Jaylen Warren Fantasy Value: Is He Now the Clear RB1 in Pittsburgh After Matt Canada’s Departure?

After Matt Canada's departure, does Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jaylen Warren rise up the rankings to be a locked-in option for fantasy lineups moving forward?

Running back Jaylen Warren was virtually unknown coming into the NFL last season, but he made an immediate impact and carved out a nice role for himself in this Pittsburgh Steelers‘ offense. However, he was always limited from a fantasy football standpoint due to the presence of RB Najee Harris above him on the depth chart.

With the news that the Steelers have let OC Matt Canada go as the offensive coordinator, is this backfield about to experience a shake-up? What is Warren’s fantasy outlook moving forward?

Jaylen Warren’s Rest-of-Season Outlook

Fantasy football evaluations are always an attempt to balance what our eyes are telling us with the data. Our eyes have been telling us that Warren is clearly the better rusher in this Steelers backfield now for the better part of a year, but Harris has continued to remain heavily involved. This has prevented either back from reaching their fantasy ceiling.

The data also has told us that Warren is clearly the better player. On just 80 rush attempts this year, Warren is averaging a jaw-dropping 6.2 yards per attempt, as opposed to Harris, who has carried the ball 128 times for just 3.9 yards on average.

However, the data goes deeper than just rushing yards and yards per carry. According to NextGenStats, Warren leads the entire NFL — by a wide margin — with 2.08 rushing yards over expectation per attempt.

He’s consistently creating explosive plays and making more happen for this Steelers offense than what’s initially laid out in front of him. This is also evidenced by his 2.4 yards after contact per attempt and his 15 broken tackles on the season, despite just 80 rush attempts.

Warren is proving to be one of the most difficult RBs in the NFL to take down on the first tackle attempt.

The only thing holding him back recently has been the touch split between him and Harris. Presumably, Canada had been keen on keeping a rotation going between Harris and Warren, which limited what Warren is able to do from a fantasy standpoint.

MORE: Fantasy Week 12 RB Start/Sit

Now with Canada out of the picture, will we see more of a clear lead role for Warren? Or has this backfield philosophy been captained by HC Mike Tomlin due to the draft capital the Steelers sunk into Harris back in 2021?

Only time will tell who was to blame for the lack of volume being sent Warren’s way, but there’s now a chance that we see a shift away from a committee to Warren becoming the lead option. Our eyes and the data tell us that he’s clearly the better player. Let’s see if Pittsburgh finally realizes that, too.

Kyle Yates’ Early Week 12 RB Rankings

1) Christian McCaffrey | SF (at SEA)
2) Travis Etienne Jr. | JAX (at HOU)
3) Austin Ekeler | LAC (vs. BAL)
4) Alvin Kamara | NO (at ATL)
5) Jonathan Taylor | IND (vs. TB)
6) D’Andre Swift | PHI (vs. BUF)
7) Jahmyr Gibbs | DET (vs. GB)
8) Josh Jacobs | LV (vs. KC)
9) Breece Hall | NYJ (vs. MIA)
10) Javonte Williams | DEN (vs. CLE)
11) Tony Pollard | DAL (vs. WAS)
12) Isiah Pacheco | KC (at LV)
13) Bijan Robinson | ATL (vs. NO)
14) Kenneth Walker III | SEA (vs. SF)
15) David Montgomery | DET (vs. GB)
16) Brian Robinson Jr. | WAS (at DAL)
17) De’Von Achane | MIA (at NYJ)
18) Rachaad White | TB (at IND)
19) Saquon Barkley | NYG (vs. NE)
20) James Conner | ARI (vs. LAR)
21) Joe Mixon | CIN (vs. PIT)
22) Derrick Henry | TEN (vs. CAR)
23) Gus Edwards | BAL (at LAC)
24) Raheem Mostert | MIA (at NYJ)
25) Devin Singletary | HOU (vs. JAX)

