Jaylen Samuels Fantasy Outlook Climbing With Potential Lead-Back Role in Week 9

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers
Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Jaylen Samuels practiced in full in Week 8 before being ruled out for Monday's game against the Miami Dolphins, but head coach Mike Tomlin has confirmed that Samuels will be ready to go in Week 9. That's perfect timing, as James Conner's status is up in the air after suffering a shoulder injury on Monday.

As the potential lead back for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Indianapolis Colts, Samuels' fantasy value is on the rise.

Samuels saw his biggest workload of the season in Week 4 before getting banged up in Week 5. He played 45 percent of the Steelers' offensive snaps and racked up 18 opportunities (10 carries plus eight targets).

Conner matched him with 10 carries and eight targets in that one, and the Steelers have consistently fed their running backs this season, no matter who is healthy. That even held true with No. 3 Benny Snell, who got 17 carries in the first game without Samuels (Week 6). Snell and Conner also combined for 28 carries and four targets in Week 8.

The matchup in Week 9 isn't as good as Samuels would have had if he returned against the Miami Dolphins, but workhorse volume would keep him firmly in play against the Indianapolis Colts anyway. The Colts aren't exactly a bad matchup either, coming in at 25th in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA rankings in 2019.

If Conner suits up he's still a top-10 RB option in our Week 9 PPR fantasy football rankings. If he doesn't play, though, Samuels will vault into the conversation as a solid RB2 option for the week.

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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.