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What to do with Jaylen Samuels on Thursday Night Football

Jaylen Samuels had fantasy value while James Conner was on the mend. Now that Conner is back, is Samuels still worth a start in fantasy?

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels rushes the ball against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter at Heinz Field.  Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: James Conner aggravated his shoulder injury in Week 11 TNF and has left the game. Samuels is now the starter with Trey Edmunds getting work as well.

Jaylen Samuels has put up two strong PPR games in Week 4 against the Bengals and Week 9 against the Colts. Against the Bengals, he shared time with James Conner, and both put up big numbers against their awful defense, and the other time was with Conner out. ON average, Samuels hasn’t seen enough work to put up good numbers while Conner also played.

Samuels has been a disaster on the ground, as he has rushed 40 times for 89 yards for a mediocre 2.2 yards per carry. All of his success has come through the air in those two games, as he caught eight and 13 passes. In no other game has he topped three receptions.

Fantasy football analysis: Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels

On Thursday night, Samuels will back up Conner against the Browns. Cleveland ranks 14th in DVOA against pass-catching running backs, but the real question is if Samuels will get playing time. On average, he’s had six touches per game when Conner plays. That isn’t enough to project a startable fantasy game for the backup.

This game has a 40 point over/under and will likely be a grinder. If we knew Samuels would see targets, he’d have value, but Conner sees so much work through the air, that it doesn’t look promising.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Sit.