James Conner Injury Update Could Create Fantasy Value for Other Steelers Running Backs in Week 9

Jason Schandl
Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers
Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers /
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Fantasy football players got to start James Conner with no reservations against the Miami Dolphins on Monday night, and he rewarded them handsomely with a season-high 145 rushing yards and a touchdown.

However, the back for got banged up again, suffering a sprained AC joint in his shoulder – something that has the potential to cloud the fantasy football outlook of the Pittsburgh Steelers' backfield for Week 9 and beyond.

James Conner Backup 2019

It's not as simple as "next man up" in Pittsburgh right now either. Jaylen Samuels, usually the team's No. 2 running back, has been out since Week 5 following knee surgery. He was questionable before being ruled out leading up to kickoff on Monday, but is expected to return in Week 9 against the Indianapolis Colts. No. 3 RB Benny Snell missed the second half of Monday's night's game with a knee injury, and he is also iffy for next week.

Trey Edmunds Fantasy Outlook

That leaves Trey Edmunds as the only healthy running back in Pittsburgh, and he could be forced into a spot start if everything breaks poorly for the Steelers.

This isn't a great matchup for a backup running back making a spot start either, as the Colts have allowed bottom-10 fantasy production to opposing RBs this season.

Steelers RB Depth Chart

We should have a more concrete update on Conner later in the week, but waiver wire claims including now-handcuffs like Samuels, Snell and Edmonds should all be viable pickups this week.

Samuels is the top pickup, as he already appeared on the verge of returning on Monday and will lead the backfield if he plays and Conner doesn't. Snell would be more of a FLEX play alongside Samuels, as a possible primary early-down back after thriving with 17 carries in Week 6.

Edmunds is nothing more than a stash at this point, as it would take a string of bad luck for all three of the other Steelers' RBs for him to offer any fantasy value. If Conner, Samuels and Snell are ruled out, though, then he does become a solid add as a potential FLEX play in Week 9.

If Conner proves to be healthy enough to suit up, he was ranked as RB10 in our initial Week 9 PPR fantasy football rankings.


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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.

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