James Conner
James Conner
25-Year-Old Running BackRB
Pittsburgh Steelers
Questionable
Injury Quadriceps
2019 Fantasy Outlook
In his second year, Conner became a true hometown hero for the Steelers. He was born in Erie, Pa., and matriculated at Pitt, where he ran for 26 touchdowns as a sophomore and then overcame Hodgkin's lymphoma to become a third-round pick in the 2017 draft. Conner got a chance to start for the Steelers when Le'Veon Bell's annual preseason holdout became a slow, season-long divorce between the star running back and the franchise. Conner's 135-yard, two-TD performance on the ground Week 1 helped fans quickly forget all about Bell. While the rest of his season was a little more erratic, Conner still showed enough to solidify his hold on the No. 1 job before an ankle injury cost him three games late in the season. Seen as primarily a power back coming out of college, Conner proved to be adept as a receiver, but it's still his ability to plow through contact that remains his best asset --- his 24 broken tackles on rushes tied for ninth in the league, and his 17 carries inside the 5-yard line tied for third as he converted 53 percent. That bulldozer approach may lead to further injuries (he's missed time late in the year twice in two seasons) but with Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell on hand as capable backups, the Steelers aren't likely to grind Conner into the dirt with a massive workload the way they did with Bell. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $3.16 million contract with the Steelers in May of 2017.
Likely leader of committee
RBPittsburgh Steelers
Quadriceps
May 4, 2020
Conner (quadriceps) projects as the leader of a committee backfield in Pittsburgh, Ed Bouchette of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Unable to build on his 2018 breakout, Conner missed six full games plus the majority of two others in 2019, and he also noticed a significant dip in yards per carry (4.0) and a smaller dip in yards per target (6.6). Both numbers were better than what the Steelers got from Benny Snell (3.9 YPC, three catches) and Jaylen Samuels (2.7 YPC, 5.4 YPT), but now there's another body -- fourth-round pick Anthony McFarland -- entering the backfield mix after the team devoted a middle-round selection to the position for the fourth consecutive year. Conner has plenty of time to recover from last year's assortment of injuries and still figures to take the first snap at training camp, but he'll likely have to play out the final season of his rookie contract without an extension.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do James Conner's 2019 advanced stats compare to other running backs?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Broken Tackle %
    The number of broken tackles divided by rush attempts.
  • Positive Run %
    The percentage of run plays where he was able to gain positive yardage.
  • % Yds After Contact
    The percentage of his rushing yards that came after contact.
  • Avg Yds After Contact
    The average rushing yards he gains after contact.
  • Rushing TD %
    Rushing touchdowns divided by rushing attempts. In other words, how often is he scoring when running the ball.
  • Touches Per Game
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) he is averaging per game
  • % Snaps w/Touch
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) divided by offensive snaps played.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Broken Tackle %
12.5%
 
Positive Run %
81.3%
 
% Yds After Contact
52.8%
 
Avg Yds After Contact
2.4
 
Rushing TD %
0.0%
 
Touches Per Game
4.7
 
% Snaps w/Touch
19.7%
 
Air Yards Per Game
-6.0
 
Air Yards Per Snap
-0.18
 
% Team Air Yards
-1.6%
 
% Team Targets
8.1%
 
Avg Depth of Target
-1.5 Yds
 
Catch Rate
87.2%
 
Drop Rate
0.0%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
8.9
 
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2019
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2017
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2018 NFL Game Log
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2017 NFL Game Log
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Pittsburgh SteelersSteelers 2019 RB Snap Distribution See more data like this
% of Team Snaps

370
0
335
0
171
0
95
0
41
0
15
0
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where James Conner lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2019 James Conner Split Stats
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Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do James Conner's measurables compare to other running backs?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
* The Cone Drill metric is from his Pro Day. All others are from the NFL Combine.
Height
6' 1"
 
Weight
233 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.65 sec
 
Cone Drill*
7.41 sec
 
Vertical Jump
29.0 in
 
Broad Jump
113 in
 
Bench Press
20 reps
 
Hand Length
9.88 in
 
Arm Length
31.25 in
 
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RB Tiers and Rankings (Top 75 Post-Draft)
23 days ago
Jerry Donabedian ranks his top-75 running backs, putting Chris Carson in a diverse tier with two other veterans and two rookies.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
A third-round pick in last year's draft, Conner didn't get much of a chance to show he was worth the investment as Le'Veon Bell dominated the backfield before Conner suffered a Week 15 knee injury that ended his campaign early. The 23-year-old is accustomed to setbacks – he's already come back from Hodgkin's lymphoma, so a little MCL strain should be no big deal. Conner is a burly back who ran with power and anger during a prolific college career at Pitt, frequently shoving defenders aside with stiff arms before lowering his shoulder at the end of runs. He also displayed the balance to keep his feet in traffic, but he isn't particularly elusive and his skills as a receiver and pass-blocker are rudimentary. His best fit in the NFL might be as a short-yardage back, and in that role he could be an effective complement to Bell. Of course, the Steelers seemingly intend to wring every snap they can out of their star before he walks out the door – a plan that would once again leave little work for Conner.
Currently listed at 6-1, 233 pounds, Conner overcome Hodgkins lymphoma and a torn MCL from 2015 to return to the field in 2016, and he came back with a leaner build and improved pass-catching skills. The 2017 third-rounder doesn't look like a standout talent and won't have much opportunity to produce behind Bell, but he's probably talented enough to produce if Le'Veon Bell should miss any time. Conner finished his college career at the University of Pittsburgh with 3,733 yards (5.6 YPC) and 52 touchdowns over the span of 39 games.
More Fantasy News
Still viewed as starter
RBPittsburgh Steelers
Quadriceps
February 13, 2020
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert still views Conner (quadriceps) as a starting running back, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. "We hope James can regain it," Colbert said. "And, if he's healthy, there's no reason he shouldn't. We don't want to say we don't have a starting running back because we feel we do."
ANALYSIS
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Not playing Week 17
RBPittsburgh Steelers
Quadriceps
December 27, 2019
Pittsburgh has ruled Conner (quadriceps) out for Sunday's game against the Ravens, Missi Matthews of the Steelers' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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Misses practice Thursday
RBPittsburgh Steelers
Quadriceps
December 26, 2019
Conner (quad) didn't practice Thursday.
ANALYSIS
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Sidelined Wednesday
RBPittsburgh Steelers
Quadriceps
December 25, 2019
Conner (quadriceps) didn't practice Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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Status up in air for season finale
RBPittsburgh Steelers
Quadriceps
December 24, 2019
Coach Mike Tomlin called Conner's (quadriceps) status for Week 17 at Baltimore "very much in question," Missi Matthews of the Steelers' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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