Charles Harris had a breakthrough season for the Lions in 2021, and now he has been tabbed as a fantasy IDP loser after the draft.
The Detroit Lions had one of the least productive pass rushes in the NFL last season. But that was no fault of Charles Harris, as the former first-round pick had 7.5 sacks and 65 total tackles with some good deeper numbers as a pass rusher.
The Lions proactively added to their mix of edge rushers in the draft, as they should’ve, taking Aidan Hutchinson in the first round and circling back to take Josh Paschal in the second. The return of Romeo Okwara (10 sacks in 2020) from a torn Achilles suffered in Week 4 last season will also add to 2021’s lagging pass rush.
Jonathan Macri of Pro Football Focus has named some post-draft fantasy football IDP (Individual Defensive Player) winners and losers. Harris landed among the losers.
Charles Harris too easily lands as fantasy IDP ‘loser’
Macri (obviously) noted the Lions additions of Hutchinson and Paschal, while mentioning Okwara’s return from injury. It’s true Detroit suddenly has nice depth out on the edge.
But a shift to more four-man fronts this year opens up the idea Hutchinson and Paschal will be mixed in to play inside, especially on passing downs. Okwara won’t be a year removed from his Achilles’ injury until early October, and he will surely be eased into game action early. Overall Okwara’s fully healthy return early this season, or being totally at full strength at all this season, is a question mark.
Harris played all 17 games and 76 percent (according to Pro Football Reference) of the Lions’ defensive snaps last year. A reduction in snaps is probably coming, but a complete tank of his playing time is unlikely. Back on a two-year deal after his breakthrough last year, the Lions surely have some plans for him.
All of that said, Harris’ top-20 finish as an IDP defensive lineman last year (DL17, per Fantasy Pros) will surely stand as his peak as a fantasy performer. He’s likely not going to come close to repeating 65 total tackles, so that’s the root of the drop-off, but it’s not hard to envision 7.5 (or more) sacks for him in 2022. Those that draft him (or add him in-season) within that context can still be very happy to have Harris on a fantasy roster in IDP leagues.