I want to talk about the Steelers backfield, the Steelers mindset towards Le’Veon Bell, the potential of a trade involving Bell, and the Steelers feelings about Conner. My background is important to understand as I will try to write as objectively as possible, but it would be unfair to not admit that I may have a slight bias, which is why I am here to discuss this matter with the Footclan!
I was born in Pittsburgh. My whole family is a Steelers family, even when some of them moved to New England. I watched James Conner run at Pitt, I watched him run in that record breaking game against Syracuse after he had beaten cancer and immediately after that game I told my whole family that the Steelers should draft Conner. That April, the Steelers took him in the 3rd, after taking TJ first overall which I won a family wide bet on. Now that you all understand my background…
It is my belief that James Conner will not lose the starting job, or at least not completely and for the first time in a quite some time we may see a legit two RB backfield with the Steelers. I believe this for a couple of reasons. First, the Steelers have a different view of Le’Veon Bell then the Fantasy world. Bell is an otherworldly talent, on my honor I believe he’s a future HOFer.
For the seasons that Bell has been a Steeler this is what it looks like: 2013, injured pre-season, missed three regular season games. 2014, breakout seasons. 2015, suspended three games for blunts with Blount, also tears MCL/PCL. 2016, suspended three games for a missed drug test, rap game starts growing, pulls up with a groin injury for post season. 2017, first full season but not without a holdout and a slow start. After this seasons holdout branched into a regular season holdout the Steelers media has effectively removed any trace of Bell, they post videos of James Conner doing the things Bell used to do and get so much praise for, like playing pass with the kids in the stands before the game starts. The organization is shopping him for trades and asking a lot but the whispers from the bushes really hinted that Earl Thomas could be the player we’d get for Bell, my deepest condolences to Mr. Thomas. But now, he’s announced his return!
People were crying about the run game, but I stood by Conner saying it was all game script and we had thus far under utilized him in the passing game. Conner did amazing against a beat up Falcons. I feel like he did as amazing as a good RB should against the Falcons. Conner has the full support of that offense, especially the O-line which we know was quite upset at Bell. I don’t see the reality where Conner becomes a bench warmer. Could Conner have even done enough to encourage the Steelers to sell Bell? Footclan!!! ASSEMBLE!!!
Which brings us to the crux of the matter! For Fantasy Football purposes do I sell James Conner now, as I drafted him everywhere and took Bell nowhere? Do I hold James Conner because the Steelers really might sell Bell, especially after this week? What’s your reasoning?
TL;DR - James Conner’s pretty neat, but I’m slightly biased. Bell’s announced his return, but the Steelers media has removed all traces of him and the organization seems like they want to trade him. What’s the best Fantasy Football move for James Conner owners? Trade or Stash?