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Player Outlook
Conner has averaged at least 15 PPR points per game in each of his three seasons with the Cardinals. Don't assume a fourth will come easy. While Conner remained highly effective as Arizona's lead back last season, he did lose out on most third downs to two other runners. In April, the Redbirds took Trey Benson in the NFL Draft, adding a younger power back with similar skills to Conner to their RB room. And you can't forget about Conner being an eighth-year veteran at age 29 who has missed at least three games in five of his past six seasons. When he's on the field, he's generally been very good, which is why Fantasy managers won't mind settling for Conner as soon as Round 6, but not before since he has some considerable concerns. It's also not a bad idea to target Benson in Round 8, even if Conner isn't already on your roster.

Fantasy Stats

rushing receiving fantasy
Year yds
Rushing Yards
Average Yards per Rush
Rushing Touchdowns
Fumbles Lost
Receiving Yards
Receiving Touchdowns
Fantasy Points
Fantasy Points per Game
2023 1040 5.00 7 27 165 2 16412.6
2022 782 4.27 7 1 46 300 1 14010.8
3y Avg. 858 4.33 10 0 37 280 2 17112.2
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RB Rank

Fantasy News

  • Cardinals' James Conner: Leader of improved backfield

    Rookie third-round pick Trey Benson is unlikely to take Conner's starting job but may eventually force a timeshare in the Cardinals' backfield, according to KC Joyner of The Athletic. Conner has missed multiple games in each of his seven NFL seasons, though never more than six in any one year, so any competition for touches could sort itself out. His 2023 included career highs for rushing yards (1,040) and yards per carry (5.0), with the downside being his fewest targets (33) and catches (27, 2.1 per game) since he was a barely-used rookie with Pittsburgh in 2017. The lack of receiving volume was partially a product of Emari Demercado getting playing time in passing situations, and it's worth noting that the Cardinals have two other backs in Michael Carter, DeeJay Dallas with track records as passing-down specialists. That said, Conner still figures to be the starter and lead runner, with Benson being the main threat to poach carries and TDs even if other guys are in the mix on passing downs.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Logs first 1,000-yard season

    Conner finished with 27 carries for 150 yards and a touchdown Sunday, adding four receptions on as many targets for 54 yards in a 21-20 loss to Seattle. Conner nearly wore a hero's cape for the second week in a row after scoring another late touchdown to give the underdog Cardinals a shot at victory. Unlike the Eagles before them, the Seahawks were able to strike back on Sunday and spoil Conner's first 200-total-yard game of the campaign. The veteran workhorse was unconscious over the last quarter of the schedule (104/514/5) to produce the first 1,000-yard season of his career in just 13 games. Conner will enter the final year of a three-year contract with Arizona with little competition for the starting role pending the club's offseason roster moves.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Hero of upset victory

    Conner took 26 carries for 128 yards and a touchdown while catching his only target for five yards and another touchdown in Sunday's 35-31 win over Philadelphia. Conner was the late-game hero of Sunday's upset win over the Eagles after he punched in a two-yard score with less than a minute left on the clock. It was the bruising tailback's second trip to the end zone in the second half after he caught a short touchdown pass from Kyler Murray in the third quarter. The red-hot Conner will carry a scoring streak of four games into the final game of the 2023 regular season.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: RBs to Start

    I'm done doubting Conner, and he's proved me wrong for three games in a row. He scored 22.5 PPR points at Pittsburgh in Week 13, 17.9 PPR points against San Francisco in Week 15 and 22.2 PPR points at Chicago in Week 16, and he's excelled in tough matchups. This should be a tough matchup at Philadelphia since the Eagles are No. 4 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, but they haven't stopped anyone recently. In their past five games, six running backs have scored at least 12.2 PPR points against Philadelphia, and Conner should love going back to Pennsylvania since he's from Erie. He's a solid No. 2 running back in all leagues.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Goes past 100 yards from scrimmage

    Conner compiled 12 carries for 45 yards and five catches (on five targets) for 67 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 27-16 loss in Chicago. Sunday's outing marked Conner's first of the campaign with less than 4.0 yards per carry, but he made up for it with his performance as a receiver. Typically, he earns a few targets per game, but his five looks in Week 16 included a 16-yard catch-and-run for a TD and a personal game-high of 20 yards. Conner thus recorded 100-plus yards from scrimmage for the fourth time in 11 appearances this season. He'll aim to keep it up Sunday, Dec. 31 at Philadelphia.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Start Him (Lineup Decisions)

