Can fantasy football owners trust James Conner?


The Pittsburgh Steelers have managed to stay afloat during a chaotic season for the franchise, but can you trust James Conner on your fantasy football team?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a very favorable matchup on Sunday, as they will travel to play the AFC North division rival Cincinnati Bengals on the road in Week 12. Pittsburgh is far from a great team, but the Bengals are 0-10 and may not win a game this season. So would it still be worthwhile to start running back James Conner in fantasy against the lowly Bengals?

The Fantasy Footballers look at the matchup, and while it is an appealing one for the Steelers, it is still a very risky proposition to start him in your fantasy league. The reason for this is Conner has a bum shoulder and if he gets him on the same injured shoulder, he’s going to inevitably end up leaving the game as he has twice this season. But the Steelers are playing the Bengals on Sunday.

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If you have an option to pivot to another running back for Week 12, you should do it, especially if you have little margin for error in your ability to win your fantasy matchup this week. But if you are playing the equivalent of the Bengals in your fantasy league this week, it might be worth the risk to give Conner a shot against the Bengals.

Cincinnati did play one of its better games of the season on the road against the Oakland Raiders last week. The Bengals actually led at one point in the game. While the Raiders clearly overlooked them, the Silver and Black still found a way to win this won in the Coliseum to stay alive in the AFC West race with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Pittsburgh will be battling for a playoff spot in the AFC like the Raiders are. However, only being at .500 at 5-5 through 10 games doesn’t bode well for the Steelers’ chances of getting in. They’ll need to catch fire here in the final six weeks to get in, most likely as a wild card team because they’re probably not catching the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC North crown in 2019.

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Conner is expected to play against the Bengals on Sunday. So if you think he can avoid getting hit on that bad shoulder, then go right ahead and play the guy in your fantasy league at either running back or in the flex. But if you can’t afford to have him leave the game early due to a nagging injury, then you’re better off playing somebody else this week, even with the favorable team matchup.