Le’Veon Bell fantasy owners, you get some panic. Clyde Edwards-Helaire owners, you get some panic, people who dropped Bell before he signed with the Chiefs, you get some panic. Everybody gets some panic!
This is just the latest round of disarray, and none of these disruptions would be considered one of Oprah’s favorite things. Now we have to worry about the viability of players we thought would be solid fantasy running backs when the season began — or in Bell’s case, at least hopefully startable.
Bell has played in just two games, averaged just 3.9 per carry, has just two total receptions and has yet to score a touchdown. Yeah, it has been really bad. This isn’t Oprah, this is one angry lover away from a Jerry Springer episode.
The Madman wasn’t expecting the world out of Bell this season, but we did think last year was rock bottom. Undaunted, the Jets kept digging. Now Bell is heading to the defending champs.
But Kansas City already has its new franchise back, right? Well, the Madman also was soft on rookie Edwards-Helaire to start the season, thinking his first-round draft value after Damien Williams’ opted out was far beyond our expectation of his volume. Week 1 destroyed that forecast — 25 carries for 138 yards and a TD in the season opener.
Though the production has plummeted since, his volume has remained mostly steady (around 20 touches per week). Yet he hasn’t displayed the game-changing skills he teased in Week 1.
So what happens now? First, change nothing this week. Bell is not going to play Monday against the Bills — he has to wait out a five-day COVID-19 testing period. He could get some action in Week 7 against the Broncos. Then Week 8, he gets a revenge shot against the Jets. More on that, after these words …
Edwards-Helaire should continue to dominate the backfield touches the next couple of weeks. Proceed, for now, as if Bell isn’t on the team. Play Edwards-Helaire as you normally would. Take into consideration his recent output and the fact he is playing a Bills defense that gives up about two fewer PPR points per week to opposing fantasy RBs.
Welcome back from that Edwards-Helaire break. So sticking with him for now, but what happens when the Jets game arrives? Well, that could be a week when coach Andy Reid force-feeds Bell some work. Not enough to warrant sitting Edwards-Helaire, but enough to consider playing Bell.
Then, in Week 9, and if current defensive trends hold, both are startable against the Panthers. We can monitor the RB usage in those two games to forecast what type of shared workload each will get when the Chiefs emerge from their Week 10 bye.
Not enough drama for you? Want a more definitive forecast? Then compare Bell to David Johnson. Both are 28, Johnson missed almost an entire year with a hand injury, and he has looked sluggish since. So let’s say, we’re not giving Bell a ringing endorsement. Perhaps you can find trade value in the coming weeks.