James Conner Fantasy Football News 2020

The NFL is postponing this week's Steelers-Titans game after multiple Tennessee players tested positive for COVID earlier this week, according to ESPN's Dianna Russini. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, meanwhile, hears that the game will be rescheduled for either Monday or Tuesday. That'd keep all Pittsburgh and Tennessee players available to use in Week 4 fantasy lineups. We're keeping those guys in the Week 4 Rankings for now -- but it'd still be wise to line up alternatives in case the situation changes.

Steelers RBs James Conner and Benny Snell are expected to split carries in today's game against the Broncos, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Conner, of course, struggled early in Week 1 before exiting with an ankle injury. Snell ran for over 100 yards in his absence. HC Mike Tomlin historically prefers to ride a workhorse back, so this could turn into a hot-hand situation. Conner and Snell are both risk/reward Week 2 fantasy plays.

Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) put in full practices on Thursday and Friday and isn't listed on the final Week 2 injury report. So he'll play in this weekend's game against the Broncos. But it's unclear how carries will be divvied after RB Benny Snell played well in Conner's absence in the opener. Pittsburgh will also be without offensive linemen David DeCastro, Stefan Wisniewski and Zach Banner vs. Denver.

Steelers RB James Conner put in a full practice Thursday. That's a little surprising after he sat out Wednesday following the Monday night ankle sprain. It just might indicate that Conner could have played more against the Giants but didn't because Benny Snell displayed the hot hand. This will be a tough situation to parse for Week 2 fantasy lineups. We'll hope to get some indication on usage from Pittsburgh coaches before the Sunday games.

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin indicated Tuesday that RB James Conner has a chance to play Sunday against the Broncos, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Conner left Monday night's win over the Giants with an ankle sprain and then watched Benny Snell rack up 113 yards. We'd bet that even an active Conner wouldn't operate as a workhorse against Denver. We'll watch his practice participation this week.

Steelers RB James Conner sprained his left ankle in Monday night's win over the Giants. He'll have it examined further Tuesday, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the team is "optimistic for a timely return." Conner watched Benny Snell run for 113 yards on 19 carries (5.9 per rush) in his place. That might lead to Snell siphoning some Conner carries even when the starter returns. We'll keep an eye out for further updates on the situation.

Steelers RB James Conner suffered a left ankle injury in the 1st half of Monday night's game against the Giants. He's officially questionable to return. Conner has been on the sidelines since exiting, but it doesn't look like he'll return to this one. RB Benny Snell has run well in Conner's absence. We'll update Conner's status when we learn more.

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin called RB James Conner a "featured guy" and "proven runner when healthy" in a recent conference call with reporters. “I’m a featured-runner type guy by mentality,” Tomlin added. “I think that when you have a featured runner, it gives him the opportunity to drop a stake in the ground and allows others to rally around him, and it gives him a set of core base run plays that he specializes in, and you find a rhythm that way.” Tomlin has had a RB top 240 carries in 7 of his 13 seasons with the Steelers. But Conner has had trouble staying healthy; the Steelers have added Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland to the backfield over the last 3 drafts; and longtime Steelers insider Ed Bouchette expects more of a committee backfield this season. It'll be a situation to monitor closely throughout the summer. Right now, Conner carries a wide range of 2020 outcomes, making him a risk/reward pick in the 4th or 5th round of fantasy drafts.

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin is "extremely confident" QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) will be ready for Week 1. Big Ben is recovering from September surgery on his throwing elbow. “We like where we are," Tomlin said. "He’s throwing on a rehab schedule, and it’s going well, and we fully anticipate him being ready to go for that opener.” A healthy Roethlisberger is the key to a bounce-back season for WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and the rest of Pittsburgh's offense.

The Athletic's Ed Bouchette expects the Steelers to go with a committee backfield this season. That'd be a change from what Pittsburgh has usually done under HC Mike Tomlin. But RB James Conner has had trouble staying healthy as lead back. And the Steelers now have depth at the position with Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell and rookie Anthony McFarland alongside Conner. "The room is crowded, but there really is not a leader of the pack," Bouchette writes. "Conner will get every chance to show he can stay healthy, and they’re likely to cut back on his carries even if he remains injury-free for two reasons: to help save him and to use some of their other backs." Conner remains the best fantasy bet here by a pretty big margin. Just don't expect him to get the RB1-level volume folks who drafted him in the 1st or 2nd round last summer thought they were getting.

The Steelers selected Maryland RB Anthony McFarland in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Watch McFarland’s 298-yard, 2-TD dismantling of Ohio State back in 2018 and you’d think he’s 1 of the top backs in this class. That was part of an impressive redshirt freshman season that saw him tally 1,034 yards on 7.9 yards per carry. 39 of his 131 carries went for 10+ yards that year. McFarland took a colossal step back this past season, though, battling through a high-ankle sprain and totaling just 614 yards on 114 carries (5.4 YPC). He’s also fairly inexperienced in the passing game, with only 24 catches across the past 2 years. But McFarland’s flashes are exciting. And the 5’8, 208-pounder confirmed his big-play ability with a 4.44-second 40 time at the Combine. He’s an intriguing addition to Pittsburgh’s backfield alongside James Conner, Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels.

Steelers RB James Conner (thigh) is out for Sunday’s game against the Ravens. That leaves RB Benny Snell as Pittsburgh’s lead ball-carrier, with RB Jaylen Samuels the best bet for targets. RBs Kerrith Whyte and Trey Edmunds also figure to mix in.

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin admitted Tuesday that RB James Conner's (quad) availability for this weekend's game against the Ravens is "very much in question." Conner has seemingly been battling injuries all season. We're not expecting him to suit up on Sunday, leaving Pittsburgh's backfield to Benny Snell, Jaylen Samuels and Kerrith Whyte.

Steelers RB James Conner suffered a thigh injury in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Jets. He's officially questionable to return. We'll update Conner's status when we learn more.

Update: Conner has been ruled out.

7:12pm EST 12/15/19

Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) is active for tonight’s game against the Bills. He’s expected to draw the start but cede some work to RBs Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels. Consider Conner a RB2 with upside vs. a below-average Buffalo run defense.

Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) is expected to play tonight against the Bills and "should be treated as the starter," according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. He adds, however, that we should expect Conner to "split carries" with Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell. Conner is certainly in play as a potential fantasy starter. Just don't expect workhorse-level touches as he got when healthy early in the year.

Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) is listed as questionable for Sunday night's game against the Bills. He put in a full week of practice, though, and is expected to play. We'll look for confirmation on Sunday morning.

Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) put in a full practice on Wednesday. That puts him on track to return for Sunday night's game against the Bills. Conner should slide back in as Pittsburgh's lead back -- although he'll come with elevated risk after lasting just 13 snaps the last time he tried to return from this shoulder injury.

Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) ruled himself out for Sunday's game against the Cardinals. He's been a limited participant in practice lately but seems to be playing it safe after re-injuring the shoulder last time out. Consider him questionable for Week 15. Conner's absence means another game as lead back for Benny Snell this weekend. He tallied 37 carries but just 2 targets over the past 2 games.

Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) put in a limited practice on Wednesday. He was limited in the final 2 workouts last week before missing the Browns game, so this doesn't tell us a whole lot. We'll get another update on Conner tomorrow.

 
 
 

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