Posted: 8/06/2019 6:08 am UTC
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels has been filling a 'significant part of the offense' so far during training camp, as the team limits the workload of RB James Conner. Samuels has been lined up at various positions during practices.
Huddle Up: Samuels showed his versatility filling in for Conner down the stretch last season, and he is someone who showed he has especially solid hands out of the backfield. Conner could be a nice PPR option out of the gate in leagues of 12 or more teams, especially if the Steelers move to more of a dual backfield situation rather than riding a single workhorse like in recent seasons.
Posted: 7/01/2019 6:07 pm UTC
Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner notes that while 'no deep discussion' on his role for the 2019 season has taken place, he is expecting a workload similar to the one he had last season when carry the ball 215 times and recorded 55 catches in 13 games.
'First and foremost, I'm 100 percent healthy now. We'll cross that bridge (in regards to how heavy his workload will be) when we get there. ... The game plan will be different each week. I know I'll be a big part of it and have a big role. As far as specifics, we don't play it like that,' Conner said.
Huddle Up: General manager Kevin Colbert got the masses riled up earlier this offseason when he suggested a committee backfield approach, but Pittsburgh has long been an offense that likes to rely on one main running back. Conner can obviously make it a moot point with his play on the field, but the odds are he's going to push for 275 to 300 touches if he doesn't completely fall on his face and plays 16 games. He remains a high-end RB1 option in fantasy.
Posted: 6/23/2019 6:06 pm UTC
Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner finished with a 34.9 breakaway percentage in 2018, meaning that 340 of his 972 rushing yards came on plays of 15 or more yards.
Huddle Up: Conner had a breakout season in more than one way as he stepped in for Le'Veon Bell, but the campaign was cut short by an ankle injury. This year, he won't sneak up on anyone as a low-end RB1 entering the summer.
Posted: 6/23/2019 5:06 am UTC
Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner gained 340 of his 972 rushing yards on runs of 15 yards or longer last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
Huddle Up: For the sake of comparison, Conner's breakaway percentage (the percentage of yards gained on runs of at least 15 yards) of 35 percent ranked sixth among running backs with at least 200 carries. Much has been made this spring about Pittsburgh sharing the load in the backfield this season in an attempt to keep Conner fresh for games in November and December. Regardless of whether or not the Steelers end up spreading the wealth, it's likely Conner will remain firmly in the RB1 conversation.
Posted: 6/13/2019 6:06 pm UTC
Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner amassed more than 62 percent of his team's carries and 64 percent of the targets to running backs last season, but he is under the impression those numbers will come down this season based on what he has seen during spring practices, especially from Jaylen Samuels and rookie Benny Snell.
'I think it'll be spread out pretty evenly. ... 'I've seen (Snell's) college tape. He's also learned the offense really quick. I know he'll be ready to play this year. Jaylen, obviously, is going to make a lot of plays, too,' Conner told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Huddle Up: Pittsburgh has long been an offense that relies on one bell-cow back, so hearing Conner support his teammates here is much different than offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner say the touches will be spread out evenly. Nevertheless, the Steelers now have the kind of depth to make sure Conner is well-rested, so it would not be a total surprise if he drops from the 20.8 touches he averaged last season to 17 or 18 in 2019. He very much remains in the fantasy RB1 discussion.
Posted: 5/24/2019 10:05 pm UTC
Pittsburgh Steelers RBs James Conner and Jaylen Samuels lined up in the backfield together at times during practice this week, and Samuels said he believes that formation could cause problems for defenses.
Huddle Up: Conner will receive most of the work at running back this upcoming season, but Samuels will be involved in the offense as well after a solid 2018 season. Conner likely will be a No. 1 running back in most fantasy leagues, while Samuels could be a late-round pick or a handcuff to Conner in deeper leagues.
Posted: 12/31/2018 4:12 am UTC
Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner rushed for 64 yards on 14 carries and added 30 yards by hauling in each of his three targets in Week 17 versus the Cincinnati Bengals.
Huddle Up: Connor did not appear to be the least bit inhibited by the high-ankle sprain that cost him the previous three games and returned to a heavy workload considering the length of his absence. The second-year back proved to be a very capable replacement for Le'Veon Bell in his first extended opportunity to be the bell-cow back in Pittsburgh this season, posting 1,470 total yards and 13 total touchdowns in 13 games. Conner figures to be a late first-round pick at worst in most fantasy drafts next summer.
Posted: 12/30/2018 5:12 am UTC
Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) is determined to play in Week 17 versus the Cincinnati Bengals, but the team wants to test him during warmups before making a final determination, according to a source.
Huddle Up: It seems entirely possible Conner, who is listed as questionable on the injury report with a high-ankle sprain he suffered in Week 13, could be limited to early-down work if he plays while Jaylen Samuels takes most of the passing-down snaps. It is also possible the Steelers view Cincinnati as an opponent they should beat without their top running back and give him one more week to heal in the event they sneak into the playoffs. If that scenario occurs, Samuels could enjoy RB1 production again.
Posted: 12/28/2018 8:12 pm UTC
Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) practiced in full for a third straight day Friday, Dec. 28 and he is off the injury report ahead of the Week 17 game with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Huddle Up: Conner appears to be on track to play in the all-important season finale with the Bengals, as it is a must-win game with all hands on deck. It's possible he gets frequent rests since Jaylen Samuels has proven more than capable to handle backfield touches, too.
Posted: 12/27/2018 10:12 pm UTC
Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 27.
Huddle Up: Conner appears to be on track to play after missing the last few weeks because of the ankle injury. He should receive most of the carries during the game and can be a No. 1 or No. 2 running back in all leagues.