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Dynasty Watch 2017 Rookie & Former Pitt RB James Conner


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Why are people so down on him?  I'm not saying you're necessarily wrong, but i feel like he's a great bounce back candidate. 

The Steelers as a whole were a disaster after the Roethlesberger injury.  He's 25 years old.  Was on pace for 55 catches and 11 TD's last year.  

Assuming Ben plays, his yards per rush and yards per rec should go back up.  

If things click, his upside is a top 10 guy.

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He’s my primary RB target if I’m a contender and needing a boost at the position.  Legit top 5 upside this year but being priced as though the Steelers just took a RB in the 1st.  He’s got some long term risk, no doubt.  But there’s also the chance that he carries the lead role in that offense for a few years if he can stay healthy this season.  

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1 hour ago, SayWhat? said:

He’s my primary RB target if I’m a contender and needing a boost at the position.  Legit top 5 upside this year but being priced as though the Steelers just took a RB in the 1st.  He’s got some long term risk, no doubt.  But there’s also the chance that he carries the lead role in that offense for a few years if he can stay healthy this season.  

He's also one of the few RBs with legit upside that is probably available and possibly available without having to give up another RB or a very big haul.

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1 hour ago, SayWhat? said:

He’s my primary RB target if I’m a contender and needing a boost at the position.  Legit top 5 upside this year but being priced as though the Steelers just took a RB in the 1st.  He’s got some long term risk, no doubt.  But there’s also the chance that he carries the lead role in that offense for a few years if he can stay healthy this season.  

I can agree with this. I see zero reason Conner won't see 65% of the RB touches in what should be a top offense, with plenty of redzone chances. 

Personally, I've got Conner in the RB10-15 range. Durability is his only real knock. 

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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said James Conner is "a featured guy and proven runner when healthy."

“I’m a featured-runner type guy by mentality,” Tomlin said when asked about his plans at running back this upcoming season. "No question in today’s game, a featured runner needs to be supplemented and supplemented by guys who are capable of doing similar things in case he misses time...Usually when it’s going well, it’s because you have a lead dog out front, and that guy is the featured runner. James is a featured guy and proven runner when healthy. We’re excited about him getting back to health and displaying that in 2020." Tomlin also touched on Benny Snell and rookie Anthony McFarland as part of the team's plans this upcoming year, noting Snell is "capable of being a James-type of guy if James is unavailable." For what it's worth, he failed to mention Jaylen Samuels, Kerrith Whyte or Trey Edmunds when dissecting the backfield. It sounds as if Tomlin and the Steelers are prepared to feature Conner in the final year of his contract, but that of course entails the 25-year-old staying healthy throughout the year.

SOURCE: TribLive.com

May 15, 2020, 9:31 AM ET

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I feel like the Steelers RB1 under Tomlin has generally  been a stud.  

Conner missed 6 games last year and played <20% of the snaps in 2 of the games he played.  With how terrible the steelers backup QB's were, I don't think we can evaluate Conner through the lens of 2019.   

He's got injury concerns.  But Cook has missed time, Kamara has been hurt.  Josh Jacobs missed 3 games last year.  

The Steelers have a great defense.  They're going to have plenty of positive game scripts.  If he can play 16 games (unlikely), he's a guy that can hit 300 carries.  He's great in the passing game as well.  He'll get the goal line work for an offense that should put up a lot of points (assuming Ben stays healthy).  

There are a few other guys that may be lightly in the mix.  But Mattison could steal some work in Minn, and we still love Dalvin.  Pollard could take some touches in Dallas--but I still love Zeke.  

3 down back with goal line work in a good offense that should have plenty of posiitve game scripts--I'm on board. 

I like him over Jacobs who I don't see getting a lot of passing game work and whose offense won't score as many TD's.

 

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15 minutes ago, jm192 said:

I feel like the Steelers RB1 under Tomlin has generally  been a stud.  

