RB James Conner - Pittsburgh Steelers

6-1, 233Born: 5-5-1995College: PittsburghDrafted: Round 3, pick 105 (2017)

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Photo: Charles LeClaire, US Presswire


James Conner was the Steelers lead back in 2018 with Le'Veon Bell holding out for the entire season. Now, with the Bell gone to the Jets things should be a rinse-repeat for Conner when it comes to touches and production. An ankle injury knocked him out for three games last year, so Conner needs to show that he can stay durable as the bellcow for the Steelers. In 2018, Conner had 973 rushing yards, 12 rushing touchdowns, adding 55 catches for 497 yards and one touchdown. His all-purpose ability means he doesn't have to come off the field on passing downs. Conner has the power to grind down an opponent, and we'll see if he gets used a bit more as a receiver. The Steelers traded away WR Antonio Brown this offseason and that is a big hole to fill for the passing game. If they continue to be a pass-happy team, then Conner could be in line for more work as a receiver out of the backfield. If they want to run the ball more, well that's good news for Conner too. Last year, Conner was the no.6 fantasy running back in standard-scoring leagues. With more receptions, more carries and staying healthy a full 16 games we could see him breakout as a top-5 RB no question. (May 10)

FBG Staff Rankings

RB Redraft - 9, 6, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 11, 14
Overall Redraft - 12, 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 14, 15, 20, 29
RB Redraft PPR - 8, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 13, 13
Overall Redraft PPR - 15, 8, 10, 10, 13, 13, 13, 14, 19, 19, 27, 30
RB Dynasty - 11, 7, 8, 12, 12, 12, 14
Overall Dynasty - 19, 15, 23, 24, 26

Stats and Projections

2017 PIT 14 32 144 0 1 0 0 0
2018 PIT 13 215 973 12 71 55 497 1 2
2019 PROJ-Dodds 15.0 220.0 * * 55.0 * * *
2019 PROJ-Henry 14.5 210.0 * * 51.0 * * *
2019 PROJ-Wood 15.0 250.0 * * 60.0 * * *
2019 PROJ-Tremblay 16.0 216.0 * * 48.2 * * *

* - Footballguys Insiders can see full projections on this page. See just below for how to sign up.

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.

Average Draft Position

Overall: 10
RB: 8
Overall-PPR: 12

Pittsburgh Steelers Team Links

Team Report      Depth Chart      Season Stats      Targets      Red Zone      Game Logs

Footballguys Articles

Free Agency Roundtable: Le'Veon Bell to the New York Jets - Footballguys
  Phil Alexander - March 17
Will James Conner Prove to be a One-Year Wonder?
  Daniel Simpkins - June 25
Why Le'Veon Bell Is Still a Top-5 Draft Pick
  Justin Bonnema - June 25
The Gut Check No.473: The 10 Toughest Picks of 2019
  Matt Waldman - June 25
Pick-a-Player: Devonta Freeman, Aaron Jones, or Marlon Mack
  FBG Staff - June 24
Mock Draft Report Card: Early Draft Position
  Chad Parsons - June 24
Pre-Camp PPR Running Back Tiers and Strategy
  Sigmund Bloom - June 20
Pick-a-Player: James Conner, Todd Gurley, or Joe Mixon
  FBG Staff - June 17
Dynasty Trade Value Chart: June
  Dan Hindery - June 3
Which Rookie RB Is in a Great Situation?
  FBG Staff - June 2

Articles from around the web

Breaking down the fantasy stock of the top RBs by elusive rating
  Scott Barrett - June 13
Different ways to look at yards per carry for fantasy
  Scott Barrett - June 14
Joe Mixon Will Rise Into the Top Tier of Fantasy Football Running Backs in 2019
  Neil Dutton - June 13
Fantasy football preseason preview: Running Backs
  David Dorey - June 11
Aging curves: How years in the league impact flex players' fantasy potential
  Scott Barrett - June 6
Fantasy football preseason preview: Quarterbacks
  David Dorey - June 6
What do we do with Todd Gurley for fantasy?
  Jeff Ratcliffe - June 5
Qadree Ollison- Rising Opportunity
  Jon Diment - June 2
13 Early Fantasy Football Sleepers
  Fantasy Pros Staff - May 30
Joe Mixon: From Good to Elite
  Brandon Niles - May 28

Latest News

Steelers | James Conner has breakaway skills (Sun Jun 23, 02:53 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner finished with a 34.9 breakaway percentage in 2018, meaning that 340 of his 972 rushing yards came on plays of 15 or more yards.

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Steelers | James Conner thrived on big plays (Sun Jun 23, 01:06 AM) - Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner gained 340 of his 972 rushing yards on runs of 15 yards or longer last season, according to Pro Football Focus.

Our View: Conner definitely benefited from an offense that kept defenses off balance behind a great offensive line and dangerous downfield passing game. Antonio Brown's loss is a negative, but overall the situation is still a positive. He isn't a speedy back, so the longer gains may be limited this year with defenses able to contract unless James Washington, Donte Moncrief, or third-round pick Diontae Johnson present a credible downfield threat opposite Juju Smith-Schuster.
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Steelers | Pittsburgh looking to share RB workload? (Thu Jun 13, 02:15 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner amassed more than 62 percent of his team's carries and 64 percent of the targets to running backs last season, but he is under the impression those numbers will come down this season based on what he has seen during spring practices, especially from Jaylen Samuels and rookie Benny Snell.'I think it'll be spread out pretty evenly. ... 'I've seen (Snell's) college tape. He's also learned the offense really quick. I know he'll be ready to play this year. Jaylen, obviously, is going to make a lot of plays, too,' Conner told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Our View: Keep this in mind when consider Conner in your fantasy drafts this year. Conner has a current ADP of RB9 (1.12) in 12-team PPR leagues. Snell is not getting drafted and Samuels is RB44 (10.02). We like Samuels as a valuable handcuff if you've got the bench space. If Conner were to miss time, Samuels has win-your-league upside and doesn't need to come off the field. We'll see how this group shakes out in training camp and the preseason.
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2019 Schedule

1@ New England Patriots
2vs Seattle Seahawks
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