James Conner’s Volume in Question as Steelers Explore 2-Back Formations - Roto Street Journal
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James Conner’s Volume in Question as Steelers Explore 2-Back Formations

The classic fantasy workhorse back in Pittsburgh might be a thing of the past, as the Steelers have hinted that it might not be the ‘James Conner Show’ in 2019. Not only did Conner begin to slide down the stretch — highlighted by missing three of the team’s final four games — but the emergence of Jaylen Samuels and the addition of Benny Snell in the draft should both be causes for concern. To make matters worse, per Pro Football Talk, G.M. Kevin Colbert has indicated that, despite having three viable options at tailback, any of them could potentially become the new workhorse, depending on performance. That is not a ringing endorsement for a player whom many have thought would be a top-10 fantasy lock.

During OTA’s, the team was spotted by beat writers as using both Conner and Samuels in the backfield in two-back sets. The two running backs possess complimentary skill-sets, with Conner as the pure every-down running back and Samuels as a former college H-back/tight end. However, Samuels proved he was every bit as talented as a rusher, when he carved up the Patriots to the tune of 142 yards on 19 carries.

“We did a little bit of it [last season], but we didn’t really run it in a game, so I guess this year we’re going to try and put that a little more in the offense,” Samuels said, via Sarah Spencer. “I think that could be kind of special with me and [Conner] in the backfield. Me and him in the game, period. We’re just building on from that right now. . . . He’s more of a runner and a catcher, as well, but I can get outside and run routes, as well. To have that dual threat with me and him in the game, it could be really scary for defenses.”

With this news, Conner has taken a tumble down our Big Board to No. 16 overall (-4 vs ECR).

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