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Dynasty Watch 2017 Rookie & Former Pitt RB James Conner

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James Conner (shoulder) has been ruled out for Week 14 against the Cardinals.

Conner, who has barely played since Week 8, will miss his third straight game, and fifth in six weeks. The early rule out does not bode well for his Week 15 status. Benny Snell is hammering away on early downs in Conner's absence, with Jaylen Samuels continuing in his change-of-pace role. Stashing Conner makes sense if you are on bye or don't need the roster spot for Week 14, but he is a defensible drop if you are desperate to clear a space.

SOURCE: Chris Adamski on Twitter

Dec 5, 2019, 1:57 PM ET

 

Edited by djjosee

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Well at least we dont have to worry about an early exit

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I got an inkling this injury was going to cause him to lose multiple games a couple of weeks ago when I heard his radio show.  He was talking about "stabilizing" the shoulder which did not sound like he was close to being able to return.  I was surprised when he practiced last week but it was only limited and so I see it as making progress but not ready to take a hit.

The Steelers are in a battle for the playoffs down the stretch but the running game has improved to the point where it would be silly to rush Conner back for the Cardinals.

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NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports James Conner (shoulder) is expected to return for Week 15 against the Bills.

Conner will attempt to return from a three-game absence when the Steelers host Buffalo next Sunday night, though it's anyone's guess how long he'll last playing through a shoulder injury that could eventually necessitate surgery. It's unclear if he'd return to a featured role or if the Steelers would limit Conner's exposure by employing him in a committee with Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels. When and if he returns, Conner will by no means be a must-start playing at much less than full strength.

SOURCE: Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Dec 8, 2019, 12:47 PM ET

 

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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said James Conner (shoulder) is expected to practice this week.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) is eyeing a return to practice, too. Tomlin added that he won't worry about workload distribution among Pittsburgh's running backs until Conner's cleared and Jaylen Samuels' (groin) status is determined. Conner would undoubtedly take back lead duties the moment he's available to jump back into game action. Benny Snell can continue to be leaned on as a touchdown-or-bust RB3/4 (and the AFC North's version of Benny Snell) until all return.

SOURCE: Brooke Pryor on Twitter

Dec 10, 2019, 12:10 PM ET

 

 

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On 12/10/2019 at 2:45 PM, Faust said:

Benny Snell can continue to be leaned on as a touchdown-or-bust RB3/4 (and the AFC North's version of Benny Snell) until all return.

 

Benny Snell is the AFC North's version of Benny Snell?  Apt comparison I'd say... LMAO

Anyone got the stones to start Conner if he goes this week?  Against Buffalo isn't the best matchup and is he coming back to a committee for this week?  

I lost Evans so need him back bad.  Praying Tomlin says something on Friday to the tune of "great in practice, he's good to go, he's the horse this weekend"

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3 hours ago, wlwiles said:

Benny Snell is the AFC North's version of Benny Snell?  Apt comparison I'd say... LMAO

Anyone got the stones to start Conner if he goes this week?  Against Buffalo isn't the best matchup and is he coming back to a committee for this week?  

I lost Evans so need him back bad.  Praying Tomlin says something on Friday to the tune of "great in practice, he's good to go, he's the horse this weekend"

Is it a committee when Conner is there though? Didn’t they just lose Samuels too? So Conner should get all the passing work too. 

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I’m concerned about what happened last time he played.  Had full practice.  Wasn’t even on injury report and reinjury during game.  Hard to trust for semis

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James Conner (shoulder) was a full participant for Wednesday's practice.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) also returned to practice for the first time since Pittsburgh's #HelmetGate fiasco against Cleveland. With Conner trending towards playing, fantasy players should downgrade fourth-round sloth Benny Snell altogether (even with Jaylen Samuels unlikely to suit up). Reminder Conner played 83 percent of the team's offensive snaps in his last full game before suffering an injury in Week 11.

SOURCE: Dale Lolley on Twitter

Dec 11, 2019, 4:14 PM ET

 

 

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I think if Conner plays at all this week they'll ease him in.  Snell, Samuels and Whyte have been doing a pretty good job though Samuels is banged up and did not practice yesterday.

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I hate that his game is Sunday night!  I will have to decide if I put him over Parker / Laird /Gallup before then.

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6 minutes ago, djjosee said:

I hate that his game is Sunday night!  I will have to decide if I put him over Parker / Laird /Gallup before then.

There’s obviously a question of whether he could get knocked out again during the game, but as far as whether or not he’s going to play, sounds like he definitely is playing:

Link

 I fully expect James Conner to play Sunday. Only listed as questionable because the Steelers got fined for not putting Roethlisberger on the injury list earlier this season. There's no probable designation any longer. But Conner practiced fully all week.

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ESPN's Adam Schefter reports James Conner (shoulder) is expected to play in Week 15 against the Bills.

