• James Conner

  • RB
  • , Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 25
  • 233 lbs
  • 6' 1"
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Scouting report

by Bill Riccette

PIT RB James Conner - 2020 Fantasy Football Outlook

Fantasy Upside

Conner looks to be over the injuries than messed up his 2019 season and led to a 33rd-place finish among running games. That's good news as Conner is clearly the leader in what will be a bunched Steelers backfield in 2019. He should see the most opportunity among the running backs and could return to his RB1 status this season.

Fantasy Downside

As mentioned before, Pittsburgh's backfield is quite crowded. Benny Snell Jr., Jaylen Samuels, Trey Edmunds and rookie Anthony McFarland all have a chance to be in the mix. Game scripts could lead to some combination of these backs (and even fullback Derek Watt) getting work during games and lowering the ceiling of Conner. The nine missed games in two seasons will also raise some eyebrows.

2020 Bottom Line

Conner currently holds a fourth-round ADP in 12-team leagues and is our current RB17. Durability is a concern, but if healthy, Conner has shown he can run with some of the other top running backs in fantasy. As John Paulsen notes: "The Steelers are still referring to Conner as their lead back, and when he’s been healthy, he has averaged 18.3 touches for 95 yards and 0.87 touchdowns. The resulting 16.4 PPG (half-PPR) would have tied Austin Ekeler for the seventh-highest average at his position last season. Conner hasn’t proven that he can stay healthy, missing nine games over the last two seasons, so owners should handcuff Benny Snell, if possible."

by Dale Lolley

PIT RB James Conner - Week 16 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 16 at New York Jets
James Conner returned last week, playing 58 percent (24 snaps) of the offensive snaps and carrying the ball eight times for 42 yards and catching four passes for nine yards and a score. The touchdown was his team-high seventh in just nine games this season, so he's been a pretty consistent scorer. The Jets allow just 3.3 yards per carry, but have given up 82 running back receptions, allowing 13 total touchdowns to the position. Conner should excel in the passing game and is the Steelers' best bet to score. He's a solid RB2 play this week.

by Dale Lolley

PIT RB James Conner - Week 15 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 15 vs. Buffalo Bills
James Conner is set to return this week, but don't expect him to go back to a full workload. He'll probably play around 60% of the snaps, picking up some of the slack in the passing game for Jaylen Samuels. The Bills will give up some yards on the ground, but Conner is more of a low-end RB2 in his first game back after sitting out five of the past six weeks with a shoulder injury.

by Dale Lolley

PIT RB James Conner - Week 11 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 11 at Cleveland Browns
James Conner will return to the lineup after missing the past two games with a shoulder sprain. He returns to face a Cleveland defense that allows 4.9 yards per carry and 139 yards rushing per game. This is a nice, juicy matchup. The last time he played, Conner ran for 145 yards on 23 carries. He'll also get all of the goal-line work. Conner is a nice, solid RB2 option, at worst, this week.

by Dale Lolley

PIT RB James Conner - Week 9 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 9 vs. Indianapolis Colts
James Conner has been dealing with an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder after rushing for 145 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries while also catching two passes for 10 yards. Some players have been able to play through an AC joint injury, so there's some hope Conner will be capable. But he'll likely wind up being a game-time decision. If he plays, the Colts offer a juicy matchup. They allow 4.8 yards per carry and have allowed five touchdowns to opposing running backs.

by Dale Lolley

PIT RB James Conner - Week 8 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 8 vs. Miami Dolphins
James Conner has averaged just under 40 yards rushing per game thus far in a disappointing season, though he does lead the Steelers in receptions and has scored five touchdowns to keep himself fantasy relevant. Conner is healthy coming out of the bye week after suffering a quad injury in the Steelers' last outing. He should be a very strong play this week against a terrible Dolphins run defense.

by Dale Lolley

PIT RB James Conner - Week 6 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 6 at Los Angeles Chargers
With Mason Rudolph out and his backup Jaylen Samuels sidelined, James Conner gets to be the main man for the Steelers. And given the team has a bye next week, it wouldn't be surprising if 30 touches are in the cards here. But he'll be running into loaded boxes. As for Conner, he produced 14 carries for 55 yards last week, both season highs, but was not targeted with a pass against the Ravens. Look for at least 20 carries and more work in the passing game this week, which should make Conner an RB1 play.

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