Cover Photo: Joe Sargent/Getty Images


With Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner ruled out for the Week 14 matchup against the Oakland Raiders, fantasy owners should be able to find a viable replacement in the Steelers' own backfield.


But with two backs -- Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley -- set to split the load on Sunday, fantasy owners will need to decide who is the better start in Week 14.

In PPR leagues, Samuels could end up being as highly coveted as Spencer Ware was last week. Samuels' ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is something that'll get fantasy owners lots of points in a hurry. It was this same versatility that made him a legend at North Carolina State, where he even spent some time as a tight end. You'd imagine the Steelers will throw the ball more being without a dual-threat running back for the first time in a long while.

Attaching even more appeal to Samuels' name is the fact that he's tight end eligible in Yahoo! leagues. If you're already set at the running back position, Samuels is a nice cheat code to have going forward. Plus, you can block other owners in your league from acquiring him by ​putting in a claim yourself.

But it's not all about Samuels here. Ridley has a great chance to make an impact against the NFL's worst rushing defense, which allows 153.3 yards on the ground per game. The downfall, however, is that Ridley hasn't done much in terms of catching the football through seven NFL seasons. If Ridley is going to get it done, it'll strictly be on the ground.

All in all, it's Samuels that we'll hold up to a higher standard against the Raiders. His versatility and pass-catching prowess make him a candidate to have one of the best fantasy-point outputs on the entire Week 14 slate.


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Al Walsh is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Al Walsh also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username 14AdotWalsh. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.