Jonathan Taylor is ranked in the top five in the PFN Fantasy Consensus Rankings, and he has been that good over the past month. But James Conner and the Arizona Cardinals are facing one of the league’s worst rush defenses in the Los Angeles Rams.
Should that be enough for fantasy managers to pick Conner over Taylor to start in their lineup this week? We’ll give you the fantasy football outlook for each player.
Should You Start Jonathan Taylor or James Conner This Week?
In the Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer, our Consensus Rankings say that Taylor is the player to start. His projected 16.3 points include 81 rushing yards, four receptions, and 20 receiving yards. His projected stat line easily outperforms the consensus projection of Conner’s 11.5 points.
This one is simple, as Taylor is playing like the running back we all know he is. I am going with the Optimizer, as there is a chance he could be the RB1 in fantasy this week.
Fantasy Outlook for Taylor This Week
Zack Moss was the guy early in the year as Taylor was on the PUP list, but Taylor has taken his job back and has been great recently. Taylor was put back in the starting lineup for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7. He has posted at least 69 scrimmage yards in each of his last four games, and over that span, he is averaging 90.3 scrimmage yards per game.
If there is one thing that fantasy managers would like to see increase, it is his yards per carry. He is averaging 3.8 yards per carry this year, but in the past two games, he is averaging only 2.8 yards.
What makes up for the lack of yards per carry is the fact he is going to get the ball a lot. Taylor is averaging 17.8 rush attempts a game and 20.3 touches.
In the game two weeks ago against the New England Patriots, he rushed for 69 yards and one touchdown. That is the second consecutive game he has scored a touchdown, and he will be looking to have three straight games with a touchdown for the first time since Weeks 10-12 last year.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been very good against the run this year, as they are ranked fifth against the run (90.0 yards). While this won’t be easy for Taylor or the Colts, the volume of carries is going to make this worth it.
For the rest of the year, Taylor figures to be a top-10, if not top-five, running back, and he should be in your lineup pretty much every week.
Fantasy Outlook for Conner This Week
Conner, who is ranked No. 21 among running backs in PFN’s Consensus Rankings, has looked sharp in his first two games since returning from a four-game absence due to injury. He has averaged 67.5 yards in these two games, and he is resembling the running back at the start of the year.
Conner is averaging more than five yards per carry this season, and the Cardinals have been a good rushing team all year. Despite dealing with a ton of injuries, Arizona is ranked ninth in rushing (126.2 yards).
His downfall, when sizing up against Taylor, is the fact that he is nowhere near the pass-catching threat that Taylor has become. Conner has 10 total receptions in seven games, and over his last two games has two catches for one yard.
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