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RB James Conner, ARZ


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JAMES CONNER RB, ARIZONA CARDINALS

ESPN's Josh Weinfuss reports Cardinals RBs James Conner and Chase Edmonds will "split the primary reps to start, with whoever has the hot hand getting the ball."

It's a one-off paragraph that refutes all other reports coming out of Arizona's training camp and thus needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Fantasy managers should still keep an ear to the ground regarding the duo's timeshare in the passing game and inside the five-yard line as those two specific roles are what will either unlock Edmonds' ceiling as an all-too-low RB2 or qualify Conner as a mid-round value with upside. The Cardinals' first practice open to fans is scheduled for July 30 at 8 a.m.

RELATED: 

Chase Edmonds

SOURCE: ESPN.com

Jul 29, 2021, 11:11 AM ET

 

 

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James Conner rushed 16 times for 53 yards in the Cardinals' Week 1 win over the Titans.

Conner was not targeted in the passing game. Conner out-carried Chase Edmonds 16-12, but eight of his handles came deep into garbage time in the fourth quarter of a game that was never competitive. Edmonds still narrowly won the snap battle and averaged two more yards per carry. Conner, of course, was taking the rock in highly-predictable running situations. This is indeed a 1A/1B backfield, but Week 1 mostly unfolded as expected, with Edmonds looking like the 1A. The duo gets the Vikings for Week 2. We would only trust Edmonds in the FLEX.

 

Edited by The Frankman
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James Conner rushed 11 times for 43 yards and two touchdowns in the Cardinals' Week 3 win over the Jaguars.

The two scores, from four and one yards out in the second half, were Conner's first two touchdowns with Arizona. The one-yarder was the final nail in the coffin for the Jaguars, putting Arizona up 31-19 with under seven minutes left to play. Conner's 11 carries matched Chase Edmonds (11-26-0) for the team lead. Conner also caught his lone target for a gain of 10 yards. Conner remains little more than a TD-dependent RB3 ahead of a Week 4 date with the Rams in L.A.

 

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James Conner rushed 18 times for 50 yards and two touchdowns in the Cardinals' Week 4 win over the Rams. 

Today was Conner's least-efficient day so far, but his 18 totes were a season high as the Cardinals had nearly an entire half of clock to kill. He also cashed in both his goal-line carries after Chase Edmonds helped get the offense set up in the red zone. Fantasy managers hate it, but it is going to plan for the Cardinals' coaching staff. Nothing is going to change for Week 5 against the 49ers, keeping Conner as a touchdown-based FLEX for an elite offense.

 

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On 9/21/2021 at 1:51 PM, wilked said:

Any reason to hang onto this guy? 

With 4 TDs in the last 2 weeks, I hope you guys held.  He was always going to be the TD dependent portion of a committee.  The seemingly unquestioned goal line back on one of the league's highest scoring offenses.  Giddy up.

Also Chase Edmonds worked off to the side today with some sort of shoulder issue.

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Darren Urban

⁦‪@Cardschatter⁩

In the open part of #AZCardinals practice, good news -- most everyone who missed practice Wednesday was out there today.

Absent were CB Byron Murphy and OL Justin Murray. RB Chase Edmonds working on side.

 

10/7/21, 10:32 AM

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James Conner rushed 10 times for 29 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals' Week 5 win over the 49ers, adding an eight-yard catch. 

It was a typical day at the office for Conner, who punched in a one-yard rush in the first quarter after Rondale Moore did all the work to get down to the goal line. Conner's carries were his second fewest of the season as the Cardinals' offense was a bit discombobulated vs. a swarming Niners front. Conner has little in the way of upside, but his scoring-based floor has been bankable in this elite offense. Arizona ventures to Cleveland for Week 6. 

- NBC SportsEDGE

 

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James Conner rushed five times for 22 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Cardinals' Week 8 loss to the Packers. 

Conner was not targeted in the passing game. Like clockwork, Chase Edmonds was the more explosive back between the 20s, but it was Conner who emerged with yet another two-touchdown game, his third of the season. Thankfully for Edmonds managers, he did manage to find the end zone for his first touchdown of 2021. Conner's five carries were his fewest since Week 2 and by far his fewest of the year, but it had more to do with game flow than anything else. Leads and sustained drives were scarce for the Cardinals this evening. Executing his job with ruthless efficiency, Conner will remain a scoring-based FLEX for Week 9 against the 49ers' gettable run defense. 

