Bottom Line: Filling in for an absentee Le'Veon Bell, James Conner was far and away 2018's top fantasy value. Though unflashy and lacking long speed, Conner is a bruising runner who destroys arm tackles, fights for every yard, and carries quality receiving chops. This versatile skillset made him a fantastic fill-in for the invaluable Steelers Workhorse Role, especially at the stripe, where Conner scored 13 total TDs in just 13 games (Bell's career high was 11). Volume was again king, as despite the coordinator change from Todd Haley to Randy Fichtner, Pittsburgh remained a one-back show and Conner's 20.9 touches per game ranking fourth in the NFL. Even better, in three less contests, Fichtner gave Conner 15 carries inside-the-10 as compared to just 6 for Bell under Haley, allowing the ridiculous TD pace.
This heavy usage -- in an explosive overall offense and behind a Top-10 line -- helped Conner finish as the RB6 in fantasy despite missing 3 contests; his 19.4 FPPG trailed Bell's insane 2017 by just .5 a point per game. Though the team could explore backfield mates and send Conner's fantasy stock plummeting, his excellent performance should earn him another season in this incredible fantasy set-up. Expect another monstrous 2019 from Conner, who should be the first RB selected after the Elite 6.
Ceiling Projection: 350 touches (70 rec.), 1,800 Tot. Yds, 19 TDs
Floor Projection*: 280 touches (45 rec.), 1200 Tot. Yds, 10 TDs
Actual Projection: 330 touches (65 rec), 1650 Tot. Yds, 14 TDs
*Note - Floors are done without injuries in mind. Of course the lowest floor is torn ACL first play of scrimmage. This assumes 16 games