The Duel

James Conner Fantasy Outlook Improves Following Mike Tomlin's Comments

Max Staley
James Conner's fantasy outlook improves following his head coaches comments.
James Conner's fantasy outlook improves following his head coaches comments. / Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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James Conner looks poised for a huge workload in 2020. The Pittsburgh Steelers just don't have many other viable early-down options in the backfield. That potential for massive volume has made him a really attractive option in fantasy football leagues.

Speaking with Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Gazette, Tomlin solidified Conner's role with the team this season:

Our bell cow is James Conner, and he is our primary ball-toter.

Mike Tomlin

James Conner Fantasy Football Outlook

Conner is currently coming off the board with an average draft position (ADP) of RB17, per FantasyPros. If he can stay healthy, he'd likely be an incredible value at that spot thanks to that massive workload, but that's a big "if."

He has never played a full 16-game season throughout his three-year career, missing at least two games each year. In fact, Conner has missed a combined nine games over the past two seasons.

Conner wasn't great last year, totaling 715 yards from scrimmage and 7 scores through 10 games. But his efficiency likely plummeted due to the loss of Ben Roethlisberger. The last time we really saw Conner play alongside Big Ben was 2018, when he totaled 1,470 yards from scrimmage and 13 scores. He was the RB6 that year.

Likely to command huge volume in 2020, Conner is going to be a steal if he can stay on the field. But that has been a real struggle for him, so fantasy managers should have a backup plan at the ready.

We have Conner as the RB17 in our 2020 fantasy rankings.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.

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