PFF’s Cole: Cardinals’ James Conner is a fantasy football post-draft winner

May 15, 2022, 2:52 PM
Running back James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football against the Houston Texan...
Running back James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football against the Houston Texans during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Texans 31-5. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals continued to add to their offensive arsenal throughout the 2022 NFL Draft with Marquise Brown, Trey McBride and Keaontay Ingram, but Pro Football Focus thinks running back James Conner came out as one of the big fantasy football winners of the weekend.

The way PFF’s Kevin Cole looked at it was where each player was being drafted on average in fantasy drafts before and after the 2022 NFL Draft.

James Conner was the NFL draft’s one big veteran winner among running backs. The Arizona Cardinals did select a running back in the draft, but they didn’t take Keaontay Ingram until the back half of the sixth round. Conner signed a three-year, $21 million dollar contract with the Cardinals this offseason, and he has the size and skill set to be a three-down back. Conner’s ADP rose roughly nine spots since the NFL draft, moving into the third round.

Conner finished the 2021 season with 752 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. With the departure of Chase Edmonds, fans can expect to see a bigger role from Conner in his second year in Arizona.

Their study also showed that wide receiver Rondale Moore’s value dropped after the additions of Brown and McBride. He was, in their eyes, one of the biggest losers of the draft.

In terms of relative ADP decline, Rondale Moore was the biggest veteran loser of the NFL draft. While the Cardinals didn’t take a wide receiver in the actual draft, they did swap first- and third-round picks with the Ravens in return for Brown. Even if Brown doesn’t profile as the same type of receiver as Moore, it’s concerning that the Cardinal felt it was necessary to give up significant draft capital to acquire another receiver despite being only a year removed from drafting Moore in the second round of the 2021 draft. Moore was already a questionable breakout candidate, only accumulating 435 receiving yards as a rookie.

Moore had the electric 77-yard touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings but failed to score another touchdown for the rest of the season.

Similar to Conner, Moore will have an increased role during the first six weeks until DeAndre Hopkins comes back from suspension.

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PFF’s Cole: Cardinals’ James Conner is a fantasy football post-draft winner