Week 10 of the 2018 NFL season kicks off tonight with Pittsburgh hosting Carolina. My interest in the game is focused on James Conner. Two weeks ago today I traded DeAndre Hopkins and two other players for Conner, Le’Veon Bell and another player.
The trade was made right before week 8, and Conner proceeded to rack up 38.2 fantasy points. The following week, he had 29.3 points. Conner may not do as well tonight since the Panthers have been one of the toughest running back defenses in the league.
But you have to know that I’m happy to have Conner on my fantasy team. Bell, who still hasn’t reported to the Steelers, is nothing more than a handcuff for Conner. This is an ironic turn of events after Conner started the season as a handcuff for Bell.
Bell is expected to rejoin the Steelers soon, and few fantasy players even care. For me, he actually poses a risk because any usage will only detract from Conner. Two months ago, I was devastated by Bell’s holdout. Now, I hope he continues to hold out.
I think every honest person will admit they are surprised by Conner’s success. The Pitt running back, selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft, has rushed for more than 100 yards in his last four games. He’s also averaged five receptions per game.
My takeaway is that the Steelers system is fertile ground for the making of great running backs. What 2018 has proven is that Le’Veon Bell isn’t that special. He has been exposed as nothing more than another good running back who benefitted from a great system.