Conner missed 6 games last year and played <20% of the snaps in 2 of the games he played.  With how terrible the steelers backup QB's were, I don't think we can evaluate Conner through the lens of 2019.   

He's got injury concerns.  But Cook has missed time, Kamara has been hurt.  Josh Jacobs missed 3 games last year.  

The Steelers have a great defense.  They're going to have plenty of positive game scripts.  If he can play 16 games (unlikely), he's a guy that can hit 300 carries.  He's great in the passing game as well.  He'll get the goal line work for an offense that should put up a lot of points (assuming Ben stays healthy).  

There are a few other guys that may be lightly in the mix.  But Mattison could steal some work in Minn, and we still love Dalvin.  Pollard could take some touches in Dallas--but I still love Zeke.  

3 down back with goal line work in a good offense that should have plenty of posiitve game scripts--I'm on board. 

I like him over Jacobs who I don't see getting a lot of passing game work and whose offense won't score as many TD's.

 

You might be right, but this is last year as a Steeler.

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15 minutes ago, popeye said:

Steeler or Texan next year.  

Didn't Texans just obtain David Johnson?  Also, they have Duke Johnson.  But, as a FA they could sign him.  I hear the NFL is going to cut the salary cap by 40 million, so where would the Texans stand next year with the cap?

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43 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

You might be right, but this is last year as a Steeler.

Ive heard this said before with conviction.  What did i miss?

 

Why wouldnt they franchise him if he had a big year?  Why wouldnt they bring him back as a vet who knew the offense as a rb2 if he just had an ok year. 

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16 minutes ago, The Finist said:

Ive heard this said before with conviction.  What did i miss?

 

Why wouldnt they franchise him if he had a big year?  Why wouldnt they bring him back as a vet who knew the offense as a rb2 if he just had an ok year. 

Frequent injuries.  The fans and team are probably fed up with it and will not resign him.  

"Conner has missed 11 full games over his first three seasons. That’s not to mention other contests — such as four in 2019 against the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers and Cleveland Browns — when he left early due to quad and shoulder injuries.

“That’s a big component of (that evaluation),” Tomlin replied. “He didn’t spend a lot of time on the field healthy. But that’s as much a part of the game as blocking and tackling. We’ll assess it with him in an effort to minimize (injury) to what degree we can moving forward. But injuries are part of the game.”

When Tomlin was asked about how the Steelers running backs currently on the depth chart could potentially have roles redefined, he said, “We are going to be defining that as we move forward in 2020.

“What somebody’s role was in 2019, I’m not going to put them in a box and define them for 2020.”

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36 minutes ago, The Finist said:

So nothing other than that and people feel good about saying in absolute terms he will not be in Pitt?

 

Could be right, but if that is it, id say its total unwarranted speculation. 

They are not going to pay Conner a large amount of money with that injury history.  That isn’t unwarranted speculation, that is common sense.

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1 hour ago, JohnnyU said:

They are not going to pay Conner a large amount of money with that injury history.  That isn’t unwarranted speculation, that is common sense.

That isnt the only scenario that can take place.  But sounds like you have your mind made up.  Which is weird to me.  And i guess you are under the assumption another team will pay for him despite past injuries.  Which is against "common sense".

 

Very interesting takes.  The most interesting is the absolute statements.  Ill wait and see. 

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3 minutes ago, The Finist said:

That isnt the only scenario that can take place.  But sounds like you have your mind made up.  Which is weird to me.  And i guess you are under the assumption another team will pay for him despite past injuries.  Which is against "common sense".

 

Very interesting takes.  The most interesting is the absolute statements.  Ill wait and see. 

I didn’t say another team would pay him big bucks, but neither will Pittsburgh 

Edited by JohnnyU
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1 hour ago, The Finist said:

So then Pitt can have him at a discount.  I dont need to go round and round here.  I just dont get the absolute.   Or your reasons for it.  Time will tell. 

He could easily not be back in pitt.   He also could easily be back in Pitt. 

