The only thing that kept Le’Veon Bell afloat in fantasy football this season was the fact he had a 66-461-1 line through the air. He finished 14th in PPR scoring, 18th in half-PPR scoring, and 22nd in standard scoring. There was a lot of question marks surrounding the New York Jets offensive line, and those questions were answered as they were one of the worst run blocking teams in the league, and also failed to protect Sam Darnold. At the moment, the Jets still need to address the offensive line. Bell is not going to have any success if things stay the same. He is already a major red flag as it is, given his athleticism looked very average in 2019. ADP and auction value dropped even further from last season, and deservingly so. In PPR leagues the weekly value could be there, but I would temper expectations in any other scoring format.
|RUSH YDS||RUSH TD||REC||REC YDS||REC TD||FANTASY POINTS||FPPG|
After taking a year off in 2018 due to contract disputes, he got his deal with the Jets and delivered the worst season of his career. It was hard to get going behind this offensive line, that is for sure. He rushed for just 3.2 yards per carry, and tied a career low in rushing touchdowns. However, that low was the year he got injured and played six games. He averaged just 16.3 rushing attempts per game, which was another career low. His receiving numbers were also at a slight drop, where he averaged just 30.7 yards per game, and had 4.4 catches per game.
|RUSH YDS||RUSH TD||REC||REC YDS||REC TD||FANTASY POINTS||FPPG|
Le’Veon Bell projects for much more of the same, which is struggling on the ground, and not producing much touchdown numbers. He had one of his worst seasons in the NFL last season, and the Jets were one of the worst running teams overall. These are not quite the numbers you want to see if you are looking for a bounce back year out of Bell. The one thing that could help is the Jets bolstering their offensive line a bit through the draft, but also the PPR numbers going up because of the lack of weapons in the Jets offense where Bell would see a lot of targets.
Jets offensive line has been brutal for Le’Veon Bell so far:
• No OL has opened up fewer yards before contact (0.38)
• Bell has been contacted at or behind the line of scrimmage on 58% of carries (2nd-highest rate)
• 28% of carries stuffed for zero gain or loss (2nd-highest)
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) October 8, 2019
ADP & Auction Value
ADP: 4th/5th Round
Auction Price: $21
In PPR leagues you can take a shot in this draft range, but I would have some backup options and plans to go with if it doesn’t pan out again. Bell is still a talent, it’s just the worst case scenario for a running back around him. Because the ADP and auction value is lower than last year, I won’t argue against taking another shot. However, the return on value could still be a negative.
The floor for Bell is going to look a lot like last year, where he struggles on the ground and the Jets offense makes it tough on him to find the end zone and break out for big plays. His touchdown range overall should be around 4-5, and 1,000 all-purpose yards is still a tough ask. I would put him closer to the 800-900 mark if we are truly looking at a worst case scenario for his floor.
If the Jets can manage to clear some more room for Bell and get him some extra touches, then we can look at a decent ceiling for his ADP. 1,000 all-purpose yards and a 7-8 touchdown range would not be bad for where he is going. It is just hard to peg him for anything more than that in this offense. Those RB1 type days are over.
New York Jets Offense
The Jets played as one of the slower offenses in the game. The offensive line is what I have been griping about throughout the article, as they were horrendous as a run blocking offensive line. This continues to be my major concern, as Bell needs that patience and time to be successful on the ground. We saw what that looks like when it isn’t there. New York ranked 31st in points per game and 32nd in yards per game. No real surprise here, as they also averaged just 1.9 touchdowns per game. The backs averaged 3.3 yards per rush and only rushed 23.9 times per game. Bell was a part of a bottom five rushing attack in terms of production and volume.
Strength Of Schedule
New York tends to put themselves in a hole against most teams, and it doesn’t help that they face two of the tougher defenses in the league four times within the division. Buffalo should take a step forward against the run this season, and New England was one of the better overall defenses in the league against opposing running backs. Le’Veon Bell will have Miami twice a year, but I am still not thrilled with any sort of matchup for Bell. Outside of the division, they will face the Chiefs, Chargers, and Rams. This has potential for Bell to possibly get some PPR points against the Chiefs and Rams. Kansas City and the Chargers both struggled against the run, but the Chiefs were able to get teams to throw because of the offense.
Oakland would be a good matchup for most backs, but once again it is hard to say Bell will take advantage of this. We saw the Jets and Bell in good spots last time, and as bad as that offensive line was, it showed against most teams in the league. The 49ers and Cardinals were inside the top half against the run last season, and they also might create game scripts where he could see more of the role in the passing game. Overall Bell is going to need PPR work and the Jets being down to help carry his fantasy value.
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