LaRod Stephens-Howling leads Steelers backfield in opener, fantasy value still low

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

With Le'Veon Bell sitting out, Pittsburgh put LaRod Stephens-Howling in with the first team offense. We break down the fantasy implications.

LaRod Stephens-Howling rushed for 40 yards on seven carries in the Steelers preseason opener against the Giants. He worked with the first-team offense and looked the best out of all Pittsburgh running backs on the night.

Isaac Redman started the game at running back, but he only received two carries and was taken out for passing situations and third downs. Jonathan Dwyer finished with just 15 yards on six carries working with the Steelers backups.

Fantasy impact: "The Hyphen" isn't a lock to make the 53-man roster, but his strong first showing will boost his stock in the eyes of his coaches. The Giants run defense ranked towards the bottom of the league last year, and Stephens-Howling made that unit look like the same group we saw in 2012.

Redman is better in pass protection, but the Steelers didn't work him too much on Saturday night. He remains the No. 2 back behind Le'Veon Bell. It's hard for owners to get excited about any of these backs yet, though. Bell is the only one you'll want to grab in drafts right now. Redman looks like his handcuff.

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