Damien Harris
Can Damien Harris become the lead running back in New England? Harris isn’t getting any buzz but there’s a chance he’s better than you think. (Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

The more time that goes on, the more I start to buy into the Damien Harris hype train. To be clear, there really isn’t any steam coming out of the train yet. There’s pretty much zero buzz in regards to Harris. However, as I discussed most recently on the fantasy show, I truly believe there’s a chance Harris breaks out in a big way for the Patriots in 2020.

Can Damien Harris become the lead running back in New England? Most of you probably don’t care and I get it. Avoiding the Patriots running back room is probably the right call. However, when one guy emerges, there is a huge upside involved. I had LeGarrette Blount in fantasy in 2016 for $2. He proceeded to score 18 rushing touchdowns that year. My point is, something like that can happen in New England.

I have real concern about Sony Michel. The knees are a ticking time bomb. Michel is already on the PUP list and will likely miss at least one game. What’s crazier is the Pats signed Lamar Miller and he went on the PUP list immediately after signing. I don’t know how but it’s true. James White is what he is. If you’re not in a PPR league, he’s worthless.

That really just leaves you Rex Burkhead who will likely be a pain in the ass but was signed as a special teams ace more than anything. Harris could have a real opportunity to shine. If you’re skeptical, I get it. Projecting Patriots running backs is hard. We also have basically no sample size. As a rookie, Harris had 4 carries for 12 yards. A whole lot of meh.

That doesn’t take away from the fact that Bill Belichick often times doesn’t trust rookies. Rarely do rookies come right in and dominate for the Patriots. Heading into year two, Harris had a chance to learn the offense and should be ready to go. Furthermore, I think the guy has talent.

At Alabama, Damien Harris was the starting running back. Let me repeat that. Harris was the starter, not Josh Jacobs. Harris played all 4 years at Bama rushing for over 3,000 yards in his college career averaging 6.4 yards per carry. He also showed a nose for the goal line and proved he was at least capable catching the football. The measurables are good too at 5-foot-11, 221. 4.58 speed isn’t special but it’s fine for his size. He’s faster than his former college teammate, Jacobs.

We know the Patriots are going to rely on defense and a power run game. Cam Newton feels like an unknown X-Factor. Maybe he ends up stealing a lot of the rushing touchdowns. However, I think there’s a chance Harris becomes the primary running back by the end of the season. Keep an eye on it because this is a potential fantasy hero late in the season.