James Conner
James Conner
26-Year-Old Running BackRB
Arizona Cardinals
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The 2020 season started out like gangbusters for Conner as he racked up three 100-yard performances in the first five weeks. Unfortunately, by the end of the year he was once again banged up and ineffective, missing three of Pittsburgh's final seven games and failing to top 37 rushing yards in any of the four games he played. 
Conner is a physical runner who looks the part of a lead back when he's healthy, and despite his struggles staying in the lineup he still finished just outside the top 10 among running backs in broken tackles last season. However, instead of grinding down opposition defenders, he's the one who seems to break down. And so, despite Conner's status as a hometown hero dating to his days at Pitt, the Steelers didn't make an effort to re-sign him, and he eventually got a one-year, $1.75 million contract from the Cardinals in mid-April. Conner and Chase Edmonds are the only Arizona running backs with significant NFL experience or draft pedigree, so it'll likely be a joint effort between the two, perhaps looking something like the split between Edmonds and Kenyan Drake last year. Conner is a capable pass catcher in his own right, but he might be put in an early down role, as coach Kliff Kingsbury seems to trust Edmonds with receiving work. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#100.81
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Cardinals in April of 2021.
Musters 26 rushing yards
RBArizona Cardinals
September 19, 2021
Conner rushed eight times for 26 yards during Sunday's 34-33 win against the Vikings.
ANALYSIS
Through two games, Conner has logged 24 touches (all carries) to fellow running back Chase Edmonds' 29 (20 runs, nine catches). However, when looking at their respective stat lines, Conner is lagging far behind Edmonds in terms of yards from scrimmage (79 versus 181). With no utility as a pass catcher to speak of yet in what's been a high-flying offense directed by Kyler Murray, Conner is playing second fiddle to Edmonds, at least in terms of fantasy. Conner nonetheless has a fair matchup upcoming Week 3 against a vulnerable Jaguars defense on the road.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do James Conner's 2021 advanced stats compare to other running backs?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Broken Tackle %
    The number of broken tackles divided by rush attempts.
  • Positive Run %
    The percentage of run plays where he was able to gain positive yardage.
  • % Yds After Contact
    The percentage of his rushing yards that came after contact.
  • Avg Yds After Contact
    The average rushing yards he gains after contact.
  • Rushing TD %
    Rushing touchdowns divided by rushing attempts. In other words, how often is he scoring when running the ball.
  • Touches Per Game
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) he is averaging per game
  • % Snaps w/Touch
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) divided by offensive snaps played.
Broken Tackle %
25.0%
 
Positive Run %
87.5%
 
% Yds After Contact
34.0%
 
Avg Yds After Contact
1.1
 
Rushing TD %
0.0%
 
Touches Per Game
0.0
 
% Snaps w/Touch
0.0%
 
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2021
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Snap Counts
Snap %
Arizona CardinalsCardinals 2021 RB Snap Distribution See more data like this | See last season's snap counts
J.James Conner
#% of Team Snaps

404%
343%
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where James Conner lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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This Week's Opposing Pass Defense
How does the Vikings pass defense compare to other NFL teams this season?
The bars represents the team's percentile rank (based on QB Rating Against). The longer the bar, the better their pass defense is. The team and position group ratings only include players that are currently on the roster and not on injured reserve. The list of players in the table only includes defenders with at least 3 attempts against them.
MIN
vs Vikings
Sunday, Sep 19th at 4:05PM
Overall QB Rating Against
131.8
 
Cornerbacks
111.7
 
Safeties
158.3
 
Linebackers
118.8
 
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2021 James Conner Split Stats
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Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do James Conner's measurables compare to other running backs?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
* The Cone Drill metric is from his Pro Day. All others are from the NFL Combine.
Height
6' 1"
 
