The Pittsburgh Steelers ruled out James Conner for this week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. He is still dealing with a shoulder injury. That means the black and gold will once again turn to the combo of Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell to handle the work out of the backfield.
Two weeks ago against the Bengals, Snell carried the ball 21 times for 98 yards. Last week, against the Browns, he had 16 touches for 63 yards and a touchdown. Samuels carried the ball seven times for 32 yards, his highest total as a runner since Week 10. He factors more regularly into the passing game, catching five over his last two games. In Week 9, he caught 13 passes, a season high, for 73 yards.
In essence, this is a pretty traditional running back split. Snell handles the early down work, and is more of pure runner. Samuels is the third down back, a presence in the passing game.
Fantasy football analysis, Pittsburgh Steelers RBs Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels
Snell is the best fantasy play this week against the Cardinals. The team happens to use him a bunch in the red zone too, and against this particular opponent, he could have plenty to do with Conner out again.
Samuels probably isn’t worth your time this week. However, once the opposition stiffens a little bit more and when Conner returns, he’ll have a role in the passing game that might make him worth your attention at that point.
Start Snell. Sit Samuels.