This was expected since Conner was a full participant for every practice this week. Re-aggravation is always in the cards, but Conner should at the very least be viewed as a usage-based RB2 since he handled 26 touches on 83 percent of Pittsburgh's offensive snaps in his last full game in Week 8. While stout overall, Buffalo's front-seven has quietly leaked 4.56 yards per carry as Football Outsiders' No. 17 rush defense DVOA to enemy backs.

SOURCE: Adam Schefter on Twitter

Dec 15, 2019, 12:00 AM ET

 

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JAMES CONNERRB, PITTSBURGH STEELERS

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports James Conner (questionable, shoulder) will start Week 15 against the Bills but will split carries with Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels.

The plan is to ease Conner in coming off a three-game absence. It's a sensible approach given Conner's history—durability has never been his strong suit—though Snell and Samuels' continued presence obviously puts a damper on his fantasy prospects. Conner remains the favorite for goal-line looks in Pittsburgh, but his role in what projects as a backfield timeshare limits him to back-end RB2 status.

RELATED: 

Jaylen Samuels

, Benny Snell

SOURCE: Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Dec 15, 2019, 8:17 AM ET

 

Does this change any opinions?

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18 minutes ago, djjosee said:

Does this change any opinions?

I’m desperate for upside. So I have to leave him in my lineup. 

I’m worried, but at this point he’s pretty much the best option I’ve got.
 

The Steelers have been rotating running backs in odd ways the last few games since Conner went out. It’s an uncomfortable start, but at least knowing he’s the starter is good.

Maybe if he gets a hot start they keep feeding him. And I’ll take goal line carries.

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21 minutes ago, djjosee said:

Does this change any opinions?

Nope.  It makes total sense, but I also have zero trust/respect in Rappoport's "reporting"

 

So, i had always planned to start Miles Sanders to see 1. how Conner is used and 2. how he holds up.

If you dont have better options then I wouldn't let Rappoport talk me off a guy I expect to get 12-15 carries, 2-3 catches and who has a 50-50 shot at a TD.

 

Good luck

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I'm in much the same boat, I could go with J.Williams GB, but he is so hit/miss that I'm literally just gambling on Conner hitting more this week than J-Will. 

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5 minutes ago, Dacomish said:

I'm in much the same boat, I could go with J.Williams GB, but he is so hit/miss that I'm literally just gambling on Conner hitting more this week than J-Will. 

J Will on my bench for Conner if that helps.

But I also have Adams and GB defense and never like so many eggs in one basket.

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3 minutes ago, VikingFrog said:

J Will on my bench for Conner if that helps.

But I also have Adams and GB defense and never like so many eggs in one basket.

I also have A.Jones going and many times this year when Conner was out I had to use both him and J-Will. Hopefully its not the week where J-Will gets the looks and Jones gets Nada...

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7 minutes ago, mozzy84 said:

I can't trust him, starting Landry and Hunt over him. I'm sure it will be the wrong move

Your a sacrifice is appreciated.

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James Conner (shoulder) is active for Week 15 against Buffalo.

Conner will start, but all three running backs should see touches this week. It makes Conner a risky play coming off a three-game layoff against a top defense. Inactive for the Steelers CB Artie Burns, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, TE Vance McDonald, DE Isaiah Buggs, OLB Tuzar Skipper, QB Paxton Lynch, and OT Chukwuma Okorafor.

Dec 15, 2019, 6:57 PM ET

 

 

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James Conner had eight carries for 42 yards and caught 4-of-5 targets for nine yards and a touchdown in Week 15 against Buffalo.

Conner started and led the backfield in snaps after missing the last three games. He looked fully over his shoulder injury — playing his physical style and running through multiple tackles despite not having much of a workload. Conner caught a pass on the outside and broke a tackle from 11 yards out for his touchdown. He was the clear featured back in what ended up a pass-heavy gamescript. Conner should see his touches rise for a Week 16 matchup with the Jets.

 

Edited by The Frankman

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I’m pretty much forced to start him either way as I don’t have a better option. So he’s in my lineup for championship weekend.

But do we think Conner will get some more carries this week after getting through last game unscathed?

He seemed to 

A) start out hot on the ground with a few good runs and then they rotated in the other guys

B) looked good in the passing game on that td 

C) was virtually nowhere to be seen when the Steelers were trying to come from behind

He was a shining spot of both the start of the first half and the start of the second, but then he was replaced by the committee it seemed.

Any Steelers fans have a read on how he might be used? This is a must win for Pitt.

 

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4 minutes ago, VikingFrog said:

I’m pretty much forced to start him either way as I don’t have a better option. So he’s in my lineup for championship weekend.

But do we think Conner will get some more carries this week after getting through last game unscathed?

