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New York Jets: Draft Le’Veon Bell with confidence in fantasy football

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 24: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the New York Jets warms up before their preseason game against the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium on August 24, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 24: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the New York Jets warms up before their preseason game against the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium on August 24, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
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New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell is one of the best running backs in the NFL. Here’s why you should draft him with confidence in fantasy football.

There’s a lot of uncertainty in fantasy football in 2019.

With so many old faces in new places, who should you trust with your top-10 fantasy football pick? New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell.

According to the Fantasy Football Calculator, Bell’s current ADP (average draft position) is hovering between sixth and seventh overall in current fantasy football drafts.

Here are some of the top concerns fantasy football players have regarding Le’Veon Bell:

  • When Le’Veon Bell suits up for the Week 1 matchup vs the Buffalo Bills to kick off the 2019 season, 601 days will have passed since he was last on the field with the Pittsburgh Steelers, per Peter King of NBC Sports.
    • That’s an extremely long time and rust will certainly be a factor. Expect Bell to start the 2019 season slow, but remember, good things come to those who wait. While Bell may not light the fantasy football world on fire in Week 1, he’ll eventually deliver for you long-term.
      • Over the last two seasons (2016-2017) that Bell played he averaged 371 offensive touches. Spoiler alert: that’s a lot.

The 601 days off aren’t a bad thing, it’s actually a good thing. Le’Veon has had the luxury of time, something that most running backs aren’t afforded. Now he looks fresh and ready to have as he predicts ‘the best year of his career.’

If that does happen, expect north of 287.5 fantasy points which is the most he’s ever had in a single season, per Fantasy Data.

Which would put him in the top-five RB1 status in fantasy football in 2019.

Old face in a new place.

With NFL free agency and the trade market in 2019, players moving places is more common than ever. But even with that being considered, 2019 feels different.

  • Odell Beckham Jr gets traded to the Cleveland Browns.
  • Antonio Brown gets traded to the Oakland Raiders.
  • Le’Veon Bell signs with the New York Jets.

These are and were some of the top playmakers in all of fantasy football and each of these players are in new locations in 2019.

When players move to new locales mystery shrouds their potential fantasy value.

While there’s no question on the surface, Bell signing with the Jets appears to be a regression in overall talent from his previous situation with the Pittsburgh Steelers:

  • The offensive line is worse.
  • Sam Darnold is less proven then ‘Big’ Ben Roethlisberger.
    • ‘Big’ Ben has two Super Bowl rings and is a future Pro Football Hall of Famer. Everyone thinks Darnold can be really good and he showed flashes in his rookie season, but we’ll have to see what he develops into.
  • Talent overall on offense is worse.
    • There’s no JuJu Smith-Schuster or Antonio Brown on this team, but they do have Robby Anderson and some other No. 2 and No. 3 options.

Here are some final reasons that you should feel confident about drafting Bell in the top-10 of your fantasy football draft:

  • New head coach Adam Gase is an offensive-minded head coach who is going to find creative ways to get Bell the ball.
  • Bell is a threat running the ball and catching the ball out of the backfield.
    • Over the last two years that he’s played, Le’Veon averaged 80 receptions per season as a running back. That’s on top of his 291 average carries per season during that same span.
  • 10 of the 16 opponents the Jets play in 2019 were ranked 15th or worse in rush yards allowed in 2018, per Team Rankings.

New York Jets: Final 53-man roster prediction ahead of cut day. Next

  • Also, Le’Veon is still extremely young. Bell is 27 years old and won’t turn 28 until the new league year in 2020. Plus go back to that stat we started off with, the disparity between when he last played for the Steelers and when he’ll suit up for the Jets Week 1 span over 600 days. Le’Veon Bell still has that fresh new car smell.
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