    First we doubted him and then he showed out against his old team. Then he still doubted him in a tough matchup last week against the 49ers and he slashed through them. At what point do we stop doubting Conner, who has averaged 21.0 touches and 20.2 PPR points over his past two games? One of the reasons for his big game last week was a strong showing by his offensive line against a less-than-healthy 49ers set of D-tackles. Chicago's defensive line is great at rushing the passer but not as stout against the run, plus the unit as a whole has allowed 4.4 yards per carry to opposing RBs over the past four weeks with a run of 10-plus yards allowed on 15.3% of their rushes. That's nearly one every six plays; only Arizona is worse since Week 11. No doubt, touchdowns are tied to Conner's upside, but I doubt this plays out as a Bears blowout win (they're four-point favorites), so Conner should have plenty of work, including near the goal line where he's dominated touches this season. I'd start him over Derrick Henry, Ezekiel Elliott, Chuba Hubbard and D'Andre Swift.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Bust Alert (Start/Sit)

    Conner has proven me wrong in each of the past two weeks when I recommended to sit him, and we'll see what happens in Week 16 at Chicago. In his past two games against Pittsburgh and San Francisco, Conner has scored at least 17.9 PPR points in each outing with a combined 39 carries for 191 yards and three touchdowns and three catches for 3 yards on five targets. I'm concerned about his production if he doesn't score a touchdown since he's not overly involved in the passing game, and the Bears have allowed just one touchdown to a running back in their past three games against Minnesota, Detroit and Cleveland. I would only use Conner as a flex option in most leagues in Week 16.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Stays hot with another TD

    Conner rushed 14 times for 86 yards and a touchdown while catching all three of his targets for three yards in Sunday's 45-29 loss to San Francisco. Conner followed up his best fantasy performance of the season against his old club last week with another strong outing in Week 15. It was especially impressive considering that the 49ers boast the third-stingiest run defense in the league. Conner has contributed 191 rushing yards and three touchdowns over his last two games afterproviding modest results in the three games prior following his return from IR. The bruising back is gaining momentum at a crucial point of the fantasy schedule, making him a hot commodity heading into next Sunday's tilt against Chicago.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Bust Alert (Start/Sit)

    The last time we saw Conner in Week 13 at Pittsburgh he had his best game of the season with 22.5 PPR points. He ran 25 times for 105 yards and two touchdowns against his former team but had no catches on two targets. Don't chase those points because this is a tough matchup for him in Week 15 against San Francisco. The 49ers are No. 5 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, and only Rachaad White in Week 11 scored double digits in PPR against San Francisco in the past five games, including matchups against Travis Etienne, D'Andre Swift and Kenneth Walker III. Also, prior to Week 13, Conner had scored fewer than 8.5 PPR points in three games in a row. He's only worth using as a flex option at best in Week 15 in most leagues.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Two scores in return to Pittsburgh

    Conner rushed the ball 25 times for 105 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 24-10 win over the Steelers. Conner topped 20 carries for the second time this season and for the first time since Week 2, likely in part due to his return to Pittsburgh and also because Emari Demercado (neck) was forced to exit the game. Regardless, he turned in a strong effort, highlighted by a long gain of 29 yards as well as touchdowns of one and nine yards. Conner had failed to top 73 rushing yards in three previous games since returning from a knee injury and will now head into a bye before facing a stout San Francisco defense in Week 15.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)

    Kyler Murray's return has changed the math on Conner's expectations. In three games, Arizona has become pass-heavy (63.7% pass rate) -- a stark contrast from Conner's five games before injury (55.6% pass rate). And while Conner has had some red-zone carries in those games with Murray, his O-line hasn't kept him clean, especially near the goal line. Meanwhile Murray has a rushing touchdown in three straight games. Conner will face his former team, one that has held all but four running backs to less than 15 PPR points this year, and the ones who notched 15-plus scored a touchdown. If that doesn't make you feel good about Conner, then you'll especially dislike that he's averaged 0.42 yards before contact on his runs since Murray's return, good for 44th out of 47 running backs (Breece Hall and Derrick Henry had it worse). Pittsburgh's unit held the Bengals and Browns in consecutive weeks to 0.5 yards before contact or less. If you start Conner, don't expect an efficient day and pray to Ye Olde Fantasy Gods for a garbage-time touchdown. I'd rather trust Jaylen Warren, Chuba Hubbard and A.J. Dillon.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: RBs to Sit

