Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back Le’Veon Bell has done it again. For the second season in a row Bell will face a suspension entering the season, breaking the hearts of many fantasy players, including myself, who have him rated as the possible number one overall pick.
Bell’s 4-game suspension is reportedly due to “missing multiple” drug tests, but he did not fail one a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano. The appeals process is ongoing, which is why the suspension has not officially been announced.
Bell will surely appeal the suspension before the start of the season, but a date has yet to be announced.
He was suspended the first two games of the 2015 season for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy after he was arrested on charges of marijuana possession and DUI in the Summer of 2014.
Bell’s 119 yards from scrimmage per game are the most in the NFL since 2013.
This now leaves fans with the daunting task of deciding where to draft Le’Veon in upcoming fantasy drafts. No doubt a first round talent, but it is hard to see his value that high if he is to miss the expected four games, keeping him on your bench for more than a quarter of the fantasy season.
The silver lining in the suspension is that this does give Bell some extra time to nurse his past torn MCL, the injury that ended his 2015 campaign.
If Bell falls to the late second or early third round, there is definite value to take him there and stash him until week 5.
This also adds big value to current backup DeAngelo Williams who will now get the nod at the start of the season, considering the suspension holds true. Williams is worthy of a late 3rd or early 4th round pick as he gives you great value in the games he will start in.
Williams averaged 112 yards from scrimmage during the games that he spelled Bell last season, which was 4th in the NFL after week 8 behind only Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and Odell Beckham Jr.
Williams averaged 16.1 points per game last year after week 9, which was most for all running backs over that time period making him a worthy bell-cow during the start of your season.