Boudewijn

James Conner 2020 Outlook

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Posted (edited)

In 2017, Conner was an afterthought, backup to Le'Veon Bell.
In 2018, Conner was a league winner (especially for those who drafted early) right up until the play-off when he crashed out.
In 2019, Conner was RB9 until week 8... and then he crashed out again.
In 2020... 
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Despite 3 injuries in 2019 (knee in week 2, shoulder in week 8, then also a thigh injury) he was still the Steelers leading rusher - that's how much the Steelers sucked last season.

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He still gave you 3 days of over 100 yd, but chances are you had benched him by then. Not good.

For 2020 the situation at the Steelers is even more complex than in 2019, and I imagine Conner counts as a long shot by now:
- his QB (Ben) is hoping to be back from his elbow injury, but he's 38. That's only 2 years older than the season where he threw for 5000+tds/34 TD, but that was with an all-star cast
- the WRs might well be the most interesting part of the Steelers with JuJu, James Washington, Diontae Johnson and rookie Chase Claypool (and even more talent)

So a good RB might get a lot of open space if Ben stays healthy.... if... but then there's Conner, Samuels, Snell and McFarland and none of them are fully convincing.

* Samuels was mostly used as a receiver  in 2019. Steelers watchers expect him to be the #4 and closest to the exit.
* Snell performed decently in Conner's absence, but isn't used in the passing game
* McFarland is the new kid on the block, drafted in the 4th round. He seems to be a dart throw by the Steelers; small school, questions about receiving skills, but a good rusher.
* and there was also Kerrith Whyte who at least had the best yd/carry of the steelers RBs.

The Steelers have never voluntarily had a RBBC, but there doesn't seem to be a top dog right now, and I think Conner, as much as the other guys is a total dart throw. On name recognition Conner still goes around RB22, and I'm not even saying that's impossible, but the price is a bit steep for me. Good luck with that.

(Samuels, McFarland and Snell are all RB60-RB70. If you must throw a dart, you could pick one of them of course.)

Edited by Boudewijn
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People probably have a salty taste in their mouth because he burned them so bad. The thing is, Conner never was a first round pick value. He’s just not an elite talent and Bell led people to delusions anyone can do it.

While he was pretty horrible last year, he still got solid work as a pass catcher and he was doing fairly solid from the GL. Samuels is a good receiver but he can’t really run the ball, Snell is a flat out JAG, and a 4th round rookie is hardly a threat as of now.

His ADP is around 40 on FFC. Yeah, that’s too high for sure but not by TOO much. Maybe by a round or two. He’s the starter for now and the starting RB for the Steelers is always going to have value. The problem is I really question his grip on that role. He didn’t break 15 carries until week 6 and when he came back from his injury he didn’t get double digit carries once. Doesn’t exactly make you think Tomlin likes giving him the ball...

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As a cancer survivor, for all his injuries this guy is tougher than the myriad of keyboard warriors mocking his durability. I hope the hate on him continues to push his ADP later in drafts.

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RB 9 until he got injured like you mentioned with terrible QB play. The 2019 Steelers ran 905 plays and ranked 27th in pts and 30th in yards. They were top 10 in both pts and yards for each of the 5 previous years and ran 1034, 1027, 1005, 978 and 1035 plays. Ben also doesn't really know 2 of these backs and Samuels barely because Conner got hurt in 2018, I love Conner in the 3rd or 4th round this year on a offense that returns 4 olineman and a hall of fame QB. He is also playing for a contract too and I'm sure he and the Steelers hope their home town hero stays healthy and stay in Pittsburgh.

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He killed me last year as i took him 7th overall in all 3 fppc leagues i was in. I got 7th or 8th everyime crazy I know. This year at his cost of ownership I will own him again. For people crapping on him he had garbage qb play and I think ben will come back and stay healthy. If ben went down week 15 I would say avoid conner but because ben was don after week 2 I think ben will be 90 to 95 percent for start of season. 

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Tomlin has always used a bell cow rb. He is the starter as of now and will have Ben back with a great defense. IF (big if) he stays healthy you are getting a 3 down back in the 4th/5th round. That could be an amazing value, especially for those going stud WR’s early rounds 

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Could be a solid play this year as long as he avoids those injuries. 

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I just don't seem them utilizing the bell cow role anymore. They have 4 rbs, that it seems like they believe in with:

 

Samuel

Conner

Snell

McFarland

Conner has shown repeatedly that he can't handle the workload. Even with Big Ben returning his value is mediocre at best. Talented, but always hurt.

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I hope he stays healthy and IF he does he could be a huge contributor to a fantasy team.

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I like the price of Conner right now.  Sure, he has a high risk of injury, but he also has proven he can be a top 5 fantasy back with a healthy Ben.  I obviously wouldn't count on that kind of production, but he has shown the ability.  Everything points to him getting a chance to be primary ball carrier to start the season.  It will be interesting to see how long he can hold off injury.  Maybe he learned how to fall and to be more aware when a run is over.  

