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What to do with James Conner, Benny Snell in Week 13 fantasy football

We go over the fantasy football outlook of James Conner, Benny Snell ahead of the Steelers Week 13 matchup against the Washington Football Team.

Running back James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is tackled by linebacker Jaylon Ferguson #45 of the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on November 01, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

Game status: The Steelers did not activate James Conner from the Covid-19 injured reserve list, so he is ineligible to play in Week 13. Benny Snell will start in his place.

Sunday late AM update: Adam Schefter is reporting that while Conner is eligible to come off the Covid-19 IR list on Monday, it is unlikely he will play against Washington. Benny Snell would get the start for a second straight week.

Sunday update: There is no word yet on Conner’s game status. He was placed on the Covid-19 injured reserve list on November 28th, which might not be enough time for him to get back on Monday. If he has been asymptomatic, he has to sit a minimum of 10 days. If he has been symptomatic, he has to sit a minimum of 14 days. The first reports of his positive test were on the 28th and if the positive was from a test on the 27th, Monday would be the 10th day. We’ll hopefully find out more later on Sunday morning.

A positive COVID test kept running back James Conner out of the Pittsburgh Steelers lineup for their Week 12 win over the Ravens. In his place, the team turned to Benny Snell, who turned in 60 yards on 16 rushing attempts and added another 33 yards on three receptions. With a Monday afternoon game against Washington, there’s still some question as to whether or not the Steelers will have Conner back in action. But even with the outlook cloudy heading into the weekend, we can still get a pretty good sense of the fantasy potential from Pittsburgh’s backfield.

Fantasy Football analysis: Steelers RBs James Conner, Benny Snell

Why the Steelers don’t run the ball more, I do not understand. Regardless, that’s just something we have to workaround when it comes to fantasy. It also limits their running backs, whoever they end up starting, to no more than a RB2 in most weeks.

Conner had four touchdowns and three outings with more than 100 rushing yards during a four-game stretch from Week 2 through 6. Since then, he’s only scored once and sandwiched three games with less than 50 yards between 80-yard outings in Week 7 and Week 11.

Snell has been the backup most of the season, except for last week and a turn as the featured back in the season opener, where he ran for 113 yards.

Washington is a tough opponent for running backs. The Football Team has only allowed five rushing touchdowns to the position this season, and only three players have had more than 80 rushing yards in a game.

Whether the Steelers start James Conner or Benny Snell, they can both be considered an RB2 this week. Conner has a little more upside because of his touchdown rate.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start James Conner or Benny Snell — whoever starts for the Steelers this week.