This much is loud and clear about the Arizona Cardinals' running back situation heading into Week 11 (and perhaps beyond): This is James Conner's backfield in fantasy, and pretty much his alone. The Cardinals' surprise release on Monday afternoon of Eno Benjamin — who started three games while Conner was injured — has left them with two running backs on the active roster as of this typing: Conner and rookie Keaontay Ingram, who has 16 total touches this season (Jonathan Ward and Darrel Williams remain on IR).
Conner played 96% of the team's offensive snaps Sunday against the Rams, rushing 21 times for 69 yards and a pair of touchdowns to go with three catches. Ingram played five snaps. Benjamin played one, and his frustration with a diminished role reportedly had plenty to do with his release (he has since been claimed off waivers by the Houston Texans).
So the RB situation in Arizona looks like Conner and all Conner for now, as was evidently the case even before Benjamin's exit. As our own Dalton Del Don put it early Monday morning: James Conner is a rare, true every-down back who can be treated as a top-12 RB down the stretch.
A top-12 RB? Not bad at all. Especially if you get to weigh Conner for your open FLEX spot. He's the RB16 for our analysts this week heading into a game against San Francisco and the FLEX30 overall. The 49ers are a tough draw considering they're the most difficult matchup for RBs, giving up the fewest fantasy points to the position at 14.4 per week and allowing the fewest rushing yards per game in the NFL at 82.7. But at least there's no doubt about the volume Conner is going to get as long as he stays healthy.
Here's the FLEX position — check out where Conner and the rest of the FLEX options landed in our analysts' rankings for Week 11: