3 Late-Round Running Backs Le'Veon Bell Owners Should Target in Fantasy Football Drafts
Even before the NFL announced that Le'Veon Bell's suspension to begin the season would be reduced from a three-game ban to just two games, Pittsburgh's third-year tailback was already in the conversation as a top three back for fantasy football.
But with the news that Bell will be back on the Steelers active roster by Week 3 against the St. Louis Rams -- as last season's most productive back by far according to our Net Expected Points metrics (read more about Net Expected Points, or NEP, in our glossary) -- many are once again arguing that Bell deserves consideration as the top overall player drafted in leagues this season.
The question still remains though: What can Le'Veon Bell owners do to compensate for the fact that they'll be without their first-round pick for the first two weeks of the season?
The obvious answer is to target his fill-in later on in their drafts, looking for undervalued running backs that could put up good-to-great production in the first two weeks that Bell is out.
And to identify these tailbacks, I used three major criteria:
1. He has to be the team's lead back to start the season -- which should guarantee him a generous proportion of his team's workload over the first two games of the year -- but must also have rest-of-season value with RB2 upside.
2. As someone who will be a backup running back for your team, his ADP must be beyond the fifth round in standard 12-team leagues.
3. Over the first two games of the season, he must have a favorable schedule with games against teams with run defenses ranked in the bottom-half of the league according to our metrics.
So with this being said, which players tick all the right boxes to make the list?