He seemed to 

A) start out hot on the ground with a few good runs and then they rotated in the other guys

B) looked good in the passing game on that td 

C) was virtually nowhere to be seen when the Steelers were trying to come from behind

He was a shining spot of both the start of the first half and the start of the second, but then he was replaced by the committee it seemed.

Any Steelers fans have a read on how he might be used? This is a must win for Pitt.

 

After what we saw from the duck last week, they better feed this guy the ball a ton.  

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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said James Conner's (thigh) availability for Week 17 is "very much in question."

The Steelers have to win to have a shot at the postseason but Conner's availability is in doubt after exiting Week 16 with a thigh injury. Riddled with numerous ailments throughout the year, fantasy players should avoid this situation altogether even if he's cleared for Sunday's divisional bout against the Ravens. Benny Snell, Kerrith Whyte and Jaylen Samuels will mix in no matter Conner's official status on game day.

SOURCE: Alex Kozora on Twitter

Dec 24, 2019, 12:13 PM ET

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Steelers GM James Colbert said James Conner had a "disappointing [2019] season."

Colbert wasn't shy about his thoughts on Conner. "The year before that he was one of the best in the league... We know there’s talent there. We hope James can regain it. And, if he’s healthy, there’s no reason he shouldn’t." The general manager continued to call Conner a "starting running back" but consider the message sent. Conner averaged 4.0 yards per carry and only played in 10 games last season while being slowed down by leg injuries. Conner is a bounce back candidate if both he and Big Ben are healthy in 2020. He's a boom-or-bust RB2 in early fantasy drafts with things up in the air.

SOURCE: Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports

Feb 13, 2020, 3:45 PM ET

 

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If anyone has shaky hands right now, now may be a good time to sell. Half the Steelers interviews have been RB's at the combine and its been all the big names:

RB Cam Akers 
RB Zack Moss
RB Jonathan Taylor 
RB AJ Dillion 
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire 
WR Jalen Reagor
IOL Lloyd Cushenberry 
TE Albert Okwuegbunam 
OT Colton McKivitiz
IDL Ross Blacklock
EDGE Josh Uche 
EDGE Curtis Weaver

Edited by Iceman03
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JAMES CONNER RB, PITTSBURGH STEELERS

The Athletic's Ed Bouchette "fully expects" the Steelers to draft a running back with James Conner headed into his contract year.

"I don’t think they will sign Conner to a new contract this year as he enters the final year of his rookie deal," writes Bouchette.  Conner was extremely disappointing last season as the clear-cut No. 1 back following the departure of Le'Veon Bell, and injuries were the root of the problem.  He just couldn't stay healthy and has missed nine games in the two years Bell hasn't been on the team.  Conner's yards-per-carry average dipped from 4.5 in 2018 to a pedestrian 4.0 last year, and he scored eight fewer rushing touchdowns while averaging nearly 30 fewer rushing yards per game.  Conner is going to have to stay out of the training room and on the field if he wants a big-money deal.  The Steelers also need to upgrade on Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell, and Kerrith Whyte behind Conner.

SOURCE: The Athletic

Mar 30, 2020, 2:08 PM ET

 

 

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1 minute ago, Bracie Smathers said:

No RBs yet and the pickings are-a-slim at this point so James Conner looking much better today.

Connor owners (and I am one) are big winners so far...unless the Steelers make a deal for someone like Fournette there is no one left in the draft that should hurt his value (at least on paper), those type of players have all been drafted.

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8 minutes ago, Boston said:

Connor owners (and I am one) are big winners so far...unless the Steelers make a deal for someone like Fournette there is no one left in the draft that should hurt his value (at least on paper), those type of players have all been drafted.

Fournette? 

Are they loading up on WRs to run the Wing-T?  

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3 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Fournette? 

Are they loading up on WRs to run the Wing-T?  

I am still concerned they could bring in another RB and I chose Fournette as an example (obviously it could be someone else or no one at all) because he is rumored to be on the block and there was chatter about the Steelers (and I stress this is all internet BS)...Fournette reminds me a little bit of Bettis getting dealt years ago...overall as a Connor owner I am very happy with this situation but still a little nervous some type of veteran could be added.

https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2020/04/22/leonard-fournette-trade-rumors-nfl-draft-james-conner-steelers/stories/202004220113

https://www.12up.com/posts/this-steelers-jaguars-trade-involving-leonard-fournette-and-james-conner-could-be-the-perfect-deal-01e6c5wqe4td

https://clutchpoints.com/why-the-steelers-should-pursue-a-trade-for-leonard-fournette/

https://stillcurtain.com/2020/04/20/pittsburgh-steelers-odds-leonard-fournette/

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The Steelers have a lil-over $5 million cap left.  Fournette would cost a pick plus his salary of a lil-over $4 million per year for a guy who has a career average of 4.0 yards per carry.   

