UPDATE - Oct. 16 11:40 a.m. EST: Damien Harris is officially inactive on Sunday. Fire up Rhamondre Stevenson.
One of the biggest fantasy football stories of Week 6 has been in the New England Patriots' backfield. Often a timeshare that it's best to avoid, a hamstring injury to Damien Harris has given Rhamondre Stevenson the potential to be one of the top running back plays of the week.
Sunday morning's update on Harris all but locks in Stevenson's status as a must-start if he's on your roster.
Of course this isn't set in stone yet, but "a surprise, but not impossible" sure doesn't sound good, especially for a guy who was initially expected to miss multiple weeks. Let's also keep in mind this is Bill Belichick's team. Even if Harris were actually multiple weeks out from returning, it's not like the Patriots would disclose any more info about his timeline than strictly necessary.
So what would lead-back duties mean for Stevenson?
Rhamondre Stevenson Fantasy Football
With Harris injured last week, Stevenson was an absolute workhorse. He played a whopping 90% of the Patriots' offensive snaps, turning 27 touches into 175 yards from scrimmage. For some context on how massive that workload is, it was one of only five instances of a running back seeing a snap share of 90% or higher this season — joining Saquon Barkley (twice), Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette.
We shouldn't expect Stevenson to repeat his 6.4 yard-per-carry average or anything, but there's no running back in the NFL that shouldn't be considered a fantasy football starter when we can expect an 80-plus percent snap share and 20-plus touches.
A matchup with the Cleveland Browns doesn't hurt either. Cleveland has allowed the league's third-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season. That includes giving up over 150 yards from scrimmage per game to backfields — something an 80 or 90 percent share of would be terrific for a fantasy performance.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.