Cover Photo: Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Steelers running back James Conner was that fantasy pick that got you to the playoffs. A mid-round flier that turned into an RB1 when Le'Bell never reported, Conner is the No. 5 running back in all of fantasy football heading into Week 14, ahead of first-round picks like Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon III, and David Johnson.

Now that the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is reporting that Conner could miss multiple weeks, his owners will sadly be without him for part, if not all, of the fantasy playoffs. Instead, they'll have to rely on Jaylen Samuels or Stevan Ridley, if they were smart enough to grab them off the waiver wire.

In conflict with Rapoport's report, ESPN's Adam Schefter said that Conner has a chance to return in Week 15 against the New England Patriots. Dealing with a high-ankle sprain, you have to expect the Steelers to be extra-cautious with their now-star running back heading to the NFL playoffs.

No matter which report you believe, fantasy owners will 100 percent be without Conner this weekend. Samuels will get the start against the Raiders with Ridley likely sharing carries for the foreseeable future.

With the Steelers likely leaning toward a pass-heavy scheme with Conner out, expect Samuels to be a low-end RB2 in PPR leagues that could be the difference between a win and a loss in your fantasy playoffs this week.

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