- NBC SportsEDGE

 

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7 hours ago, The Frankman said:

Conner who emerged with yet another two-touchdown game, his third of the season.

:thumbup:  He was the low-hanging-fruit too easy to attack for the Steelers running game woes over the past few seasons.

Last year the Steelers ranked 32nd, dead last so they took a top ranked RB in the 1st round and now rank.

31st, second to dead last in the league running the football.  

Conner is better than people thought heading into the season and a valuable FF RB.

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56 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

:thumbup:  He was the low-hanging-fruit too easy to attack for the Steelers running game woes over the past few seasons.

Last year the Steelers ranked 32nd, dead last so they took a top ranked RB in the 1st round and now rank.

31st, second to dead last in the league running the football.  

Conner is better than people thought heading into the season and a valuable FF RB.

I spent two years screaming at my TV as the Steelers turned every first and goal from the 2 into three pass attempts and a FG while their battering ram watched.

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There were many to blame for the Steelers running woes(offensive line, scheme, coaching, secondary backs), but Conner's constant injury concerns certainly played into it.  I think they became almost afraid to use him and get him hurt.

Glad to see him have success in AZ, hope it continues and that he stays out of the trainers room.

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2 hours ago, Bracie Smathers said:

:thumbup:  He was the low-hanging-fruit too easy to attack for the Steelers running game woes over the past few seasons.

Last year the Steelers ranked 32nd, dead last so they took a top ranked RB in the 1st round and now rank.

31st, second to dead last in the league running the football.  

Conner is better than people thought heading into the season and a valuable FF RB.

He obviously wasn't the only reason for their poor performance, but he's really not very good. He has a 3.8 ypc on the season (vs. 5.7 for Edmonds) and the only reason he has any FF value is due to being the goal line RB on one of the best offenses in the league (which cut way back on using Murray in those situations).

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7 hours ago, humpback said:

He obviously wasn't the only reason for their poor performance, but he's really not very good. He has a 3.8 ypc on the season (vs. 5.7 for Edmonds) and the only reason he has any FF value is due to being the goal line RB on one of the best offenses in the league (which cut way back on using Murray in those situations).

 

I drafted him.  Hoping he would get RB3 type usage.  Or maybe in a great offense if Edmonds couldn't handle RB1 load he'd be an RB2.  What he has been so far is an RB3 - with RB1 TD production.  I give up wondering when it will end and I start him in flex when I have nothing better. 

 

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On 10/29/2021 at 10:12 AM, humpback said:

He obviously wasn't the only reason for their poor performance, but he's really not very good. He has a 3.8 ypc on the season (vs. 5.7 for Edmonds) and the only reason he has any FF value is due to being the goal line RB on one of the best offenses in the league (which cut way back on using Murray in those situations).

There is a significant difference in usage that cause the disparity of ypc. PFF has Conner rated substantially higher than Edmonds, as one point of information.

Very few RBs are "situation proof". Conner definitely isn't. He is also not the type to produce in an abysmal situation.

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15 hours ago, Futeki said:

There is a significant difference in usage that cause the disparity of ypc. PFF has Conner rated substantially higher than Edmonds, as one point of information.

Very few RBs are "situation proof". Conner definitely isn't. He is also not the type to produce in an abysmal situation.

I'm guessing the PFF grade is due to his high TD rate.

Conner essentially took over the Drake role from last year, and other than the TDs he's underperformed his numbers. 2020 Drake had a 4.0 ypc vs. 4.6 for Edmonds, 2021 it's 3.8 for Conner vs. 5.7 for Edmonds. If you look at the splits, their usage really isn't dramatically different- yes, Conner gets the goal line carries (which is the only reason he has any FF value), but it's not like there are so many of those that it drastically skews the numbers (according to pro football reference Conner has 13 carries from inside the opponents 10 yd. line vs. 7 for Edmonds). Edmonds has outperformed Conner in the vast majority of situations this year- when leading, when trailing, 1st half, 2nd half, every quarter, every field position (other than inside the 10 ironically), huddle, no huddle, shotgun, under center,  rpo, non-rpo, 1st and 10, etc. It's really not close.

Not saying Conner is awful or Edmonds is great or anything, just saying I really don't think Conner is better than people thought or is very valuable in FF. He's entirely TD dependent, and his role near the goal line has more room to decrease than increase.

