Arizona Cardinals running back could be a fantasy football superstar

James Conner could potentially pile up a boatload of points for both the Arizona Cardinals and any fantasy football players who draft him,
New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals
New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Arizona Cardinals aren't going to be very popular among fantasy football players this year. DeAndre Hopkins, a bona fide stud at wide receiver, has been released. Other fantasy favorites like quarterback Kyler Murray and tight end Zach Ertz are both recovering from torn ACLs.

While the cupboard appears to be bare, there is one member of the Cards offense who could be worth a spot on your fantasy roster. In fact, this particular candidate is just a couple of years removed from a season in which he produced massive numbers for Arizona's "Air Raid" attack.

The Cardinals front office didn't realize the bargain they were getting back in April of 2021 when they signed James Conner to a one-year, $1.75 million contract. In his 15 appearances (six starts) that fall, the former Pittsburgh Steelers draft selection rumbled for 752 yards and an eye-popping 15 touchdowns on the ground. Conner also contributed 375 receiving yards and an additional three scores on the 37 passes he hauled in during the '21 campaign.

James Conner is in line to get the bulk of the touches out of the Arizona Cardinals backfield this coming fall

Conner should be even more attractive to fantasy enthusiasts, based on the unimpressive depth that sits behind him. At the moment, journeyman Corey Clement is the Cards' number-one backup. Conner is also head and shoulders above the likes of Keaontay Ingram, Ty'Son Williams and Emari Demercado.

A brand-new Cards offense is another factor that could work in Conner's favor. First-year coordinator Drew Petzing is said to be implementing a system that leans heavily on the running game. The 36-year-old assistant spent the past three years with the Cleveland Browns, bearing witness to an offense that centered primarily around backs like Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

Conner will more than likely be ignored in fantasy drafts, based on the notion that no one believes in the Cardinals. What that means is that you'll likely have an opportunity to flat-out steal the 28-year-old during the later rounds. "Big Red" will be pretty much irrelevant in the fantasy football world this coming season, but those who take a chance on the productive Conner may ultimately be rewarded.


(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)