It’s the first day of August and early-bird fantasy players have been drafting for almost a month now, with the next month being buck wild crazy. Personally I think drafting before training camp starts is fruitless, because what the market says about a player before all the variables of training camp are factored in isn’t necessarily accurate nor is it something you should base your draft strategy on. The problem with this is that the market may love a player like Le’Veon Bell posting a 1.2 ADP without factoring in that James Connor, and Martavis Bryant are having great camps, and that Bell will be playing with the extra weightiness of his current contract situation. My point is that drafts in June, though fun and a great way to remedy the fantasy itch are not factoring enough information for you to make sound decisions. You must continue to rely on your fave Twitter Follows, media personalities, individual research and me… of course.
Le’Veon Bell by the numbers has a Ricky Williams ceiling, where in he’s both elusive and can drop his shoulder into you. He averaged almost two points per game more than David Johnson though he played four fewer games. Take it how you want but if Bell plays all 16 games this season he’ll likely eclipse 2000 total yards. The question is, with drafts already on the way are you concerned Bell doesn’t sign, and if he does will the missed practice time and bitterness from having the franchise tag placed on him impact his performance. It shouldn’t but that’s a bunch of weight he’s carrying around.
Bell will get his, but who else on the Steelers is there to eat away volume that was available last season. Martavis Bryant is sure to get some volume and there’s no question Mike Tomlin will pull Bell should the game be in hand so as to not repeat the debacle that was Bell’s injury last season against the Patriots. The Steelers have as much to play for as anyone, and keeping Bell fresh is essential. Don’t forget Antonio Brown is in the mix as well.
If you’re drafting early especially in the Auction I just don’t see how you maintain last years expectations with everything he has going, not when David Johnson is there for the taking. In a snake draft going with David Johnson, Antonio Brown, OBJ may be the way to go. There’s lots to like about Bell’s schedule as well, but at the end of the day you’ll have a major decision to make concerning whether or not Bell is worth pursuing, and how much you are willing to spend.
Despite Bell’s unwillingness to sign the tender he’s worthy of the spot, though this season I like David Johnson and the 2000 plus yard he’ll put up if he plays all 16. Johnson, whom I consider the better pass catcher led all RBs in receptions and total receiving yards last season, and the Cardinals have no intention on slowing his roll this season.
Buyer beware with Bell, as his output will be great, but I’m not certain he’s worth the top dollar, when you consider Johnson and added volume heading his way with a downtick heading Bell’s way. Good luck navigating that first round and beyond.