1Battling with Benny Snell for a shot at fantasy relevance
Anthony McFarland Jr.’s touches dropped from 39 in his 2020 rookie campaign to merely four last year. Perhaps being on the injured reserve for the first month of last season pushed him down the depth chart — or that might have happened regardless. But at this time, McFarland has almost no path to top-40 RB numbers. Securing a small degree of fantasy relevance begins by overtaking Benny Snell as the direct handcuff to Najee Harris. Not likely, but it’s the only clear option.
2No bell-cow experience
McFarland had no bell-cow experience in college, averaging less than 12 touches per game in both seasons. Even if he supplants Snell as the No. 2 back, an injury to Harris might make McFarland no more than an 8-to-10-touch option. He would be almost entirely TD-dependent in that scenario.
3Could the Steelers sign another backup RB to compete?
We should assume there’s a decent possibility that the Steelers will sign a higher-upside RB during the season if McFarland (and Snell) are not considered suitable options if Harris goes down. This action would signal to fantasy managers that McFarland’s fantasy value could not get much lower.