James Conner Injury Update Improves Fantasy Outlook, Downgrades Jaylen Samuels for Week 11

Jason Schandl
Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Chargers
Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Chargers / Katharine Lotze/Getty Images
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James Conner has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury after racking up a season-high 23 carries in Week 8, but he's back at practice and expected to be full-go for a Week 11 "Thursday Night Football" matchup with the Cleveland Browns.

This gives Conner a great fantasy outlook moving forward, but is also a big hit to Jaylen Samuels, who has seen his value jump with Conner out.

Even with the Pittsburgh Steelers spending most of the year without Ben Roethlisberger, Conner's workload has kept him in the conversation as one of the top running backs in fantasy football. He's averaged 17.8 PPR fantasy points per game on the season, ranking seventh at the position.

That production has come on the back of some strong volume, averaging 18.3 opportunities (13.9 carries plus 4.4 targets) per game.

Samuels has dealt with injuries of his own this season, but he returned after Conner went down, and in the last two weeks racked up a total of 22 carries and 20 targets.

The five games he played with Conner, though, saw him average just 3.6 carries and 3.0 targets per game, while Conner wasn't far off his season-average marks with 11.6 carries and 4.0 targets per game in that sample.

The Browns are also a pretty good matchup for Conner, as they rank below average in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA rankings against the pass (19th) and run (22nd), sitting 23rd overall.

Conner sits at RB15 in our Week 11 PPR fantasy football rankings, while Samuels comes in at RB31 for the week.


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