James Conner
James Conner
24-Year-Old Running BackRB
Pittsburgh Steelers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
In his second year, Conner became a true hometown hero for the Steelers last season. 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. And his 135-yard, two-TD performance on the ground in Week 1 helped fans forget all about Bell. While the rest of his season was a little more erratic, he 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 56 total broken tackles tied for fourth 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 as capable backups, the Steelers aren't likely to grind him into the dirt with a massive workload the way they did with Bell. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $3.16 million contract with the Steelers in May of 2017.
Expecting shared workload
RBPittsburgh Steelers
June 13, 2019
Conner expects the Steelers to spread out backfield work this season, Jonathan Bombulie of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. "I think it'll be spread out pretty evenly," Conner said. "I've seen [Benny Snell's] college tape. He's also learned the offense really quick. I know he'll be ready to play this year. Jaylen [Samuels], obviously, is going to make a lot of plays, too."
ANALYSIS
Conner's snap share topped 72 percent in 11 of his 13 games last season, including seven weeks at 84 percent or higher. It was a different story in Week 17 after he returned from a knee injury, with Samuels getting most of the playing time on passing downs. Conner still figures to take most of the carries in 2019, but it makes sense to remove him from the field in obvious passing situations, considering Samuels had 201 receptions for 1,851 yards and 19 touchdowns in his four-year career at NC State. It's harder to see how Snell might get involved, but the Steelers thought enough of him to invest a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft.
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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 2018 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.
Broken Tackle %
11.2%
 
Positive Run %
84.2%
 
% Yds After Contact
60.8%
 
Avg Yds After Contact
2.8
 
Rushing TD %
5.6%
 
Touches Per Game
20.8
 
% Snaps w/Touch
37.4%
 
Air Yards Per Game
-3.8
 
Air Yards Per Snap
-0.07
 
% Team Air Yards
-1.0%
 
% Team Targets
10.5%
 
Avg Depth of Target
-0.7 Yds
 
Catch Rate
77.5%
 
Drop Rate
5.6%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
10.3
 
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Pittsburgh SteelersSteelers 2018 RB Snap Distribution See more data like this
% of Team Snaps

721
0
226
0
61
0
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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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2018 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
Initial Share Analysis
2 days ago
Rashaad Penny's ADP rose throughout the spring, but he's still an excellent pick in the sixth or seventh round. Per usual, best ball provides some lessons that can be applied to any fantasy format.
Mock Draft Musings: PPR Edition
33 days ago
Picking 13th in a 14-team experts mock, Jerry Donabedian eventually regretted his decision to pass on Julio Jones twice.
NFL Draft: Day 3 Fantasy Fallout
51 days ago
There was some thought Bryce Love might last until the sixth or seventh round, but Washington scooped him up in the fourth, presumably with plans for a 2019 redshirt.
FanDuel Fantasy Football: Pro Bowl Picks
143 days ago
For this weekend’s Pro Bowl, Kevin Payne offers his strategy for FanDuel’s single-game contest and notes tight ends tend to do well in this unique game.
Yahoo DFS Football: Pro Bowl-Super Bowl Picks
143 days ago
Sasha Yodashkin checks out the split Pro Bowl/Super Bowl slate and expects George Kittle to thrive against soft coverage in Orlando.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
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
Locked in atop backfield
RBPittsburgh Steelers
February 20, 2019
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert pointed to Conner and Jaylen Samuels as part of the impetus for the organization's decision not to place a transition tag on Le'Veon Bell, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
ANALYSIS
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Totals 94 yards from scrimmage
RBPittsburgh Steelers
December 30, 2018
Conner (ankle) ran for 64 yards on 14 carries and caught all three of his targets for 30 yards during Sunday's 16-13 win over Cincinnati.
ANALYSIS
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Suits up Sunday
RBPittsburgh Steelers
December 30, 2018
Conner (ankle) is listed as active for Sunday's game against the Bengals.
ANALYSIS
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Appears on track to play
RBPittsburgh Steelers
Ankle
December 30, 2018
Conner appears to be in line to play Sunday against the Bengals after testing out his ankle in warmups, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
ANALYSIS
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True game-time decision
RBPittsburgh Steelers
Ankle
December 30, 2018
Conner (ankle) did less in practice this week than initially perceived and is a true game-time decision, Fox's Jay Glazer reported on their pregame show Sunday morning.
ANALYSIS
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