Fantasy Football Early Waiver Wire: Najee Harris' injury could make Jaylen Warren worth going all-in – CBS Sports

  • September 12, 2022

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Steelers running back Najee Harris was forced to leave Week 1’s game against the Bengals with a foot injury, and while we don’t know the extent of the injury yet, that’s a scary sight for someone who missed much of training camp with a Lisfranc injury. Harris went to the locker room for further evaluation and missed the end of the game. That’s the kind of injury that could have a massive impact on Fantasy seasons already. 
It’s too early to say for sure, though what we can say is that Jaylen Warren suddenly looks like he might be the running back to add in Fantasy ahead of Week 2 – even ahead of the 49ers Jeff Wilson, who figures to step into a significant role in the aftermath of Elijah Mitchell‘s knee injury. Warren is the clear backup to Harris based on what we saw from the preseason, and while that didn’t lead to much production Sunday, he was the only other running back to touch the ball for the Steelers. 
The reason you’d rather have Warren over Wilson is because the 49ers also have Trey Lance and Deebo Samuel to split carries, while the Steelers tend to lean heavily on one running back no matter who is available. Between 2019 and 2020, for instance, Benny Snell had 19 or more touches in four of his five starts in place of James Conner. Warren could have a similar role moving forward.
Of course … this Steelers offense might not be very good. Mitchell Trubisky passed for just 194 yards on 38  attempts Sunday, while they rushed for 75 yards on 22 carries – including just 30 yards on 13 carries between Harris and Warren. And, with the more mobile Trubisky in at QB instead of the statuesque Ben Roethlisberger, the running backs had just three targets between them. It’s just a one-game sample size, and this is a pretty talented Bengals defense, but this was not a great debut for the Steelers new QB. 
Still, Warren looks like he could be set for a significant role if Harris’ injury, and that would make him the clear top option on waivers this week. We’ll find out more in the coming days about Harris’ injury, but given the preseason injury, it’s hard to be optimistic. If Harris has to miss significant time, Warren could be the kind of pick up you spend a quarter or more of your FAAB budget on, because I would project him to be an RB2 as long as Harris is out. 
Here are some other players we’ll potentially be looking at on the waiver wire ahead of Week 2 — though don’t forget about Jeff Wilson, who could see a significant role next weekend if Elijah Mitchell’s knee injury proves serious: 
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