Once they see what they have in McFarland they won’t have any need for Conner.  Certainly not for what he will be asking for.  I suspect someone will sign him, but just not at the price he will think he’s worth.  He can help his cause by staying healthy in 2020 and having a good year.

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4 hours ago, The Finist said:

He could easily not be back in pitt.   He also could easily be back in Pitt. 

This is absolutely correct. However, right now they would prefer to not give him a second contract as a RB.  That will tie up the market amount for four years, instead of the easier to digest rookie contract or an easy to get-out-of 2-3 year deal.  Conner wont be (and shouldn't be) looking for a team beneficial contract, and the Steelers respect him and the process enough to understand that the parties are in two entirely different points-of-view. The Steelers would have made some in-roads for the contract if they wanted to, they didn't. They have options. Including the letting him walk and the potential mediocre compensatory consideration.

Conner wont want 95% of these https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/running-back/. So there is no reason for the team to be anything but patient.

Edited by BigSteelThrill
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6 hours ago, BigSteelThrill said:

This is absolutely correct. However, right now they would prefer to not give him a second contract as a RB.  That will tie up the market amount for four years, instead of the easier to digest rookie contract or an easy to get-out-of 2-3 year deal.  Conner wont be (and shouldn't be) looking for a team beneficial contract, and the Steelers respect him and the process enough to understand that the parties are in two entirely different points-of-view. The Steelers would have made some in-roads for the contract if they wanted to, they didn't. They have options. Including the letting him walk and the potential mediocre compensatory consideration.

Conner wont want 95% of these https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/running-back/. So there is no reason for the team to be anything but patient.

Pitt should and is being patient.  I agree.  

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On 6/7/2020 at 9:46 PM, The Finist said:

So then Pitt can have him at a discount.  I dont need to go round and round here.  I just dont get the absolute.   Or your reasons for it.  Time will tell. 

He could easily not be back in pitt.   He also could easily be back in Pitt. 

No one should speak in absolutes when it comes to fantasy football, but we all must try to guess when it comes to dynasty value.

My guess would be that the Steelers will move on from Conner, as some other team would likely be willing to pay him more, and they will draft a starting RB for 2021. Of course a lot can happen between now and then and he'll get a chance to showcase himself for the Steelers or his next team. Personally I think he's closer to what he showed in 2019 than 2018 and he's a committee back at best - but the 2018 production was impressive.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Will Ben Roethlisberger's return transform this team back into a fantasy juggernaut?

Excerpt:

Quote

James Conner finished 2019 as the 33rd-highest scoring RB in Yahoo Fantasy, and his current ADP reflects that (51.6). Is this a bargain for a healthy, jacked Conner, or is his current draft position just right?

Andy: Health has obviously been the critical issue with Conner, but, when he’s right, he’s proven he can carry a fantasy team. Conner averaged 113 scrimmage yards per game in 2018; he’s scored 20 touchdowns in 23 games over the past two years. Understudies Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland aren’t obvious threats to Conner’s role. We can expect the incumbent to remain this team’s primary featured runner, and Pittsburgh’s offense has top-10 upside. If you can land Conner at or near Pick No. 50 in any draft, I’m on board.

Scott: Here is where I’ll get proactive. Conner was a fantasy stalwart two years ago, and last year’s return was misunderstood; give him a pass for the injuries and focus on per-game production. Fear has pushed Conner’s draft price down too far; the Steelers still have a plus offensive line, a passing game (given Big Ben is healthy) that will matriculate the ball down the field, and underwhelming secondary options behind Conner. Maybe the market will fix itself later in the year, but there’s a juicy opportunity at the moment. Entering his age-25 season, Conner’s arrow can still be pointing up.

