James Conner heads into Week 3 dealing with an ankle injury he picked up on Sunday. With the injury not considered overly serious on Monday morning, will Conner be available for fantasy football managers this week? Let’s take a look at Conner’s latest injury update and what it all means for fantasy managers in Week 3.
Will James Conner’s injury keep him out of Week 3?
While Conner’s injury was described as not serious or long-term on Monday, it did keep him out of practice on Wednesday. However, Conner was able to participate in a limited fashion on Thursday. That now has Conner trending in a positive fashion after Kliff Kingsbury described Conner as day-to-day. However, Kingsbury also said the same thing about Rondale Moore, who has yet to practice this week.
It will be intriguing to see the Arizona Cardinals’ injury report on Friday. If Conner manages to be a full participant, we could see him not listed with a weekend designation. However, it is more likely he will be limited again and considered questionable for the weekend.
What should fantasy managers do with Conner in Week 3?
There are likely going to be some tricky decisions for Conner’s fantasy managers in Week 3. As mentioned above, the likelihood is that he will be questionable entering the weekend. The problem with that is the Cardinals are a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday. Therefore, we will not definitively know whether Conner will be active when lineups need to be set for the 1 p.m. ET kickoffs.
We should, at the very least, have an indication, as Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport often provide the latest updates on what is expected to be the case on Sunday morning. The other positive is that there are six games kicking off in the same window or after the Cardinals. Therefore, if Conner is a late inactive, fantasy managers should still have the potential to make adjustments.
The bigger question is whether fantasy managers should even start Conner at all this week. Conner has been uninspiring through the first two weeks. He has carried the ball 17 times for just 51 yards. His 10 targets, seven receptions, and 55 receiving yards, as well as a rushing touchdown, have ensured he has least provided something for fantasy managers. However, both Eno Benjamin and Darrel Williams have appeared to have more pop than Conner, even when healthy.
There is every chance that we could see Conner used sparingly in Week 3 as the Cardinals look to ensure he is available deeper into the season. Williams and Benjamin have both proven they can be effective options at RB. Therefore, fantasy managers could be extremely disappointed in the output if they start Conner. Of course, it only takes him to break one big run or fall into the end zone to pay back that faith. However, that is a big risk, even though Conner should be the one to get those goal line touches if active.
What should fantasy managers do if Conner is inactive?
In Week 2, we saw a reasonably even division of labor between Williams and Benjamin following the injury. Both were effective and have potential value if Conner is out. The fact we saw Williams being utilized more heavily in and around the goal line last week makes him the more intriguing. Those high-leverage opportunities would put him into flex consideration in 12-team leagues.
Benjamin’s value is intriguing because it is less dependent on Conner. He has some standalone value in 16-team leagues as a potential flex play, even if Conner is active. In their Week 1 blowout loss to the Cardinals, Benjamin had eight opportunities, four rush attempts, and four targets. He saw more work in Week 2 with 12 total opportunities. Therefore, if Conner is out, he is a consideration for a flex starter in 14-team leagues. The lack of goal line touches limits his value to those two levels, however.