As most of you know, Week 17 is championship week in fantasy football with Monday night’s game between the Browns and Steelers providing one final chance for fantasy managers in need of a miracle. That miracle would come from Steelers rookie Najee Harris, who capped a career night with a 37-yard dagger late in the fourth quarter.
On a night that was supposed to be about Ben Roethlisberger (who completed 24-of-46 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown in what was likely his final game at Heinz Field), Harris stole the show with 28 carries for 188 yards, toppling Franco Harris’ franchise mark for most rushing yards by a rookie (1,172). The 23-year-old cruised to 29.3 fantasy points (PPR scoring) in the winning effort, swinging countless championship matchups with his late-game heroics.
Harris’ outburst against Cleveland, who he tore up for 120 yards earlier this season, mirrored last year’s fantasy finale, when Bills receiver Stefon Diggs delivered a monster performance with nine catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns in a Monday night rout of New England.
Though many felt Harris was a reach where the Steelers drafted him last spring (24th overall), the Alabama product has more than lived up to his first-round billing, leading all rookies in yards from scrimmage (1,612) while trailing only Ja’Marr Chase in total touchdowns (10). The Steelers, for all their struggles (-56-point differential), can still clinch an AFC Wild Card spot next week, though it would take an exceptional amount of luck with Pittsburgh needing both a win over Baltimore and a loss by the Colts, who stand as 15.5-point road favorites over Jacksonville.