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James Conner - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

James Conner
ARI

RB ARI

#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

Week 20 Projections

This player does not have a weekly prediction

Rest Of Way Outlook

Week 14
Conner was an absolute stud on Monday night, despite rushing for 31 yards on his 13 carries. He did find the end zone twice against the Rams. He also caught all 9 of his targets for 94 yards. He flashed receiving skills, including a spectacular 1-handed catch.

His 9 targets are a season high but not too far off of his recent performances. Since the injury to Chase Edmonds, Conner has become more of a threat in the passing game, averaging over 5 targets per game over the last 5 games.

Going forward, Conner should remain a great option. Edmonds will likely return next week as he was potentially going to be activated for the Monday night game. This may cause Conner to take a slight hit in the catch department, but he should see the vast majority of the backfield opportunities.

He is also a highly productive red zone option, scoring in 6 of his last 7 games. In fact he has only failed to score in 4 games and has 14 rushing TDs on the season.

If there is a concern, however, Conner is having an MRI on his ankle on Monday. Combined with HC Kliff Kingsbury mentioning, per Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com, “...that he probably has played Conner too many snaps in Chase Edmonds' absence but that Conner has held up.” His work may be dialed back especially with the Cardinals long term goals.
Week 13
In a windy, rainy game, Conner was the centerpiece of the Arizona offense with 20 carries and 2 targets. But the weather, along with the Cardinals jumping out to a big lead and putting the clamps on any potential for a strong passing attack, the Bears were able to focus on the run. As a result, Conner was held to fewer than 4 yards per carry. However, with 1 of his 2 targets, he made a one-handed catch, and used a combination of power and elusiveness to score a TD. He had multiple other chances to score from inside the 5-yard line, but when he didn’t cash in, Kyler Murray ultimately ran in 2 short scores.

Even though he’s rushing for fewer than 4 yards per carry, the amount of work he gets in the red zone certainly makes that number look worse than reality. And for fantasy, his secure role near the goal line on a strong offense ensures he can find the end zone in any week, as he had done in every week since Week 3. With Chase Edmonds (ankle) expected back soon, the passing-game role that Conner has thrived in during Edmonds’ absence may disappear, as Conner had just 5 receptions in the 8 games that Edmonds started. He has a pair of middling matchups against the Rams and Colts in Weeks 14 and 16 along with a cupcake matchup in Week 15 against the Lions and a tough matchup against Dallas in Week 17.
Week 11
Conner rushed 21 times for 62 yards and 1 TD in the Cardinals' Week 11 win over the Seahawks, adding 5 catches for 37 yards on 6 targets.
Conner’s season has been a revelation as he has now scored TDs in 5 straight games and is up to 12 rushing scores on the year. Conner has had 26 touches in 2 of the Cardinals’ past 3 games with Chase Edmonds still dealing with an ankle sprain.
The Cardinals go on bye for Week 12 and Conner should be deployed as an RB2 with RB1 upside for Week 13 if Edmonds remains out.
Week 10
Conner’s first start was doomed from the beginning. The Cardinals were down 17 by the end of the first quarter. This led to a terrible game script that saw Conner only get 10 carries on the week. The encouraging sign for Conner owners is he did work as the lead back in the pass game. Conner saw 4 targets while running 18 routes vs. only 1 target on 7 routes for Eno Benjamin. This usage should lead to much bigger weeks for Conner once Kyler Murray returns.
In Week 11 the Cardinals take on the Seahawks. The Seahawks this season have allowed the 2nd most points to RBs per game. This includes 20-point performances to A.J. Dillion, Najee Harris and Alvin Kamara over the past 4 games. If Murray returns in Week 11, Conner could be on the RB1 map this week.
Week 9
Conner rushed 21 times for 96 yards and 2 TDs in the Cardinals' Week 9 win over the 49ers, adding 5catches for 77 yards and another TD.
Conner now has 11 TDs on the season as he has turned his career around in Arizona. Conner had by far his best game of the season and was the highest scoring player on the Week 9 slate as Chase Edmonds left the game in the 1st quarter with a high-ankle sprain.
The Cardinals’ blocking was exceptional and Conner trucked through a shaky 49ers defense in a huge Week 9 divisional matchup.
Conner will be a RB1 with Edmonds expected to miss a few weeks with his ankle injury.
Week 8
The game script kept the running game at bay for the Cardinals in this matchup against the Packers on Thursday Night Football. Fortunately, Conner was able to score 2-yard rushing TD in 3rd quarter and a 9-yard rushing TD in the 4th quarter on an explosive run up the gut. He continues to be the preferred option down near the goal line for this Cardinals offense. However, he was out touched 11-5 by Chase Edmonds in this one. He finished the night with 5 carries for 22 yards. Conner has been held to 10 or less carries in 3 of the Cardinals previous 4 games. His opportunities have dropped lately, and it is concerning for him moving forward. Conner is our RB32 this week against San Francisco. The 49ers have given up a rushing TD to a RB in 5 of their first 7 games. The next three games on the Cardinals schedule are @SF, CAR, and @SEA. Conner should continue to get goal line work but as of right now, his opportunities will be limited with Chase Edmonds in the picture.
Week 7
Conner produced 64 yards and a TD on his 10 carries on Sunday. It was a bit surprising to see him get 10 total opportunities despite averaging 6.4 yards per carry. It was also the first time since Week 2 where he didn't see a single target. Conner's value remains stronger in non-PPR. He has found the end zone in 4 of the last 5 games, seeing double-digit carries in every week but Week 2. Prior to this week, he had seen a noticeable uptick in attempts in games where Arizona dominated. Conner could see a bump as early as this week. Green Bay is likely without a good chunk of its passing game and this one could get ugly.
Week 6
Conner probably isn’t sad about Chase Edmonds’ shoulder injury. After a slight bump in Week 5 playing time (vs. the game before), Conner spent a season-high 55% of snaps on the field in the win over Cleveland. He handled 16 of 24 RB carries in a game that saw Edmonds log no 2nd-half touches. Conner ran for 71 yards, adding a reception for no gain.