Edited by humpback
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  • Joe Bryant changed the title to RB James Conner, ARZ
31 minutes ago, elbowrm said:

:dancing pickle:

 

Great week to have been forced to start him.  Hopefully leads to more snaps even when Edmonds is back.

I lost Henry in a win-now dynasty league, didn’t bid enough to get Peterson ($350 beat my $325 bid) so started Connor. I think it worked out well so far ;) 

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James Conner rushed 21 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns in the Cardinals' Week 9 win over the 49ers, adding five catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Conner upped his touchdown total to 11 on the year and his three scores this week came without Kyler Murray propelling the offense to the one-yard line. The veteran bruiser ran downhill on the 49ers for four quarters and posted his best fantasy outing since 2018. Chase Edmonds left the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter, paving the way for Conner to see a bigger role in the passing game as well. Conner's fantasy outlook will depend heavily upon Edmonds' status for Week 10 but his insane touchdown upside puts him at the end of the RB2 conversation, even when Edmonds is healthy. If Edmonds is out, Conner could push for RB1 numbers.

- NBC SportsEDGE

 

Edited by The Frankman
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5 hours ago, elbowrm said:

:dancing pickle:

 

Great week to have been forced to start him.  Hopefully leads to more snaps even when Edmonds is back.

Why would it lead to (substantially) more usage? It's a great offense that can use both of their diverse skillsets. Conner is a great fantasy RB2. The usage with Edmonds helps keep him healthy, too.

<It was a nice week for the Taylor/Conner duo>

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2 minutes ago, humpback said:

He's really not IMO, just in a much better running offense than last year.

Yeah, and THAT is why the criticism of him last year wasn't justified. 

He got blamed for terrible O-Line play and for shoddy QB play.  He was scapegoated for everything wrong with the Steelers offense.

Steelers made a huge commitment to the run game, used a first round pick on a blue-chip RB, changed OCs, rebuilt the O-Line, using more play-action, yadda yadda yadda and instead of ranking 32nd in the league  were up to 31st this year.

Meanwhile Connor the guy blamed for all of those woes has got 10 TDs and blew up in a game without Kyler Murray.

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14 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Yeah, and THAT is why the criticism of him last year wasn't justified. 

He got blamed for terrible O-Line play and for shoddy QB play.  He was scapegoated for everything wrong with the Steelers offense.

Steelers made a huge commitment to the run game, used a first round pick on a blue-chip RB, changed OCs, rebuilt the O-Line, using more play-action, yadda yadda yadda and instead of ranking 32nd in the league  were up to 31st this year.

Meanwhile Connor the guy blamed for all of those woes has got 10 TDs and blew up in a game without Kyler Murray.

I do recall him catching flack for the running game woes last year, although I think saying "he was scapegoated for everything wrong with the Steelers offense" is quite hyperbolic. I also think you're overstating how "well" he's doing this year.

Using your logic, Arizona was the 7th best rushing team in the NFL last year, averaging 140 ypg and 4.7 ypc with Drake and Edmonds. This year they are 8th, averaging under 133 ypg and 4.2 ypc with Conner and Edmonds. 

Yes, he "blew up" in a game without Kyler Murray, but it was also without Edmonds for almost all of it, and against an awful run D/Team.

Really, the TDs are the only thing he's "excelling" at, and that's mostly just due to circumstance. IMO he's a mediocre RB in a great situation.

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32 minutes ago, humpback said:

I do recall him catching flack for the running game woes last year, although I think saying "he was scapegoated for everything wrong with the Steelers offense" is quite hyperbolic. I also think you're overstating how "well" he's doing this year.

Using your logic, Arizona was the 7th best rushing team in the NFL last year, averaging 140 ypg and 4.7 ypc with Drake and Edmonds. This year they are 8th, averaging under 133 ypg and 4.2 ypc with Conner and Edmonds. 

Yes, he "blew up" in a game without Kyler Murray, but it was also without Edmonds for almost all of it, and against an awful run D/Team.

Really, the TDs are the only thing he's "excelling" at, and that's mostly just due to circumstance. IMO he's a mediocre RB in a great situation.

I've learned whose opinions to put on ignore.

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I just picked up Conner in guillotine league. Spent 80% of what I would have had to spend for Aaron Jones. We’ll see if I made a mistake or not. I did overpay a bit for him… I guess I thought if the guy was putting up borderline rb1/2 games in a split, he has potential to be top 5 end of season and at worst is instant top 10 barring injury or Edmonds returning early.

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