Le'Veon Bell Sweepstakes Won By Kansas City as the Rich Get Richer
For a 24-hour period, the Le’Veon Bell Watch captivated a nation of Social Media obsessed football fans. Since the earlier week news that the Jets and head coach Adam Gase cut the 8th year veteran running back, pundits and the Twitterati took to keyboards and mobile devices and prematurely speculated about Bell’s landing spot.
Accounting for the reality aspects of football and the actual team he would end up on, there were three fan bases that became so engaged in the outcome, it appeared Miami, Buffalo and Kansas City set a triangular, geographical positioning plan together, to wipe out Twitter for a few hours.
When the cyber-dust settled, and people found out what it was like to live in the three-dimensional world again, albeit distanced and PPE’d; all we really cared about was how this news will affect our PPR teams.
Bell is a member of the Kansas City Chiefs now, after signing a 1-year deal Thursday afternoon with the defending Super Bowl Champions. Bell joins an offense that is arguably the most dangerous the league has seen in years. With rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire (if you don’t know already the “H” is silent) being drafted prior to veteran Damien Williams opting out of the season due to Covid-19, Bell pretty much reverts CEH to his complementary role we all thought he was going to be back in April.
If you were lucky enough to catch the LSU rookie-runner in the latter portions of your fantasy drafts, you surely celebrated the Williams news. After Week 1, there was elation following a 138 rushing yard debut with a score to boot. Although since then, he has been rather pedestrian, and hasn’t scored nor broke a yard per carry average beyond 4.0 since his Week 1 output of 5.5.
The CEH fantasy ramifications for the owners drafting him post-Williams opt-out news is a tough pill to swallow today, for sure. There is light at the end of the tunnel however as this offense is so good, and this season is so unique, that limited touches could still lead to big fantasy points.
Staying on the rookie for one more moment, since Bell can not suit up Week 6 because of Covid testing timings and procedures, this is the solo-swan song perhaps for Helaire. KC should get the most out of him knowing they will have a relatively fresh RB1 entering in Bell Week 7, when Kansas City faces Denver.
Helaire could still provide heavy value in the short-term while Bell gets onboarded and assimilated to the Chiefs offense. It is Week 8 when Kansas City welcomes the Jets that all systems are go for Bell. Not to say he is not start-able the prior week against rival Denver, that still would be a mid-season debut, and not a game I’d expect 20+ touches.
Following what should be a massive performance in a revenge game against the Jets to welcome in November on the 1st, Bell could cement himself as the RB1 people thought he could be at his peak as a Pittsburgh Steeler.
In his final playing season with Pittsburgh, prior to sitting out the 2018 season in a contract holdout, Bell was a monster in ’17. He carried the ball a league-leading 321 times and turned that into 1,291 yards which is good for a 4.0 yards per carry average. A far cry from his previous three seasons where he averaged 4.7 then 4.9 twice. He also caught 85 passes for another 655 yards. He scored 11 total touchdowns.
Bell’s production in 2019 under Gase and the Jets was under-whelming, and a lot can be factored into his misuse as well as a putrid Jet’s offensive line. Bell only put together 789 rushing yards which was a YPC of 3.2 yet was characteristically serviceable in the passing game. Bell averages around 60+ receptions a season if you break it down, and a masterful screen-play-caller in Andy Reid will only lead to a heavy pass-game presence for Bell. And clearly with Helaire’s goal-line issues, that role is Bell’s in a landslide for the easy 6-points fantasy owners crave.
Bell owners in PPR formats should rejoice, while again, CEH owners must revert to their lower expectations before this pandemic turned the season upside down. With that elephant in the locker room forever present, CEH is still a person who will contribute to your fantasy team, but it will be in spurts, and dependent on the health and production of Bell, naturally.
All signs point to Bell having at least relative success in this offense, and I can’t necessarily guarantee he will be the CMC of last year, or even the Le’Veon Bell of 2017 however, expect the most out of the touches he gets. I expect an early 10-12 a game and perhaps once we get closer to Thanksgiving, that usage will spike as the Chiefs prepare to put their title defense in full gear.
It is scary to think how locked-and-loaded this team now is, and while yardage may be spread all over the field with teammates like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins, I expect heavy TD numbers for Bell and plenty of receptions. Best Ball owners who own Bell may be the luckiest of the fantasy community, and should Bell stay in Kansas City next season and beyond, those Dynasty Owners must be licking their chops like they would prior to a good ole’ Kansas City BBQ.