Le’Veon Bell was a first round pick in 2019 fantasy football drafts but his production didn’t live up to expectations. He finished the year outside the Top 20 in standard formats and was outside the Top 15 in PPR fantasy leagues. His 789 yards on the ground was the second lowest mark of his career and his 3.2 yards-per-carry average was his worst. But keep in mind Bell sat out the entire 2018 season because of a contract dispute and played in a new offense for the first time in his career in 2019.
Heading into 2020, there’s some positive hype for the veteran rusher, especially since the Jets upgraded their offensive line by drafting Mekhi Becton in the first round and signing center Connor McGovern, guard Alex Lewis and tackle George Fant.
Sports Illustrated’s fantasy football analyst Shawn Childs and JetsCountry’s editor Kristian Dyer discuss the Jets running back and highlight where he should be drafted in fantasy football.
Read below for full video transcript:
Bill Enright: Jets running back Le'Veon Bell had a disappointing fantasy football season in 2019. But is he poised for a bounce back in 2020? Let's find out what SI fantasy analyst Shawn Childs and JetsCountry editor Kristian Dyer have to say about the veteran running back. Shawn, I'm going to start with you, because we know that in fantasy football, Le'Veon Bell has been such a stud for so long. But wow was he let down in 2019. What do you expect from him in 2020?
Shawn Childs: Yeah, Jets cleaned house on the offensive line, they're going to start fresh. I mean, last year they ranked at the bottom of the league in rushing yards. Bell gained only 3.2 yards per carry, struggled in the passing game. But he still had 300 attempts. And that's a pretty solid number, especially in fantasy football. So overall, his rushing yards and passing yards combined, he had a 36% drop from his last year in Pittsburgh. But in his career, he's gained over 1900 yards four times, and he's averaged just over 24 touches per game in his career. So that's a pretty big number for fantasy just for the consistency factor, especially in PPR leagues. So I think he's undervalued as the 19th running back coming off the board. He's a guy that I will target because I think he will be pretty active, even if he drops to around 20 touches per game. So I'm definitely going to buy him where he's fallen in drafts right now.
Bill Enright: Kristian, let me ask you more of an organizational question when it comes to the Jets. Adam Gase doesn't seem to really like Le'Veon Bell. There's a lot of media reports out there that these two don't get along. Gase really says consistently that he wants to have more than one back, kind of split the workload, but they're not paying Le'Veon Bell to split the action. What do you make of his situation heading into 2020?
Kristian Dyer: Well, I think the Jets have said all the right things in terms of wanting to bring back the Pro Bowl running back in Le'Veon Bell. They said that they want to include him in the offense. They think he's a big part of the offense. They like the fact that he's bought into what they're doing for the rebuild. For obvious reasons, the Jets threw a lot of money at him in 2019 to be that feature back. And that could be one of the reasons why Mike MacCagnan, who was the general manager at that time for the Jets, is no longer currently with the Jets because Bell doesn't necessarily fit what Adam Gase wants to do with the running back. He wants a running back with limited touches. He wants to really share and split things around the backfield. He doesn't want that feature bell cow type of running back that Le'Veon Bell is. Now, I agree with Shawn, I think Le'Veon Bell is due for a bigger, more improved 2020. The offensive line should be probably a second or third tier offensive line. I'm not even sure if last year the Jets offensive line was good enough to beat the Alabama offensive line. I think Bell will be improved. But is he a good fit here in New York? Don't think we'll be seeing him on the Jets roster in 2021.
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