If you ask Steelers RB James Conner about how the team plans to divvy touches among him, Jaylen Samuels and rookie Benny Snell this season, you might get scared off drafting him in Round 1. "I think it'll be spread out pretty evenly," Conner said Wednesday, according to Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. We would certainly bet on Pittsburgh siphoning a bit of Conner's work for the other guys in the backfield. But he drew 62.3% of Steelers carries last season, the league's 6th largest share -- despite missing 3 games. Conner's 76% share of team carries over his 13 games would have led all RBs for the season. So he can shed some work and still deliver RB1 numbers in fantasy. His targets could be more in danger, though. Conner drew 12.5% of Pittsburgh looks over his 13 games last year, which would have ranked 15th among RBs for the season. In the lone game he shared with Samuels after returning from the ankle sprain, Conner carried 14 times vs. Samuels' 2 but drew just 3 targets to Samuels' 8. Of course, more targets figure to be available overall, with Antonio Brown gone. And last year's 2nd most pass-heavy offense could lean further toward the run in 2019 -- which would boost carry volume. We'll see how things progress in the Pittsburgh backfield this summer.
Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) is active for today’s game against the Bengals. He put in 3 practices this week and passed his final test in pregame warmups. We’re expecting Conner to step back in as Pittsburgh’s lead back, with RB Jaylen Samuels in a change-of-pace role.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirms that Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) is expected to return for today's game against the Bengals. "But the team wants to see how he is after he warms up to be sure," Rapoport adds. Conner got in 3 full practices this week, so it'd be a major surprise if he didn't play. We won't get Pittsburgh's inactives until 3 pm ET, but Conner can be penciled into fantasy lineups.
Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Bengals. He was a full-go in practice all week, though, putting him on track to play. Conner might cede some passing-down work to Jaylen Samuels, but we’re expecting him to step back in as Pittsburgh’s lead back.
Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) was listed as a full participant in Wednesday's practice. That presumably puts him on track to return for this weekend's game against the Bengals. Conner might lose more work than he had been to Jaylen Samuels, but that matchup will make him a strong Week 17 fantasy play.
Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) remained sidelined all week and is out for Sunday’s game against the Saints. So Jaylen Samuels gets another game as lead back. It’s a tough draw against a stout Saints run defense, but Samuels can do damage in the passing game. He’s a RB2 with more value in PPR lineups.
Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) remained sidelined on Thursday. He's shaping up as a long shot to play against the Saints this weekend. Look for Jaylen Samuels to again serve as Pittsburgh's feature back in the Superdome.
Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday. He admitted to reporters afterward that he's still having trouble cutting and that his injured ankle "isn't ready yet." Conner now seems worse than 50/50 to play against the Saints this weekend. That'd again leave Jaylen Samuels as Pittsburgh's lead back. Check back tomorrow for another update.
Steelers RB James Conner (knee) is inactive for today’s game against the Patriots. So the backfield is again left to Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley. Samuels played 80% of the snaps last week, tallying 11 carries and 7 targets. He’s a nice RB2 play.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Steelers RB James Conner is not expected to play against the Patriots tomorrow. Conner's officially questionable but has practiced just once (Friday) since suffering the initial injury. Conner's expected absence keeps RB Jaylen Samuels in starter territory. Stevan Ridley carried just 5 times last week at Oakland, with Conner out -- and shouldn't be on the fantasy radar.
Update: The Steelers have downgraded Conner to doubtful.
Steelers RB James Conner (knee) is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game against the Patriots. He returned to a limited practice on Friday after sitting out the previous 2 days. We’re still not expecting Conner to play vs. New England, but we’ll look for updates on his status Sunday morning. Steelers-Patriots doesn’t kick off until 4:25 pm ET.
Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) remained sidelined on Thursday. OC Randy Fichtner said that Conner could play without practicing, so he hasn't been ruled out. But he's still looking unlikely to play against the Patriots this weekend.
Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) remained sidelined for Wednesday's practice. There's been some talk that Conner could return for this weekend's game against the Patriots, but fantasy owners shouldn't be banking on it at this point. We'll update Conner's status again tomorrow.
Steelers RB James Conner could remain sidelined for next weekend's game against the Patriots, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Conner didn't practice at all this week and will be re-evaluated on Monday. We'll see what Pittsburgh's Conner-less backfield looks like against the Raiders today. It's worth noting that Rapoport said RB Jaylen Samuels will get the "bulk of the carries."
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin told reporters Tuesday that RB James Conner will miss Sunday's game at Oakland. Tomlin said the injury is more significant than originally believed, deeming it a sprain rather than a contusion. For what it's worth, Dr. David Chao tweeted Sunday night that it looked like a "mild" high-ankle sprain from his video review. Conner's absence will put rookie Jaylen Samuels and veteran Stevan Ridley in charge of the backfield. We're not likely to know ahead of time exactly how the work will be split. Samuels, who played multiple positions in college, is the more deft pass-catcher and higher-upside fantasy play between them. He scored Pittsburgh's final TD on a 10-yard reception Sunday night after Conner left. The Steelers have also promoted RB Trey Edmunds from the practice squad.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirms that Steelers RB James Conner's lower-leg injury is "not considered major at all." He's reportedly dealing with just a contusion. "How much it swells will be telling," Rapoport adds. Conner avoided a long-term injury here, but he still shouldn't be considered a lock to be ready for Sunday's game against the Raiders. We'll keep a close eye on him all week. Conner's absence would leave Pittsburgh's backfield to Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley.
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