James Conner Injury Update Boosts Fantasy Outlook With Jaylen Samuels Missing Practice in Week 15

James Conner runs the ball against the Bengals in Week 4.
James Conner runs the ball against the Bengals in Week 4. / Joe Sargent/Getty Images

On the shelf since re-injuring his shoulder in Week 11, James Conner is back to practicing in full, positioning him for a Week 15 return against the Buffalo Bills. On the other side of the coin, backfield mate Jaylen Samuels missed practice, potentially giving Conner some increased volume this week.

Conner's biggest workload of the season came in the two weeks (Week 6 and Week 8) with Samuels on the shelf. He averaged 19.5 carries and 5.5 targets, converting that volume into 27.5 PPR fantasy points per game in those contests.

The fact that he was already practicing in full on Wednesday is a great sign that he's not going to be limited by the injury this week, either. What could cut into his role is the emergence of rookie Benny Snell. Snell returned from injury in Week 12 and immediately took over as the Steelers' lead back, recording 21, 16 and 16 carries in the last three games, respectively.

He's not a receiving threat though, with only four targets this season, and Samuels' absence means Conner will be the primary pass-catching back even if he's splitting carries with Snell.

Returning to a tough matchup against the Buffalo Bills and with Snell threatening to cut into his rushing volume, Conner's still not a lock for a big week in his return. Our Week 15 PPR fantasy football rankings have him sitting at RB24.

Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.

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