Jaylen Samuels Fantasy Football Value Could Be High Even With James Conner Active in Week 5

Jason Schandl
New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers
New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers /

Jaylen Samuels had the potential to be a top play if James Conner was forced to miss Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens, but ultimately Conner was not on the Pittsburgh Steelers' final injury report for Week 5.

Even with Conner active, though, Samuels is still in consideration as a fantasy football player to start.

Samuels didn't make a big impact to open the season, but he broke out in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals, racking up 18 touches (14 more than he had in any of his first three games) and tallying 15.5 PPR points. Those numbers came while he was still sharing the field with Conner, playing 45.8 percent of the Steelers' offensive snaps while Conner played 64.4 percent.

The ability to work as a receiver is big for Samuels' value, since it helps him co-exist with the more rushing-focused Conner. Pittsburgh RBs can expect to keep seeing big receiving volume with Mason Rudolph at QB as well, since Rudolph works downfield significantly less than Ben Roethlisberger did, and his 5.5-yard average depth of targets is the lowest among all passers with at least 50 attempts in 2019.

Samuels' upside may be limited with the Steelers sitting as 3.5-point underdogs on FanDuel Sportsbook, but the potential that Pittsburgh is playing from behind in this one could open the door for even more pass attempts. He doesn't quite crack the top 36 RBs in our Week 5 fantasy football rankings, but Samuels remains a viable flex play or RB3 option if your team is light on RB options this week, especially in PPR leagues.

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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.