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James Conner - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

James Conner


#35 Running Back

111 Projected Points

ADP: Not Available
Bye: 12
Experience: 4 Yr(s)
Age: 26
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 223
40 Time: 4.65

Weekly Outlook

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Week 6 Projections
Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Pts
37 0.5 0.7 5.4 0 7.2
Weekly Writeup
It's a bit unfair to call Conner a TD-dependent fantasy play because he ranks 16th league-wide in carries. But he's just 31st in rushing yards and has seen only 4 targets all season. So if he doesn't score, you probably won't be happy with the fantasy production.

Rest Of Way Outlook

Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Pts
41 0.5 1.2 8 0 7.9
Week 5
While his 29 yards on 10 carries leave a ton to be desired, Conner once again found the end zone against San Francisco. It was his 3rd straight contest hitting pay dirt, scoring 5 total TDs over that period. He also caught 1 pass for 8 yards.

Going forward, Conner must score a TD to be considered fantasy relevant on a week-to-week basis. From a yardage perspective, he has only eclipsed 50 yards twice, needing 16 and 18 carries to get there. And it's not like he can provide a safe floor in the passing game, having just 4 targets on the season. He can be a fine RB3 or flex, but keep expectations reasonable.
Week 4
Conner took full advantage of his goal-line role in the Week 4 win over the Rams, punching in a pair of 1-yard TDs. He finished with a season-high 18 carries, although he totaled just 50 yards. Conner caught both of his targets for 16 yards.

Chase Edmonds is Arizona’s best RB, but Conner has been good in his role. He’s now scored twice in back-to-back games. He ranks 3rd league-wide with 9 carries inside the 10 and 2nd with 5 carries inside the 5.

Conner is averaging just 43 rushing yards per game and has totaled 3 catches on 3 targets. So, if he doesn’t find the end zone, he’s going to hurt you. But there should be plenty more TDs coming for Conner in this high-scoring Cardinals offense.
Week 1
Conner saw 16 carries for 53 yards in Sunday's rout of the Tennessee Titans. He saw the vast majority of his work when the Cardinals approached the red zone. This kind of usage should set up for Conner to be a frustrating option that can provide value on the weeks where he finds the end zone. He wasn't used in the passing game once in this spot. That could change as the season rolls along but teammate Chase Edmonds should see the vast majority of that work. Connor is a fine option that can help on a short term basis or with bye weeks -- but don’t expect consistent RB2 production. Next up is a matchup with the Vikings.

Basic Stats Preseason Player Analysis

What You Need to Know:

  • Conner posted a 215-973-12 rushing line and 55-497-1 receiving line in 13 games back in 2018. He finished RB7 in PPR points per game and RB6 in non-PPR.
  • It’s been downhill ever since.
  • Conner’s ranks among RBs with 100+ carries in Elusive Rating from 2018-2020: 9th, 14th, 21st.
  • His ranks in Pro Football Focus’ rushing grades: 25th, 37th, 33rd.
  • And his ranks in Football Outsiders’ rushing DVOA: 21st, 38th, 34th.
  • Conner was excellent as a receiver in 2019 but sunk to 33rd in yards per route run and 30th in PFF receiving grade among 37 RBs with 30+ targets last year.
  • Injuries have been a problem during those 3 seasons.
    • Conner missed 3 games in 2018 with a sprained ankle. He also sustained a concussion that year.
    • A sprained shoulder cost him 5 games in 2019. He missed a 6th game with a concussion. Conner also dealt with knee, ankle and quad issues that year.
    • He missed 1 game last year with a quad injury and 2 more on the COVID list. He was also knocked out of the season opener with an ankle injury.
    • And if that wasn’t enough, Conner needed toe surgery this offseason after an ATV accident.
  • Conner inked a 1-year, $1.75 million deal with the Cardinals in April -- about a month into free agency.
  • Arizona is looking to replace the departed Kenyan Drake, who handled 239 carries and 31 targets last year. That was 49.9% of the team’s carries and 5.4% of the targets.
  • Conner and Chase Edmonds will battle for the vast majority of the Cardinals’ RB work this season.
    • Conner actually beat Edmonds in Elusive Rating and PFF rushing grade last year.
    • He also has more than 20 pounds on Edmonds and is probably the favorite for goal-line duties. Edmonds received just 1 carry inside the 5-yard line last year. Conner got 9 and scored on 5 of them.
    • Edmonds racked up 67 targets, 53 catches, 402 yards and 4 TDs last season and easily beat Conner in yards per route run and PFF receiving grade.
  • The Cardinals upgraded the offensive line by trading a 3rd-round pick to Vegas for C Rodney Hudson, who ranked 8th among 32 qualifying Cs in PFF’s 2020 run-blocking grades. That’s a big improvement over last year’s starter, Mason Cole, who ranked 21st.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

Conner waited about a month into free agency before landing a cheap, 1-year deal with the Cardinals. That tells you how the league feels about him at this point. He’s dealt with a bunch of injuries over the last 3 seasons and hasn’t been very effective the past 2.

He finds plenty of opportunity in Arizona, where the Cardinals are looking to replace Kenyan Drake’s 239 carries and 31 targets from a year ago. Conner might be the favorite to lead Chase Edmonds in carries for as long as he can stay healthy. But it’ll be a committee backfield -- and we’re expecting Edmonds to handle most of the pass-catching work.

That leaves Conner looking like just a RB3 for your fantasy squad.

Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

The Cardinals on Monday activated RB James Conner from the COVID list. He had landed there Aug. 12 as a high-risk close contact. Conner's return after just 4 days says he never tested positive for the virus. That he was deactivated as a close contact, though, also indicates Conner hasn't been vaccinated. So he's good to go for now. We'll see whether this issue pops back up for him at any point.

View all James Conner Shark Bites »

The Cardinals on Thursday placed RB James Conner on the COVID list as a high-risk close contact. As long as Conner tests negative, he should be back soon with no reason for further concern. We'll keep an eye out for updates on his situation. Jonathan Ward and Eno Benjamin should see extra reps for as long as Conner is out.

View all James Conner Shark Bites »

According to Jess Root of Cards Wire, Cardinals RB James Conner has sat out team drills in recent days with an unspecified injury. Jonathan Ward has reportedly stepped in for Conner's reps with the 1st team. We haven't seen any other report of a Conner injury, so we're not concerned about the situation just yet. But it'll be one to monitor, given Conner's injury history.

View all James Conner Shark Bites »

ESPN's Josh Weinfuss believes Cardinals RBs Chase Edmonds and James Conner will "split the primary reps to start, with whoever has the hot hand getting the ball." Fantasy drafters are clearly expecting Edmonds to lead this backfield, taking him about 3 rounds ahead of Conner. We'll see if we get more clarity on the situation over the next month, but Conner is probably the better shot at ADP right now.

View all James Conner Shark Bites »

The Cardinals are signing RB James Conner, according to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer. Conner popped for a big year back in 2018, rushing for 973 yards and 12 scores on 4.5 yards per carry and adding a 55-497-1 receiving line. He hasn't looked like the same guy the past 2 seasons, though, averaging 4.2 yards per carry and 6.8 yards per catch. Conner ranked 33rd in Pro Football Focus' rushing grades among 47 RBs with 100+ carries last year. He turns just 26 next month but has dealt with a bunch of injuries, missing 12 games over the last 3 years. Conner and Chase Edmonds figure to battle for snaps this summer. We'll see if the Cardinals add anything else to the backfield in the draft.

View all James Conner Shark Bites »

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