Le’Veon Bell, Who? James Conner is the Next DeAngelo Williams

As long as Le'Veon is sitting on his couch, James Conner is a top-ten fantasy back.

With ‘selfish‘ Le’Veon Bell holding out into the regular season, he’s learning quickly that he’s replaceable in the Steelers offense. After a beastly 36 touch, 192 yard and two touchdown performance, James Conner proved his teammate Maurkice Pouncey correct when he said, “A star is born every year in the NFL.” Back in 2015 when DeAngelo Williams put up over 900 yards and 11 touchdowns, it showed that it might be the scheme and usage in Pittsburgh, and not solely the elite talent that Bell possesses. As long as Bell is sitting on his couch, Conner will continue to put up numbers.

Playing in a driving rainstorm in the ruckus ‘Dawg Pound,’ Conner’s 31 carries was one less carry than he had all of last season. He also played an iron man-esque 78-of-85 offensive snaps and had 100 percent of his team’s carries. It’s safe to say that the Steelers wanted to throw the second-year back into the fire during his first legit NFL action — and he responded. Since 2015, Bell’s primary backup (when starting) has basically replicated his statline and fantasy output. Bell has averaged 23.3 FPPG, while his replacement has averaged 22.0 FFPG.

The best part (besides his obscene haircut) was how excited his teammates were for him when he scored his first career touchdown. Pouncey and Ramon Foster, the two linemen who were very vocal against Bell’s holdout, went bananas when he reached the end zone. It’s clear that not only the coaching staff, but the whole team is all-in on James Conner — and you should be too. As long as he’s on the field, he’s a top-ten running back with top-five upside every single week.



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