26) Rhamondre Stevenson | NE (at NYG)
27) James Cook | BUF (at PHI)
28) AJ Dillon | GB (at DET)
29) Alexander Mattison | MIN (vs. CHI)
30) Jerome Ford | CLE (at DEN)
31) Jaylen Warren | PIT (at CIN)
32) Darrell Henderson Jr. | LAR (at ARI)
33) Khalil Herbert | CHI (at MIN)
34) Najee Harris | PIT (at CIN)
35) Chuba Hubbard | CAR (at TEN)
36) Dameon Pierce | HOU (vs. JAX)
37) Keaton Mitchell | BAL (at LAC)
38) Kareem Hunt | CLE (at DEN)
39) Ty Chandler | MIN (vs. CHI)
40) Tyler Allgeier | ATL (vs. NO)
41) Zack Moss | IND (vs. TB)
42) Royce Freeman | LAR (at ARI)
43) D’Onta Foreman | CHI (at MIN)
44) Zach Charbonnet | SEA (vs. SF)
45) Tyjae Spears | TEN (vs. CAR)
46) Rico Dowdle | DAL (vs. WAS)
47) Latavius Murray | BUF (at PHI)
48) Jaleel McLaughlin | DEN (vs. CLE)
49) Miles Sanders | CAR (at TEN)
50) Jerick McKinnon | KC (at LV)

51) Roschon Johnson | CHI (at MIN)
52) Kenneth Gainwell | PHI (vs. BUF)
53) Ezekiel Elliott | NE (at NYG)
54) Samaje Perine | DEN (vs. CLE)
55) Joshua Kelley | LAC (vs. BAL)
56) Justice Hill | BAL (at LAC)
57) Elijah Mitchell | SF (at SEA)
58) D’Ernest Johnson | JAX (at HOU)
59) Dalvin Cook | NYJ (vs. MIA)
60) Chase Edmonds | TB (at IND)
61) Mike Boone | HOU (vs. JAX)
62) Matt Breida | NYG (vs. NE)
63) Chris Rodriguez Jr. | WAS (at DAL)
64) Clyde Edwards-Helaire | KC (at LV)
65) Tank Bigsby | JAX (at HOU)
66) Salvon Ahmed | MIA (at NYJ)
67) Pierre Strong Jr. | CLE (at DEN)
68) Keaontay Ingram | ARI (vs. LAR)
69) Raheem Blackshear | CAR (at TEN)
70) Trayveon Williams | CIN (vs. PIT)
71) Ameer Abdullah | LV (vs. KC)
72) Kyle Juszczyk | SF (at SEA)
73) Zamir White | LV (vs. KC)
74) Leonard Fournette | BUF (at PHI)
75) Israel Abanikanda | NYJ (vs. MIA)

76) Kene Nwangwu | MIN (vs. CHI)
77) Alec Ingold | MIA (at NYJ)
78) Jashaun Corbin | CAR (at TEN)
79) Jordan Mason | SF (at SEA)
80) C.J. Ham | MIN (vs. CHI)
81) Craig Reynolds | DET (vs. GB)
82) Emanuel Wilson | GB (at DET)
83) Dare Ogunbowale | HOU (vs. JAX)
84) Boston Scott | PHI (vs. BUF)
85) Myles Gaskin | MIN (vs. CHI)
86) Patrick Ricard | BAL (at LAC)
87) DeeJay Dallas | SEA (vs. SF)
88) Derrick Gore | WAS (at DAL)
89) Sean Tucker | TB (at IND)
90) Hunter Luepke | DAL (vs. WAS)
91) Reggie Gilliam | BUF (at PHI)
92) Chris Evans | CIN (vs. PIT)
93) Michael Burton | DEN (vs. CLE)
94) Ke’Shawn Vaughn | TB (at IND)
95) Corey Clement | ARI (vs. LAR)
96) Khari Blasingame | CHI (at MIN)
97) Nick Bawden | FA
98) Ty Johnson | BUF (at PHI)
99) Anthony McFarland Jr. | PIT (at CIN)
100) Melvin Gordon III | BAL (at LAC)

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