton near the goal line, but Harris could lead the Patriots in rushing yards and be a surprise starting Fantasy option in non-PPR leagues. New England figures to be a run-heavy team in 2021, and Harris should be able to outplay Michel and Stevenson for the lead role this year.
Zack Cox of NESN.com views Harris as the clear favorite to serve as the Patriots' No. 1 back this coming season. While coach Bill Belichick isn't normally the type to detail player's projected roles, he did note that the third-year back is someone "that improved a lot from Year 1 to Year 2," while acknowledging that the 2019 third-rounder "has an opportunity to compete for a lead spot, and he's embraced that." Also in the Patriots' backfield mix are Sony Michel, James White, Rhamondre Stevenson, Brandon Bolden, J.J. Taylor and Tyler Gaffney. For now, Michel profiles as Harris' main competition for early-down work, while White retains his change-of-pace role in the New England offense. Down the road, Stevenson -- who began camp on the active/non-football injury list -- has a chance to compete for complementary touches, but at this stage Harris looks like the best bet fantasy-wise among the team's running backs.
Harris and Sony Michel are poised to head the Patriots' backfield in 2021, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports. Also in the mix are pass-catching back James White and fourth-round draft pick Rhamondre Stevenson, while Brandon Bolden and J.J. Taylor provide depth. From a fantasy perspective, Harris -- who finished 2020 with 137 carries for 691 yards (5.0 YPC) and two touchdowns profiles as the team's top option, but his minimal impact in the passing game hampers his utility in PPR formats. With Michel and Stevenson also in the early-down equation, Harris' week-to-week volume may fluctuate in 2021, with injuries and opponent-based game scripts also likely to emerge as important factors in determining how many touches he logs as the season rolls along.
Harris (ankle) was placed on injured reserve Saturday, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports. The 23-year-old was previously ruled out for Sunday's season finale against the Jets, so this is simply a procedural move to free up a roster spot for the Patriots. Harris spent the first three weeks of the season on injured reserve, but he took over the lead role in the backfield Week 4 and finished 2020 with 137 carries for 691 yards (5.0 YPC) and two touchdowns while catching five passes for 52 yards in 10 games.
Harris (ankle) won't play in Sunday's season finale against the Jets. With Harris set to miss his third straight game, Sony Michel, James White and J.J. Taylor will continue to handle the team's backfield duties. Harris finishes his second NFL season with 137 carries for 691 yards and two touchdowns to go along with five catches for 52 yards in 10 games. While Harris' limited involved in the Patriots' pass game limited his fantasy upside, his 5.0 yards-per-carry average illustrated his effectiveness as a runner. Looking ahead to the 2021 campaign, Harris will likely be in line to head New England's backfield once again.
Harris (ankle) wasn't spotted on the field during the media-access portion of Friday's practice, Zack Cox of NESN.com reports. The 23-year-old was a limited participant at practice Wednesday, but his potential absence at Friday's session after missing the past two games is an ominous sign for his availability this weekend against the Jets. Sony Michel, James White and J.J. Taylor will again handle backfield duties if Harris is ruled out ahead of Sunday.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/19||@New York Jets||20||18.00|
|3||09/26||New Orleans Saints||2||13.00|
|4||10/03||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1||12.30|
|7||10/24||New York Jets||20||18.00|
|8||10/31||@Los Angeles Chargers||14||16.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||70||352||1||2||26||0||43|