It's expected that Warren will reprise his role as the Steelers' passing-downs back in 2023, but it probably means he'll only play about one-third of the snaps and be involved on about six or seven touches per game. He also shouldn't be counted on to score much since only 11 of his 330 snaps in 2022 came inside the 10-yard line with five touches. In no way is he even a reliable handcuff for Najee Harris because the Steelers would probably continue splitting reps among other running backs in such a scenario. Warren is debatable as a late-rounder in any league.
Warren was an effective weapon on limited touches in 2022, surprising many as a UDFA offseason signee.
Should his role in the Steelers offense grow, we could be looking at one of the high-end RB handcuffs in all of fantasy football this year.
What We Learned Last YearWarren signed with the Steelers as a UDFA out of Oklahoma State, eventually winning the No. 2 job over Benny Snell Jr. out of training camp.He missed a pair of games with a hamstring injury.While he only saw four games with 10+ opportunities (carries + targets) as a rookie, Warren recorded top-36 weekly finishes in each of those games (five overall).Among 55 RBs who recorded 75+ carries in 2022, Warren ranked: 8th in Pro Football Focus’ Elusive Rating4th in PFF receiving grade20th in yards after contact per attempt (3.08)
What to Expect in 2023Warren should be considered a premium RB handcuff in 2023 with potential standalone fantasy value.Early reports out of Steelers camp indicate that the team is exploring ways to get Warren onto the field more. A player like Warren with more playing times/touches can be a matchup-dependent flex option.The Steelers also didn’t add much to the backfield beyond UDFA Alfonzo Graham. Warren’s role as the No. 2 RB on the depth chart is reasonably safe. He’s only one Najee Harris injury away from a significant role in a run-heavy offense.
The Steelers signed Warren after he went undrafted last April and he impressed enough that the team handed him an offensive role at the expense of feature back Najee Harris. Granted it wasn't a huge role (105 touches in 16 games), but Warren played well, ranking top 15 among RBs in yards per carry (4.92) and yards per target (6.3). The 24-year-old has no standalone fantasy value, but he'd be on the RB2/flex radar in the event that Harris were to miss time (something he's yet to do through two seasons). Warren is a fine late-round flier and bench option.