Conner has benefited from Arizona’s 6-0 start, logging 57% of his carries in 2nd halves of games so far. Conner has also operated as the lead goal-line back, garnering 11 rushing attempts inside the 10-yard line vs. 5 for Edmonds. All 5 of Conner’s TDs have come in that range.

Conner’s role and spread-it-around offense will make him a TD-reliant volatile fantasy play. But Edmonds’ shoulder issue plus a matchup with lowly Houston could increase his opportunity again in Week 7.
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 »

Cardinals RB James Conner (ribs) returned to practice on Saturday. HC Kliff Kingsbury said the veteran was “able to do some things” during the session, per ESPN's Josh Weinfuss. (Thanks, coach.) Conner remains a game-time decision for Monday night, but today’s development makes him a small favorite to play against L.A.

View all James Conner Shark Bites »

Cardinals RB James Conner (ribs) remained out and RB Chase Edmonds (ribs, toe) remained limited on Friday. Both guys will be game-time decisions, according to HC Kliff Kingsbury, but Edmonds looks like the safer bet to play at this point. We'll get Arizona's final injury report on Saturday afternoon.

View all James Conner Shark Bites »

Cardinals RB James Conner (ribs) did not practice on Thursday. RB Chase Edmonds (ribs, toe) was limited. HC Kliff Kingsbury labeled both guys game-time decisions for Monday night's Wild Card game vs. the Rams, but Edmonds appears to be the healthier of the 2 right now. We'll get another update on the situation on Friday afternoon.

View all James Conner Shark Bites »

Cardinals RB James Conner suffered a rib injury in the 4th quarter of Sunday's game vs. the Seahawks and is officially questionable to return. Arizona is already without RB Chase Edmonds and also lost RB Jonathan Ward to a knee injury today. RB Eno Benjamin is the last man standing.

View all James Conner Shark Bites »

Cardinals RB James Conner (heel) is active for today’s game vs. the Seahawks. He was limited in practice all week and listed as questionable, so it’s unclear how close to 100% he is for this one. But Conner averaged 17.0 carries and 5.2 targets in 5 games without RB Chase Edmonds earlier this season, so the ceiling is lofty.

View all James Conner Shark Bites »

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