Once one of the most coveted fantasy players in the league. Le’veon Bell now finds himself in an unfamiliar situation in fantasy lineups. He is not considered on of the top fantasy players in the league anymore. After sitting out an entire year, he is now a member of the New York Jets and is one of the highest paid running backs in the league. We are going to look at the pros and cons of drafting Bell this year and what you can expect in 2019.
With an average ADP at the end of the first round, most fantasy players will be looking to draft Le’veon and pair him with another running back or wide receiver. This actually plays a huge role in determining what kind of season your fantasy team will have. Bell is going to get the lion’s share of work in New York and is primed for over 250 touches. Pairing that kind of workload with another back end RB1 or WR1 is a great way to start your draft. Hypothetically pairing Bell and someone like Michael Thomas looks a lot better than drafting Elliot with a top 3 pick and then drafting Adam Thielen at the end of round 2. So basically what I am saying is that if you are in the back end of the draft order, picking Bell and pairing him with another stud might be a better situation that having a top 3 pick, which is something that rarely happens in fantasy.
Like I said, Bell is primed for 250 plus touches. While Bell has seen his efficiency drop in the past couple of years, he has also seen his workload go through the roof. That being said, a year off of football has him refreshed. Under Adam Gase, you cannot expect the massive numbers Bell put up with the Steelers. He is however, the clear lead back and an exceptional pass catcher. I see Bell finishing with over 1100 rushing yards and pitching in another 70 catch season. Easily enough for RB1 numbers.
So in conclusion, if you have the chance to draft Bell with a late first rounder and pair him with another workhorse RB or WR, then you will be in a better position to win fantasy games than a lot of your peers. Bell will still receive the workload and is playing in an offense talented enough to take some pressure off his shoulders.
Even before Bell sat out 2018 and moved to the New York Jets, there was concerns about him as a fantasy asset. He has missed significant time with injuries and suspensions over his career. Sitting out a year is good for his body, but also people must wonder what kind of football shape he is in. A slow start is not out of the question and that is something that owners need to be aware of.
The biggest con of all is the situation Bell is in. The Jets have added some playmakers in the offense but are still a mediocre team. Their offensive line is decent at best and will be depended on to open up holes for Bell. Not only is the offense a concern, Adam Gase is a huge bump in the role. Gase is notoriously fond of RBBC and has gone on record saying he will like to somewhat “limit” the workload Bell receives during the season. While Bell will not be in a full blown RBBC by any means, he might not see the 320 plus touches he saw in Pittsburg.
Overall, 2019 will be another year of love-hate for Le’veon Bell. Some owners will jump at the chance to draft him and some will stay clear. My verdicts is to snag Bell up if you have your draft position is between 7-12 (depending on league size). Drafting Bell almost guarantees your fantasy team has a rock solid RB1 but also the opportunity to pair Bell with another fantasy star. Something that couldn’t have been done in the previous 5 years.