The Steelers have Snell and Samuels backing up Conner and both got work last year.  

Two years ago when Ben was healthy (reports indicate he'll be back) that offense with scored 53 TDs and Conner was a key part posting 1,470 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns in 13 games.  

They haven't taken a RB so-far and if they do it won't be a threat and I just don't see them inking a vet RB who would steal carries.   

I 'think' they are going primarily with the backs they had last year.

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Just now, Bracie Smathers said:

The Steelers have a lil-over $5 million cap left.  Fournette would cost a pick plus his salary of a lil-over $4 million per year for a guy who has a career average of 4.0 yards per carry.   

The Steelers have Snell and Samuels backing up Conner and both got work last year.  

Two years ago when Ben was healthy (reports indicate he'll be back) that offense with scored 53 TDs and Conner was a key part posting 1,470 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns in 13 games.  

They haven't taken a RB so-far and if they do it won't be a threat and I just don't see them inking a vet RB who would steal carries.   

I 'think' they are going primarily with the backs they had last year.

I 100% hope you are right and I bet you are...if no one else gets added Connor's value goes up as much as anyone's this weekend

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I would be shocked  if they traded for a vet back..I would say close to 0%. Unless it is a very low cost contact.

i think the Steelers will try and limit Conner’s touches in an effort to keep him healthy and to try and see what they have (if anything) with Snell. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is Conner’s last year in Pittsburgh and they try and draft someone high next year.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Boston said:

I 100% hope you are right and I bet you are...if no one else gets added Connor's value goes up as much as anyone's this weekend

I don’t think his value has gone up..more like stayed the same IMO. 
 

Edited by JoeSteeler

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Just now, JoeSteeler said:

I don’t think his value has gone up..more like stayed the same IMO. 

Gotta disagree but will explain...when I say go up I mean the fear of adding one of those top-tier backs is gone...I know in my league when I discussed dealing him it was almost a non-starter due to that concern.

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1 minute ago, JoeSteeler said:

I don’t think his value has gone up..more like stayed the same IMO. 
 

Nah.  Tons of people were claiming doom and gloom for Conner in that it was assumed Pitt would end up with one of Taylor, CEH, Akers, or Dobbins.  His value has definitely increased over the past 24 hours.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Boston said:

Gotta disagree but will explain...when I say go up I mean the fear of adding one of those top-tier backs is gone...I know in my league when I discussed dealing him it was almost a non-starter due to that concern.

 

11 minutes ago, SayWhat? said:

Nah.  Tons of people were claiming doom and gloom for Conner in that it was assumed Pitt would end up with one of Taylor, CEH, Akers, or Dobbins.  His value has definitely increased over the past 24 hours.

I don’t think there was ever a good chance they would add a RB at 49 but what do I know. With Conner, Snell, and Samuels I don't think they felt the need was high.

Rather then a new RB I think Conner’s risk comes from reduced usage.
I have Conner in one league and don’t feel any different about him now then I did before the draft. As with all of the Steelers skill players, his 2020 value hinges mostly on the health of Ben
 

Edited by JoeSteeler

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1 hour ago, Bracie Smathers said:

No RBs yet and the pickings are-a-slim at this point so James Conner looking much better today.

He's a top-15 RB in my opinion. 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, travdogg said:

He's a top-15 RB in my opinion. 

Wow

Edited by JoeSteeler

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2 hours ago, travdogg said:

He's a top-15 RB in my opinion. 

If he and Ben stay healthy, he will be easily. He was #6 overall in 13 games and #7 in PPG two years ago. #17 in PPG last year despite the abysmal situation and his own injuries. Likely going to be a great value in redraft. Dynasty I doubt his dynasty value has rebounded enough in the eyes of others to be worth selling, better to hold into the season.

I am glad no one took me up on my sell low offers, people had zero interest in acquiring him before this weekend.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Buckna said:

If he and Ben stay healthy

Big if,

I look for the Steelers to cut his touches, especially with McFarland now aboard 

Edited by JoeSteeler

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The Athletic's Ed Bouchette expects the Steelers to "cut back" James Conner's carries in 2020.

The Steelers have a mixed bag of sorts at running back. While Conner is still the No. 1 (for now), his leash is going to be extremely short, and Bouchette expects sophomore Benny Snell to get some between-the-tackles work while he sees fourth-round rookie Anthony McFarland as the "most intriguing" of the Steelers' backs. McFarland is a bite-sized 5-foot-8 but packs 208 pounds on his frame and ran a 4.47 forty. Even Kerrith Whyte flashed some big-play ability over the second half of last season. Conner just can't stay healthy and is headed into a contract year. His days of a fantasy RB1 in Pittsburgh are likely over.

SOURCE: The Athletic

May 2, 2020, 9:36 AM ET

 

 

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