 

To have legit potential to be an RB1 both he and Ben will need to stay healthy.  We shall see.

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He's at the top of my DND List. I'd rather take a flier on the rookie McFarland and the pass catcher Samuels late in the draft. 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/25/2020 at 6:09 AM, joshua18 said:

As a cancer survivor, for all his injuries this guy is tougher than the myriad of keyboard warriors mocking his durability. I hope the hate on him continues to push his ADP later in drafts.

Yes, how dare "keyboard warriors" question an NFL players durability in fantasy football? He only spent most of his rookie year on injury reserve, suffered a high ankle sprain two seasons ago, and he couldn't even finish like 3 or 4 games last season due to injury. How dare anyone question his ability to stay healthy though because he survived cancer.

What kind of pretentious BS post is this?

Edited by Gohawks
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11 hours ago, Gohawks said:

Yes, how dare "keyboard warriors" question an NFL players durability in fantasy football? He only spent most of his rookie year on injury reserve, suffered a high ankle sprain two seasons ago, and he couldn't even finish like 3 or 4 games last season due to injury. How dare anyone question his ability to stay healthy though because he survived cancer.

What kind of pretentious BS post is this?


Sounds like Demaryius Thomas’s pre-Peyton years. Without the Pro Bowl season Conner has already had, of course. 
 

Even if you’re a doctor, future injuries are near impossible to predict. Is Conner higher risk? Sure.  So is someone like Fournette — who some on this forum laughably once thought was better and more durable than CMAC. 
 

Anyone know Conner’s ADP in early drafts?

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Things I like about Conner:

1. When Ben is around this offense is pretty good

2. He’s the unquestioned starter 

3. Ben throws to his backs a lot and Conner is a very capable receiver

4. Great story and a player I enjoy rooting for

Things I dislike:

1. Not the most efficient, quantity over quality type player

2. Not the most durable.

Im sure I will end up with him in a couple leagues this year around the end of the 4th beginning of the 5th but he’s not a player I’m going to actively seek out. He’s more of a player who I’ll spend the whole clock looking at other options and then with 2 seconds draft him.

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Not sure it makes sense to point to Samuel or Snell as competition for Conner. Both those guys got ample opps last season and didn't really do much with them. They both seem good for their limited roles and not much more. 

My guess would be the Steelers give Conner first go at bell cow touches and if he holds up they run him in to the ground and move on (not under contract next season). if he breaks down it's a committee unless somebody emerges, which didn't happen with most of these backs last season. 

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1 hour ago, yossarian said:

Not sure it makes sense to point to Samuel or Snell as competition for Conner. Both those guys got ample opps last season and didn't really do much with them. They both seem good for their limited roles and not much more. 

My guess would be the Steelers give Conner first go at bell cow touches and if he holds up they run him in to the ground and move on (not under contract next season). if he breaks down it's a committee unless somebody emerges, which didn't happen with most of these backs last season. 

Pretty much this.

Samuel is a nice third down back but he’s honestly horrible as a runner. He was one of the worst runners I’ve seen last year and his YPC backs it up. Snell is also a pretty bad RB and about JAG as they come. The wild card is McFarland but he’s a bit undersized and never handled a huge workload in college.

So even if Conner isn’t good I doubt he’s going to lose his starting job because his competition isn’t good either. Worst case scenario is it becomes kind of a messy RBBC but even then he should have decent flex value with Big Ben back and him being a good GL back. 

The main concern is injury and if Conner goes down there isn’t a legit backup. 

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If he stays healthy he is a top 12 back. Which is an amazing ceiling for his ADP.  The problem is, like others have said, he is injury prone thus far in his career and there is no clear handcuff.

The game script for him is really positive: A great defense with a Vet QB, a stable o-line, and a coach who you have a history to show he uses 1 RB. We’ve seen his top 5 upside if he can just stay healthy. I’d be thrilled to have him as my RB3, which is actually possible this year. A rarity with someone with that much upside to be in this situation.

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The injury prone label for NFL running backs is the most asinine narrative in sports. Every NFL RB is injury prone simply by virtue of playing RB in the NFL. How did fading injury prone RBs Dalvin Cook and Leo Fournette work out last year? Some RBs will get hurt. Some won't. We don't know which ones will stay healthy. 

 

Bottom line,  Conner is a talented, do it all starting back who should be an RB1, but he'll be treated as an RB3. I don't think there's a player who's currently a better value.

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, ajs723 said:

The injury prone label for NFL running backs is the most asinine narrative in sports. Every NFL RB is injury prone simply by virtue of playing RB in the NFL. How did fading injury prone RBs Dalvin Cook and Leo Fournette work out last year? Some RBs will get hurt. Some won't. We don't know which ones will stay healthy. 