    Conner gets the revenge game narrative this week as he returns to Pittsburgh, but I would only use Conner as a flex option in most leagues. He's scored 8.3 PPR points or less in three games in a row, and he hasn't scored a touchdown in his past four outings. The Cardinals have just three rushing touchdowns from a running back as a team this year, and the Steelers plan to focus on limiting Conner's production this week. "We can't allow James Conner to do what James does," Mike Tomlin said. I did like that Conner had four catches on five targets in Week 12 against the Rams, but I'm not ready to trust him as a starter in most formats in this matchup on the road.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Quiet day in loss

    Conner rushed six times for 27 yards and brought in four of five targets for five yards in the Cardinals' 37-14 loss to the Rams on Sunday. Conner's day quickly fell victim to a game script that saw the Cardinals already down by 13 points at halftime. The veteran back also found running room to be mostly at a premium, considering 14 of his rushing yards came on one carry. Conner's yardage tally was a season-low total, and he'll aim to bounce back from the unproductive afternoon against his old Steelers squad on the road in Week 13.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: RBs to Sit

    Conner has posted two empty stat lines against the Falcons in Week 10 and the Texans in Week 11 since coming back from a four-game absence with a knee injury. He's scored 8.3 PPR points in each outing with a combined 30 carries for 135 yards and two catches for 1 yard on three targets. His lack of work in the passing game is a concern since he only has five catches on eight targets in his past six games, and the Cardinals only have three rushing touchdowns on the season from their running backs. The Rams are No. 8 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs this year, so Conner is just a flex option at best in most leagues for Week 12.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Contrarian DFS Play

    I admit I may be catching a falling knife here. Conner's production has lagged since he returned from IR and the Cardinals are still a bad team. Still, he's been an excellent runner this season and he saw a little bit of work in the passing game last week. I still believe there's 20-touch and 20-Fantasy point upside here. The nice thing is, you'll have very little company if he pays off.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Solid numbers in Week 11 loss

    Conner rushed 14 times for 62 yards and brought in two of three targets for one yard in the Cardinals' 21-16 loss to the Texans on Sunday. He also recovered a fumble. Conner did well with the opportunities he had on the ground, posting his second solid performance since returning from a stint on injured reserve due to a knee injury. Conner also got reintegrated into the passing game, albeit modestly, after being shut out altogether in that department in his Week 10 return. Conner has now cleared the 60-yard mark on the ground in each of his first two games back, sending him into a Week 12 home matchup against the Rams with some momentum.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: RBs to Start

    I loved that Conner came back from his four-game absence with a knee injury in Week 10 against Atlanta and immediately got 16 carries, which he turned into 73 yards. I didn't like that he had no targets, and hopefully that's not a sign of things to come. This week, Conner is worth using as a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues against the Texans, who have allowed a running back to score at least 12.5 PPR points in four of their past five games, including two in a row with Rachaad White and Joe Mixon. This game should be a high-scoring affair, and Conner should have the chance for a quality performance.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Top DFS Play

    Conner shook off the rust in Week 10, now I expect him to work back into his bell cow role in Week 11. In his lst 12 healthy games before Week 10 Conner averaged 19 touches and 93 yards per game. That's a steal at $6,800 on FanDuel. My expectation is that this is the last chance you'll get this year to play Conner at a price below $7,000.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Returns as lead runner Sunday

    Conner (knee) turned 16 carries into 73 yards during Sunday's 25-23 win versus the Falcons. After a four-game stint on injured reserve due to a knee injury, Conner made his first appearance since Week 5 and immediately took over the Cardinals backfield. His 16 rushes easily outpaced the three combined for reserve backs Keaontay Ingram and Tony Jones, and Conner also ceded just six carries to quarterback Kyler Murray, who saw his first game action in 11 months following last year's ACL tear. As was usually the case before his own injury, Conner wasn't looked at by his QB in the passing game, which is consistent with the two or fewer targets he received in four of five contests to begin the campaign. Conner next will take on the Texans on Sunday, Nov. 19.
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  • Cardinals' James Conner: Back in action Sunday

    Conner (knee) is active for Sunday's game versus the Falcons, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. After missing the minimum four games on injured reserve and getting activated Saturday, Conner will make his first appearance since Week 5, when he initially sustained a knee injury. He's a good bet to regain a majority share of the Cardinals backfield considering Emari Demercado (toe) is sidelined and Keaontay Ingram and Tony Jones are the only competitors for snaps. In his four healthy appearances this season, Conner took 70 touches for 348 yards from scrimmage and two rushing TDs.
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