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James Conner News


James Conner

James Conner

25-Year-Old Running BackRB

Arizona Cardinals




$Signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals in April of 2021.

April 13, 2021

ANALYSIS
Conner visited with the Cardinals on Monday and reportedly reached an agreement to sign Tuesday morning. After spending the first four years of his career in Pittsburgh, the soon-to-be 26-year-old joins an Arizona backfield where Chase Edmonds is the only other player with considerable NFL experience. Granted, the Cardinals still have plenty of time to add more bodies, particularly during the NFL Draft. Conner is still rehabbing from offseason toe surgery, with the expectation he’ll be healthy at some point in June.

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See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.

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How do James Conner’s 2020 advanced stats compare to other running backs?


This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player’s percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.


  • Broken Tackle %

    The number of broken tackles divided by rush attempts.



  • Positive Run %

    The percentage of run plays where he was able to gain positive yardage.



  • % Yds After Contact

    The percentage of his rushing yards that came after contact.



  • Avg Yds After Contact

    The average rushing yards he gains after contact.



  • Rushing TD %

    Rushing touchdowns divided by rushing attempts. In other words, how often is he scoring when running the ball.



  • Touches Per Game

    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) he is averaging per game



  • % Snaps w/Touch

    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) divided by offensive snaps played.



  • Air Yards Per Game

    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.



  • Air Yards Per Snap

    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.



  • % Team Air Yards

    The percentage of the team’s total air yards he accounts for.



  • % Team Targets

    The percentage of the team’s total targets he accounts for.



  • Avg Depth of Target

    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.



  • Catch Rate

    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.



  • Drop Rate

    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.



  • Avg Yds After Catch

    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.


Avg Depth of Target

-0.2 Yds

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2020 NFL Game Log

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2018 NFL Game Log

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2017 NFL Game Log

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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart

See where James Conner lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.

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Measurables Review
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How do James Conner’s measurables compare to other running backs?


This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player’s percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.

* The Cone Drill metric is from his Pro Day. All others are from the NFL Combine.



Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring James Conner


2021 NFL Offseason Guide: Free Agents, Cap Casualties & Draft Capital

64 days ago

Jerry Donabedian reads offseason tea leaves for every NFL team, including an up-and-coming Chargers squad that needs to make tough decisions on Hunter Henry and Mike Williams.

NFL: 2021 Free Agent Grid

84 days ago

Chris Godwin, Aaron Jones, Dak Prescott and numerous other fantasy standouts are lined up for unrestricted free agency, setting the stage for many high-stakes negotiations.

Yahoo DFS Football: Wild-Card Sunday

94 days ago

Sasha Yodashkin takes a look at Sunday’s wild-card slate and thinks Lamar Jackson will come up big as the Ravens try to turn the tables on the Titans.

DraftKings NFL: Tournament Strategy for Wild Card Sunday

94 days ago

James Conner hasn’t done much since October, but he still has the lead role in Pittsburgh’s backfield, so he could be busy if the Steelers establish a lead over the Browns.

NFL Game Previews: Wild-Card Round

95 days ago

Erik Siegrist previews the wild-card round of the playoffs as Baker Mayfield and the Browns look to knock off the division-rival Steelers in Sunday’s finale.



Past Fantasy Outlooks




In his second year, Conner became a true hometown hero for the Steelers. He was born in Erie, Pa., and matriculated at Pitt, where he ran for 26 touchdowns as a sophomore and then overcame Hodgkin’s lymphoma to become a third-round pick in the 2017 draft. Conner got a chance to start for the Steelers when Le’Veon Bell’s annual preseason holdout became a slow, season-long divorce between the star running back and the franchise. Conner’s 135-yard, two-TD performance on the ground Week 1 helped fans quickly forget all about Bell. While the rest of his season was a little more erratic, Conner still showed enough to solidify his hold on the No. 1 job before an ankle injury cost him three games late in the season. Seen as primarily a power back coming out of college, Conner proved to be adept as a receiver, but it’s still his ability to plow through contact that remains his best asset — his 24 broken tackles on rushes tied for ninth in the league, and his 17 carries inside the 5-yard line tied for third as he converted 53 percent. That bulldozer approach may lead to further injuries (he’s missed time late in the year twice in two seasons) but with Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell on hand as capable backups, the Steelers aren’t likely to grind Conner into the dirt with a massive workload the way they did with Bell.

A third-round pick in last year’s draft, Conner didn’t get much of a chance to show he was worth the investment as Le’Veon Bell dominated the backfield before Conner suffered a Week 15 knee injury that ended his campaign early. The 23-year-old is accustomed to setbacks – he’s already come back from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, so a little MCL strain should be no big deal. Conner is a burly back who ran with power and anger during a prolific college career at Pitt, frequently shoving defenders aside with stiff arms before lowering his shoulder at the end of runs. He also displayed the balance to keep his feet in traffic, but he isn’t particularly elusive and his skills as a receiver and pass-blocker are rudimentary. His best fit in the NFL might be as a short-yardage back, and in that role he could be an effective complement to Bell. Of course, the Steelers seemingly intend to wring every snap they can out of their star before he walks out the door – a plan that would once again leave little work for Conner.

Currently listed at 6-1, 233 pounds, Conner overcome Hodgkins lymphoma and a torn MCL from 2015 to return to the field in 2016, and he came back with a leaner build and improved pass-catching skills. The 2017 third-rounder doesn’t look like a standout talent and won’t have much opportunity to produce behind Bell, but he’s probably talented enough to produce if Le’Veon Bell should miss any time. Conner finished his college career at the University of Pittsburgh with 3,733 yards (5.6 YPC) and 52 touchdowns over the span of 39 games.


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