Keep Expectations Low for James Conner This Week

Unless the NFL moves the game, weather conditions for the game could include 40 mph winds and up to 5 inches of rain that day. Long and intermediate passing could be impossible. I’ve been watching the forums all week and no one, absolutely no one, has been talked about more than Conner.

Don’t get wrong, I love Conner’s potential in this offense but the kid is getting a raw deal here. He’s going to face 8/9-man fronts in the absence of any passing threat. I’m forecasting 40-60 yards + 50% chance of a TD if the weather is as bad as they expect. While it’s true he could see 25+ carries because of conditions, he’ll be running those into concrete walls on a sloppy field. The elevated injury risk is real. I own Conner in both my leagues and I fear tragedy more than I expect salvation.

Don’t be surprised if this game is under 20 points combined (I expect under 15 points combined) and don’t expect more than an RB25 finish. He’s an RB3 and no more.

For the record, I’m benching him in one league (for Burkhead in the flex spot) and I’m rolling with him in my flex in the other, just in case I’m wrong. But in the latter, Ajayi has already gotten me 60 yards, 2 TDs and a 2pt conversion so I can afford the risk.

If you think I’m dead wrong here, cool. I’m all ears and would love to hear your countervailing theories.

I was off conner, even before the weather. Cleveland’s run D is consistently disrespected despite being one of the best in the league. With the weather, I think Conner probably does see his volume go up so believe it or not, I actually like him slightly more than before. Having said that, I would also start guys like Burkhead/James white well ahead of Conner.

I just know all the emotional guys who lost their week 1 will want to come here on Monday and type all kinds of JAMES CONNER SUX!!! stuff and I really don’t want to see that. The kid is playing with all heart and he’s overcome unbelievable adversity. I honestly believe he can be a top-10 back in this offense, but not out of the gate. Not in Week 1. People are going to have to be patient, which most won’t be.

If there are 25 mph baseline winds and 40 mph gusts then the running game will be virtually the entire offense for both teams. You run extra risk of fumbling, but it should be a huge number of carries. I would give both him and Hyde a bump, particularly in standard. The chance for a td or him breaking a long one will be less but either of them should be good volume plays.