Fantasy Football, Pittsburgh Steelers

Benny Snell in line to be fantasy league winning running back

James Conner will miss another game this week, and anything going forward can’t be counted on, which puts Benny Snell in line to help you win your fantasy football league.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner has not played since suffering a shoulder injury  in Week 11, and on Thursday he told reporters he will miss a third straight game Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. So it’s time to climb on the Benny Snell fantasy football bandwagon.

Snell had 16 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown last week against the Cleveland Browns, and over the last two games he has 37 carries for 161 yards while taking 10 red zone carries. The overall carry load for Snell over the last two games is a 65 percent share of the Steelers carries.

Jaylen Samuels isn’t going away as the change of pace/passing down guy, but with Devlin Hodges under center the ground game will be a priority for Pittsburgh. Center Maurkice Pouncey is also returning from a two-game suspension on Sunday, which is obviously a notable addition ahead of a good matchup for Snell.

Entering Week 14, the Arizona Cardinals have allowed the 10th-most (Yahoo! 0.5-point PPR scoring) and ninth-most (ESPN standard scoring) fantasy points to running backs this season. Opposing running backs against them have had the eighth-most carries in the league (283; 23.6 per game).


Week 15 brings a middle of the road matchup against the Buffalo Bills, who are literally allowing the 16th-most fantasy points to running backs. But the Bills enter Week 14 allowing 4.7 yards per carry to the position, and of 11 running backs who have had at least 12 carries in a game against them eight have posted at least 13.5 fantasy points (Yahoo! 0.5-point PPR scoring).

If Snell remains in a prominent role for Week 16 he’ll face the New York Jets, who enter Week 14 in the top-10 of the league in fantasy points allowed to running backs. But backs who’ve gotten carry volume have had a solid level of success against them, and linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin) is out for the year.

Next: Fantasy Football Week 14: Boom or bust

Though it will be what dictates Snell’s fantasy value going forward, Conner’s availability at any point in the fantasy football playoffs also can’t be assumed. So it’s worth checking on Snell’s availability in your league (37 percent owned on Yahoo!; 28.2 percent owned on ESPN). He’s in the low-end RB2/high-end flex conversation for Week 14, and as a slightly speculative add looking beyond that the rookie out of Kentucky could pay off very handsomely.

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