News broke earlier this morning that Le’Veon Bell will likely face a 4-game suspension after some missed drug tests. Here we go again.
I have been touting Bell all season as my number one overall player, and now that’s all going down the fantasy toilet. In the event that Bell is indeed suspended for four games, where should he be drafted?
Last year, Bell was suspended for two games, and that didn’t stop me. He was still my number one player, and I didn’t care that he would miss two games. Now it’s four games, and now I’m scared.
That’s a quarter of the fantasy season. If you take Bell too early, you likely sacrifice a high-quality starter that would typically help you win those four games. If you start the fantasy season 0-4, you’re in deep trouble.
After taking a quick glance at my rankings, I think I’ll slot Bell in somewhere between RB12 and RB15 – among Jamaal Charles (whom I don’t like), Eddie Lacy, Ryan Mathews, and DeMarco Murray. I’m thinking Bell will go between Lacy and Mathews, but time will tell exactly where he ends up.
If Bell ends up at RB14, that would put him around pick 35 – the middle of the fourth round in a 10-team league, or the end of the third round in a 12-teamer. That still scares me.
Whether or not you end up with Bell depends largely on how you draft to that point. I wouldn’t take Bell there if you don’t have a running back yet. If you end up with a great starting RB or a solid pair of starters, taking a chance on Bell wouldn’t hurt as much.
As for DeAngelo Williams, Bell’s heir apparent, he’s moving up the ranks. Williams is currently RB36 for me, and he’ll likely move up to RB28 between Duke Johnson and Melvin Gordon.
When Bell was RB1 and Williams was RB36, I was going to suggest you draft both of them. Now that Bell is RB14 and Williams is RB28, that’s even more important. If you draft Bell, I think you almost have to draft Williams.
This situation is awful, but maybe it’ll end up paying off for all of us in terms of value.