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.
Scores in season-ending defeat
RBArizona Cardinals
January 17, 2022
Conner rushed four times for 19 yards and a touchdown in Monday night's 34-11 wild-card round loss to the Rams. He also caught one of two targets for five yards.
ANALYSIS
Conner had his snaps limited while battling through a rib injury, with the game flow of Monday's blowout also restricting his involvement as a runner. As usual, though, the tailback managed to find the end zone, scoring from two yards to finally get Arizona on the board in the third quarter. After inking a one-year deal with the Cardinals last offseason, Conner went on to finish third league-wide in touchdowns despite playing just 15 games, with 15 of his 18 scores coming on the ground. He rounded out his production with 202 carries for 752 yards and 37 catches on 39 targets for 375 more yards. Given that fantastic production, the 26-year-old is bound to garner more significant interest as he reenters free agency this spring, but with many other key offensive contributors on expiring contracts, it's unclear whether the Cardinals will bring Conner back.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
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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.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
  • % Targeted On Route
    Targets divided by total routes run. Also known as TPRR.
  • Avg Yds Per Route Run
    Receiving yards divided by total routes run. Also known as YPRR.
Broken Tackle %
17.3%
 
Positive Run %
82.7%
 
% Yds After Contact
65.6%
 
Avg Yds After Contact
2.4
 
Rushing TD %
7.4%
 
Touches Per Game
15.9
 
% Snaps w/Touch
41.9%
 
Air Yards Per Game
-0.1
 
Air Yards Per Snap
0.00
 
% Team Air Yards
0.0%
 
% Team Targets
7.1%
 
Avg Depth of Target
0.0 Yds
 
Catch Rate
94.9%
 
Drop Rate
0.0%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
10.4
 
% Targeted On Route
15.7%
 
Avg Yds Per Route Run
1.51
 
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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
#% of Team Snaps

58447%
00%
48439%
11686%
1089%
97%
454%
1612%
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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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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
Gameday Injuries: Super Wild-Card Weekend
5 days ago
Juan Carlos Blanco dives into the injury landscape ahead of the NFL's first-ever Super Wild-Card Weekend.
NFL Game Previews: Sunday Wild-Card Matchups
6 days ago
Erik Siegrist previews the Sunday wild-card matchups with game predictions, fantasy projections and DFS picks as Patrick Mahomes leads the Chiefs against the Steelers.
Weekly Rankings: Wild-Card Round Value Meter
7 days ago
Devin Singletary has been on a roll in the last month - can he continue that success on Saturday night?
NFL Playoff Rankings: By-Position Cheat Sheet
10 days ago
Tom Brady gets the top spot among quarterbacks for the second-seeded Buccaneers.
Week 18 Observations
Week 18 Observations
10 days ago
10 days ago
Justin Herbert and the Chargers didn't make the playoffs, but made an epic number of 4th-and-long conversions with the game on the line each time.
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
Available Monday
RBArizona Cardinals
January 17, 2022
Conner (ribs) is listed as active for Monday's wild-card game against the Rams, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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Status in question for Monday
RBArizona Cardinals
Ribs
January 15, 2022
Conner (ribs) is listed as questionable for Monday's wild-card game at the Rams, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Spotted at practice Saturday
RBArizona Cardinals
Ribs
January 15, 2022
Conner (ribs) was present at the portion of Saturday's practice open to the media, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports.
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No practice reps Friday
RBArizona Cardinals
Ribs
January 14, 2022
Conner (ribs) was a non-participant in practice Friday for the second day in a row, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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Not spotted at practice Friday
RBArizona Cardinals
Ribs
January 14, 2022
Conner (ribs) wasn't seen during the portion of Friday's practice that was open to the media, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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