Weight
233 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.65 sec
 
Cone Drill*
7.41 sec
 
Vertical Jump
29.0 in
 
Broad Jump
113 in
 
Bench Press
20 reps
 
Hand Length
9.88 in
 
Arm Length
31.25 in
 
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring James Conner
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5 days ago
Erik Siegrist previews the Monday Night Football matchup as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers look to bounce back against the Lions.
Weekly Rankings: Week 2 Value Meter
6 days ago
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Backfield Breakdown: Week 1 Recap & Week 2 Sleepers
7 days ago
Elijah Mitchell is the talk of the town, but another NFC West running back may prove even more valuable after handling a three-down role Sunday night.
DraftKings NFL: Week 1 Tournament Guide
10 days ago
There are a number of cheap wide receivers who figure to be popular this Sunday, and RotoWire's Ryan Belongia explains why DFS players should use that savings to spend up on Derrick Henry of the Titans.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
The Pittsburgh offense was a disaster throughout last season due to injuries, and while quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's elbow surgery was the biggest blow, Conner's inability to stay on the field didn't help. The Pitt product struggled out of the gate, but he seemed to have found his rhythm by Week 4, piling up 449 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns over the next four games. A shoulder injury suffered in Week 8, and then a quad strain in Week 16, ruined his second half, and Conner managed to suit up for only 56 snaps in the Steelers' final nine games. When he's healthy, Conner combines a rugged, physical running style with strong receiving skills, but that accumulation of violent contact took its toll last year, and even when he was in the lineup he wasn't as effective as he had been the year before, dropping to 34th in yards per carry and 43rd in broken tackle rate. Roethlisberger's return should take pressure off the whole running attack, but given his already extensive medical file, Conner could find himself losing backfield touches to some combination of Benny Snell, Jaylen Samuels and rookie fourth-round pick Anthony McFarland.
In his second year, Conner became a true hometown hero for the Steelers. He was born in Erie, Pa., and matriculated at Pitt, where he ran for 26 touchdowns as a sophomore and then overcame Hodgkin's lymphoma to become a third-round pick in the 2017 draft. Conner got a chance to start for the Steelers when Le'Veon Bell's annual preseason holdout became a slow, season-long divorce between the star running back and the franchise. Conner's 135-yard, two-TD performance on the ground Week 1 helped fans quickly forget all about Bell. While the rest of his season was a little more erratic, Conner still showed enough to solidify his hold on the No. 1 job before an ankle injury cost him three games late in the season. Seen as primarily a power back coming out of college, Conner proved to be adept as a receiver, but it's still his ability to plow through contact that remains his best asset --- his 24 broken tackles on rushes tied for ninth in the league, and his 17 carries inside the 5-yard line tied for third as he converted 53 percent. That bulldozer approach may lead to further injuries (he's missed time late in the year twice in two seasons) but with Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell on hand as capable backups, the Steelers aren't likely to grind Conner into the dirt with a massive workload the way they did with Bell.
A third-round pick in last year's draft, Conner didn't get much of a chance to show he was worth the investment as Le'Veon Bell dominated the backfield before Conner suffered a Week 15 knee injury that ended his campaign early. The 23-year-old is accustomed to setbacks – he's already come back from Hodgkin's lymphoma, so a little MCL strain should be no big deal. Conner is a burly back who ran with power and anger during a prolific college career at Pitt, frequently shoving defenders aside with stiff arms before lowering his shoulder at the end of runs. He also displayed the balance to keep his feet in traffic, but he isn't particularly elusive and his skills as a receiver and pass-blocker are rudimentary. His best fit in the NFL might be as a short-yardage back, and in that role he could be an effective complement to Bell. Of course, the Steelers seemingly intend to wring every snap they can out of their star before he walks out the door – a plan that would once again leave little work for Conner.
Currently listed at 6-1, 233 pounds, Conner overcome Hodgkins lymphoma and a torn MCL from 2015 to return to the field in 2016, and he came back with a leaner build and improved pass-catching skills. The 2017 third-rounder doesn't look like a standout talent and won't have much opportunity to produce behind Bell, but he's probably talented enough to produce if Le'Veon Bell should miss any time. Conner finished his college career at the University of Pittsburgh with 3,733 yards (5.6 YPC) and 52 touchdowns over the span of 39 games.
More Fantasy News
Busy runner in Week 1
RBArizona Cardinals
September 12, 2021
Conner ran for 53 yards on 16 carries at Tennessee on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Makes debut with Arizona
RBArizona Cardinals
August 20, 2021
Conner (toe) had two carries for one yard during Friday's preseason loss to the Chiefs.
ANALYSIS
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Removed from COVID-19 list
RBArizona Cardinals
Toe
August 16, 2021
Conner (toe) was removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.
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Placed on COVID list
RBArizona Cardinals
Undisclosed
August 12, 2021
Conner has been added to the reserve/COVID-19 list after being deemed a high-risk close contact, NFL reporter Aaron Wilson reports.
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Held out of practice
RBArizona Cardinals
Toe
August 2, 2021
Conner (toe) didn't participate in 11-on-11s or 7-on-7s over the weekend, Jess Root of Yahoo Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
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