Even though the NFL Playoffs are going strong, it's never too early or too late to discuss the 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers owners will be clamoring for this offseason. There have been many times where we have seen a player break out in the playoffs and make his team contemplate whether that player could be in the mix to start the following season. Especially if that team has huge question marks at his position. One such team is the Packers who, once again, will have plenty of thinking to do in regards to who will be their starting running back come Week One of the 2013 regular season.
One such player has hit it big in this year's playoffs. That player, ladies and gentlemen, is running back DuJuan Harris.
Harris really didn't make much of a name for himself in the regular season. Hell he hadn't even made a name for himself in the NFL period, bouncing around from the Jaguars and Steelers until finally settling in on Green Bay's practice squad. He didn't have a stat until Week 14, where he rushed for 31 yards and a score against the Lions. He wound up finishing the season with a mere 34 carries, 157 yards and 2 scores. But, he averaged 4.6 yards a carry and also averaged over 8 yards per catch. His yards-per-carry average was the highest amongst the team's running backs. Even Cedric Benson, who only mustered up 3.5 in 5 games.
In the playoffs, the Packers knew they had something special when Harris racked up 100 total yards and a score in the team's Wild Card victory over the Vikings. It's worth noting that Harris also started that game. He followed that up with 53 yards and a score in the loss to the 49ers. Not a bad feat when you consider the 49ers Defense ranked 4th overall against the run in the regular season.
With the Packers now out of the playoffs, it's time to start coming up with scenarios that the Packers will use to fill the void that plagued them since Benson went down earlier in the year. One such scenario is for Green Bay to sign a veteran free agent. And the biggest name has been Rams Steven Jackson, who can void the last year of his current deal. Jackson isn't past his prime in terms of production. But he'll be 30 by the time the 2013 season starts up. Plus, how much will Jackson be looking for? There is a better-than-average chance he could price himself out of GM Ted Thompson's budget. Even if Thompson has been high on him for years. They could re-sign Cedric Benson (Bleh. No thanks). Go the way of the draft? Perhaps, but that's not fun.
I hadn't considered Harris as a choice until I read a snippet from the Green Bay Press-Gazette:
Perhaps the best bet (to start next year) is DuJuan Harris, the street free agent who was promoted to the active roster last month and finished the season as the starter. However, the Packers must decide whether the 5-foot-8 Harris is big enough to be their primary running back or is better as a change-of-pace back.
Harris certainly lived up to the expectations the coaching staff gave him. Even though he will never be known as a pile pusher, he plays bigger than his size and is fast off the edge. Dynasty owners might want to keep Harris in their back pocket going forward. It's not far fetched to think he could start, or at least play a major role in the running game next year. How many times have we seen pint-sized prospects turn into fantasy football gold?