Matt: Extremely appealing value this year. He goes around the Round 3/4 turn at the earliest but his ceiling is far higher than that selection point indicates. If Conner becomes the latest “he was injury-prone until he wasn’t” running back and stays healthy next season, he’s in a prime smash spot. He was the RB6 overall in 2018 despite playing just 13 games. The variables haven’t changed to a wildly drastic degree. The Steelers still have an established offensive line, there aren’t many big-time competitors for touches behind him and good enough weapons in the passing game to be a top-15 offense. That’s all the ingredients you want in a fantasy back. As long as his ADP stays manageable, I’ll be in on Conner.

 

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NFL Network's Tom Pelissero confirms Steelers RB James Conner is not expected to opt out of the season. 

The question was raised after fellow cancer survivor Marcus Cannon announced late Tuesday evening he would not be playing for the Patriots this year. Conner had already said he had no COVID concerns. He has been in remission for four years. The stakes are extremely high for the 25-year-old, as he's playing for a new contract. Unfortunately, those realities will continue to interfere with players making some of the most important decisions of their lives as they mull what to do during a pandemic where their job will prevent social distancing. 

SOURCE: Tom Pelissero on Twitter 

Jul 28, 2020, 12:11 PM ET

 

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2 hours ago, Faust said:

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero confirms Steelers RB James Conner is not expected to opt out of the season. 

The question was raised after fellow cancer survivor Marcus Cannon announced late Tuesday evening he would not be playing for the Patriots this year. Conner had already said he had no COVID concerns. He has been in remission for four years. The stakes are extremely high for the 25-year-old, as he's playing for a new contract. Unfortunately, those realities will continue to interfere with players making some of the most important decisions of their lives as they mull what to do during a pandemic where their job will prevent social distancing. 

SOURCE: Tom Pelissero on Twitter 

Jul 28, 2020, 12:11 PM ET

 

Of course he isn't opting out.  He's fighting for his football relevant life.  Someone like McFarland could seize the moment if Conner were to opt out of the season.

Edited by JohnnyU
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3 hours ago, JohnnyU said:

Of course he isn't opting out.  He's fighting for his football relevant life.  Someone like McFarland could seize the moment if Conner were to opt out of the season.

By being rich standards he hasn't made any money yet either.  By normal people standards he is rich

At this point with the nfl going 16 games you honestly have to believe greater than 50% of the players are going to get it....

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The Steelers were without Brown and lost Roethlisberger.  Juju didn't step-up to fill Brown's role and the QB play was atrocious.  That was all before Conner injured his shoulder.

He became the scapegoat for all sorts of issues.  

He showed what he could do with a viable passing game with Ben and when his OC wasn't overcompensating to protect poor QB play by using gimmick running plays.

Ben 'should' be back and their 'should' be an improvement in the WR corps.  James 'should' be healthy.

I think he will show an improvement.

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  • 2 weeks later...
50 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Fantasy Football Today@FFToday

"It's James Conner's backfield. It's not going to be a running back-by-committee approach." Steelers beat writer

@MarkKaboly

expects a HUGE workload for Conner.

==============================

LINK to video

It's all about staying on the field and not getting dinged up...if he plays 16 games he will be very productive...the fact that they only added a 4th round pick (that is not meant as a knock on McFarland because he could be a good one) was a vote of confidence for Connor...Connor is one of the more intriguing fantasy players this year...this time last year he was seen as a #1 RB...if he gets back to that form he will be a difference-maker.

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Can't be happier that I traded him for a second a month ago when COVID was raging worse than it is now and thought there'd be no season. I could have held out for a first...

:wall:

eta* I should note that I acquired him about two weeks before that for a second because that was his value at the time, but it would have been nice to sell high on him instead of selling him low. 

Edited by rockaction
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8 hours ago, popeye said:

I didn't see anything in the article about being questionable for week 1.   Can you paste for those of us who can't read :bag: well?

It shows "Questionable Wk 1" for Conner if you have him in a CBS league. You're right, that article doesn't mention it.

It might be something weird with CBS's injury designations -- it's too early for Week One designations ... yet everyone on all my league's rosters with an injury is shown as "Questionable - Week 1".

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