RB James Conner - Pittsburgh Steelers

6-1, 233Born: 5-5-1995College: PittsburghDrafted: Round 3, pick 2017

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Photo: Charles LeClaire, US Presswire

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News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Sep 16): Conner's knee injury ended up being no big thing and he may not miss any time, but losing Ben Roethlisberger is very big indeed for this offense and Conner's fantasy stock.

General News (Fri Sep 20): practiced fully on Friday and is not on the team's injury report. He will be available to play this week.

General News (Thu Sep 19): practiced fully on Thursday.

General News (Wed Sep 18): did not practice on Wednesday.

General News (Mon Sep 16): said during his show on @937theFan that he's confident he will play Sunday, no tears or anything significant with his knee.

General News (Mon Sep 16): is not expected to miss much - if any - time with the knee injury that sidelined him late in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, multiple teammates believe the injury is not serious, and Conner appeared to be moving fine walking around the locker room after the game

Week 3: at San Francisco 49ers

All RB vs SF

FBG says: Tough matchup. James Conner survived a scare this week when his knee injury proved minor. He's expected to start and carry a typical workload in Week 3, with Jaylen Samuels in his change-of-pace role. Going forward, their primary challenge will be staying efficient as the Steelers revamp their offense on the fly. Mason Rudolph will step in under center, which will almost certainly bring down the passing game's effectiveness to some degree. Conner is a powerful, determined runner, so his week-to-week floor is always fairly solid. But he could struggle for upside without a prolific passing game to keep defenses honest. The Pittsburgh line, led by Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro in the middle, still ranks among the league's best. It's a versatile group, capable of opening holes all over the formation. But there will be more defensive focus upfront now, and Conner likely lacks the speed and explosiveness to manufacture big runs out of nothing. Scatback Samuels, who has taken just five carries thus far, should be more involved going forward. Game flow should keep him on the field more, and his explosive burst will be an asset as the Steelers regroup. The 49ers were near-dominant against the run in 2018, and after their dominance in Week 2, project to stay that way. On Sunday, they allowed the Bengals just 25 yards over 19 desperate attempts to kick-start the ground game. The game script played a role, with the 49ers jumping ahead 31-10 early in the second half, as did Joe Mixon's injury status. But this was a swarming performance, and much closer to the level of play usually put forth by this unit. The line is stout and packed with playmakers; DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead make for daunting matchups upfront. Rookie Nick Bosa brings even more dynamism to the group, though he failed to make an impact or even record a stat in Week 2. The dominance of this front makes life easier on the mediocre linebacking corps, freeing them up to make unobstructed tackles. Safety Jaquiski Tartt remains a solid contributor in the box, as well. All around, this is not an easy fantasy matchup to exploit. Over their last 18 games, they've allowed only 4 runners to top 70 yards, with just 12 touchdowns along the way.

Recent Stats and Projections

1 at NE 32 10 21 0 4 4.0 44 0 0 6.5
2 vs SEA 31 11 33 1 4 3.0 12 0 0 10.5
3 at SF PROJ-Dodds * 15 * * 2.9 * * * *
3 at SF PROJ-Tremblay * 11 * * 2.5 * * * *
3 at SF PROJ-Bloom * 16 * * 3.0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36

Percentile ranks

James Conner's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 2 vs SEA (11 / 33 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 12 / 0 rec)

It looked like early on in the game James Conner was going to be a focal point of the game. The Steelers were using the Seahawks aggressiveness against them as Roethlisberger, and Rudolph, were allowing oncoming rushers to get close and then hit Conner in the flat when they over pursued their angle. James Conner, by both quarterbacks, handled significant punishment when targeted. On a reception in the third quarter Conner didn't catch, he was hit hard immediately after missing the catch and again late in the third quarter before leaving with a knee injury. Conner had multiple runs where he was close to breaking off a bigger run than what he had. Conner's best run of the night came on a run up the middle. It looked like there wasn't any room, but Conner got small and navigated himself through the Steelers line for a 10+ yard run.

2019 Week 1 vs NE (10 / 21 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 44 / 0 rec)

After touching the ball on four out of the first five plays of the game, it looked like the Steelers were planning on feeding Conner a healthy workload against the Steelers. Conner did not have any big gains to start the game, but was picking his way through the Patriots defense patiently and taking what was given. After the first five plays of the game, James Conner did not see another touch until the second quarter of the game, when he was stuffed on a third and short, forcing the Steelers to punt the ball. On their fourth possession of the game, Conner received three straight toss plays. On the first, Conner picked up five yards and followed his pulling guard perfectly. The second, was a quick toss to the left from shotgun where Conner caught the ball and picked his way through the center of the Patriots offense. On the third straight toss, which looked identical to the first, linebacker Jamie Collins cut through the Steelers offensive line and tackled Conner for a four yard loss on third down, stalling another Steelers drive. Conner's best run came in the second quarter. He was lined up in the slot and ran a drag route. Conner made the defender miss and was able to take advantage after the catch. Conner looked to be removed from the game early when it was out of hand.


Latest News

Steelers | James Conner takes part in practice (Fri Sep 20, 05:48 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (knee) fully participated in practice Friday, Sept. 20, and is not on the injury report for Week 3.

Our View: Conner fully participated on both Thursday and Friday. He's good to go in the now Mason Rudolph-led Steelers offense. Conner is a high-end RB2 for Fantasy GMs on Sunday against the 49ers.
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Steelers | Week 3 injury report for Pittsburgh (Fri Sep 20, 03:42 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers DT Anthony Chickillo (foot), FB Roosevelt Nix (knee) and LB Vince Williams (hamstring) did not practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers. CB Joe Haden (shoulder), RB James Conner (knee), TE Vance McDonald (back), LB Mark Barron (non-injury) and LB Bud Dupree (ankle) were full participants in practice Friday, Sept. 20, and no longer appear on the injury report.

Our View: Williams being out helps Mark Barron and Devin Bush in fantasy leagues. Conner is fine to start in fantasy leagues after having an injury scare last week.
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Steelers | James Conner upgraded to full participant (Thu Sep 19, 06:03 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (knee) was upgraded to a full participant at practice Thursday, Sept. 19.

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Steelers | James Conner back at practice Thursday (Thu Sep 19, 02:56 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (knee) returned to practice Thursday, Sept. 19.

Our View: Conner's good to go for the game at San Francisco, but the Steelers offense will have a new quarterback. Hopefully they will be more balanced with Ben Roethlisberger, which could help Conner's numbers make up for any loss in efficiency with Mason Rudolph in.
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Steelers | James Conner unable to practice (Wed Sep 18, 05:41 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Our View: Let's wait until Friday to see if Conner can practice by then. Jaylen Samuels would get a larger role if Conner has to miss any time.
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More News

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3@ San Francisco 49ers
4vs Cincinnati Bengals
5vs Baltimore Ravens
6@ Los Angeles Chargers
7--- BYE WEEK ---
8vs Miami Dolphins
9vs Indianapolis Colts
10vs Los Angeles Rams
11@ Cleveland Browns
12@ Cincinnati Bengals
13vs Cleveland Browns
14@ Arizona Cardinals
15vs Buffalo Bills
16@ New York Jets
17@ Baltimore Ravens