Should I Draft Le’veon Bell With My First Round Pick?
Is the “Bell Cow” worth your golden ticket?
Le’veon Bell was an absolute beast in 2014. We’ll spare you the stats. Anyone who drafted Bell in 2014 more than likely made the fantasy football playoffs and/or won their league. He was that good.
In a normal situation, it’s a no-brainer that Bell should be the #1 ranked player for 2015. While that holds true in most pre-draft rankings, there is one little hiccup.
His three game suspension.
Le’veon Bell was arrested in 2014 for suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession. LeGarette Blount was accompanying at the time. The NFL and Czar Roger Goodell of course, acted quickly, issuing a three game suspension for Bell in 2015.
Talk about a blow to the fantasy nation.
The suspension will come into effect immediately at the start of the 2015 season, thus Le’veon Bell missing the first three games. Not only is Bell athletically gifted, he’s a workhorse for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s a big blow to their team, and it creates one of the biggest questions to fantasy football players in 2015:
Should I draft Le’veon Bell in the first round?
With a little less then 100 days left until kickoff, it’s a question that is torturing the fantasy universe. It’s highly likely that Bell will be drafted in the first round, but depending on your draft position, he may fall to you.
Do you pull the trigger?
It’s a brutal decision to make in less than a minute thirty, but you should be prepared prior to draft. Here’s the only scenario in which your confident enough to select Bell:
You SHOULD draft him if he falls to you past the third pick.
If you’re sitting at the third position or later and Bell is still available, draft him! Yes, he misses the first three games, but as the previously ranked top player, it’s an absolute steal.
The reason why we selected the third draft position is because you can definitely make a case for either Jamaal Charles or Adrian Peterson if you’re the first or second pick. Not to mention, there’s usually one jackass wildcard who gets the bright idea to draft a QB early in the first round, which is mind-blowing if you’re playing in a standard scoring league. How well did that pay off for you last year Peyton Manning owners?
In all seriousness, taking Bell may set you back initially, but you have to remember, you’re more than likely going to select another RB in the next two to three picks who will have to pick up the slack. But after those three games, UNLEASH THE HOUNDS!
Research is crucial for mid-round picks.
Knowing that Bell will be out for three games, you have to perform your due diligence and thoroughly research a mid-round draft pick that will produce until Bell returns. He may be part of of an RBBC (running back by commission), but it will keep you competitive in those first three weeks.
Side Note: Do Not Overdraft a running back to solidify a placeholder. Have a few mid-round running backs in mind that you think can make a decent impact at the start of the season, and draft appropriately.
Don’t forget about the handcuffs.
Handcuffs are crucial in any draft strategy blueprint, but it couldn’t be any more apparent with Bell owners. If you’re drafting Bell, make sure to pick up DeAngelo Williams (ex-Carolina Panther) in the late rounds. He will probably lock up the position while Bell is serving his suspension.
With the amount of touches that Bell does receive in both the run and pass, keep a close and consistent eye on who the #2 backup is throughout the season; it’s worth the bench spot.
Conclusion: There’s no disadvantage in selecting Bell
You’re getting one hell of a fantasy football player. Do you have a slight disadvantage starting the season? Sure.
But if you play your cards right, you’ll be competitive enough for the first three games until he returns, which will then result in pure domination.