 

Bottom line,  Conner is a talented, do it all starting back who should be an RB1, but he'll be treated as an RB3. I don't think there's a player who's currently a better value.

Hes a talented runner and I love the kid but I do believe that some guys are definitely more injury prone than others.  I don't go by any deep science outside of the fact that there are players who get in a few full seasons and then maybe have a full bum seasons, but the key is having at least a full season or more.  When guys cant complete seasons at all, meaning they start their career and each season they're out ...that to me is injury prone .

Take CM for instance , 16/16/16 so far...yes he could get hurt like anyone else but so far hes what I would consider not prone to injury,  and that's the difference. I mean if someone says put your money on cm or Conner to last a full season given the stats I'm sure cm is the easy bet. I love conner tho, love him but the dude can't stay on the field. But great value if you can get him as such 

Edited by Savatage79
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8 minutes ago, Savatage79 said:

Hes a talented runner and I love the kid but I do believe that some guys are definitely more injury prone than others.  I don't go by any deep science outside of the fact that there are players who get in a few full seasons and then maybe have a full bum seasons, but the key is having at least a full season or more.  When guys cant complete seasons at all, meaning they start their career and each season they're out ...that to me is injury prone .

Take CM for instance , 16/16/16 so far...yes he could get hurt like anyone else but so far hes what I would consider not prone to injury,  and that's the difference. I mean if someone says put your money on cm or Conner to last a full season given the stats I'm sure cm is the easy bet. I love conner tho, love him but the dude can't stay on the field. But great value if you can get him as such 


Hilarious because 3 years these forums were full of people who said he was too small and too white to hold up under a feature RB workload, and that someone like Fournette was less likely to get hurt. 
 

nick-cage-lol.gif

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28 minutes ago, Savatage79 said:

When guys cant complete seasons at all, meaning they start their career and each season they're out ...that to me is injury prone. but the dude can't stay on the field. But great value if you can get him as such 

I mean, do you know how many current starting NFL RBs played 16 games last year? Did you guess 4? Because it's 4. But wait, it gets better. One of those 4 is Aaron Jones, who missed several games in 2018 and 2017. Another is Elliott, who has never played 16 games in any other season, and missed 6 games in 2017. The other two are Chubb, who has started 25 games in 2 seasons, and the incomparable CMC.

So, by your criteria, every RB in the NFL is injury prone except CMC, and maybe Chubb, but we have a pretty small sample with him.

Again, this should not be a factor when deciding who to draft. All of these guys get hurt. Draft talent. Conner has it in spades.

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1 hour ago, ajs723 said:

I mean, do you know how many current starting NFL RBs played 16 games last year? Did you guess 4? Because it's 4. But wait, it gets better. One of those 4 is Aaron Jones, who missed several games in 2018 and 2017. Another is Elliott, who has never played 16 games in any other season, and missed 6 games in 2017. The other two are Chubb, who has started 25 games in 2 seasons, and the incomparable CMC.

So, by your criteria, every RB in the NFL is injury prone except CMC, and maybe Chubb, but we have a pretty small sample with him.

Again, this should not be a factor when deciding who to draft. All of these guys get hurt. Draft talent. Conner has it in spades.

I'm just saying some guys tend to get banged up a little easier than others , it's as simple as that. It doesn't mean I wont draft conner it just means if theres a guy I feel that might hold up better I might go that route pending how a draft is going.

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2 hours ago, ajs723 said:

The injury prone label for NFL running backs is the most asinine narrative in sports. Every NFL RB is injury prone simply by virtue of playing RB in the NFL. How did fading injury prone RBs Dalvin Cook and Leo Fournette work out last year? Some RBs will get hurt. Some won't. We don't know which ones will stay healthy. 

 

Bottom line,  Conner is a talented, do it all starting back who should be an RB1, but he'll be treated as an RB3. I don't think there's a player who's currently a better value.

It’s just as asinine to throw everyone in the same pot when it comes to injuries because they can be a fluke.

You think guys like Lebron or Wilson are practically invincible because they’re lucky? They’re invincible because of how they take care of themselves and just as importantly genetics.

Certain players are more susceptible to injury. If a guy gets a freak ACL tear or something I won’t hold it against him but if a guy is injured very often at that point it’s not unlucky. 

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14 minutes ago, Gohawks said:

It’s just as asinine to throw everyone in the same pot when it comes to injuries because they can be a fluke.

You think guys like Lebron or Wilson are practically invincible because they’re lucky? They’re invincible because of how they take care of themselves and just as importantly genetics.

Certain players are more susceptible to injury. If a guy gets a freak ACL tear or something I won’t hold it against him but if a guy is injured very often at that point it’s not unlucky. 

So where's the line? Is Chris Carson injury prone? Is Elliott? Is Barkley? Is Aaron Jones? Kamara? Dalvin Cook? What guys aren't other than CMC? 

This idea that some guys "just seem to get injured more" is totally based on knee-jerk, gut emotion. 

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